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Best Places to Visit in Central Province Sri Lanka in 2019

  • Kandy

    Kandy
    Image Credit : 

    Rated among the major cities of Sri Lanka, Kandy is a special city. Surrounded by dense forests and mountain ranges, acquiring a height of 500 meters from the sea level, the tourist plces in this town gives you a feeling that you are living in a modern valley. Nature supports this place immensely and makes it the city with a pleasant climate. A city with lakes and special landscapes is always a delight when you plan to spend some romantic evenings and playful late nights while mooning around.

    Kandy has a rich historical background covering the major events of the medieval era and colonial era. Every square inch of this nicely planned town has a piece of Sri Lankan history to share with you. You can feel the pulse of royalty in some colonial architecture and feel the divine blessings while visiting a large temple where science meets religion and together they try to explain the complexity of life. The Colonial-era constructions left an imprint on various cities of the world, current generations term these imprints as "old world charms." While moving in the capacity of a tourist, Kandy gives you this opportunity to capture the old world charm where the ambiance of the city plays a pivotal role and transports you into the world where things were easier and more enjoyable. For many of you, it can also become a travel in time when you will visit this nice city that has a mystique associated with it.

    If you wish to explore the evolution of a cityscape and witness that how historical factors contribute to it, then the town of Kandy is the right place for that. Check out the map of the city drawn in 1815 and visit the present city. You will understand the point that we are trying to make here, also about the tourist places in Kandy. The town of Kandy added a value to its legacy and never changed its roots for the sake of development. This one virtue makes this town worth a visit.



  • Kandy Attractions

  • 01 Tea Estate Trails

    Tea Estate Trails
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    Waking up early in the morning and being served the finest bed tea by the butler will be a delight in itself. The tea planter will take you through the entire tea making process starting from the fields where the tea was first plucked and then taken to the factory where all the conversions take place. The tea trails will take you to the colonial era time. The afternoon cream tea is something to truly relish. The nearby places are an appropriate place to walk, cycle and biking.




    Location:
     Close to Hatton, near Bogawantawala valley.

    Highlights
    : Ceylon Tea Trails, Sri Lanka which is a must watch.

    Best Time:
    December to April.

    Price: The approximate price ranges from 484 LKR to 1626 LKR.



  • 02 British Garrison Cemetery

    British Garrison Cemetery
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    This striking European style graveyard has many stories to tell of the young souls who died during the British Colonisation of SriLanka.  The most heartfelt part of this beautiful old churchyard is the 163 graves of young men, women, and children that take us back to time immemorial. Most of the tombs have inscriptions written on the lives of these good souls (few brave soldiers, many infants, and land owners).The cemetery was established in 1817 and today is being nurtured by a Caretaker, Charles Carmichael.



    Highlights:
    Shadowed by trees and overlooking a gorgeous lake, this place is completely sound free. Charles, who also acts as a guide, tours you through the entire cemetery and narrates each life of the rested bodies quite fascinatingly.

    Location: Few meters uphill from the National Museum, Kandy.

    Timings: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day


  • 03 Millenium Elephant Foundation

    Millenium Elephant Foundation
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    MEF is an estate as vast as 15 acres and is dwelling to countless of majestic elephants. The name of the estate, Samragiri has been inherited from the Samarasinghe family who have lived here for many generations. It is the only foundation where visitors are allowed to ride elephants bare back and interact with them with safety measures in the form of a educational tour. The foundation also provides a special Elephant Walk where you would be taken a 30 minute walk along with the animal.

    MEF has charity trusts for the welfare of these humble animals.

    Highlights: One hour educational walk and a tour of the museum, personally bathing the elephants, exotic walk on the grounds of the estate with an elephant, entry to Maximus Dung Paper factory.



    Price: 2000LKR for foreigners and 100 LKR

    Location: Randeniya, Hiriwadunna, Kegalle

    Timings: 8:30 am to 4 pm, all days


  • 04 Spice Garden

    Spice Garden
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    Spice Gardens forms a key attraction of Sri Lanka. The country is famous across the globe for its rare collection of herbs and spices. The key attraction of this location is to explore the popular as well as the rarest herbs being sown and processed in the most exquisite manner. Herbs those are common in a household like Turmeric, Pepper Corns, Cloves, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Aloe Vera, etc are being processed here. The best part of visiting the Spice Garden in Kandy is to gather knowledge about the herbs, their growth process, their benefits and usefulness in Human life. The natural environment and serene beauty of the Garden is one of the mesmerizing experiences for every traveler. Away from the hustle of city life, this is a complete contrast of environment.



