Top 10 Tourist Attractions In Sri Lanka Worth Visiting For International Travelers

By Jenna Jolie

Sri Lanka, a tiny island nation with something like a teardrop shape, is a tourist paradise for foreign tourists. Nobody can deny Sri Lanka's stunning natural beauty. It is blessed with beautiful terrain and a lovely landscape with a vast expanse of sandy beaches and verdant forests. Plan a trip to this magnificent country and allow your worries to disappear, leaving your soul refreshed and at peace. Here are the top 10 tourist attractions in Sri Lanka that you should not miss for a vacation worth remembering.

List of top tourist attractions in Sri Lanka for your trip

Sri Lanka is a tourists paradise with its stunning. Amazing beaches, safari trips, historical religious sites, pilgrimages, and countless other interesting places are available in Sri Lanka. For more information, you can find below some content that includes a list as well as top tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. We welcome you to discover your distinctive Sri Lankan travel experience.

1. Sigiriya - one of the most famous tourist attractions in Sri Lanka

Sigiriya in Sri Lanka is a World Heritage Site, renowned for its massive rock formation that towers over the surrounding verdant forest. This is among the famous tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, suitable for tourists who love climbing and exploring. You may go trekking in wildlife reserves and explore historic temples and cultural places here.

Built many years ago, the Sigiriya rock was carved into a palace with a lion-shaped entrance in the center of the rock. Visitors can climb steep stairwells to reach the top and admire many frescos on the way up. Once you've scaled the rock, try hiking up nearby hills for breathtaking views of Sigiriya.

Sigiriya Rock - Among the famous tourist attractions in Sri Lanka

Sigiriya Rock - Among the famous tourist attractions in Sri Lanka

2. Yala National Park

If you love wildlife, then Yala Park is a must-visit place when visiting Sri Lanka. It has the highest density of leopards worldwide and is also home to several rare indigenous wildlife species. Travelers can tent within the park and spend the night there. Evening barbecues are the ideal setting for unwinding beside the wonders of nature. 

Yala National Park is covered by a densd-green forest with mesmerizing landscapes. This is also a shelter for many other animal species besides rare indigenous wildlife, including elephants, crocodiles, sloth bears, and over 200 bird species. You're likely to encounter them while walking around the park. In addition to the fauna and flora, the park covers religious pilgrimage sites with a long history. The temples of Situlpahuwa and Magul Vihara draw many visitors to the park every year.

3. Galle Fort

A journey to Sri Lanka is incomplete without visiting Galle, one of the tourist attractions of Sri Lanka, which features a flawless fusion of Dutch, Portuguese, and British architectural styles. You can experience the old-time scene as you see horses and carriages running on the wide cobblestone streets leading to the fortress. There are several coffee shops and restaurants where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or try some dishes while seeing the magnificent views of the fort. Additionally, you can go around some souvenir shops around the fortress where you can buy Sri Lanka souvenirs, gifts to bring back to your loved ones.

Lighthouse from Galle Town - One of the tourist attractions of Sri Lanka

Lighthouse from Galle Town - One of the tourist attractions of Sri Lanka

4. Adam's Peak

Adam' Peak, also known as Sri Pada (holy foot), is a massive conical peak in Sri Lanka's central province that soars to a height of 2,243 meters (7359 ft). At the summit of Adam’s Peak, there is a temple that carries a "sacred footprint", which is believed to be Buddha's in the Buddhist tradition, Hanuman's or Shiva's in the Hindu tradition, and Adam's in Islamic and Christian beliefs. This large, sacred mountain is one of the main tourist attractions in Sri Lanka for devotees, regardless of their beliefs.

Adam's Peak is a gorgeous natural site to visit and a popular place for pilgrimage. The pilgrimage path is a steep staircase with more than 5000 steps. On the road, there are many places for visitors to rest, such as tea stalls or food shops. Visitors should start climbing late at night to reach the top in time for dawn.

5. Temple of the Tooth

The Temple of the Tooth is among the most sacred places in the world for Buddhists. This temple contains a relic that is believed to be a tooth of the Buddha. According to legend, the tooth was stolen when the Buddha was on his deathbed and then smuggled from India to Sri Lanka. When visiting this sacred temple, visitors and devotees will get a chance to glimpse the tooth within its casing.

