Sri Lanka is known by many names and monikers, from its older name of Ceylon to Emerald Island, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, Tear drop of Indian Ocean, Land of Ravana and even Teardrop of India! They may describe the historical aspect and geographical location and features of the land but they don’t do justice to the beauty of this ancient nation. If you plan to witness the unmatched beauty of this island nation, we recommend planning a trip to Sri Lanka and flying off to visit some of the best cities in Sri Lanka. Anyway, obtaining a Sri Lanka visa is easy peasy with its seamless online eVisa process.
Visitors from all over the world come to explore ancient architectural marvels, forts from the colonial era, golden beaches, wildlife reserves and national parks, hill side terraces full of tea plantations, several cities in Sri Lanka, etc. The hustling and bustling cities in Sri Lanka are home to some of the famous tourist attractions in Sri Lanka as well as many important historic sites.
Knowing about which cities in Sri Lanka to visit before you land in the country will surely aid you in selecting Sri Lanka holiday packages, hence we have made a list that will surely come in handy to you.
The top city in this list has to be the capital of the country. Although the colonizers have left a long time ago but this city’s colonial past is pretty evident in its infrastructure. Mixture of modern and colonial architecture this city should be on everyone’s must visit places in Sri Lanka list. One of the largest cities in Sri Lanka, Colombo has many scenic sights, famous tourist spots, and various activities to do and caters to everyone from party lovers to history buffs alike.
Places of interest: Colombo Lotus Tower, Beira Lake, Colombo Dutch Museum, National Museum of Colombo, Sri Lanka Planetarium, Red Mosque, Viharamahadevi Park, Pettah Floating Market, Mount Lavinia Beach, National Museum of Natural History, Gangaramaya Temple, Galle Face Green, etc.
Just 120 km from the Colombo, Galle is one of the oldest cities in Sri Lanka. Once an old trading route, the city of Galle is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Strolling around the town will surely make you feel as if you are strolling back in time because of the prevalent historical and cultural landmarks. Once a fortified town it now flourishes in the ruins of the same fort. The gem of Sri Lanka’s southern province Galle is littered with cute cafes, art galleries, and churches and mosques that are based on the Dutch and Victorian era designs.
Places of interest: Galle Fort, Fort’s Wall, Galle Fort Lighthouse, Clock Tower, National Maritime Museum, Old Dutch Market, Jungle Beach, Dutch Reformed Church, Japanese Peace Pagoda, Hikkaduwa Beach, All Saints Anglican Church, Unawatuna Beach, Koggala Turle Hatchery, Old Gate, Flag Rock, Dalawella Beach, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, etc.
The second largest city and the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, it is the goto place for photography lovers. Plush green hills covered in colorful houses, majestic Kandy Lake reflecting the city’s skyline and the Royal Palace which once housed the kings and queens of bygone era, every sight is worth capturing by your lens. Located right in the heart of the country, it houses one of the most sacred relics of Buddhism in the world – the tooth of Gautam Buddha, which makes it one of the most important cities in Sri Lanka in terms of religious importance.
Places of interest: Temple of the Tooth, Kandy Lake,Sri Maha Bodhi Viharaya, New Ranweli Spice Garden, Royal Palace of Kandy, Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, Ceylon Tea Museum, Lankatilaka Temple, Udawattakele Forest Reserve, St Paul’s Church, National Museum of Kandy, Esala Perahera Festival etc.
4. Nuwara Eliya
Cool climate, abundant greenery and surrounded by hills, Nuwara Eliya – City of Light, is the place to be if you are planning an escape from your fast paced life. Also known as “Little England”, the city of Nuwara Eliya is famous for its waterfalls, tea estates, golf course and the scenic train route from Kandy. One of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka, Nuwara Eliya has been a favourite destination for a perfect family holiday in Sri Lanka from the times since British ruled the country.
Places of interest: Adam’s Peak, Victoria Park, Horton Plains National Park, World’s End, Pedro Tea Estate, Pidurutalagala, Gregory Lake, Queen’s Cottage, Galway’s Land National Park, Kirigalpotta, Hakgala Gardens, Nanuoya Falls, Lovers Leap, Thotupola Kanda, Town Walk, Ambewala Farm, Moon Plains, Kudahagala, Ramboda Falls, St. Clair’s Falls, Bluefield Tea Gardens, Laxapana Falls, Kolpathana Falls, Aberdeen Falls, etc.
Home to some of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka, Ella is one of the most visited cities in Sri Lanka. Nestled in the laps of tea plantations, deep valleys and bountiful hills, Ella’s beauty surely leaves the visitors speechless. A favourite spot for hiking and camping enthusiast the city also has several waterfalls that add beauty to its landscape. Quaint guesthouses, friendly locals, strong tea, amazing views, lip smacking food, you name it and Ella will deliver.
Places of interest: Nine Arches Bridge, Demodara Loop, Ravana Falls, Ravana Caves, Lipton’s Seat, Little Adam’s Peak, Bopath Falls, Duwili Falls, Ella Rock, Thudugala Falls, Kithal Ella Falls, Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya, Dunhinda Falls, Ella Spice Gardens, Dhowa Rock Temple, Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory, Mahamevnama Monastery, etc.
In conclusion, no matter what part of the country you visit, the cities in Sri Lanka will surely leave you in awe. With advanced architectural structures, ancient historic marvels, colonial monuments and natural wonders all around the cities, they are a perfect option for you if you don’t wish to visit offbeat places in Sri Lanka and just stick to the city limits and explore the famous touristy spots.
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