    Located: Located at the Hill capital, Kandy this is close to Botanical Garden



  • 05 Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue

    Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue
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    This place showcases a breathtaking view of the entire Kandy town. The 88ft high statue of Buddha is something one should not miss while in Kandy. The white statue can be seen from any part of the Peradeniya city as it is strategically located on top of the Bahirava Kanda (devil’s) hill. You can either climb the steps to reach the viewpoint or else hire a tuk-tuk to do so. The beauty of the statue doubles during the night when it is lit by lamps. Best hour to visit this place is early morning or after sunset.



    Highlights:
    Panoramic view of the city down, including a view of the lake, tea factory, and football stadium; gallery that has artefacts based on life of Buddha; a souvenir shop which has lovely goodies at a much friendlier price

    Location: Peradeniya, Kandy.

    Price: Approximate price starts from 200 LKR.

    Timings: Open 24 hours a day.


  • 06 Commonwealth War Cemetery

    Commonwealth War Cemetery
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    This cemetery is maintained and served by the commonwealth war commission office. This graveyard is a humble reminder of those brave hearts of the country who sacrificed their lives protecting the nation’s honour during the World War II. The cemetery is beautifully kept and has over 190 tombs. Apparently, this place was initially known as Pitakande Military Cemetery and was owned by the Military authorities until it was taken over by the war Commission.

    It is also noted that Army Graves from over 10 burial grounds have been transferred to this cemetery till 1958.  There are 6 commonwealth war cemeteries in Sri Lanka, but the Kandy War Cemetery is considered the best amongst all because of its stunning landscape and well kept land.



    Highlights: The Kandy Botanical garden Location: Deveni Rajasinghe, Kandy

    Price: No entry fee; the place is run by donation

    Timings: 10 am to noon and 1 pm to 6 pm





  • 07 Explore The Temple of The Truth

    Explore The Temple of The Truth
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    Nestled close to the Udawattakele Sanctuary, The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is one of the most important shrines of Sri Lanka. Also named as Dalada Maligawa, this temple is based in the royal palace of the Kingdom of Kandy. Housing the legendary Budda tooth, the temple is a World Heritage site though very little are the remnants of the original temple built around 1600. Amazing ornamentation with golden fence and extravagant Canadian architecture makes it a blissful sight for the visitors. Dedicated monks unanimously chant the prayers of Malwatte and Aegirine , three times every day, during dawn, noontime and evening at the inner temple. Every Wednesday a holy symbolic bath of the Relic is done is fragrant water and that water is distributed among the visitors known to have healing powers.



    Location: Royal Palace, Kandy

    Time: 5:30 AM to 8:00 PM

    Price: Approximate price starts from 1000 LKR  to 2134 LKR


  • 08 Perandeniya Botanical Gardens

    Perandeniya Botanical Gardens
    Image Credit : 
    Peradeniya Gardens is a spacious 147 acre of natural extravaganza consisting of more than 4000 species of plants, and 10,000 varied kinds of trees, incidentally serves as the largest garden of Sri Lanka. The unique and rarest collection in these gardens is the Giant Bamboo of Burma which grows 12 inches each day to a height of 40 meters. Apart from this other amazing collections include Javan fig tree, Cannonball tree, Double Coconut Palm and about 200 other varieties of palm trees and versatile collection of flora.

    The Peradeniya Botanical Garden is one prime tourist attraction of hill country and remains quite flooded with tourists every weekend. One can pack some food to enjoy an open air picnic here or can relish the cafeteria inside serving local and western cuisine.



    Location: 5.5km from Kandy

    Best Time: 7:30am to 5:00pm

    Price: 2353LKR for adults and 1177LKR for child.(approx)



  • 09 Udawattekele Sanctuary

    Udawattekele Sanctuary
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    The Udawattekele Sanctuary, also known as Royal Park Palace is located at the hilly terrains of the Temple of Tooth Relic. The sanctuary scatters around 257 acres and is deemed as the most important Bio Reserve of the country. The sanctuary, centuries back was a kingdom named Kandyan and jungle area on the far side of the palace was known as the Uda Wasala Watta or the upper palace garden; hence the name.

