Sri Lanka is always the talk of the town for its scenic beauty and breathtaking locations that make it a hotspot for tourists. In fact, there are so many places to visit in Sri Lanka, each one as gorgeous as the other that you’d want to visit them all. This tear-drop shaped island boasts of pristine beaches and alluring mountains, so you can enjoy the luxuries of both the places right here. However, the highlight of this country is its spirituality and tradition, which is deep rooted, and you can catch a glimpse of it everywhere you go. So, let’s delve into some of the must-visit places in this island country.

Top Places to Visit in Sri Lanka: Behold the Awe-Inspiring Country

Places to Visit in Sri Lanka

You can’t compete with Sri Lanka when it comes to natural beauty. From impressive cultural attractions to beautiful beaches, there’s no place less beautiful in this country. The spiritual essence of this island nation is the cherry on top because it brings forth the sense of a strong history and tradition. There’s a lot to explore in this picture-perfect country and we’re here to guide you through the best places to visit in Sri Lanka that you should add to your itinerary right away.

  1. Ella
  2. Mirissa Beach Town
  3. Nuwara Eliya
  4. Bentota Beach
  5. Colombo
  6. Anuradhapura
  7. Trincomalee
  8. Galle
  9. Kandy
  10. Matara

Visiting Sri Lanka is incomplete without stopping by this quaint town, which is full of tea plantations, mountains, and wildlife. The charm of this place is enough to keep you engrossed and the Ella Gap is a popular attraction, which refers to a gap between two hills, offering enthralling views. This town also has its roots in the Ramyana because it’s believed that Sita was kept captive in a cave near Ravana Falls. So don’t miss out on this dreamy yet historical town where the coalescence of the blue sky, the lush greenery and the scenic beauty tugs at your heart.

Best time to visit: January to May

Things to do: Explore this small town near Colombo, visit the Ella Gap, and spend peaceful downtime with your loved ones

Nearby attractions: Ella Gap, Ravana Falls, Adam’s Peak, Nine Arch Bridge, and Ella Rock

Nearby restaurants: AK Ristoro, Rainbow Cafe, Cafe One Love

Nearby hotels: Elephas Resort and Spa, Carolina Beach and Resort, Mithra Paradise Beach Hotel

2. Mirissa Beach Town: Let Loose in this Romantic Paradise

Mirissa Beach Town

You’re in for a relaxing and romantic time in this small fishing village, where the carefree beach and palm trees would make you escape reality for a while. The highlight of this beach town is its whale watching activity, which draws tourists from all around the world. Apart from this, you can also indulge in snorkeling, bodyboarding, surfing, and so on. If you’re more of a beach bum than a mountain person, then this is the place for you. Enjoy the beachy vibes, the candle-lit dinners, and a lively environment. You’ll feel the exhaustion leaving your body as soon as you visit this incredible town away from the bustling of the city, so do add this to your places to visit in Sri Lanka list.

Best time to visit: November to March

Things to do: Enjoy the calm waters and the peaceful surroundings, click pictures, indulge in watersport activities, and have a romantic time

Nearby attractions: Mirissa Beach, Unawatuna Beach, Parrot Rock, Elephant Transit Home, Coconut Island, and Galle Fort

Nearby restaurants: Dhana's Curry Pot, Salt Mirissa Resort

Nearby hotels: Sri Sharavi Beach Villas and Spas, Randiya Sea View Hotel, Mandara Resort

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3. Nuwara Eliya: Explore this 19th Century Hill Station

Nuwara Eliya

As I said earlier, Sri Lanka is known for its scenic beauty and it’s because of locations such as Nuwara Eliya. The Nuwara Eliya places to visit retain their colonial essence and offer tourists an unbeatable view of tea plantations, mountains, waterfalls, and colonial architecture. It’d feel like going back in time and that’s the charm of this place. You can take a rail ride here to see this hill station from a different vantage point. Also referred to as Mini London because of its temperate climate and calm surroundings, this place has made a name for itself. The selling point of this location is that it’s visible from the tallest mountain in the country, Pidurutalagala. You can never get enough of this beaut.

Best time to visit: February to April

Things to do: Experience the soothing environment and the colonial ambience of this place, explore the tea plantations and other attractions, and take in the mesmerizing views

Nearby attractions: Lake Gregory, Lover’s Leap Falls, Victoria Park, and Galway's Land National Park

Nearby restaurants: Grand Thai, Sambole Restaurant, De Silva Food Restaurant

Nearby hotels: Araliya Green City, Heritance Tea Factory, Araliya Red

4. Bentota Beach: Let’s Get this Party Started

Bentota Beach

For all beach lovers, this sandy beach would satisfy your soul, with its clear blue waters, rich green palm trees, and a gorgeous landscape. The beach was named after a demon “Ben” who ruled over the Tota or riverbank. This place has several watersport activities to enjoy, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and so on. Walking on the golden hued sand is an amazing feeling in itself. The soft waves and salty breeze make it a must visit destination for all the tourists and the sunset from here is absolutely mind-blowing. There are many more attractions in the vicinity of this sun-kissed beach, such as Buddhist temples, and so on. It’s one of the most desirable beaches in Sri Lanka.

