Putting together an itinerary for your dream trip to Sri Lanka? Hopefully you’ve got lots of time there, as there’s lots to see and do!

Here’s our rundown of the must-visit tourist attractions on this beautiful South Asian island paradise…

Kandy to Ella train ride

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka has to be the ‘blue train’. An insanely scenic trip lasting around 7 hours from Kandy up to the idyllic hills of Ella, this is one of the world’s greatest train rides. You’ll travel past tea plantations, waterfalls, lush greenery and the famous Nine Arch Bridge, and have the chance to see the stunning Ravana Falls on your arrival in Ella.

Udawalawe National Park

One of many national parks in Sri Lanka, Udawalawe is the perfect place to see magnificent Sri Lankan elephants. Take a morning safari and you’ll also have the chance to see water buffalo, monkeys, deer and crocodiles across this biodiverse animal sanctuary.

Galle Fort

This 16th century Dutch fortress is now a major tourist attraction in Galle. The original fort and lighthouse still stand, but the rest of the complex is more like a charming fortified village. Strolling through its streets, you’ll discover shops within the fortress walls, along with churches, a mosque and even boutique hotels.

Dambulla Cave Temple

This sacred Buddhist site is made up of over 80 caves, some dating back to 1000 BC and many decorated with breathtaking paintings and statues. Just make sure to cover legs and shoulders (and take off your shoes) before visiting this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

One of the most visited sacred sites in Sri Lanka, this intricately decorated temple in Kandy is believed to contain one of the Buddha’s actual teeth. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a must-visit if you’re in Kandy.

Yala National Park

Another place to experience an authentic Sri Lankan safari, Yala is an enormous national park bordering the Indian Ocean. Here, you’ll see big animals like elephants and crocodiles, along with over 200 species of bird.

Colombo Lotus Tower

For the best view in Colombo, play a proper tourist for the day and jump in a high-speed elevator up to the top of the Colombo Lotus Tower. Built in 2019, this is one of the tallest freestanding structures in South Asia, and even has a revolving restaurant at the top.

Sigiriya Rock Fort

Once the mountaintop palace of Sri Lanka’s king around the 4th and 5th centuries AD, the ruins of Sigiriya stand over 220 metres above the remains of the city complex below. It’s an architecturally and historically fascinating site, not too far from Dambulla.

Gangaramaya Temple

There are a lot of temples in Sri Lanka, but Gangaramaya is one of the most interesting. It’s a 19th century Buddhist temple complex in Colombo, which also has its own vintage car museum and exhibitions of religious coins, jewellery and sculpture.

National Museum of Kandy

Kandy was Sri Lanka’s last capital city, so has a unique and fascinating history. You can learn all about it at the National Museum of Kandy (right next door to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth), which features historic artifacts and a fabulous selection of native Sri Lankan artwork.

Want to do it all? Plan your Sri Lanka adventure with Blank Canvas, and we’ll put together a bespoke itinerary just for you.