    The forest reserve was made into a sanctuary in 1938. Additionally, the forest’s catchment areas provide fresh water to the lake and the city avail its air purification supplies from this royal forest reserve.

    Highlights: Quite a few Buddhist temples, water pond, Kodimale Peak, Senkanda Cave and Garrison Cemetery.



    Entry Fee: Rs. 570 for foreigners and Rs. 30 for Srilankans

    Location: Wevelpitiya Road, Kandy

     Timings: Everyday. But it is safe not to visit the sanctuary during rainy season


  • 10 Royal Palace of Kandy

    Royal Palace of Kandy
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    The Royal palace of the Kandyan Kingdom is the last reminiscence of the reigning King of Kandayan, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. The palace dates back to the 14th century, yet witnessing the glory and glamour of the kingdom is stupendous. The Palace has seen scars from many wars and tremors of foreign invaders like the Portuguese.

    The Royal court, another architectural capture has confronted many meetings formed by the king and it is here that the end of Kandyan Kingdom convention was signed.
    The temple of Tooth contributes maximum attraction to the tourists. Even though, the original palace walls have been burnt and rebuilt, the interiors remain the same.




    Highlights: Dalada Maligawa - Temple of Tooth (relic of Buddha’s Tooth), Royal Court (Magul Maduwa), Queen’s Bathing pavilion – Ulpange and the Royal gardens inside the Palace gates

     Location: Sri Dalads Veediya

     Kandy Price: Rs 100 per head Timings: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm


  • Dambulla

    Dambulla
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  • Dambulla Attractions

  • 01 Sigiriya

    Sigiriya
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    A visit to this place will show you a 1600 years old Sigiriya Fortress which was built by King Kasyapa. This massive compound is protected by two moats and three ramparts. It is once known to be the private residence of King Kasyapa. It is 165 km from Sri Lanka. Best time to visit: this area will be early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

     

    Highlights: Sigiriya Frescoes are truly beautiful which was hand painted by the king himself depicting celestial nymphs all around the circumference. And on top of these rocks, he built for himself a white palace which stands as an epitome of beauty.

    Timing:
    Opens daily from 7 AM to 5:30 PM.

    Price:  Approximate price starts from $15 to $25


  • 02 Dambulla Cave Temple

    Dambulla Cave Temple
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    Dambulla Cave temple is also known as the Golden Rock temple is also one of the world heritage city declared by UNESCO. The cave temple is made with a massive granite outcrop. The word ‘Damba’ means rock and ‘Ulla’ means fountain, hence you can see drip of water from the main house. If you have an eye for paintings then you can also see some of the historic paintings which shows the majestic manifestation of the first sermon of Buddha.



    Highlights: Don’t forget to visit the Golden temple Buddhist museum which will leave you jaw dropped with its spectacular entrance from the golden mouth of lion like beast.

    Location: You can come via Ambepussa and Kurunegala which is approximately 4 hours from Colombo.

    Prices: There are no prices charged for the same, however you have to pay  200 LKR for keeping the luggage.


  • Nuwara Eliya

    Nuwara Eliya
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    Nuwara Eliya, which literally means, ‘City of Light’, is the coolest city of Sri Lanka. The picturesque landscapes of this beautiful city will surely blow your mind if you love visiting hill stations. With the highest mountain peak in Sri Lanka, Nuwara Eliya boasts on its natural beauty.

    Nuwara Eliya is also the prime tea producing land in Sri Lanka. With is lush green terraces, it produces some high quality aromatic tea. Due to its cool climate in a hot and humid country like Sri Lanka, Nuwara Eliya is also referred to as ‘Little England’. During the winters, the nights are chilling. But as soon as the day breaks, the place gets warm and comfortable.

    In April, the natives of Nuwara Eliya celebrate Tamil New Year by taking out band carnivals on the street. If you are planning to come down to the city of lights during the festivals, you might not get an accommodation in the hotels easily.

    The main attraction of this city is the highest peak in Sri Lanka named Pidurutalagala, which is 2524 m high. The other attractions include a beautiful golf course, an oasis named Victoria Park, Lake Gregory, and many more alluring tourist spots.

