Attractions in Sri Lanka

Here are some of the top attractions in Sri Lanka that families should know about and that are fabulous to visit with kids. 

To give you an idea how wonderful it is to explore Sri Lanka with kids, see here ten amazing landmarks that were shared with us. Hiranga tells us about her exiting family holidays in Sri Lanka.

10 Must-See Places in Sri Lanka with Kids

10 Famous Attractions in Sri Lanka

Baobab Tree in Mannar
- Attractions in Sri Lanka-

The Baobab tree on the Mannar Island of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, is a matter of interest and attraction in the country. The origin of the tree has several stories surrounding it, where the most plausible one is where a seed of the Baobab tree is said to have been brought by Arab traders several centuries ago and planted in this location. 

sri lanka baobab hirangaBaobab tree - image by Hiranga Bandara Suraweera

The Baobab tree is estimated to be approximately 700 years old.

Doric Bungalow in Mannar

The Doric Bungalow located in Arippu, Mannar in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka is called as such because of its architectural design being similar to the Ancient Greek Doric order style.

The house was built by Frederick North, the 5th Earl of Guilford, to supervise the pearl harvesting industry which was popularly done on the Mannar island. 

sri lanka doric bungalow hirangaDoric bungalow - image by Hiranga Bandara Suraweera

Although the Bungalow is in ruins now, you can see the central flight of stairs which led to the rooms above.

Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage

For most tourists, a visit to Sri Lanka will be incomplete without seeing an elephant. The best place to see many elephants in one place is the elephant orphanage located in Pinnawela. 

Sri Lanka elephant orphanage -  image by Hiranga SuraweeraSri Lanka elephant orphanage - image by Hiranga Bandara Suraweera

The orphanage was established to provide care and protection to orphaned and unweaned wild elephants found wandering nearby and inside forest areas of Sri Lanka.

Horton Plains

Horton Plains is a national park located in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. It is an area rich in biodiversity, having many flora and fauna which are endemic to the country.

The main attraction of the Horton Plains is the World’s End, which is a precipice or cliff where one can have a magnificent view. 

Sri Lanka Horton plainsHorton Plains - image by Hiranga Bandara Suraweera

Sometimes on a clear day, if one is lucky enough, even the southern ocean area of Sri Lanka can be seen in the far distant horizon.

Pus Wela (Entada polystachya-leguminosae)

In Sinhala, 'wela' means creeper. Pus Wela is a gigantic creeper plant climbing with twisted stems. 

Sri Lanka pus welaSri Lanka pus wela - image by Hiranga Bandara Suraweera

The one seen in the Udawattakele Forest Reserve in Kandy, Sri Lanka is considered to be at least 200 years old.

Other famous landmarks in Sri Lanka

Ancient City of Sigiriya
- Landmarks in Sri Lanka -

Among the most famous attractions of Sri Lanka is the "Lion Rock", the site of an ancient rock fortress. An impressive royal palace was once built on top of this massive rock formation in the middle of a forest. 

srilanka sigiriya lionsrockSigiriya Rock Fortress - image by Radchuk O.S

The fortress is dominated by a large massive column of rock that reaches nearly 200 m/ 656 ft in hight. The rock face is decorate with many historic rock paintings. Visitors can climb about 1,200 steps up to the top of this ancient citadel.

Galle Fort

This historic fort is located in Galle, on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka is another one of the great attractions in Sri Lanka. The fort was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and later fortified by the Dutch.

Sri Lanka Galle FortGalle Fort - image by Naumenko Aleksandr

One of the country's World Heritage Sites

Yala National Park

Yala National Park located to the south east of the capital city Colombo, is one of the country's most famous wildlife parks. The national park is known for a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, and birds as well as a unique flora.

yala national parkElephants at Yala National Park

Designed as a wildlife santuary in 1900, the national park consists of forests, lagoons and grassland. At Yala, you can find the world's largest population of leopards.

Dambulla Cave Temple

Also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, it is a cave complex with Buddhist mural paintings and statues. This is one of the most well-preserved cave temple complexes in Sri Lanka.

sri lanka dambulla caves sean hsuSri Lanka Caves - image by Sean Hsu

There are five caves that have been carved into a massive granite rock. Over 150 stunning Buddha statues and various murals depicting the life of Buddha can be admired in these caves.

Temple of the Tooth

The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists in Sri Lanka. The temple houses a sacred relic, the tooth of Gautama Buddha.

sri lanka templeofthetoothrelicTemple of the Tooth in Kandy - image by Arkady Zakharov

The temple is also known as Sri Dalada Maligawa and the main shrine is decorated with beautiful carvings and a golden roof. 

Attractions in Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka Tourism. "Mannar Island." Love Sri Lanka. Last accessed 23 November 2023
  • Sigiriya Fortress. "Sigiriya Lions Rock." SriLankaTravel. Last accessed 23 November 2023
  • Yala National Park. "About Yala". Yala Sri Lanka. Last accessed 23 November 2023

The content for the first five attraction on this page was submitted by Hiranga Bandara Suraweera from Sri Lanka, award-winning student. Thank you so much for sharing all your insights on all these fantastic places to visit! We trust our readers will enjoy reading about your favourite attractions for families visiting your beautiful country Sri Lanka. Great work!

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