Self Holidays

Places to Visit in Sri Lanka 2022

Sri Lanka is well known among international travelers, because of its beautiful beaches, astonishing hill country, and mind-blowing historical sites. It also has its romantic side as well as not to forget that it was ranked #1 travel destination by Lonely Planet, not once but twice.

While you are planning your trip to the next fun-filled island, here are some of the awesome places that you should stop by for a stay or the best places that are worth your visit. 

  • Sigiriya – A UNESCO World Heritage
  • Nuwara Eliya – Feel like you are in England
  • Kandy – Culture filled hill country
  • Colombo – Heart of the country 
  • Negombo – Churches & beaches
  • Ella – World’s Best Train Ride
  • Yala – Experience the wildlife
  • Udawalawe – Elephants!
  • Mirissa – Whales!
  • Bentota – Exciting water activities 
  • Anuradhapura – City of history
  • Dambulla Cave Temple – Great architecture
  • Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – See them take a bath and feed them!
  • Galle – the Dutch feeling
  • Casino in Colombo – hit or miss…
  • Adams Peak – the sacred footprint
  • Arugam Bay – The surfing spot

Now that we have summarized the best places to visit in Sri Lanka here are the most in-depth exciting details about the locations mentioned above. 




Sigiriya is a world heritage site and one of the interesting things to do in Sri Lanka is climbing on the top of it. The real beauty of the rock is on top of it. You will find how King Kasyapa has built his ruling capital.

It is considered as the Eight Wonder of the World. If you manage to climb up on the top you can have a perfect 360-degree view of the entire place.

Q. When Can I climb to rock?
A: 7 AM – 4 PM daily
Q: Where to stay?
A: Aliya Resort
Q: How much does it cost?
A: The entry fee is $30 per person to climb the lions rock.
Q: What other activities can be done in Sigiriya?
A: Minneriya Elephant Safari, Elephant Back Ride & Sigiriya Museum


Probably the most western feeling city in Sri Lanka. It has got a name to it, people call it little England. The climate in Nuwara Eliya is chilling and perfect for people who like a hill station.

Those striking views of the tea estates are always picture perfect. Nuwara Eliya is one of the most famous tourist places in Sri Lanka. It is also famous for the scenic train ride and golf course. The famous Seetha Aman temple is also located in Nuwara Eliya.

Q: Where to stay in Nuwara Eliya?
A: While there is a lot of good options, we recommend Araliya Green Hills
Q: How to get there?
A: It takes almost 5 hours to reach Nuwara Eliya from Colombo. You can either book a transfer or take a bus ride but usually, the bus takes a lot of time to get there.
Q: How is the wheater in Nuwara Eliya?
A: It is a place where you might never need an A/C. There is rainfall here and then but usually pleasant weather with mist.
Q: What are the activities that I can do in Nuwara Eliya?
A: You can visit Gregory Lake, Victoriya Park or even enjoy a swan boat ride.

03 – KANDY



Kandy, being the capital of the hill country, is a city filled with culture. The temple of tooth relic hosts to what is believed as one of the holy teeth of Lord Buddha. This place attracts many travelers as the climate is always charm here.

Kandy also has the famous botanical garden. The hill country capital is beautiful even when it is raining.

Q: Where to stay?
A: We would recommend Cinnamon Citadel
Q. How to get there?
A: It takes 3 hours from Colombo to reach Kandy. You can get a transfer or a bus.
Q: What are the things to do in Kandy?
A: You can visit the Temple of Tooth Relic, Kandy Lake, Botanical gardens…



Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. It is the busiest yet the most urbanized city in Sri Lanka. A trip to Sri Lanka does not complete without Colombo. One thing you will notice though, you can see the lotus tower floating above where were you go inside Colombo.

The city is powered with tuk-tuk hence getting around Colombo is easy-peasy. This lively capital city is surely among the best places to see in Sri Lanka.