    If you have a query like where to stay and where to eat in the city, here are some suggestions. The Blackpool Hotel, Heritance Tea Factory, Jetwing St. Andrew’s, Stafford Bunglow, etc., are few good places for your stay. Grand Indian, Salmiya, Mackwoods’s Labookellie Tea Centre, etc., are great ideas to visit and dine in.

    If you want a happening nightlife in Nuwara Eliya, visit 19th Hole Pub for some good drinks. If you are wondering where to shop in this city and you can bargain hard, visit Cargil’s. There you will get a lot of stuffs cheaper than other markets. Happy shopping!




  • Nuwara Eliya Attractions

  • 01 Galway's Land National Park

    Galway's Land National Park
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    One of the newest and the smallest National Parks, Galway's Land is a dense forest. This is another best places to visit in Sri Lanka. This park is situated at within the city limits of Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka. This National Park was declared as a sanctuary in the year 1938. Apart from the avifauna, the park has valuable floral species of both native and foreign origin. The park is open 6 AM- 5PM.

    Highlights: The National Park is a habitat to 10 Sri Lankan endemics, Wild boar, Barking deer and exotic birds.

    Location: The National park is located Department of Wildlife Conservation, Havelock Rd, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.

    Price: The entry fees is 1490.65 LKR


  • 02 Nuwara Eliya Golf Club

    Nuwara Eliya Golf Club
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    Founded in the year 1889, Nuwara Eliya Golf Club is one of the oldest clubs in Asia. Surrounded with some of the most excellent gardens this club is situated at the foot of tea gardens in Sri Lanka. Nothing can be a better recess time the visiting this extravagant place in Sri Lanka. So if you are looking for a friendly match with your friends then this place is a must visit for you. The Golf coerce remains open from 8 AM to 7 PM in the evening.

    Highlights: The The Nuwara Eliya Golf Club has 18 holes in the court in a 6075 yard. There are 71 testing pa of fairways which are long and narrow, bordered by tall trees and shrubbery.

    Location: The Nuwara Eliya Golf Club is located at Nuwara Eliya 22200, Sri Lanka

    Price: On Weekdays – 2,800 LKR ( 10 Holes) and on Weekends – 3,300 LKR (10 holes) approx.


  • 03 St. Clairs Falls, Tawalantenne

    St. Clairs Falls, Tawalantenne
    Image Credit : 
    If you are planning to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life then St, Clair Falls is the perfect option for you. Also, known as the Little Niagara of Sri Lanka this is one of the wildest waterfalls here. It is one of the famous Sri Lanka tourist places visited ample of tourists every year.

    There are two waterfalls namely Maha Ella " Maha Ella " (Sinhalese "The Greater Fall"), (260 ft) high and "Kuda Ella", (Sinhalese "The Lesser Fall"), which (160 ft) high and located immediately downstream of the main fall. These breath taking waterfalls are located along the Kotmale River.

    Highlights: This cascading waterfalls falls under one of the six waterfalls affected by the Upper Kotmale Hydropower Project.

    Location: The St Clair’s Waterfalls are located at Tawalantenne - Talawakele Rd, Sri Lanka

    Price: Free entry for the waterfalls.


  • Galle

    Galle
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    This historic city of Sri Lanka is located on the country’s southwest coast, and is famous for its portuguese heritage and dutch colonial buildings. The best tourist places in Galle includes grand museums, mansions, churches and mosques. Offering the ocean and pretty sunsets, the beautiful city of Galle was founded by the portuguese in the sixteenth century, and you will find the city embracing its ancient heritage every inch. Galle will remind you of its dutch and portuguese lineage, a town famous for its rich Sri lankan cuisine, pepper pot towers and bastions. The city gives you a Mediterranean feel with its bright sunny skies, beaches and blue waters, rainforests of Kanneliya and Hiyare, the city’s narrow lanes lined with various shops that sell you everything from intricate jewellery to shoes and garments.

    If you visit Galle between November and April, you can drop by a Mirissa to see the largest animal on the planet; a blue whale. For a beach lover who loves the ocean and the warm sun, there’s no better place to go other than this tropical retreat. The rainforests of Kanneliya and Hiyare are famous for the nature walks they offer, you will see small animals and an excellent diversity when it comes to the flora and fauna. To sum it up, the tourist places in Galle offers you a variety like no other place in the country.

