This small country in southern India, formerly known as Ceylon, is considered one of the most important tourist attractions in the world. Marco Polo once said that it is “the most beautiful island in the world.” There are many exciting things to do on your trip to Sri Lanka, such as trying out safari in the woods, watching and riding elephants, visiting the most beautiful temples in the world, the sunny beaches and experiencing the very interesting culinary art.
Colombo, the country’s capital, is one of the busiest in the whole world. Take a tour of the city and check out the Pettah bazaar, the floating market, the “Dutch Hospital”, which is the oldest building in Colombo, the Jewelry Street, the Independence Square, the Kelaniya Temple (one of the oldest Buddhist temples). You will immediately notice the colonial influences of different cultures, which have left a mark on the city.
The second city that you need to visit here is Galle, the administrative capital of the south (founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese). The country has undergone three colonial architectural styles: Dutch, British and Portuguese. Here, we recommend you to visit the Dutch fort which hosts military equipment and includes a church built in 1754.
Next up is Tissamaharama, from where you can start your trip to Kataragama, the Holy Land of Sri Lanka, a pilgrimage place for Hindu, Buddhist and Vedda communities. Moving on from here, pay a visit to Kerry Vihara to see the largest Buddha statue, made of rock, standing 16 meters high. The next stop is seeing the spectacular Rawana Falls, with a height of 54 meters.
Did you know that Sri Lanka is the world’s largest tea exporter?
Nuwara Eliya is one of the most important tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, a city known as Little England because of its British colonial influences. Nuwara Eliya was founded by explorer Samuel Baker in 1846 and quickly became a holiday destination for British settlers who wanted to escape the heat on the coast and enjoy the clean breeze of Sri Lanka’s mountains.
The city of Peradeniya contains more than 5000 species of plants, exotic flowers, tropical fruits and royal botanical gardens. You will also be able to see the Buddha Temple here, built in the 17th century.
The oldest capital of Sri Lanka
Anuradhapura is the oldest capital of the country and it hosts the oldest tree in the world, Sri Maha Bodi. It is said that this tree was brought to the country by Sangamitta, the daughter of Emperor Asoka, hundreds of years ago.
Head over to the stone castle built by the king Kashyapa in the 5th century AD, which is one of the most valuable monuments in Sri Lanka, regarded by locals as the eighth wonder of the world. It is a wonderful castle built on a huge rocky plateau at 370 meters above sea level. Visit the nearby gardens and check out the huge Buddha statue, rising 12 meters tall, sculpted by an unknown artist.
Last but not least on your trip to Sri Lanka are the Dambulla Caves, a group of five caves in the UNESCO heritage, on a surface of 2,100 square meters. Before returning to Colombo, also make sure to check out the Negombo city.