Matale Tourism, Sri Lanka: Places, Best Time & Travel Guides 2023

Matale often spelled (or pronounced) as Mathale is a mid size regional city that geographically lies in the heart of the island. Located 142 km from Colombo, is nestled at an elevation of 300 meters in an expansive dense valley. Aa bland urban sprawl with a congested one way system, Matale doesn’t see too many tourists. So it is quite possible for you to wish to not dawdle here for long. However, the road that lies towards the north of the town is encrusted with an array of welcoming spice plantations where cocoa, rubber, vanilla, cardamom, cinchona and jackfruit thrive. This is not all. This Sri Lankan town is also popular for kohila (an acqutic plant/herb) as well as small benign chilies.   

Traversing east of Matale, through the Knuckles range, you’ll come across some striking mountain views. The B38 goes uphill from the northern end of the town and takes you to the Rattota whereas the other roads going south west will head you to the hill villages of Karagahandala and Elkaduwa before finally leaving you to Victoria Reservoir and Kandy. It is pristine, beautiful and a little backward in terms of development, but a single visit here when touring the other cities of Sri Lanka is very well worth it.    
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People Also Ask About Matale

  1. Travel Advice

    • You’ll need a visa to travel to Matale. You can easily get a short stay visa online.

    • Usually the tourist visits to Sri Lanka is hassle free however, you need to be aware of the risks of assault, road accidents, drowning, spiked drinks, credit frauds and dangerous tides here.

    • Sri Lanka is a mosquito prone area. So, carry a strong repellant.

    • Weather here can be vastly affected by the monsoon rains and cyclones. Check with a local advice before making a visit.

    • Do not hire a guide who is not from a trusted or authentic agency.

    • Never trust any stranger who gets friendly with you in just a short while.

    • Don’t eat food off the street vendors.

    • Carry with you a copy of your licenses and passport.  

    • Don’t let anyone in the city misguide you. Acquire sufficient information before heading to a new place.

    • Dress appropriately.

    • Nudity is strictly prohibited here.

    • Do not film or do videography without the legal permissions.

    • In case the banner or sign says, ‘No Photography’ obey it.

    • Avoid traveling alone in the night hours.

    • Sri Lanka does have an underlying threat from terrorism so ensure that you do not visit during the times of civil unrest.

    • Take a comprehensive travel and medical insurance before traveling.
  2. Drinking Laws

    The legal age for drinking in Matale is 21 years.

  3. Our Recommendations: What you can’t afford to miss?

    Aluvihara Temple

    It is one of the most sacred Buddhist temples in the world and its roots can be traced back to the 3rd Century. Aluvihara Temple is located at Aluvihare in Matale district which is just 30 km north of Kandy. Tourists often come all the way to Sri Lanka to visit this temple because of its rich history and marvelous architecture. It is said to have many caves with ancient inscriptions carved on the walls.

    The Weera Puranappu monument

    Weera Puranappu monument is inspired by one of the most notable personality of Sri Lanka, Late Puran Appu. He was the only hero to emerge from Sri Lanka’s history who dared to challenge British imperialism during the Victorian era. Tourists should visit the monument to learn more about the great personality.

    Sri Muthumariamman temple

    Sri Lanka is known for its beautiful temples and Sri Muthumariamman temple is one of them. The temple is styled using Dravidian architecture. It is said to be one of the most powerful temple where pujas and offerings are made that prove to be beneficial to the public. The temple is blessed with the presence of Mariamman idol in the center and Lord Ganesha, Lord Vairava, Lord Murugan and Kali Amman to the adjacent. Tourists must explore this beautiful temple and experience its richness in culture and tradition.

    Knuckles Mountain Range

    For tourists who love adventure activities like hiking and camping, Knuckles Mountain Range in Matale City is the perfect destination for you. It is surrounded by a small village which contains paddy fields where people are engaged in traditional industries. It also has a number of beautiful waterfalls that will connect you with nature and its beautiful creation.

    Sembuwaththa Lake

    Sembuwaththa lake is a man made lake surrounded by tea plantations. Tourists will enjoy the natural beauty here. They also provide overnight stay facilities at a reasonable rate. People like visiting the place and enjoy the stay with their family.

  4. What will like you like there?


    Those who love to indulge in adventurous activities, hiking can be the perfect solution for them. Knuckles mountain ranges enable tourists to hike and explore the nature. Surrounded by complete greenery on all sides, Hiking will make you feel alive and let you make the most out of your adventurous side.


    Tourists can also enjoy camping on the Knuckles mountain range. They can camp by building tents on the mountain which can be easily done. Camping will help relieve your stress and you can enjoy the beauty of night by observing the twinkling stars right above you.


    Along with adventurous activities that the city has to offer, tourists can also indulge in sports activities like Hockey. Matale City has several Hockey grounds. Locals enjoy it during their holidays and if you are a hockey enthusiast, you can join them.


    There are many sightseeing places in the city of Matale that helps tourists to learn about the place's history and culture. It also lets them connect with the nature. Tourists can click pictures and take back vivid memories to cherish and relive the moments again.


    Waterfalls never fail to amaze people with their admirable beauty and natural feel. Matale city has various waterfall locations which are also famous tourist places.


    The Sri Lankan market is famous for handloom fabrics, leather products, reproduction antiques and ceramics. Sri Lankan Gems are always preferred by tourists around the world. The market in Matale city never disappoints shoppers given the creative and antique options available here. There is a wide range of products for tourists to shop and take back home.

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