Top Things to Do in Sri Lanka

Tourists have many things to do when paying a visit to Sri Lanka which is abundant in natural and cultural heritages, unique and charming cultural atmosphere, as well as beautiful natural scenery. They can roam around the avenues and alleys like locals, go on a trekking or hiking, enjoy delicious local meals and street food, pay a visit to the beautiful tea plantations, start a temple tour to purify souls, or go to the elephant orphanage to feed the elephants and have a great time with them. This wonderful land will make visitors enjoy themselves so much as to forget to leave.

Must-go Cities in Sri Lanka


Located at the southwest coast of Ceylon Island, Colombo is the capital city of Sri Lanka. As the largest city in the country, Colombo is the country's political, economic, cultural and transportation center, as well as an important port in Indian Ocean. Colombo, one of the oldest cities in Sri Lanka, creates an attractive temperament with ironwoods, water lilies, and coconut palms everywhere in the streets. All kinds of religious temples and Christian churches can be seen in this city. Fort and Pettah are the busiest districts in the country and remain many beautiful European buildings. Galle Face Green is a great place to view the seascape. If interested in learning about the country's history and precious cultural relics, tourists should go to the National Museum. Besides, visitors can visit famous attractions such as Gangaramaya Temple, Viharamahadevi Park and Independence Memorial Hall.

Sunset in Colombo with Amazing Views
Sunset in Colombo with Amazing Views


Kandy, the former capital of Sri Lanka, is located in the Central Province. Facing the Kandy Lake, the city is at an average altitude of 500 meters (1,640 feet). It boasts both beautiful natural scenery and famous historical relics including palace architecture, Buddhism cultural relics and some loyal buildings and exotic colonial architecture. Famous for the Palace of the Tooth Relic, Sacred City of Kandy is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world, especially for those who go there for pilgrimage.

A paranomic view of Kandy, beatuful scenery of the city
Beautiful view of Kandy in Sri Lanka

Nuwara Eliya

With an average altitude of 2,076 meters (6,812 feet), Nuwara Eliya is the highest point in Sri Lanka. Located in the Central Province, the city is praised as the urban garden in Asia because of its parks, hills, valleys and waterfalls. The temperature is 4 - 16 ? (39 - 61 °F) all year round, making the city a summer resort. As many British lived here during the British colonial period, many British-style architectures remained, giving it the name of "Small London". When visiting the city, tourists should not miss Horton Plains National Park, Adam's Peak and Gregory Lake. Visitors can also taste the local authentic tea and visit the tea gardens.

Landscape with Gregory Lake in Nuwara Eliya
Landscape with Gregory Lake in Nuwara Eliya


Located at the south coastal area in Sri Lanka, Galle is famous for Old Town of Galle which was occupied by the Netherlands in the 16th century, where visitors can see many European-style buildings. The Old Town of Galle is included in the World Heritage Sites. Visitors can roam along the exotic street slowly to enjoy the beautiful sunset or explore the brilliant history by visiting the local museum.

Dutch Fortress in Galle
Dutch Fortress in Galle

Must-see Attractions in Sri Lanka

National Museum of Colombo

The National Museum at the south side of Viharamahadevi Park is one of the main attractions in the country. As the oldest museum in the country, the National Museum exhibits precious cultural relics from various periods, including fossils, antique bronzes, copper sculptures, stone carvings, jewels, exquisite metal wares, handcrafts and famous murals.

Horton Plains National Park

With an altitude of 2,000 meters (6,562 feet), Horton Plains National Park is covered by pristine woodlands. The most amazing scene in this park should be the World's End, which is a cliff with a drop of 880 meters (2,887 feet). Standing on the cliff, tourists can see the villages below, the tea plantations afar, and the beautiful coast in the south. The best visiting time is between 06:00 and 10:00. Otherwise, clouds will blot out the land. About 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the World's End, visitors can find another famous spot in this park, Baker's Falls. There is a 9.5-kilometer (6-mile) loop hiking route in the park, which can be finished within 3 or 4 hours. Roaming along this route, tourists can see the rolling hills, clear streams, and various kinds of tropical plants. The blue sky and fresh air make this trip more pleasant.

World's End in the Horton Plains National Park
Landscape of World's End in Nuwara Eliya

Golden Stupa at the Dambulla Cave Temple
Splendid Dambulla Cave Temple

Golden Temple of Dambulla

The three-storey Golden Temple is located at the foot of Dambulla Cave Temple Hill. At the entrance of the second floor, tourists can see a big open mouth. A golden Buddha statue sits on the top, with one white-and-blue turret arranged at each side. On the hillside there is the Dambulla Cave Temple, a world cultural heritage recognized by the UNESCO. It houses five caves enshrining over 160 Buddha statues. The murals inside are also impressive.

Best Sri Lanka Food to Taste

Sri Lankans prefer to both sweet and spicy food. In daily life, they mainly feed on rice, or fried noodles and rice. Besides, they eat chicken, fish, shrimp, beef, mutton, potatoes, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, radishes and Chinese watermelons. The frequently-used seasonings include cinnamon, coconut juice, curry, red pepper and lemon. They usually drink black tea and coffee. Popular fruits include papaya, pineapple, coconut and banana.


Hopper, also called Appam, is a kind of bowl-shaped pancake, which is made of fermented rice batter and coconut milk. The locals usually eat hoppers for breakfast. Hoppers are crisp on the edge, but with soft coconut milk omelet in the middle, or with eggs and peppers sometimes. Now, some people also eat hoppers along with honey.

Dried Chili Peppers
Dried Chili Peppers

Sri Lanka Food
Sri Lanka Food

Kottu Roti

As one of the most popular food in Sri Lanka, Kottu Roti is a kind of fried shredded pancake. Usually, the chef need to prepare vegetables, chicken, and shredded hoppers, as well as some spices, and then fry them on the iron plate. The locals usually eat them as staple food.

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