I loved to fly to Sri Lanka for the first time. It was solo travel from Kandy to Colombo. I made a road trip by taxi to explore many destinations from the center to the south and west part of Sri Lanka. I found the following 6 top travel destinations in Sri Lanka are worth to visit for all types of travelers and tourists.
During my seven days road trip and a solo trip to Sri Lanka, I’ve crossed over many beautiful roads, tunnels, towns, cities, tea plantations, and beaches. There are many places to visit in Sri Lanka but the following are the top attractions to explore. Watch the video and go through inside to know more.
Table of Contents
A road trip to explore Sri Lanka from Kandy to Colombo…
The public transport service is cheap in Sri Lanka. So it is even possible to explore many popular destinations in Sri Lanka by bus, and train. The train service is very cool, and also a popular transport among tourists from Kandy to Ella. To enjoy the extreme scenic views the best way to explore Sri Lanka is by train.
Beautiful Road in Sri Lanka
Three-Wheeler (Tuk Tuk) is also popular for short-distance journeys in Sri Lanka. I took a Tuk Tuk ride in Mirissa, and also enjoyed a short train journey to Haputale with Expo Rail.
UNESCO World Heritage Site Kandy is popular as a scenic city in Sri Lanka. This city is located in the central part of Sri Lanka.
The longest river Mahaweli connected Kandy and the Hanthana hill views created an extra beauty of this cultural city in Sri Lanka. The climate is a bit cooler than Colombo.
Hanthana Hill View from Sevana City Hotel
The main tourist attraction in Kandy is Sri Dalada Maligawa, a sacred Buddhist temple. This temple is also known as Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic or Temple of the Tooth.
Kandy Lake, an artificial lake is just nearby the Tooth Temple. A popular spot for all. There is also one lighthouse and international cricket stadium in Kandy.
To explore the spectacular plant life (over 4000 collections), Peradeniya or Royal Botanic Gardens is a must-visit in Kandy. There are one Orchid House and Spice Garden inside this botanical garden. Three Palm Avenues is very eye-catchy. There is also one suspension bridge over the Mahaweli river. Many flower gardens and rare plants in 147 acres of land made this garden in a true sense the royal one.
Peradeniya Royal Botanic Gardens
In the evening you can enjoy the cultural dance show at Kandy Cultural Centre.
There are many standard hotels (budget to luxury) to stay, and good restaurants are there to taste Sri Lankan food in Kandy.
Don’t miss to visit some Batik shops in Kandy, if you’re looking for unique, and uncommon Batik on fabrics.
Haputale is one of my top favorite travel destinations in Sri Lanka. And I found this is the most beautiful hill station in Sri Lanka. I traveled to Haputale by train from Nanu Oya Railway Station. The spectacular Haputale is 1431 meters above sea level. The climate is cooler all over the year.
Haputale Hill Station
Extreme Beauty of Nature in Haputale
From Nuwara Eliya, Haputale to Ella all are hilly areas in Sri Lanka. And the hill stations are the attractive places in Sri Lanka among tourists.
If you are a nature lover and quiet seeker then Haputale is a must-visit destination for you. You’ll love the clouds and mountain views everywhere in Haputale.
Spectacular Landscape in Haputale
Lipton’s Seat is the top tourist attraction in Haputale. You’ll be stunned to see the extreme greeneries of many tea plantations and estates, on the way to Lipton’s Seat.
Tea Plantations at Lipton’s Seat
Tea Estates at Lipton’s Seat
Lipton’s Seat is 1970 meters above sea level and the most picturesque and scenic destination in Sri Lanka.
On the way to Lipton’s Seat, you can also visit Dambatenne Tea Factory, the local manufacturer of the famous Lipton Tea. Dambatenne to Lipton’s Seat, the whole area is so extremely beautiful, one can just keep gazing and gazing.
Dambatenne Tea Factory
Scenic Natural Beauty in Dambatenne
Tea Pickers at Dambatenne Tea Factory
There are some budget hotels and guest houses in Haputale. You can go for a mid-range to enjoy a standard stay. I loved my one night stay at Olympus Plaza Hotel.