Q: Where to stay?
A: Marino Beach Hotel – recently opened and a great view
Q: How to reach Colombo?
A: It’s very easy. 45 minutes drive from the airport.
Q: What can we do in Colombo?
A: Galle Face Green, Gangaramaya Temple, Independence Memorial Park, Viharadevi Park & the Lotus Tower.



Negombo is the closest to the airport. It is a gorgeous seaside resort on the western part of the island of Sri Lanka. It is more similar to Colombo but very less crowded.

There are also places to visit in Negombo in case you are staying here, which you should. Major attractions of Negombo include Negombo Lagoon, churches, fishing and Dutch forts that you can visit.

Q: Where to stay?
A: Suriya Resort
Q: How to get there?
A: It is approximately 45 mins from Bandaranaike Airport. You can book a transit easily.
Q: What should I do in Negombo?
A: You can visit The Old Dutch Fort, the Dutch Canal, St. Mary’s Church and view some fishing areas

06 – ELLA

Look to visit the most scenic place in Sri Lanka? Ella is one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka. Ella has a famous bridge – the Nine Arch Bridge which will make you insta famous.

You can live with that stunning view of the Ella Gap. Keep in mind to stop by the tea maker who was fortuned to get a $1000 from travel vlogger Harald Baldr.

Q. How to get there?
A: While there are so many modes of transport that will get you to Ella. We recommend you take the Ella train ride, which starts from Nanu Oya. It is the World’s Best Train ride and you will certainly enjoy it.
Q: Where to stay?
A: Ella has many options which might be overwhelming. But we recommend you stay in 98 acres. It is more on the expensive side.
Q: What can we do in Ella?
A: You can have a visit to Ravana Falls and also the cave.

07 – Yala



Yala National Park is a well maintained and protected natural forest reserve of Sri Lanka. Jeep safari on the national park is what attracts most of the tourists here.

Yala has leopards and elephants. Yes, leopards but you need to be lucky enough to see one. It also has different species of birds. If you like wildlife then Yala is the best destination that you should be considering to visit in Sri Lanka. From animals ranging from elephants to leopards are easy to be witnessed here.

Q: Where to stay?
A: Laya Safari
Q: What can we do?
A: Yala Safari
Q: How much does a jeep safari cost?
A: Around USD 70 per person

08: Udawalawe



Udawalawe is situated in the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, in Sri Lanka. Udawalawa National Park is well known for elephants and water birds. The park is a 4 hours drive from Colombo. The prominent advantage over Minneriya Natural Park is that you can see elephants in close quarters.

You can easily find accommodation as most hotels are located near the park entrance. You can also have a look at the Udawalawe Reservoir after the safari.

Q: How much does Udawalawa Safari cost?
A: Around USD 70 per person


Mirissa is a city where you can spend your time in the blazing sun. Mirissa is one of the most appealing beach hideaways and places to see in Sri Lanka.

Unlike other beaches, Mirissa is way less crowded so if you are the traveler who likes less crowded places then Mirissa is worth a shot. After spending the time on the beaches you can go watch the whales. Whale watching in Mirissa is very popular.

Q: Where to stay?
A: We recommend Mandara Resort
Q: What can do in Mirissa?
A: Whale Watching
Q: How much does Mirissa Whale Watching cost?
A: $40 per person
Q: How to get to Mirissa?
A: Mirissa is around 3 hours away from Colombo. You can book a transfer or even take a bus, make sure it is a highway bus.


A laid back coastal town on Sri Lanka‘s south coast, Bentota embodies the charm of island living. With easy-going fishermen, the age-old cinnamon trade and isolated beaches, Bentota capture the heart of all those who visit.

There’s no shortage of things to do here as there is a lot of water activities that you can engage in. If you are kind of a beach person, then definitely you should add Bentota in your bucket.

Q: Where to stay?
A: We recommend Cinnamon Bey
Q: What can do in Bentota?
A: Visit the beaches, have a look at the turtle hatchery, Madhu River Safari and engage in Water Activities.
Q: How much does Madhu River Safari cost?
A: $10 per person


Anuradhapura is a cultural and historical delight. It is an important heritage site in Sri Lanka, also it has a significant place in Buddhism. Anuradhapura hosts the Boddhi Tree (the tree of enlightenment) which was bought down here from Sangamitta.

