The most popular city tours in Sri Lanka

Venturing on city tours in Sri Lanka is very popular among travellers, especially foreign tourists. The city tours allow the tourists to explore the beautiful, vibrant and lively cities and their attractions. The cities like Colombo, Kandy, and Galle have a large number of interesting tourist attractions and it is important to spend at least a day exploring these interesting cities. Most Sri Lanka trip packages are packed with these city tours in Sri Lanka. Usually, these city tours are hop-on, hop-off, which means you travel across the city in a vehicle while getting off frequently when their is an important site.

Table of Contents

As Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Great ideas are born while walking.” And the chances are that he was right. An excellent way to visit a city and discover its history, architecture, and other fascinating aspects is to go on a walking tour. On the island, there are many different walking tours to pick from, such as trekking, hiking, and city tours. Walking tours have been more and more well-liked by visitors in recent years, and they remain highly recommended for vacationers.
You may select the precise areas you wish to visit on foot when you reserve a walking tour. Being off a wind-powered car also makes it possible for you to have a closer relationship with the environment. If you enjoy seeing cities like most travelers, then the eight Sri Lanka city tours on our list are excellent choices.

India’s streets will not only help you unwind—they will also provide you a peek of the stunning natural scenery for which the country is renowned. There are tens of thousands of walking tour destinations in India; we will show you a few of the best ones in this post.

  • Colombo city tour
  • Kandy city tour
  • Galle city tour
  • Nuwara Eliya city tour
  • Anuradhapura city tour
  • Polonnaruwa city tour
  • Trincomalee city tour

A tour of Colombo’s cities

One excellent way to explore Colombo without going over budget is to take advantage of the free walking tour. Colombo city tour/walking tour is one of teh most popular city tours in Sri Lanka and it allows the travellers to learn more about the history of this ancient city, the Gangarama temple, Wolvendaal church, and the significance of the city. With an incredible variety of sights, sounds, and scents, the city has developed into one of India’s most vibrant and intriguing metropolises in the contemporary era.

Tour of Kandy City

Kandy City Tour is one of the most popular city tours in Sri Lanka. The city tour of Kandy includes many popular tourist places, such as the Tooth Relic Temple, Peradeniya Boatanical Garden, and Elephant Orphanage. You’ll start your day trip by going to the Kandy viewpoint. From here, drive up a hill close to Kandy Lake to see the amazing views of the town below the lake.

The Last Kandyan Monarch

Sri Wickrama Rajasingha, the previous ruler of Kandy, artificially created Kandy Lake. Both locals and tourists like taking walks around the lake and even taking boat rides on it.
Take a stroll around the botanical gardens in Peradeniya, which are home to over 4,000 plant species, including various types of palm trees, medicinal plants, and orchids. The gardens are plentiful with photo opportunities where you can get a good look at the wide variety of blooms.

The magnificent vista of the Kandy Tea Factory

Visit a tea factory in Kandy to witness the leaves being turned into the well-known Ceylon tea. Thanks to the British, who converted the majority of the country’s land into plantations, tea is now a significant export from the nation.

After lunch, you will be taken on an escorted city tour of Kandy, which will include shopping and a visit to the gem museum. People going about their daily business keep the town of Kandy busy. Among the various items you could discover at this market are tea, spices, and herbs. Among the many mementos up for grabs are wooden sculptures, batiks, and apparel.

The Gem Isle

Moving on to the next thing, which is jewels,. Sri Lanka is known as the “Isle of Gems,” and one of the main cities there is Kandy, where a large selection of gems are available for purchase. The selection of immaculately polished and cut stones is astonishing. Among the notable stones that are offered are sapphire, Alexandrite, ruby, and star ruby.

The Tooth Relic Temple

Travel to the Temple of Tooth as the sun sets; it’s a beloved and essential sight for Buddhists all around the country. This is the holiest place in all of Buddhism, where the priceless tooth relic of Lord Buddha rests in a gilded casket. It is located in the Royal Palace Complex, an amazing landmark in and of itself. As you join hundreds of devotees in devotion, enjoy the peace, incense scent, and sounds of chanting in the temple while lighting oil lamps and placing a dish of flowers on the altar.
A display of traditional Kandyan dance, which reflects Sri Lanka’s rich history and culture, will mark the conclusion of the cultural event. This is the official dance of the nation, and it’s rather impressive.
It’s time for you to return to your hotel after an amazing day.

Tour of Galle City

Your trip of Galle begins at seven in the morning in Colombo and travels to the south coast of Sri Lanka. There will be several stops along the route.

The city of Alle, which is located on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, is a cultural treasure trove with stunning scenery and an intriguing past. The day trip destination of Galle is highly recommended due to its captivating museums, stunning beaches, and structures from the colonial past.

