The scenic Sri Lankan landscape will never stop amazing anyone who gives the island a visit – surrounded by the Indian Ocean, hosting over 200 waterfalls, 2000 water bodies, 15 national parks and also home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Sri Lanka has plenty to offer to its visitors.

Here are my 5 best places to visit in Sri Lanka that will leave you with lasting memories:


1. The Polonnaruwa

The Pinnawala, Sri Lanka
The Pinnawala, Sri Lanka

The Polonnaruwa is the medieval capital of Sri Lanka and host to most of the country’s glory. It is an old and compact city and a most visited place. It features stone sculptures from the 12th century, the gal Vihara which consists three big Buddha figures of which one of them is 13 metres long and is in a reclining posture, the other one is in a standing posture while the last one is in a sitting posture.

The Polonnaruwa is a perfect place for those who love seeing ancient surroundings. There are 13 hotels and 29 B&Bs to stay in near the Polonnaruwa so why not stay overnight and explore.

2. Colombo

The city of Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka
The city of Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka

Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka and is a modern city with many cafes, restaurants, hotels, shopping destinations and multiple modes of transport. Colombo is also home to the fort, a former colonial stronghold, and currently hosts many government offices and residences.

If you’re thinking about visiting Colombo, don’t forget to check out the accommodation specials on TripAdvisor before booking.

galle-face-cricket-green
Kids play cricket at sunset on Galle Face green in Colombo

For those who love cricket, Galle Face green in Colombo is the place to visit and catch an informal cricket game where anyone interested can join.

3. Nuwara Eliya

Stunning valleys and tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Stunning valleys and tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Nurawa Eliya is another place you won’t want to miss while in Sri Lanka. This place features green tea estates, a plateau and plains all so beautiful you can’t afford to miss them.

The plains in Nuwara Eliya are referred to as the Horton plains and are a perfect place for treks and walks. There are Beautiful waterfalls and botanical gardens called the hakgala in Nuwara Eliya which create a very wonderful atmosphere for nature lovers.

Also in Nuwara is the Nuwara golf course which spreads on an area of over 90 acres and has 18 golf holes all for giving golfers a delightful golfing experience. Anyone wanting to see Mother Nature’s kindness should give The Nuwara Eliya a visit.

There’s plenty of accommodation to choose from if you decide to stay in the Nuwara Eliya. Check out the best accommodation options on TripAdvisor.

4. Yala National Park

Lots of wildlife to encounter in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
Lots of wildlife to encounter in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Providing some of the best wild animals is the second biggest and the most visited national park in Sri Lanka, Yala National Park boasts a high leopard population, a diverse ecosystem and a variety of birds.

Yala National park is surely one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka. There are 3 hotels and 7 B&Bs to choose from close to Yala National Park on TripAdvisor.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Sri Lanka
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Sri Lanka

Another must visit place in Sri Lanka is the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, home to a total of about 60 orphaned and abandoned elephants including calves. The elephants are fed and cared for at the orphanage.

A visit to the Orphanage will have you see the elephants as they eat and as they enjoy a river soak. The Pinnawalla Elephant Orphanage is a place you can’t afford to miss.

There are 8 B&Bs and a range of specialty guest houses near Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage if you decide to stay over.

Getting a visa for Sri Lanka

Do you want to visit these must-see places in Sri Lanka? Apply for Sri Lankan visas and get planning!

Have you recently visited Sri Lanka? We would love to hear about your experiences. Share your thoughts in the comments below or send us a tweet @asiantraveltips.