The tropical island of Sri Lanka has enchanted travelers over many centuries with its beautiful and diverse landscapes, palm fringed beaches and a range of historical monuments. Some of the cities of Sri Lanka have historical and cultural significance and make for an ideal destination for travelers with an eye for ancient culture and heritage.
The major cities of Sri Lanka include:
The commercial capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo is a city with a rich blend of ancient and cosmopolitan ambience which caters to both, the traditional and the modern at heart.
The religious diversity of Sri Lanka is evident when you begin your journey through this city which houses magnificent Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, mosques as well as churches.
For a complete look at Sri Lanka's historical past and to know more about the island's cultural heritage the ideal places to visit are the Natural History Museum, the Dutch Period Museum and the Colombo National Museum.
Colombo is also a great place to shop. Several local department stores like Odel, House of Fashion and Dilly's are some of the must visit places in Colombo. For buying souvenirs, the places to visit are Paradise Road, Barefoot Gallery and Lakmedura.
Colombo also has an active night life where the young crowd can be found partying. The popular hangouts are Onyx, H20 and Clancys. All these combined makes Colombo a great tourist destination of Sri Lanka.
Kandy is one of the remarkable cities of Sri Lanka with its scenic beauty and pleasant climatic conditions. The city's architectural monuments bear testimony to the country's glorious civilization in the past. The best time to visit this city is late July/August to witness the Esala perahera, a 10 day carnival and is said to be Asia's most spectacular festival.
A favorite tourist site is the grand man made lake lying in the centre of the city. For the art lovers a great place to visit is the Kandyan Arts and Culture centre. Other popular attractions in Kandy include:
Peradiniya Botanical Gardens
Dalada Maligawa showcasing the Sacred Tooth of Buddha
The city of Galle has retained much of its colonial ambiance and one of the most popular attractions of this city is the magnificent Dutch fort which houses several tourist attractions like the National Maritime Museum, National Museum and the Lighthouse. The Unawatuna Beach is 6 km south east of the city center
Galle is a storehouse of colonial Dutch and Portuguese architecture and history and it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. As one of the leading cities of Sri Lanka, Galle makes more a great tourist destination.
Known as “Little England” Nuwara Eliya was once a favorite holiday getaway for the elite British society during the British colonial period. Till this date the city has retained much of its traditional grandeur and continues to be the preferred retreat for the island's elite class.
This beautiful city of Sri Lanka has a spectacular view of mountains, valleys meadows along with an agreeable climate making it an ideal holiday destination. Popular places of interest in Nuwara Eliya are:
Hakgala Botanical Gardens
The Ceylon Breweries
Bentota is a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka with its multitude of hotels and beaches with a wide range of fun activities like swimming, fishing, water skiing, wind surfing and jet-skiing to keep the tourists entertained and occupied.
With a delicious assortment of sea food and an active night life during the tourist season, Benota attracts visitors from all over the world.
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