Best time to visit: November to April

Things to do: Walk along the shore of this sandy beach, eat delicious food and drinks, try out the Ayurveda therapies, and have fun doing the watersport activities

Nearby attractions: Buddhist temple, Brief Garden, and local temples

Nearby restaurants: Bamboos Garden Restaurant, Happy Garden Restaurant, Rana Seafood Restaurant

Nearby hotels: Cinnamon Bentota Beach, Avani Bentota Resort, Jetwing Saman Villas

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5. Colombo: Visit the Heart of Sri Lanka


Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka and visiting this city should be on your things to do in Sri Lanka list because of its popularity. If you’re dearly missing the dizzying pace of the city, then you’re at the right place. It’d be a getaway from the calmness of the island and a step into the chaotic side of it. There are so many places to visit Sri Lanka that you’d need to stay for a couple of days to visit everywhere. After acquainting yourself with the serene side of this island nation, it’s time to see the urban wonders that this country has achieved and what better place than the largest city in the country?

Best time to visit: December to March

Things to do: Enjoy the scrumptious Thai cuisine, explore the city’s market, visit the temples and museums, relax in the parks, and enjoy the hustle and bustle around you

Nearby attractions: Lotus Tower, Galle Face Green Promenade, Pettah Market

Nearby restaurants: Flow, Central Restaurant, King of the Mambo

Nearby hotels: Hotel MaRadha, Cinnamon Grand, The Kingsbury Hotel

6. Anuradhapura – A Culturally Rich and Religious City


Anuradhapura is a city which is famous for its Bodhi Tree, because that’s where Lord Buddha achieved nirvana. However, that’s not the only thing that attracts the tourists here. Apart from the tree, this place is a hub for several temples, monasteries, and so on making it one of the top 10 places to visit in Sri Lanka. It was also the capital of Sri Lanka at one point. This World Heritage Site houses several ancient ruins as well, which increases its religious significance. You’ll come across several archaeological sites here, from stupas to temples. So, if you’re a history geek, you’d fall in love with this place. Even if you aren’t a history buff, this city still has a lot to offer in terms of picturesque views that would mesmerize you.

Best time to visit: July to September and December to January

Things to do: Explore the ancient ruins, such as temples, museums, etc., marvel at the Bodhi tree, and soak in the spiritual vibes

Nearby attractions: Lovamahapaya Palace, Rock temple, Buddha’s Samadhi, Maha Bodhi Tree, Royal Pleasure Gardens, Royal Palace, etc.

Nearby restaurants: Little Paradise, Palhena Restaurant, Big Mama Family Restaurant

Nearby hotels: Silver Crown Nature Resort, Heritage Hotel, Rajarata Hotel

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7. Trincomalee: A Prominent Port City with Historical Significance


Trincomalee, also known as The Temple City, is a port city, which has made a major contribution in the development of this island nation. The culture and tradition of this place is what makes this place one of the Sri Lanka beautiful places. With white sand beaches, azure waters, and lush greenery, there’s so much to look forward to in this city. The reason it’s called the Temple City is because of the presence of several important temples here. The attractions here form the Pancha Ishwaram, which refers to the five coastal temples. If you wish to experience a strong religious and spiritual essence, then this is the place.

Best time to visit: May to June

Things to do: Relax on the gorgeous beaches, visit the temples, and soak in the positivity

Nearby attractions: Uppuveli Beach, Pathirakali Amman Temple, British War Cemetry, Kanniya Hot Springs, and many more

Nearby restaurants: Be Cool Juice Bar and Seafood Restaurant, Ubay Guest and Restaurant, Cafe on the 18th

Nearby hotels: Trinco Blu by Cinnamon, Amaranthe Bay Resort, MRD Beach Hotel

8. Galle: Feel the Dutch Essence in this Major City


Galle is another major city in this country and is therefore one of the places to visit in Sri Lanka. You’d notice a Dutch essence in every building and attraction here because this city was built by the Dutch. You’ll find everything here from tropical beaches to museums, ancient churches, lively markets, and natural beauty. This historic place is one of the best cities to visit in Sri Lankabecause it tells a lot about the country’s past. There are several tourist attractions in this city, such as the Galle Fort, Meeran Mosque, along with markets to buy trinkets, souvenirs, handicrafts, and so on that would keep you intrigued the entire time.

