Top things to do

Top Choice Fort in Yapahuwa

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress

Rising 100m from the surrounding plain, the impressive granite outcrop of Yapahuwa (pronounced yaa-pow-a) has some fascinating features and history. Between 1272 and 1284, King Bhuvanekabahu I used the rock fortress…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Dambulla

Cave Temples

The beautiful Royal Rock Temple complex sits about 160m above the road in the southern part of Dambulla. Five separate caves contain about 150 absolutely stunning Buddha statues and paintings, some of Sri Lanka's mo…
Top Choice Monument in Polonnaruwa

Gal Vihara

This is a group of beautiful Buddha images that probably marks the high point of Sinhalese rock carving. They are part of Parakramabahu’s northern monastery. The Gal Vihara consists of four separate images, all cut …
Top Choice Ruins in Mihintale

Monks’ Refectory & Relic House

On the second landing is the monks’ refectory with huge stone troughs that the lay followers kept filled with rice for the monks.Nearby, at a place identified as the monastery’s relic house, are two inscribed stone …
Top Choice Museum in Anuradhapura

Archaeological Museum

The old British colonial administration building has recently been renovated and has an interesting collection of artwork, carvings and everyday items from Anuradhapura and other historic sites around Sri Lanka.Exhi…
Top Choice Buddhist Site in Anuradhapura

Sri Maha Bodhi

The sacred bodhi tree is central to Anuradhapura in both a spiritual and physical sense. It was grown from a cutting brought from Bodhgaya in India and is said to be the oldest historically authenticated tree in the…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Anuradhapura

Abhayagiri Dagoba

Dating back to the 1st century BC, this colossal dagoba was once the ceremonial focus of a 5000-strong monastery. Originally over 100m high, it was one of the greatest structures in the ancient world, its scale only…
Top Choice Museum in Sigiriya

Sigiriya Museum

This superb museum uses detailed and engaging displays and has a fine diorama of the site, providing an excellent overview and explaining Sigiriya's cultural importance beyond the obvious natural beauty.The theory t…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Polonnaruwa

Lankatilaka

One of the most evocative structures in Polonnaruwa, the Lankatilaka temple was built by Parakramabahu and later restored by Vijayabahu IV. This huge gedige has 17m-high walls, although the roof has collapsed. The c…
Top Choice International in Anuradhapura

The Sanctuary at Tissawewa

There are few better situations for an enjoyable meal or drink than the verandahs and dining room in this beautiful colonial hotel. Try the chilli-marinated grilled pork chops, a seafood platter or one of their sand…