    You can explore historical buildings, relax at any beach, go scuba diving, go cliff jumping at Flag Rock, go for safaris, discover the city and its culture on foot, shop artefacts, go for nature walks, and simply relax at your hotel while enjoying the tropical spirit. You can even go on boat trips in the Indian ocean; you may be able to spot humpback whales, dolphins, blue whales, sperm whales etc. The Sri Lankan cuisine has been largely influenced by the Dutch cuisine, as you will find from the dishes.



  • Galle Attractions

  • 01 Old Dutch Hospital

    Old Dutch Hospital
    Image Credit : 
    This building is one of those areas that have preserved their charm for quite a few centuries now. Constructed during 1681, this building crossed many stages before getting converted into a shopping complex that it is today.

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    Location
    : This shopping arcade is located in the Galle Fort area, at Hospital Street.

    Highlights
    : This is the most ancient building in Colombo Fort and was set up with the main purpose of providing medical assistance to people working for Dutch East India Company. Do not miss to visit Odels, one of the most decent joints selling high-quality souvenirs and clothes. If you are interested in shopping and eating good food, you have to visit this area as it lined with lots of cafés and eating joints.


    Timings
    : It is open from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM on all days of the week. 

    Price
    : Entry to this place is not chargeable.


  • 02 Galle Fort/Dutch Fort

    Galle Fort/Dutch Fort
    Image Credit : 

    Dutch Fort is one of the most extraordinary historical and archeological sites of the world. The fort was first constructed by Portuguese in the late sixteenth century and fortified expansively by the Dutch in the mid-seventeenth century. It is a stunning blend of archeology, architecture, and history in the backdrop of the tropical atmosphere.  Its appeal lies in that it is not just a historical monument. Even today the life is buzzing inside it, with a museum, gorgeous villas, administrative offices, antique shops, cafes, bookstores and lifestyle stores.


    Location: Situated in the Southern Sri Lankan Coast in the Bay of Galle just 132 KM from Colombo.

    Highlights: A stroll on the streets will let you experience the beautiful architecture of the colonial style buildings that still exudes the warmth and charm. Visit National Maritime Museum, stop by Meera Mosque and enjoy delicacies at Lucky Fort Restaurant and Galle Fort Hotel Restaurant.

    Timing: Opened 24 hours a day 



  • 03 Dutch Reformed Church

    Dutch Reformed Church
    Image Credit : 
    One of the finest and most traditional Tourist attractions in Galle which is worth to visit and admire is the Galle Fort. The Dutch Reformed Church is the ancient building located in the premises of the fort. The building’s date goes back the 18th century during the Dutch period.

    A walk through the Fort ground along with the humble caretaker, immersing in his never-ending fancy stories will take you back to the era whence it was built. The Church is also known as Groot Kert.



    Highlights: Many tombstones dating back to the 17th can be observed; this church also is a Cruciform with shorter transepts separated by two arches. The floor is marked with gravestones. The beautiful pulpit made from Malaysian wood, calamander is a beautiful sight and near to the pulpit is the memorial of De Ly Family.

    Location: Church Street, Galle fort

    Timings: 9 am to 5 Pm


  • 04 Flag Rock

    Flag Rock
    Image Credit : 
    After a tiresome day, if you wish to end it with some peace and watch the sun set on the horizon, hear the seagulls beckoning you and also observe the waves crash the rocks forming a soulful music then Galle Flag Rock Bastion is where you need to go.  The Flag Rock an ex-Portuguese Bastion, situated at the southernmost end of the Galle Fort, today is a popular destination for tourists to witness the sunset. This Rock was a natural defence center during the Dutch period, from where ships were alerted about dangers lurking and also from the unseen rocks underwater by firing Musket shots from the Pigeon Island.



    Location: Rampart St. Galle 

    Highlights:
    Scenic surrounding; to your west, you will be able to locate the lighthouse and the Gunpowder Museum opposite to the Meeran Masjid.