Best time to visit: December to March

Things to do: Admire the Dutch-colonial architecture, unwind on the sandy beaches, and visit the tourist attractions

Nearby attractions: Galle Fort, Ahungalla Beach, Flag Rock, Historical Mansion Museum, Galle International Stadium, Old Dutch Market, and Lighthouse

Nearby restaurants: Roman Beach Restaurant, Abacate, The Shack Beach Cafe

Nearby hotels: Le Grand Galle, Galle Fort Hotel, Radisson Blu Resort

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9. Kandy: A City Engulfed by Mountains


When you explore the places to visit in Kandy, you’d be greeted with rich green forests and tall mountains surrounding this city located on a plateau. The tea plantations and rainforests here make this city an alluring part of the country. The attractions here, such as the Temple of the Tooth Relic, or the museums adorn this place and enhance its beauty and popularity. If you’re an adventure junkie, then this is the perfect tourist spot for you because of the thrilling activities you can indulge in. This hill capital of Sri Lanka has a charming and spiritual side to it, which would win your heart over. The balance of simplicity and thrill is what makes this city count amongst the places to visit in Sri Lanka.

Best time to visit: December to April

Things to do: Walk in the midst of lush mountains, explore the tourist spots, and indulge in adventurous activities

Nearby attractions: Bogambara Lake, Horton Plains National Park Millennium Elephant Foundation, Ceylon Tea Museum, Degaldoruwa Temple, and Main Market

Nearby restaurants: Vito Wood Fired Pizza, Buono, Hideout Lounge

Nearby hotels: The Radh, Amaya Hills, Cinnamon Citadel

10. Matara: Experience the Sri Lankan Lifestyle


Talking about this beach city is the perfect way to end this places to visit in Sri Lanka list because its significance in this country surpasses everything. If you want to experience the local life and authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, then this is the answer. Matara refers to “Great Ferry,” which is a testament of its grand seaport. There are several pristine beaches here that are perfect for experiencing the beachy vibe. Once you’re here, don’t forget to admire the breathtaking view of the sunrise and sunset, which will transport you to a magical world. You’ll find Dutch influence in this city as well, which boasts of its heritage and past.

Best time to visit: December to April

Things to do: Enjoy the view of the waters and sandy stretches, take in the spectacular view of the sunrise and sunset, and notice the Dutch architecture

Nearby attractions: Parey Dewa fig tree, Matara Fort, St. Mary's church, and Old Nupe market

Nearby restaurants: Layback Rooftop Cafe, DelTano's Wood Fired Pizza and Pasta, Talalla Juices and Curry

Nearby hotels: Cape Weligama, O2 Villas, Weligama Bay Mariott Resort and Spa

When it comes to the places to visit in Sri Lanka, you’d always find yourself awestruck by the magnificence and simplicity of this country. This country has a charming way of subtly boasting of its heritage and history because of how intriguing it is. The vibrancy and liveliness of this place mingled with the serenity of the cities is what makes this an excellent tourist destination. It’s the perfect getaway for those who are looking for a quiet and simple time in this scenic country, whose history and culture is evident in every element. So, book our Sri Lanka tour packages and have the best vacation you could have imagined.

Sri Lanka FAQs

Q1. Where should I go in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka has some of the most beautiful places where you can spend time. These include Colombo, Matara, Ella, Trincomalee, Galle, and many more.

Q2. What is the best month to visit Sri Lanka?

The best month to visit all the tourist attractions of Sri Lanka are December to April. From beaches to hill stations, you can visit all the places in this island nation.

Q3. How many days is ideal to visit Sri Lanka?

7 to 10 days are enough to visit Sri Lanka and to explore every nook and cranny of this place. You can rest assured that everywhere you go, you’ll be greeted with a scenic view of greenery and mountains.

Q4. What's Sri Lanka famous for?

Sri Lanka’s famous for its rich heritage and culture, which is evident in the temples, museums, monuments, and other attractions. Apart from this, this country also has several beaches with soft sand and crystal-clear waters that offer an amazing view of the sunset and sunrise.

Q5. Is Nuwara Eliya worth a visit?

Yes, Nuwara Eliya is undoubtedly worth a visit because of the tea plantations, scenic waterfalls, and lush mountains. The colonial essence in the buildings and architecture also adds a nuanced touch to this hill station.

Q6. What are some of the cultural places in Sri Lanka?

This country has an abundance of cultural attractions that would leave you mesmerized. Trincomalee, Kandy, Galle, and Anuradhapura are some of the most excellent places where you can get in touch with this country’s culture.

Q7. Which are the romantic places in Sri Lanka?

Mirissa Beach, Ella, Bentota Beach, Matara, and many more places offer a romantic escape to the tourists. That’s why this city is also an excellent place for honeymooners.

Q8. Where can one experience the local life of Sri Lanka?

Matara is your best bet to acquaint yourself with Sri Lanka’s local lifestyle and cuisine. The Dutch influenced architecture, and other tourist attractions such as Old Nupe Market would give you a glimpse of the Sri Lankan lifestyle.