The Temple of the Tooth is again popular among Sri Lanka tourist attractions. This temple in Kandy is iconic because it has a rich history. When visiting this sacred site, we recommend that you dress modestly. 

Sitting Buddha statue in Temple of the Tooth in Kandy

Sitting Buddha statue in Temple of the Tooth in Kandy

6. Arugam Bay

Located on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka, with a beautiful coastline more than 1600 kilometers long, Arugam Bay is the perfect place for sightseeing and water activities. The clear blue beaches with coconut trees swaying in the sea breeze make visitors comfortable to relax and get rid of their worries.

Arugam Bay must be included on your must-see list of tourist attractions of Sri Lanka if you love surfing in turquoise waters. In addition, this small town on the east coast of Sri Lanka is ideally suited for windsurfing, speed boating, paragliding, and other water sports.

7. Dambulla Cave Temple

If you want to learn more about the fascinating culture, history, and essence of Sri Lanka, visit the Dambulla Cave Temple. The UNESCO-recognized Dambulla Golden Cave Temple is a world cultural heritage. Built on a black, rocky mountain, this sacred temple brings a sense of peace and tranquility to visitors. And thanks to the unique location of the Golden Cave Temple Dambulla, it has become one of the top tourist attractions in Sri Lanka worth visiting.

The artwork, including the paintings and statues adorning the temple interiors, dates back to the 12th Century AD. The temple complex has five natural granite caves with over 150 Buddha statues inside. Don't miss this place if you love the ancient carved architecture of Buddhist carvings. The Dambulla Golden Cave Temple can be easily accessed from both Colombo and Kandy.

Dambulla Cave Temple - One of the top tourist attractions in Sri Lanka

Dambulla Cave Temple - One of the top tourist attractions in Sri Lanka

8. Ravana Falls

One of the famous tourist attractions in Sri Lanka that every tourist would love to visit is the beautiful Ravana Falls. Tourists can see the majestic waterfall scene with strong water flow in the rainy season. Or on hot summer days, visitors can take a bath here. 

The cave complex close by is full of local legend, and the falls are a part of the Ravana Ella Wildlife Sanctuary. Conveniently situated on the major route leading to Ella Town, this is a popular stop for travelers during their journey. 

9. Udawalawe National Park

Udawalawe National Park is a place you cannot miss when you traveling to Sri Lanka if you are a wildlife lover. As soon as you reach the park, a herd of elephants will surround you. These elephants are well-known and bring joy when you see them up close. Travelers should take a safari in the early morning when almost animals are most active for the best experience at the park.

Elepahants safari in Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka

Elepahants safari in Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka

10. Unawatuna

If you are looking for a beach holiday, Unawatuna is the best choice when visiting Sri Lanka. The seaside town of Unawatuna. While other beaches and islands in Sri Lanka offer a relaxing vacation, the coastal town of Unawatuna is a location for fun and excitement. Travelers can try scuba diving to explore the underwater beauty or enjoy a romantic evening at the seaside cafes. Restaurants in Unawatuna offer irresistible seafood flavors. In addition, visitors can visit the local market and buy the best crafts or souvenirs for their loved ones.

Some things you may not know about Sri Lanka tourist attractions

Sri Lanka is a safe country

There are many top tourist attractions in Sri Lanka to visit on your vacation, and you can be assured of your safety while visiting those places. The Sri Lanka Government and the tourism agency are implementing stringent measures to control the situation related to the -19 outbreak. The Sri Lanka police are always on alert to ensure no national security issues arise.

Shopping in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is known for its culture and the natural beauty that nature bestows. There’s a lot to explore and experience at famous tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. For a wonderful experience, you can even go shopping at these locations. Gems, tea, fabrics, handicrafts, antiques, porcelain, leather goods, and more are available, and these are the things we recommend that you buy and bring back as gifts for your loved ones.

Useful information for entering Sri Lanka

A visa is required for legal entry into Sri Lanka. If you are not a citizen of certain visa-exempt countries of Sri Lanka visas, you need a visa to visit here. But don't worry; we're here to help. With our electronic visa system, nationals from eligible countries can now apply for a Sri Lanka visa without visiting the Embassy or Consulate, which is much more convenient. With years of experience, Sri Lanka Immigration Services can make it easier for you to get an e-Visa.

We recommend you apply for your visa as soon as possible before booking your flight. If you have any questions, please contact us. Our 24/7 service will answer all your questions.

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