12 Top Things to Do in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka may be a small geographically, but there is a lot to see and do. Here are 12 awesome things to do in Sri Lanka.
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12 Top Things to do in Sri Lanka
1. Anuradhapura Ancient City – Anuradhapura
Cost: 3250LKR (Approx $25USD)
The first thing on my list of Sri Lankan attractions is Anuradhapura Ancient City.
There is a lot to see in Anuradhapura Ancient City including the moonstone, ancient ruins, Ruwan Well, museums and much more.
Despite what Tuk Tuk drivers will tell you, it is possible to walk to all the sites. Another option is to hire a push bike.
2. Dambula Cave Temple – Dambula
Cost:1500LKR (Approx $11.50USD)
The Dambulla Rock Temple is a temple carved out of a cave. There are some impressive Buddha carvings and paintings and it is a nice (not to strenuous) climb up the stairs.
Be sure to buy your ticket before you start climbing otherwise you will need to go back down to get one.
3. Pidurangala Rock Temple – Sigiriya
Cost: 500LKR (Approx $4USD)
Located close to the more famous Sigiria Ruins but not nearly as expensive (Sigiria costs $35USD) as the Pidurangala Cave and Rock Temple.
It’s a nice stroll to it, or take a tuk tuk to the start, then take a casual walk to the top.
On a clear day you can get a good view of the Sigiria Ruins. Unfortunately I was not there on a clear day.
4. Peradenia Botanical Gardens – Kandy
Cost: 1100LKR (Approx $8.50USD)
The Peradenia Botanical Gardens are a great escape from the busy city of Kandy, and are well worth the short bus ride.
The gardens have a lot to offer with giant bamboo, a suspension bridge, palm avenues, an orchid house and much more.
It is a very pleasant way to spend a morning or afternoon.
5. Temple of the Tooth – Kandy
Cost: 500LKR (Approx $4USD) for SAARC country citizens (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) or 1000LKR (Approx $8USD) for everyone else.
The Temple of the Tooth is located smack bang in the middle of the city of Kandy and is said to house an actual tooth of Buddha (hence the name). It is considered one of the most (if not the most) sacred sites in Sri Lanka.
Unfortunately I didn’t actually go into the Temple of the Tooth because I was eager to get out of Kandy, but I wish I had.
6. Catching the Train From Kandy To Ella
Cost: 400LKR for a 3rd class seat (Approx $3USD)
The scenery on the train from Kandy to Ella is absolutely breath taking.
The whole journey is just shy of a 7 hours ride, but even just doing a section of it is worthwhile.
7. Little Adam’s Peak
About a 2km walk from the town of Ella is a pleasant walk up a hill through tea fields to Little Adams Peak.
The pathway is well maintained so the climb is fairly easy, and the view from the top is worth the walk.
8. Galle Fort – Galle
Just across the road from the Galle Bus Station is Galle Fort.
Along the outside you can walk on the walls and spend some time on the small beaches.
Off the walls the Fort has a museums, restaurants, accommodation, souvenier shops, a post office, a school and many archaeological sites.
9. Jungle Beach – Unawatuna
A short bus ride from Galle is Unawatuna. Inside this small town is Jungle Beach.
I had a pretty interesting walk from Unawatuna beach along the cliff face and through the jungle paths to get to the Jungle Beach. Actually, I enjoyed the walk more than the beach.
10. Kalutara Bodhiya Temple
I saw a lot of temples in Sri Lanka, but the Kalutara Bodhiya Temple was definitely my favorite.
At about 1800 the play drums inside the temple and the echo is amazing.
11. Ayurvedic Massage
Cost: 2000LKR (Approx $15usd) for a 1 hour Ayurvedic Massage and a 15 minute Sirodara Puncha Karma therapy.
A massage using herbal oils that apparently have strong healing powers. The healing powers are debatable in my mind, but the massage was very good none the less.
Sirodara Puncha Karma is basically oil dripping on your head while you lie there. Surprisingly relaxing.
12. Colombo Pettah Markets
Cost: Depends what you buy
The last thing on this list of cool things to do in Sri Lanka is the Colombo Pettah Market. If you are into markets, this is the place to go.
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I spent 16 days in Sri Lanka and it was no-where near enough time. I could easily have filled another 3-4 weeks of constant travel and sightseeing.
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