  • Colombo

    Colombo
    Image Credit : 

    Think of Sri Lanka and what springs to mind? Beaches and Buddha, temples and tree clad hills. Heady metropolitan sophistication? Not so much, right? But after 5 years of the civil war between government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil eelam, Colombo has transformed itself. From a shabby sprawl, to be skirted enroute the beaches of south, Colombo has become a confident Cosmopolitan. Largest city and former capital of Sri Lanka, originally Kalantotta(“Kelani ferry”) was corrupted to Kolumbu by Arab traders and was changed to Colombo by Portuguese. Colombo is a burgeoning must see tourist place in Sri Lanka today. It is no longer that boring city that you simply had to get away with it when on your way to the Southern Beach but is rather a worthy holiday destination in its own very right that demands a definite visit when in the country.

    City’s major sections are the old area of narrow streets and colorful market stalls; modern commercial and government area and a wealthy residential and recreational area. Along with the shady paths, the legacies of the colonial Colombo’s garden roots are indeed unmarred with its garden roots. While Pettah brims with boisterous commerce and shopping hubs, Fort restores its historic colonial architecture. Even the congested Galle Rd is getting swanky with its gleaming hotels, resorts and stays. On the other hand, the seafront gains massively from the new roads which are stimulating hotel construction. The urbane side of Colombo supports further more stylish galleries, eateries and museums. Marvels are plentiful in the old quarters where one can avail succulent local food and tiny convivial cafes or characterful shops..

    Adding to this charm, the tourist places in Colombo include some of the historic Buddhist temples, monuments and places that showcase the socio-cultural richness of the place. Being famous for its Nightlife, Colombo has numerous trendy bars, pubs and lounges. Hotels are well-equipped with modern amenities, therefore making them well-placed in the hospitality sector. There are all kinds of restaurants here, serving scrumptious Sri Lankan meals that have gained global popularity with their blend of fiery spices, rich flavours and unique textures. With everything it has to offer, this city is indeed an interesting start or even end to your Sri Lankan ventures and adventures



  • Colombo Attractions

  • 01 Galle Face Green Beach

    Galle Face Green Beach
    Image Credit : 
    Situated in the middle of the busy stretch of Galle Road and the Indian Ocean, this open space, established during 1859 on 5 hectares, is a huge hit among tourists of all age groups. During weekends, the place is abuzz with vendors who attract kids with their bright toys and bubbles. This area is open all through the year. Entry into the park is free.

    While you are here, do not miss to taste the lip-smacking delicacies that are prepared by street vendors.



    Location: This is located right next to the famous Galle Beach.

    Highlights:
     The magical and golden rays of sunset, fresh air and the positive ambience of the place make Galle Face Green one of the must-visit places in Colombo. The place is currently taken care of by the Sri Lanka’s Urban Development Authority. 

    Timings:
    This park is open 24/7 all through the day.

    Price: Entry into this park is free of cost.


  • 02 Mount Lavinia Beach

    Mount Lavinia Beach
    Image Credit : 
    Mount Lavinia is a heritage hotel, which was predominantly a huge place during 1806. There are various ocean view rooms up for taking here, provided you book early. During special festivals and peak tourist seasons, the heritage hotel offers great deals for the benefit of tourists.



    Location:
     With a spending view of the Laccadive Sea, Mount Lavinia offers luxurious services and facilities for its guests. It is located in close vicinity to the National Zoological Gardens. 

    Highlights: Sunset deals, wedding packages, national holiday deals, offers on cards of certain banks etc. are some of the promotional offers advertised by Mount Lavinia throughout the year.

    Timings: The hotel is open all through the year. It also has a children’s park, where children are treated to a variety of outdoor sports till 4PM.

    Price: 
    Approximate price starts from 1000 LKR

  • 03 Gangaramaya Temple

    Gangaramaya Temple
    Image Credit : 
    Gangaramaya Temple is not only one of the most beautiful but also one of the most iconic Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. It is more than a century since this temple was constructed; however even today, the temple doesn’t stop to surprise tourists and devotees. The pathways and doors that lead into the main sanctum sanctorum contain intricately carved sculptures that are simply breath-taking.

    Highlights: The ceilings and walls contain pictures and miniature paintings that explain stories from Buddhism religion. In the main sanctorum, a huge Buddha statue exudes a brilliant sense of calmness in the devotees. Built in a mix of various architectural styles including India, Burmese, Thai and Chinese, this temple also houses a museum.



    Location: The temple is located right on the Jinaratana Road in the heart of Colombo city.