Anuradhapura is a famous tourist location, well known for travelers who like archeology. It is a unique and positive feeling place to visit in Sri Lanka.

Major attractions in Anuradhapura include Sri Maha Bodi, Ruwanwelisaya and lots of temples that have significant value in Sri Lankan history.

Q. Where to stay?
A. Rajata Hotel Anuradhapura
Q: What are the things to do in Anuradhapura?
A: Visit Sri Maha Bhodi, Isurumuni temple, Royal Botanical garden and Mihintale.


Dambulla Cave Temple is a world heritage site declared by UNESCO. It has some of the greatest architecture works, hence it has the name “Golden Temple of Dambulla”.

You can find extraordinary pieces of artwork and paintings. The temple also has five caves, varying from size and magnificence. There are five caves inside, each with a different interior and statues – though many people on a glance would assume they are pretty similar. The monastery dates back to the first century (BC) when it is believed the caves were converted.

Q: When can I visit the Dambulla Cave Temple?
A: Anytime between 7 am – 7 pm
Q: How much is the entry fee?
A: USD 10 per person
TIP: Take a torch while you are going.


Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage as the name says it is an animal (elephants) care center. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is often visited by the travelers who take this as an en route to the hill country. If you are excited to see how the elephants’ bath, you can easily see ’em two times at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

The motive of the orphanage is to rescue orphan elephants but this has been turned as one of the major attractions in Sri Lanka. Currently being home to 93 elephants the concept was actualized by the late Hon. Minister Kalugalle on the 16th of February 1975.

Q: How to visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage?
A: We suggest you visit the orphanage as an en route to Kandy.
Q: What is the entry fee?
A: It is about LKR 2500 per person

14 – GALLE

Galle is a coastal city of down south Sri Lanka. It has the famous Galle Fort on where the Dutch and the Portuguese fought. It has also had the most picture friendly lighthouse which most of the travelers are interested in taking a picture with.

Apart from being a heritage site Galle also has an exciting and attractive beach from which you can relax on.

Major Attractions in Galle include Galle Fort, Turtle farm and lots of heritage sites.

Q: Where to stay in Galle?
A: We suggest Amari Galle


As we covered Colombo back in the article, nightlife, and casinos in Colombo play a major role since they attract travelers’ delight. The four major casinos in Colombo are Bally’s, Bellagio, MGM Colombo, and Marina Colombo. These four will keep you entertained at all times.

If you are in Colombo these casinos are worth checking out.


One of the most famous natural spots that attract locals as well as foreigners are Adam’s Peak.

Besides being just a natural landmark the place is also considered to be a sacred pilgrimage because of the curious depression which is found on the summit and is painted in gold people term this as Sri Pada or Sacred Footprint of Buddha.

Most visitors climb the mountain during the pilgrimage season, which starts on the Duruthu poya day in December or January and continues until the Vesak poya in May. During the season the weather on the mountain is at its best.

Q: What is the entry fee?
A: There is no entry fee to climb the adam’s peak.
Q: What time do we start?
A: Very early in the morning around 5 am.
Q: Where to stay?
A: Hotels near the area Nallathaniya will work.
Q: How many steps?
A: Around 5500


Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka is known as a surfer’s paradise and one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. It is the best place to surf in Sri Lanka.

Arugambay is a city located on the southeast side of Sri Lanka. Despite having good beaches, Arugam Bay is well known for its surfing spot. Arugam Bay‘s first international surfing competition was held by the ISA (International Surfing Association) in the summer of 2004.

Q: Where to stay in Arugam Bay?
A: Eagle Resort Arugam Bay
Q: Things to do in Arugam Bay?
A: Climb up the Elephant Rock & Surfing

Those were our best places to visit in Sri Lanka. You can anytime visit these tourist places and get a great experience here in Sri Lanka. From Self Holidays, we do provide a variety of experiences that you can experience. Go check them out.