Welcome to Polonnaruwa


That Polonnaruwa is close to elephant-packed national parks only adds to its popularity. And with good accommodation and plenty of bikes for hire, the town itself makes a pleasant base for a day or two, fringed by a huge, beautiful tank with a relaxed ambience.

Nearby Kaduruwela, 4km east of Polonnaruwa, has the lion's share of banks, shops and other facilities.


Top experiences in Polonnaruwa

Amazing hotels and hostels

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Travel guides

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Polonnaruwa activities

$440 Cultural & Theme Tours

4-Day Essence of Sri Lanka Tour

Day 1 : Hotel / Sigiriya You will be picked up from your hotel in Colombo, Negombo or Mount Lavinia and driven to Dambulla. Visit the Cave temple of Dambulla (UNESCO World Heritage). Spend overnight in Sigiriya. Accommodation is in a 3 star hotel on Bed & Breakfast basis.Day 2: Sigiriya / Polonnaruwa / Sigiriya In the morning, take a morning cycling tour at one of the best maintained ruins of ancient Ceylon - the UNESCO World Heritage City of Polonnaruwa where was the medieval capital of Sri Lanka. In the afternoon, drive from your hotel to Sigiriya by TukTuk and Climb the Sigiriya rock fortress where you will visit rocky abode and water gardens (UNESCO World Heritage site & one of the Wonders of the World). Spend overnight in Sigiriya. Accommodation is in a 3 star hotel on Bed & Breakfast basis.Day 3: Sigiriya / Dambulla / Kandyin the morning, trek through the archetypal Sri Lankan Typical village. The trek begins with an awesome walk along a Wewa or man-made reservoir. The reservoir, the surrounding scrub jungle, marshland and village are a hive of early morning or an evening activity. You will continue your tour with a bullock cart ride up to a village house where you can experience a Sri Lankan Lunch.After Lunch, we will drive to Kandy. En route visit a Spice garden in Matale. For centuries, spices have been one of Sri Lanka’s most celebrated exports and are used for not only food but also medicines and cosmetics. In the afternoon, you will take a city tour of Kandy including a visit to the temple of the sacred tooth relic, upper lake drive, market square, gem lapidary and more. Spend overnight in Kandy. Accommodation is in a 3 star hotel on Bed & Breakfast basis. Day 4 : Kandy / Your Hotel Today after breakfast, you will be taken back to your hotel in Colombo, Negombo or Mount Lavinia or Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.

$49 Outdoor Activities

Minneriya National Park: Elephant Gathering Private Safari

Meet your driver/guide at your Polonnaruwa or Habarana hotel at 5:30am or 2:00pm for your 3-hour jeep safari tour of Minneriya National Park. Experience “The Gathering,” a name given to the elephants that assemble on the banks of the Minneriya Reservoir during the dry season. According to wildlife authorities, the Minneriya gathering is the largest grouping of wild Asian elephants at any given time. View the famous elephants as they graze on the grasses growing on the tank bed. Perhaps you’ll spot any of the park’s diverse wildlife, including leopards, sloth bears, deer, wild buffalo, wild pigs, grey langers, purple-faced leaf monkeys, porcupines, and assorted birds. At the end of the safari, head back to Polonnaruwa or Habarana. Depending on the location of your hotel, choose to visit photo stop at sunset of the Minneriya Tank and the standing big Buddha at Giritale.  When your tour is complete, your vehicle will return you to your hotel.

$547 Multi-day & Extended Tours

3-Day Sri Lanka Cultural Tour: Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and Dambulla including Jeep Safari at Minneriya National Park

