The best places to visit in Srilanka

A group of elephants in Srilanka.

The Island Country of Srilanka

SriLanka is a beautiful country dotted with sandy beaches, wonderful wild life sanctuaries and beautiful mountain hill stations. The island country is located just at the bottom of India surrounded by the Indian Ocean. With plentiful rain and warm sun, this country is a favorite for tourists to spend their vacation times. With the tourism industry blooming, the locals are friendly and always helpful. Some of the places not to miss on the majestic island are covered below.


Being the capital of the country and the place where the main airport is located, Colombo is the main commercial hub as well. Apart from the most trendy malls and cafes, the city also boosts well preserved colonial buildings and famous museums like National Museum. One of the best revitalized colonial buildings is the Dutch Hospital Complex. It has been refurbished to become a trendy place for night life, cafes, restaurants and bars with the courtyard thriving with cultural activities.

People are sitting at tables in a courtyard in Srilanka at night.
Night life at the Dutch Hospital Courtyard
Sri Lanka's national museum.
Independence Hall Colombo, one of the most important destinations in the capital
A large white building with arches in the middle of a green lawn in Sri Lanka.
National Museum of Srilanka located in a White colonial building


The beach town of Hikkaduwa is one of the most scenic and popular beaches of the Srilankan coastal strip. It is frequented by surfers who make good use of the rising tides in these waters. Hikkaduwa is also home to Turtle nurturing farms particularly those species which were affected by the Boxing Day Tsunami that devastated the city.

Palm trees on the beach in Srilanka.
Walking along the Hikkaduwa shore line with a boat
Srilanka beach at sunset.
A Magestic Hikkaduwa Sunset from the roadside
A group of surfers riding a wave in Sri Lanka.
One of the favorite activities at Hikkaduwa is surfing


This little town is a two hour drive away from Colombo. It houses wonderfully designed garden villa better known as “Brief Gardens” which is a haven for landscape enthusiasts. The town also has its own turtle hatchery and sits nearby the garden estate “Lunuganga” of the famous architect Geoffrey Bawa which is a must visit site on any itinerary.

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A woman from Srilanka is petting a turtle.
A tourist interacts with turtle at the Bentota Turtle Hatchery
A group of people standing in front of a large tree in Srilanka.
The master peice of architect and landscape genius Geoffery Bawa – The Lunuganga
A treehouse in Sri Lanka.
One of the most scenic and well designed landscapes of the region – The Brief Gardens


The colonial town of Galle is known globally for its scenic international cricket stadium. It also houses the architecturally rich Dutch Fort which dates back a to the colonial days of the island. It is now a cultural center and part of the country’s protected heritage. A thriving shopping market is in heart of the coastal city which still lives in the architectural shadow of its historical conquests.

A clock tower in Srilanka.
A colonial fortress, Galle fort is the identity of the city
Sri Lanka vs Sri Lanka - Intense match-up.
The world renowned International Galle Cricket Stadium
The entrance to a building with palm trees and rocks in Srilanka.
Lighthouse hotel at Galle, one of the best designed hospitality centers in the region


The beautiful city of Kandy in the heart of the island country is also a UNESCO world heritage site. Kandy also is home to one of the most sacred of Buddhist temples – “The Tooth Temple” or “Sri Dalada Maligawa”. A visit to Kandy lake is a must along with a trip to the famed Royal Botanical garden. Kandy has one of the best tea gardens in its close proximity. Srilanka being the number one tea producer in the world, a good cup of brew in those gardens is a must have pleasure.

A group of people working in a tea plantation in Srilanka.
The beautiful tea gardens of Kandy providing tea to the best cups of brew
A serene lake surrounded by lush trees in Srilanka.
Lake Kandy on a misty day
A white building with a red roof located in Srilanka.
The temple of Tooth housing one of the most sacred Buddhist relics


Pinnawala village is known globally for being the world’s largest herd of captive elephants. It has more than 80 elephants and is run under the Sri Lankan Wildlife department. This is a mecca for elephant lovers from all over the world as they can observe, interact and even feed the elephants here. The sanctuary also cares for injured and disabled elephants as well and promotes breeding of the giant animals in its care.

Elephants in Sri Lanka.
A herd of elephants drinking water in a river in Sri Lanka.
Housing around 80 giants from more than three generations, there is always a ball at the Elephant Orphange
A woman feeding an elephant in a zoo in Srilanka.
A tourist feeds a young elephant the at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.


Sigriya is located in the central part of Srilankan territory, 170 kilometers from the capital city. Sigriya is famous for the Sigriya rock and the fortress which was the palace for King Kasyapa. The rock is a landmark for the area and has majestic views from the top of it. one of the most loved tourist activities in this region include a hike up to the top of this rock. There is also a well stocked museum near the entrance to the citadel. It houses the numerous artifacts from the time of King Kasyapa. The Dambulla Temple is also only thirty minutes drive away and is a Buddhist pilgrimage site. A world renowned resort designed by master architect Geoffrey Bawa is a stone’s throw away from this city. The “Kandalama” sits on a hill overlooking the lake and onto the Sigriya rock.

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A hilltop house with stairs in Sri Lanka.
The world famous Kandalama hotel is located near Sigriya on top of hill
Sigiriya rock fortress, Sri Lanka.
The Sigriya Rock in its full majestic. This one of the largest rocks in the region.
Srilanka - Srilanka - sri lanka - sr.
The Dambulla Cave temple is inside the heart of the mountain
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