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Updated by Joanna James on Oct 17, 2021
Headline for 12 Best Places to Visit in Sri Lanka - Soak Up the Awe-inspiring Beauty of The Wonder of Asia
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Joanna James Joanna James
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12 Best Places to Visit in Sri Lanka - Soak Up the Awe-inspiring Beauty of The Wonder of Asia

Sri Lanka is widely referred to as the pearl of the Indian Ocean owing to the country's compact size, but you can be certain that's the only thing small about it. As the home to countless beaches, jungles, and tea plantations, there's so much to explore in this magnificent island country.

1

Nuwara Eliya

Covered with lush greenery and misty clouds, this plateau town is popular worldwide as 'Little England' thanks to its old British colonial buildings. Nuwara Eliya has plenty of breathtaking tea plantations, waterfalls, and mountains for you to soak up the true natural beauty of Sri Lanka.

2

Anuradhapura

Step back in time by exploring the striking palaces, temples, and monuments of the sacred city of Anuradhapura. With historical sites dating back to the 12th century BC, Anuradhapura is the place to be for anyone interested in learning more about the history and evolution of Sri Lanka.

3

Yala National Park

Located on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka, Yala is the most visited national park in the country. While Yala is home to a wide variety of animals such as elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, and hundreds of species of birds, the park is famous for its abundant population of Sri Lankan leopards.

4

Colombo

Colombo is by far the most accessible city of Sri Lanka for any tourist as it is the only gateway into the country. Aside from the easy access to the city, many spectacular places in Colombo are worth exploring, such as the Gangaramaya Temple and Colombo National Museum.

5

Kandy

Kandy, the second-largest city and the gateway to the central hills of Sri Lanka, is popular around the world as the home to the ancient, picturesque Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Apart from the city's pleasant climate and scenic beauty, Kandy has some of the best resorts in Sri Lanka, including the ones owned by Theme Resorts & Spa.

6

Sigiriya

Sigiriya, also known as 'Lion's Rock', is a must-visit for all the adventure lovers out there. It involves a good 1000-steps trail to get to the top of the rock, but it is worth the effort. Sigiriya is declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you will completely understand why when you get to the top.

7

Udawalawe National Park

If you are a wildlife enthusiast who loves spotting elephants, Udawalawe is a place you should not miss during your time in Sri Lanka. What makes Udawalawe stand apart from the country's 26 or so national parks is its abundant elephant population. You will be able to spot many other animals as well, such as leopards, crocodiles, water buffalos, otters, and hundreds of species of birds.

8

Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa can be described as the perfect place to spend your next summer vacation. Adrenaline junkies, get ready to indulge yourself in an endless array of watersports, from diving, snorkelling to scuba diving and kayaking, because this beach is all about getting your heart racing.

9

Ella

Ella is a quaint little town located in the hill country of Sri Lanka, set among lush tea plantations and surrounded by dramatic mountains. This mountainous town is the home to the Instagram famous Nine Arch Bridge and the second highest waterfall of Sri Lanka, Diyaluma.

10

Adam's Peak

Adam's Peak is a sacred mountain and an important pilgrimage site of the Sri Lankan Buddhists. The trek up to the mountain will be quite a tiring journey involving a good 2-4 hours, but you will be rewarded with awe-inspiring views at the top, which will make your effort totally worth it.