    Timings: The temple is open from 5.30AM to 10PM.

    Price: Entry fee is LKR200 per adult.


  • 04 Dehiwala Zoo

    Dehiwala Zoo
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    Dehiwala Zoo or the National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka was set up during 1936 with the sole ambition of providing ultimate protection to a wide range of wild animals and birds. . When you are here, do not miss the impressive performances from elephants, chimpanzees and sea lions.

      

    Location: This zoo is located at 
    Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, Dehiwala.

    Highlights:
     This place is one of the members of WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums). In order to encourage breeding, this zoo is actively involved in animal exchange programs. The place is known for its exotic varieties of mammals, birds, fishes, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and marine invertebrates

    Timings: The zoo is open from 8.30 AM to 6:00 PM on all days.

    Price: 
    Approximate price starts from 100 LKR for adult and 30 LKR for child, for foreigners 500 LKR for adults and 250 LKR for child.



  • 05 National Museum

    National Museum
    Image Credit : 
    If you are a history lover and have a keen eye for architecture, the National Museum is probably one of the first few places that you need to visit, when you come to Colombo. Established during 1877, this is the biggest museum in the island nation and is undoubtedly the pride of Sri Lanka. The place houses some of the best and personalised collections of the ancient Kandyan dynasty rulers.



    Location:
     The museum built in Italian architecture style, is located right in the heart of the Colombo city. 

    Highlights:
     The museum’s library deserves special mention as it contains rich manuscripts in palm leaves in languages like Burmese, Sinhala, Telugu, Tamil and much more. 

    Timings:
    The museum is open on all days except national holidays from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

    Price:  Approximate price for local adults and kids are 35 LKR and 20 LKR respectively, whereas, for foreign adults and kids, the prices are 600 LKR and 300 LKR respectively.


  • 06 Viharamahadevi Park

    Viharamahadevi Park
    Image Credit : 
    Named after Queen Viharamahadevi, this park is the largest and probably the only public park in Colombo. It is one of those places that never cease to excite you irrespective of the number of times you come here.

    Highlights: There are lots of places to visit here like the aquarium, mini zoo, children’s play zone, war memorial, lake and the dangerous-yet-adventurous suspension bridge above it. When you and your kids are tired of running round the park, you can just relax on the cool resting places on the park, eating local delicacies like candy floss, corn and ice-creams from the sellers here. A canopy of green trees lends a beautiful ambience to this place.



    Location: The Park is located right next to the famous National Museum in the heart of Colombo.

    Timings: This Park is open all through the year.

    Price: Entry into the park is free of cost.


  • 07 Old City Hall

    Old City Hall
    Image Credit : 
    This is definitely a place that will interest any architecture or history lover. Constructed over two centuries ago, the Old City Hall is one of the brilliant architectural marvels from the bygone British era. The months of January, February, March, November and December are the best when it comes to visiting Colombo. The entry price is free of cost.


     
    Locati
    on: The hall can be found on Main Street in Colombo amidst various famous tourist spots.

    Highlights
    : There are a few attendants working in the hall, who will gladly take you around the building, provided you tip them a reasonable amount of money. The hall is literally a treasure island that contains old government equipment, transport machinery and other council chambers that were present during the earlier times.

    Timings: The place is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM ll days of the week except Sundays.


  • 08 Dutch Period Museum

    Dutch Period Museum
    Image Credit : 
    During the period between 1656 and 1796, Dutch rulers ruled over Sri Lanka. The Dutch Museum which tourists get to watch today was once the official residing place of Thomas Van Rhee, the former Dutch Governor of Sri Lanka.

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    Location
    : The place is located at Prince Street in the city

    Highlights
    : The museum contains two floors and it houses around 3000 personal collections of Dutch rulers who reigned over the place. This place was converted into a public museum during 1977, thanks to the able support rendered by the Government of Netherlands.

    Timings: The museum is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Tuesday to Saturday.


  • 09 MGM Colombo

    MGM Colombo
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    Replete with the usual casino and other table games, MGM Colombo is quite a famous gaming joint in the city. It is smaller than Bally’s or Bellagio; however, it is quite famous among its guests for the services and hospitality that it offers. While the regular players occupy the ground floor, the first floor is taken by players looking for privacy.