Day 01: Colombo - Sigiriya (approx. 4.5 hrs) [D]Morning pickup from your hotel in Colombo or Bandaranaike International Airport by 9am and leave for Sigiriya. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel in Sigiriya and later spend the rest of the day at Sigiriya Rock Fortress. The 5th-century rock citadel of King Kasyapa and World Heritage Site - Sigiriya -boasts of ancient Sri Lankan engineering and urban planning supremacy acclaiming to be one of the finest monuments of art and culture. Surrounded by ramparts and moats, the Lion Rock, resembling the mythological 'City of Gods', is coated by frescoes that relate to Gupta style paintings found in the Ajanta caves of India. Walk in the shade of an eminent 'mirror wall' embracing the Western face of Sigiriya representing an artistic hundred meters laminated with graffiti. Dinner and overnight stay at Fresco Water Villa.Day 02: Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Minneriya - Sigiriya [B, D]After breakfast transfer to Polonnaruwa (approximately 1.5 hrs.). Rising with the decline of Anuradhapura, the city of Polonnaruwa, the medieval capital and crown jewel of King Parakramabahu, remains superior proof of ancient culture and heritage blended with religious beliefs. Walk across its scattered walls of the World Heritage Site that is blessed by stupas resting Buddha statues, irrigation canals and fantastically carved Hindu sculptures while observing the relic house Watadage that boasts of beautiful stone carvings. The Nissankamalla Council Chamber is, however, a head-spinning beauty to just sit back and observe with its swaying pillars reminding the aesthetics of a powerful kingdom which rests beside Parakrama Samudraya - sea of Parakramabahu & masterpiece of irrigation.Later transfer from Polonnaruwa to Minneriya and explore Minneriya National Park by a Jeep Safari (approx. 3 hrs). If you're up for a serious rumble in the jungle, Minneriya is your Colosseum! Spreading over 8800 hectares, this is a sanctuary for elephants. Minneriya is home to herds of deer and ample bird-life, but its spotlight remains between swaying trunks & flapping ears. In fact, depending on the season, this is the largest elephant gathering in the world - over 700 at a time - which has garnished the park to become a magnet for wildlife enthusiasts across the globe. Return to the hotel in Sigiriya. Dinner and overnight stay at Fresco Water Villa.Day 03: Sigiriya - Dambulla - Colombo [B]After breakfast proceed to Dambulla and visit the famous Dambulla Cave Temple (approx. 30 mins). As an icon in the face of Sri Lanka, Dambulla Rock Temple houses some of the most unique drawings in magnificently constructed 5 cave temples flanking the golden temple of Dambulla. Afterwards return to Colombo and transfer you to your hotel in Colombo or Bandaranaike International Airport.

$953 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Awesome 14-Day-round-the-Island-Tour

1st day - Pick up from airport or 8.30 from hotel, drive from Colombo/Negombo to Habarana, visit Dambulla cave temple, overnight stay in Habarana2nd day – Visit Sigiriya rock (UNESCO-protected site), after breakfast climb Sigiriya lion rock, in the evening climb and see sun set from Pidurangala rock, overnight stay in Habarana3rd day – Drive from Habarana to Polonnaruwa, sightseeing of the ancient city, in the evening visit Minneriya national park and enjoy wild-elephant- safari, overnight stay in Habarana4th day – Drive from Habarana to Anuradhapura, visit the sacred cities of Anuradhapura and Mihintale, overnight stay in Anuradhapura5th day – Drive from Anuradhapura to Trincomalee, overnight stay in Uppuveli beach front hotel for relaxing and enjoying beach side6th day – Early morning boat tour to Pidgeon Island and diving there, overnight stay in Uppuveli beach front hotel 7th day – Visit Trincomalee with Koneswaram temple, Fort Fredrick, Novel museum, Kanniya hot springs, overnight stay in Uppuveli beach front hotel8th day – Drive from Trincomalee to Kandy, route via Nalanda Gedige temple, visit spice garden in Matale, Aluvihare  rock temple and Matale Hindu temple, overnight stay in Kandy9th day – Visit Kandy, Tooth Relic temple and Royal Botanical garden in Peradeniya, evening walk around Kandy lake, overnight stay in Kandy10th day – Going from Kandy to Ella by train (6-hour-tour), enjoying view of hills and tea plantations, overnight stay in Ella11th day – Visit 9-Arch-Bridge and Ella Water falls, small hiking tour, overnight stay in Ella12th day – Drive from Ella to Yala, early morning leaving from Ella, visit Yala national park, overnight stay in Yala13th day – Drive from Yala to Galle, stop at most southern point Dowundara  with lighthouse, visit Galle Fort (UNESCO-protected site) and Dutch quarter, overnight stay at Unawatuna beach front hotel for relaxing and enjoying beach side 14th day – Drive from Galle/Unawatuna to Colombo airport, if schedule allows (depending on flight departure time) visit gem producer in Galle or Turtle hatchery in Kosgoda

