Sri Lanka travel always offers a lot to those who choose to visit this amazing country. To give you a taste of some of the top attractions, here are the top five things you need to do during your Sri Lanka trip:
Explore Exciting Colombo – Popular Start Point for a Sri Lanka Vacation
For a quirky and cosmopolitan city that reveals the ‘real’ Sri Lanka, head to the buzzing city of Colombo. A weird mix of anarchic Asian crowds, crumbling colonial charm and the clean modern gleam of tower blocks make for a fascinating adventure. And this city also serves as a good base from which to see sights in the surrounding region, for which this intriguing city is often overlooked.
Galle Face Green Promenade – Ultimate Family Sri Lanka Travel Vacation
So for family fun there is Galle Face Green Promenade. It stretches along beside the Indian Ocean with a range of food vendors. This is a popular spot for picnicking families. Head here at sundown for a spectacular view. Colombo Zoo, which houses a variety of different animals, and offers elephant and pony rides. It may also be popular with families. But the Turtle Conservation Villa, which protects Sri Lanka’s endangered turtles, may be a better option for concerned animal lovers on a Sri Lanka trip.
Museum lovers should head for the National Museum, the Natural History Museum, or the Dutch Period Museum. While art lovers are also catered for with the Green Path Art Gallery, the Sapumal Foundation, the Lionel Wendt Memorial Art Centre and the Casa Serena Art Gallery.
Bargain at Pettah Market- for Must!
And perhaps the most fascinating area of Colombo is the Pettah. The crush and vitality of the market bazaar makes this area different to anywhere else you will find in Sri Lanka. In the Pettah you will find streets dedicated to the sale of different items. And a Tamil and Muslim flavour which is not found anywhere else in the city. So take a Sri Lanka tour to see what the city has to offer.
Make Your Way To Kandy – A Top Destination for Sri Lanka Travel Sightseeing
If you want to escape the bustle of the big city, then Kandy is a tranquil town 75km outside Colombo which could provide some welcome relaxation. On the way there, stop in at the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage. And perhaps you might also like to make a stop in Peradeniya, to see the amazing orchid collection of the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Hiking, Observing Wildlife or Exploring Tea Plantation
As the town of Kandy sits on a plateau amidst the mountains, it is home to many tea-growing plantations and stretches of breath-taking rainforest. The visitor can wonder at the biodiversity of this rainforest at the Udawattakele Forest Reserve. And at the very heart of the city lies Lake Bogambara which is certainly worth a visit, perhaps early in the morning before it gets too busy. But natural beauty is not all that Kandy has to offer, the region is also famous for its religious sites with their Buddhist temples and statues. One of the most important Buddhist sites is the Temple of the Tooth which houses a tooth said to belong to Buddha.
Head for Dambulla Royal Cave Temple, Sigiriya & Gal Viharaya
North and northwest of Kandy, you will discover three of Sri Lanka tourism’s must-see sights. Dambulla Royal Cave Temple is a UNESCO listed world heritage attraction. Also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, this is the best preserved cave temple complex in the country. The cave complex dates from the first century BCE, though the caves are likely to have been inhabited long before this time. Five caves here are filled with art and statues relating to the life of Gautama Buddha.
Sigiriya- 600 m High Natural Stone Column
So another important sight often included on Sri Lanka travel tours of the Cultural Triangle, and another of the country’s foremost sites is Sigiriya. This is also a UNESCO world heritage site – a rock fortress of huge historic and archaeological significance. It is believed that the site was selected by King Kashyapa (477-495 CE) for his new capital.
He built his palace on the rock. After the king’s death, the site was abandoned, and then used as a monastery until the 14th Century. Today, it is an example of ancient urban planning, and one of the most important historic sites in the country.
4 Buddhas- Cut from 1 Long Slab of Granite.
And another highlight of the cultural triangle, and something else well worth including on a Sri Lanka tour is the famous Buddhist site of Gal Viharaya, in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. It is famous for its caves, and large sculptures of Buddha carved into rock faces.
Enjoy the Ultimate Sri Lanka Travel Adventure in Yala National Park
Nature lovers enjoying a Sri Lanka vacation will be spoiled for choice when it comes to beautiful areas to explore. The country boasts many national parks and other protected areas. But perhaps the best of the bunch is Yala National Park, where you can enjoy some stunning vistas and get to grips with the sheer abundance and variety of Sri Lankan wildlife.
Leopards are the main attraction here – this place has the highest density of leopards in the world. But these are not the only animals you’ll see here as you hike or take another outward bound Sri Lanka travel tour. You are also likely to see elephants, sloths and crocodiles – and many other creatures besides.
Ascend To The Summit of Adam’s Peak
Adam’s Peak is a hill with huge spiritual significance not just for one religion, but for several. At the summit of the peak there is a footprint cast in stone. Christians believe that it is Adam’s, Buddhists that it is Buddha’s, and Hindus that it is Shiva’s.
The site is a popular place of pilgrimage for members of all these religions, especially on the night of a full moon. To reach the peak, you must climb a stunning stone staircase with over 5,000 steps. Many people begin the hike at around 2.30am in order to complete the climb by sunrise.
From Lively Modern City of Colombo to Beautiful Beaches
Of course, a Sri Lanka travel can offer far more than just the attractions mentioned above. We’ve not even started on the beautiful beaches, or the other cultural cities to explore… But the five things mentioned above are definitely top things to do when you plan a Sri Lanka travel adventure.