Sri Lanka is up and coming as one of the most fascinating travel destinations in the world. This South Asian island offers a little bit of everything for all sorts of travelers. This is due to its cultural diversity, historical treasures, thrilling adventures, Instagram hotspots, otherworldly sunsets and so much more. Furthermore, making this a bucket list destination for global travelers. With this blog, Tripio aims to introduce first time visitors to the Top 10 sites to see and things to do during your next vacation to this beloved land. Featuring everything from sacred lands, religious sanctuaries, incredible waterfall hikes, beach sunsets, surfing and so much more. All of these attractions can be found on the Tripio App and should definitely be included in your custom itinerary. Without further adieu, let’s go ahead and get started with the Top 10 Attractions in Sri Lanka.
Before we move on, did you know that every week we send out a newsletter featuring:
- New Destinations on the Tripio app
- Highlighted Itineraries on the Tripio app
- 3 Articles from the Tripio blog
Subscribe to Tripio’s Weekly Newsletter!
There is no better way to kick off Tripio’s list of Top 10 attractions in Sri Lanka than the Dambulla Royal Cave and Golden Temple. This activity is suitable for all travelers and an absolute favorite. This attraction combines all aspects of adventure and historical culture. Including a sacred shrine that is dedicated to the deity Buddha and his life’s story. The setting of The Golden Temple is shrouded in lush vegetation and towering jungle trees. The entire site expands over five neighboring cave systems, all in commemoration of Buddha. Long before the presence of Buddha, ancient Sri Lankans called these caves home for centuries. Safe and protected from the large mammals that roam the Sri Lankan forests. This is a must see Sri Lankan destination! What a way to kick off Sri Lanka’s top 10.
For the thrill seeker adventure enthusiast, the trek to Adam’s Peak is an activity that you will want to cross off of your Sri Lanka travel bucket list. This trail not only boasts epic views and an incredible hiking experience through the mountains, but actually holds a prideful historical value. According to religious scholars, the summit of Adam’s Peak is thought to be the location of the Biblical Garden of Eden. This concept comes from the idea that the Garden of Eden must have been high on top of a mountain to avoid the Great floods of the Bible. Founded in 1358 by a Florentine Monk who believed Adam’s Peak was the Garden of Eden.
With that being said, people come from all around the world for this spiritual experience. Join in on all the fun by creating a custom itinerary with the Tripio App and be sure to add Adam’s Peak! This hikers dream is an amazing addition to Sri Lanka’s top 10.
Now to talk about those incredible sunsets that we mentioned. Mirissa Beach is the perfect destination for first time visitors to the island nation. This beach offers a number of activities. For the chill travelers looking to soak up some South Sri Lankan rays, Mirissa beach is a fantastic spot for doing just that. Kick back with your favorite book and enjoy the passing by of local life. Mirissa Beach is also great for adventurous travelers. Offering some of the best surfing in the country. Snorkeling and body surfing are also common events that take place by locals and tourists alike. Sandy beach, palm trees, warm seas, gnarly waves on the outer breaks, what sounds better than that?
The Ruwanweli Maha Seya is arguably the top destination in Sri Lanka. Often referred to as the Mahathupa, this Stupa is the largest Stupa in the entire country. The spiritual presence at this historic landmark is so thick you can cut it with a knife. The Stupa was built by the Sinhalese King Dutugemunu c. in 140 BCE. The Ruwanweli Maha Seya holds the largest collection of Buddhist relics in the world. Buddhist worshipers and tourists travel from across the world to be in the presence of this magical and spiritual landmark.
Adventure enthusiasts, yet again this one’s for you! One of the best adventures to be had in Sri Lanka is climbing to the top of the Diyaluma Falls. This trek takes you through the dense jungles of south-central Sri Lanka and out to a magical epic waterfall. Diyaluma Falls is the second largest waterfall in Sri Lanka and the 361st biggest waterfall in the world. Locals enjoy swimming in the upper pools and watching the waterfall 220m down to the ground below them! A total adrenaline rushing experience worthy of Sri Lanka’s top 10!
At number 6, Sri Lanka offers the experience of a lifetime. Imagine traveling back centuries to a place in time that we know little about. Often overlooked, the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya has even been nicknamed the “8th wonder of the world”. The rock which the Sigiriya fortress was built upon has taken the name Lion Rock and was constructed in the 5th century. A former King had this fortress built to protect himself from vicious attacks from his own brother. Moreover, surrounding the mountaintop fortress is a network of villages, gardens and watering holes.
The most impressive feature of Sigiriya is the stone staircase that climbs the entire mountain and allows entry into this ancient civilization. This is without a doubt a must see attraction from the ancient world of Sri Lanka. This has to be high on everyone’s bucket list, a real star of Sri Lanka’s top 10.
The Galle Dutch Fortress is already a popular destination in Galle. However the Galle Dutch Fort Lighthouse is the cream of the crop. A stunning lighthouse peering over the sea surrounded by an angled beach and other historical landmarks of Galle. This destination is one for our Instagram travelers. Those looking for breathtaking views encompassing a rich historic value. The lighthouse of Galle Dutch Fort is the oldest lighthouse port station in the country. Swimming and beach walks are also a part of what makes this attraction a Tripio favorite!
Coming in at number 8 we have Sri Dalada Maligawa. This sacred temple is always a favorite attraction for tourists. Sri Dalada Maligawa, otherwise known as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a massive Buddhist temple complex situated in Kandy, Sri Lanka. This Buddhist temple takes control of the former kingdom complex of Kandy. Sri Dalada Maligawa plays a big part of Sri Lankan politics because it is believed that he/she who holds the relics at Sri Dalada Maligawa holds the governance of the nation.
For centuries Sri Dalada Maligawa was ruled by Sinhalese kings until being returned to the country. Daily worship sessions are held at Sri Dalada Maligawa and invite travelers to join and obtain a spiritual experience while visiting Sri Lanka.
This is the Instagram travelers favorite spot in Sri Lanka. Coconut Tree Hill is a wildly popular destination for every sort of traveler that plans a vacation to Sri Lanka. This is one of the most photographed destinations in the country. Beautiful palm trees decorate the maroon rocky promontory that tumbles into the crystal blue sea. A magical and romantic landmark along the Southern coast of Sri Lanka. Definitely worthy of Sri Lanka’s top 10.
To conclude Tripio’s list of Top 10 places to see and things to do as you travel to Sri Lanka, we have the Thuparamaya Dagaba. In fact, this historic landmark was the first Stupa to be constructed in Sri Lanka. Construction of Thuparamaya Dagaba began after the arrival of Mahinda Thera. In addition, King Devanampiya Thissa oversaw the establishment of Sri Lanka’s first Stupa, dating back to c. 300 BCE. This landmark is treasured by Sri Lankans and is sacred to them. Hopefully now your next vacation to Sri Lanka has some fantastic opportunities for you and your travel companions to explore and check off of your bucket list!
Interested in more adventures in the region? Why not check out Mumbai: 10 Ways to get that Adrenaline Rush
or more of Sri Lanka specifically, check out: Best Adventures In Sri Lanka
All of these activities and more can be found and added to your custom itinerary on the Tripio App.
-Matthew Knotek, Tripio Guru