$195 Multi-day & Extended Tours

3 Days Ancient Capital Cities Tour from Colombo

DAY 01 : COLOMBO – POLONNARUWAPolonnaruwa is one of the must most important archaeological sites in Sri Lanka and many tourists visit the city during their holidays. Most monuments in Polonnaruwa are closely related to two religions, Buddhism and Hinduism. The Royal Palace, Lankatilaka Gedige (Temple), Gal Vihara (Temple), Demala Maha Seya (Temple) & ThuparamaOnce you completed your 1st Day of your tour you will be Overnight stay in Polonnaruwa Hotel.DAY 02 : POLONNARUWA – ANURADHAPURA - SIGIRIYAAnuradhapura the capital of Sri Lanka from the 05th Century B.C. to the end of the 10th Century A.D. was the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities.The city’s most renowned relic is the sacred Bo Tree, which is said to have grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha gained Enlightenment. It was planted 2250 years ago and is the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world. (Mihintale, Jaya sri maha Bodhi, Isurumuniya, Ruwanwelisaya)Once you completed your tour in Anuradhapura after check in at your hotel In Sigiriya (2Hrs Drive) for Overnight stay.DAY 03 : SIGIRIYA – PIDURANGALA - DAMBULLA – COLOMBOMorningEarly morning your 1st destination will be the SIGIRIYA ROCK- The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 meters (660 ft) high. After that will be going on technical tours to see the crafts of some of the traditional artisans of Sigiriya such as the wood carvers and batik makers. You will get to see the process of how the they do their work, and will be able to purchase some great souvenirs (if you wish) too. Your 2nd destination will be a Pidurangala Rock a massive rock formation almost directly opposite Sigiriya. Pidurangala has an equally majestic view as the former of rolling lake-and-land vistas. Short of viewing it through drone footage, the summit of Pidurangala is also the best possible place to get an eyeful the rock fortress itself.AfternoonAfter Lunch proceed to Sri Lanka's Largest Rock Dambulla Cave Temple built on a 600 feet high Rock Located at an elevation of 1118 feet from the sea level rises a massive rock from the surrounding plains of Dambulla of 600 feet high and over 2000 feet in length. It is home to the Worlds most acclaimed Cave complex of magnificent Buddha Images and Rock Paintings of vivid colors and shapes constructed and painted from around 2nd Century BC (Anuradhapura era ) and continued up to the Kandyan era of the 18th Century.Once you completed your Ancient Capital 3 Days tour you will be safely return back to your Hotel in Colombo.

$780 Cultural & Theme Tours

Tour of Sri Lanka 2019

Day 1 - Your Sri Lanka Vacation begins with arrival at Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport where you will be met by our company representative. Transfer to Negombo beach hotel for check-in. Day 2 - The day begins with breakfast and check-out at Negombo beach hotel and transfers to Anuradhapura. Then it is off to explore the archaeological and architectural marvels at the sacred city of Anuradhapura. The day ends with hotel check-in. Day 3 - After breakfast at Anuradhapura hotel, the day’s itinerary starts with a stop at Mihintale mountain peak on the way to Polonnaruwa. Next on the itinerary is a visit to a traditional Sri Lankan wood carving factory. Then travel to Habarana for hotel check-in, Day 4 - After breakfast at Habarana hotel enjoy an incredible Elephant Ride. Next on this Sri Lanka tour itinerary is Sigiriya. Adventure tourism in Sri Lanka cannot be complete without an authentic Sri Lanka safari. In the afternoon take a jeep safari ride to Minneriya National Park. Then return to the Habarana hotel. Day 5 - The day begins with breakfast at the Habarana hotel before travelling towards Kandy with intriguing Sri Lanka sightseeing stops along the way. The cave-temple complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Next stop is Herb and Spice garden in Matale. Sri Lanka also distinguished for its precious and semi-precious gemstones. Discover delightful traditional Sri Lankan garments made of high-quality silk. Then check-in at Kandy hotel. Top-off the day with traditional Kandyan local tradition of singing, drumming, and fire dancing in the evening. Day 6 - On this day enjoy a full itinerary of Kandy Sri Lanka tours after breakfast at Kandy hotel. Then visit the Royal Botanical Garden at Peradeniya. The next stop before returning to Kandy hotel is Kandy Lake, a man-made lake created by the side of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Day 7 - After breakfast at Kandy hotel, our Sri Lanka itinerary resumes with travel to Nuwara Eliya. Heading toward Nuwara Eliya, stop to admire the 40-foot granite statue of Lord Hanuman at Sri Baktha Hanuman Temple. Our Sri Lanka excursions continue with a visit to a tea factory and tea plantation. Then travel to the village of Seetha Eliya. Then visit Lake Gregory, The day ends with an overnight stay in Nuwara Eliya hotel. Day 8 - After breakfast at Nuwara Eliya hotel, the last day of our Sri Lanka tour starts off with travel back to Colombo. The day ends with rest and relaxation in the comfort of the Colombo hotel. Day 9 - After breakfast at Colombo hotel, Colombo city tour begins with a visit to landmark temples in the surrounding area and a Colombo tour of the city’s major sites. The day ends with travel to Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport for departure.