The Backdrop of beautiful Haputale from Olympus Plaza Hotel
I was loving the roadside beauty while traveling from Bandarawela to Ella. Ella is a small hill station and popular travel destination in Sri Lanka for backpack and budget travelers. This small town is 1041 meters above sea level. The average temperature is a bit high during the daytime than at night.
Tunnel in Ella Hill Station
Beautiful Road in Ella
Ella Hill Station
The place-name became Ella for the popular Ravana Falls, which is also known as Ravana Ella Falls. This waterfall is the main tourist place in Ella.
Ella is also a favorite destination for trekkers. They enjoyed trekking to Little Adam’s Peak. If you’re not visiting Adam’s Peak then you can go to Little Adam’s Peak in Ella.
Little Adam’s Peak
Ella is a popular destination for Ayurvedic Massage. You’ll find many massage centers here, especially for foot massage apart from the body.
There are many standard hotels, guest houses, and restaurants in cheap ranges, and so Ella became a popular tourist hub.
Mirissa is a small beach town and the most popular travel destinations in the southern part of Sri Lanka. And also a popular tourist hub for budget travelers.
I was traveling Mirissa from Tissamaharama and on the way loved to visit Tangalle and Matara Beach as well. Sri Lankan beaches are not only beautiful but also pristine. I loved the scenic beauty of Matara Beach and the picturesque Parey Dewa Buddhist Temple.
Parey Dewa Buddhist Temple
Mirissa Beach is the top attraction in Mirissa where many water sports, and surfing is also possible.
For Whale and Dolphin watching Mirissa Fisheries Harbour is the most visited tourist places in Mirissa. You can also enjoy Tuk Tuk ride, and go biking to explore Mirissa. How about fishing in Mirissa?
UNESCO World Heritage Site Galle is a popular historic city in Sri Lanka. This lovely city is located in the southwest part of Sri Lanka. Galle is my second top favorite travel destination in this island country.
Main Gate of Galle Fort
Galle Fort or Galle Dutch Fort is the main attraction among tourists in Galle. You’ll feel the Dutch and Portuguese colonial touch while walking inside the Galle Fort area.
Seaside Wall of Galle Fort
Ocean View from Galle Fort
Inside the Galle Fort
There is one oldest Church (All Saints Church), Dutch Church, and the beautiful Meeran Jumma Mosque (300 years old) at this fort. And also one archaeology museum is there to explore. But the most popular landmark here is the Galle Lighthouse, and the entire landscape is simply superb from the fort wall to the beautiful Indian Ocean.
Stunning Galle Dutch Fort
Stunning Beauty from Fort WallMeeran Jumma Mosque
The picturesque Galle international cricket stadium is just nearby this fort.
There are many hotels, restaurants in all ranges in Galle for any travelers. You can even enjoy shopping at the Galle Fort.
Colombo is the capital and the largest city of Sri Lanka. A popular travel destination for city tour lovers. Colombo is located in the west part of Sri Lanka. And the climate is too hot compared to other areas in Sri Lanka.
Colombo the Capital of Sri Lanka
The skyline of the commercial city Colombo is picturesque from the popular Beira Lake. But you’ll definitely love the scenic beauty of the Indian Ocean from the Galle Face Green.
Galle Face Green
The spectacular Indian Ocean from Galle Face Green
There are some best places to visit in Colombo. Some popular landmarks are Independence Memorial Hall, Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, Mount Lavinia Beach, Old Parliament House, and National Museum.
Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple
Shopping is always great fun in any big city. Pettah Market is one of the popular shopping destinations for locals and tourists in Colombo. Here you can buy anything at a reasonable price, but be aware of the quality (not guaranteed). For stylish shopping in Colombo, you can try ODEL, Majestic City, and House of Fashion.
To sleep and eat, there are many hotels, and restaurants to try in any ranges for all tourists and travelers around Colombo.
- The welcoming country Sri Lanka offers an On Arrival Visa for one month for almost all countries and all SAARC countries in South Asia.
- On Arrival Tourist Visa for ‘One Month’ will cost you ($25 – $60).
- You can take a Single/Double Entry Visa. Visa fees are less for a single entry.
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Are you planning for the Sri Lanka trip? What are your favorite places of interest in Sri Lanka?