    Highlights: There is a dedicated floor for VIPs here as well. Music bands and cultural dance performances from international artists are performed every day at this joint. 


    Location: In the remote outskirts of Colombo.

    Special features: The cuisine is a mix of Asian and international in order to cater to the taste buds of foreign nationals who come here in plenty. Some of the table games that are highly popular here are Roulette, Baccarat, Poker, Mini Flush and Texas Hold’em. The minimum stakes at this casino are highly affordable. 

    Timings: Open 24/7.



  • 10 The Ritz Club

    The Ritz Club
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    Ritz Club is the largest casino in Sri Lanka.

    Highlights: There are totally 16 table games (6 baccarat, 6 black jack and 4 roulette tables) at this place.

    Location: Galle Face Terrace.



    Special features: The casino witnesses a healthy mix of local and foreign tourists. The choice of games that this casino houses and the customer service of the place is highly lauded by people who come here regularly. Entry is free into the Ritz Club Casino. During the evening hours, this place is occupied by a diverse mix of people who engage in their regular banter with complementary food and beverages. It is one of those of places that provide you the much-needed rejuvenation after a hard day’s work at office. The ambience of the club goes up several notches higher, thanks to its highly courteous staff.

    Timings: 24/7


  • Anuradhapura

    Anuradhapura
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    The remnants of Anuradhapura are unequivocally the most expressive sites of South Asia. This sprawling complex is composed of an opulent collection of architectural and archaeological marvels: gigantic brick towers, crumbling temples, humongous dagobas and archaic pools that were all constructed during the rule of Anuradhapura which went on for several thousand years. At present, most of the sites here remain in use solely as temples and holy places. Incessant ceremonies retain the very ebullience and buoyancy of Anuradhapura which is a stark reverse of the the ambience at Polonaruwa.     

    Present day, Anuradhapura is significantly different. It is rather engaging albeit sprawling city. Its main street is orderly in comparison to the the ugly concrete agglomerations found elsewhere. This saintly city was entrenched around a cutting from the 'tree of enlightenment' which is supposedly the Buddha's fig tree. Legends say that in the 3rd century B.C, the tree was brought there by Sanghamitta who was the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns.  

    Ceylonese’s religious and political capital, Anuradhapura bloomed for 1300 years but was then eighty-sixed post the invasion in 993. Shrouded in the dense jungles for several years, this magnificent tourist place with its breathtaking places to see, resorts, monuments, palaces and monasteries is accessible all over again.  




  • Anuradhapura Attractions

  • 01 Wilpattu National Park

    Wilpattu National Park
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    Wilpattu National Park is the largest wildlife sanctuary in Sri Lanka. The topography is dominated by fifty wetlands. With low scrubs and deep forests, the park is home to numerous species of flora and fauna. The biggest attraction for tourists is the spotting of leopard and sloth bear.

    The other animal species that can be found in this area are Asian Elephants, jackals, Sambar deer, water buffalo, crocodiles, spotted dear and many more. With its impressive array of bird species, the area is a haven for bird watchers.



    Best for: The avid and serious safari-goers can see the elusive leopard and sloth bear.

    Location: 25km north of Puttalam or 30km west of Anurdhapura. It is 4 hours drive from Colombo.

    Best time to visit: February and October are the best time to visit.

    Price: Full Day Jeep Safari price is LKR 10,000 per jeep.

    Timing: Full-Day Safari 5.30am to 06.00pm.


  • Matale

    Matale
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    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.    


  • Matale Attractions

  • 01 St Anthony's Church

    St Anthony's Church
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    St. Anthony’s Church is one of the most-visited places in the city. During weekends, Tuesdays and on major festivals, the church is flocked by devotees who come here from different parts of the world, as the place is believed to produce miracles. The church was constructed as a very small mud structure many years ago and it was made bigger during 1806.



    Location: The church is located at Kochchikade. 

    Highlights:
    The main altar holds the statue of St. Anthony, which was brought all the way from Goa, in a safe bullet-proof glass container. Tuesdays are considered too special days here and there are special masses and benediction services in Tamil, English, and Sinhala all through the day. On week days, the church conducts Tamil and Sinhala Mass. During weekends, the church conducts Tamil, English and Sinhala masses.

    Timings: Open all through the day.

    Price: Entry is free of cost.