Fort Galle

The Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit tourist site because it showcases a wealth of history dating back to the 16th century. The fort is home to several buildings from the colonial era, including shops, museums, and lighthouses. The Dutch Reformed Church, which has an uncommon blend of colonial and indigenous architectural elements, is another noteworthy site.

For those interested in maritime history, the marine museum located within the fort is a fascinating place to visit. This place offers an exploration of Sri Lankan boat-building skills and marine traditions. In addition, if you want to take in a breathtaking view of the coastline, you should not miss the Galle Lighthouse.

Unawatuna Beach, located outside the fort, beckons with soft white sand and crystal-clear seas. Enjoy a stress-free afternoon by swimming, sunbathing, and participating in water sports. Furthermore, boating in the stunning Koggala Lake is highly recommended since it offers the chance to witness crocodiles, monkeys, birds, and other wildlife.

Galle boasts a bustling market scene, mouthwatering local cuisine, and stunning colonial-era architecture that are ideal for strolls in addition to these must-see attractions. Galle is a fantastic destination that will enthrall you with its magnificent beauty and rich history.

A tour of Nuwara Eliya city

Your morning city tour will start with a drive to Nuwara Eliya following breakfast. Prior to entering the town,

The Goldf Club and Its Environment in Nuwaraeliya

One of the oldest golf clubs in Asia, the renowned Nuwara Eliya Golf Club, will be visible from the outside. When you arrive in the town, you will be greeted with one of Sri Lanka’s oldest post offices. One of the most iconic colonial Tudor-style buildings, it stands out due to its red brick façade. Following that, you’ll see other iconic colonial buildings that highlight the influence of the British during their colonial period. The HNB Bank, the Nuwara Eliya Police Station, St. Xavier’s Church, and the magnificent hotel—a well-known colonial masterpiece with exquisitely manicured grounds—are among these buildings.
The lovely park known as Victoria Park, which honors Queen Victoria, is the next destination. Take some time to meander through the park and enjoy the views, sounds, and scents of its lovely trees and grass. The Nuwara Eliya Race Course is the next colonial treasure from the British era that we will see. The only horse racing track in Sri Lanka, this track is well-known for its annual April festivities that bear a striking resemblance to the Ascot Races.

You’ll then see Lake Gregory, an incredible man-made marvel from the colonial era. Originally intended for power generation, it is now a well-liked tourism attraction for both residents and visitors. Magnificent mountains can be seen in the distance, framing this lovely lake. You’ll have plenty of time to take advantage of the activities offered on-site, like canoeing and other aquatic activities.

You ought to take a lunch break at 12:30.

Haggala Botanical Garden and Sita Aamman Temple

After lunch, we’re going to the Hakgala Botanical Gardens and the Sita Amman Temple. These two places make up the ancient “Ashoka Vatika”. Adjacent to the second-largest Botanical Gardens in Sri Lanka, Hakgala, is the Sita Amman Temple, a shrine devoted to Lord Rama’s spouse, Sitadevi. There are many different flower beds, including rose and orchid beds, in this exquisite collection of gardens.

On the way back to the city, you’ll stop at a strawberry farm. Sample some of our favorite sweets, such waffles, strawberries and cream, or strawberry cheesecake. When you get back to the city in the evening, you will be taken to the Bale Bazaar, a well-known neighborhood flea market noted for its reasonably priced winter apparel.

A tour of Anuradhapura city

Anuradhapura is one of the best places for a city tours in Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura, the former capital of Sri Lanka, will be the main attraction of a full-day tour that leaves from your location. Your first destination in Anuradhapura after arriving early in the morning would be the terrified bo tree.

The Hallowed Bo Tree

The main stem of the Bodhi tree is where Buddha obtained enlightenment. Sanghamitta, the daughter of Emperor Ashoka, brought a seedling from India that is known as the Sacred Bo Tree, also known as Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. In a ceremonial manner, King Devanampia Tissa placed this sapling here after receiving it.

The Brazen Palace, or Lovamahapaya of King Dutugemunu, is the next destination. Stone pillars support this majestic nine-story building. Because of its copper or bronze roof, this edifice came to be known as “Brazen Palace”. One thousand monks and their attendants were to be housed in this palace, which also provided lodging and medical care for the injured.

The Dagaba Ruwenwelisaya

After that, you’ll travel to Sri Lanka to witness Ruwanwelisaya Dagoba, the oldest stupa. A reminder of Sri Lanka’s illustrious architectural heritage is the Ruwanwelisaya. The victorious King Dutugemunu constructed the Great Stupa, also known as Ruwanwelisaya, in 140 BC. This stupa is evidence of his bold undertaking and the exceptional contribution it made to the revival of Buddhism in the country.

The Tissa Wewa

You will then travel to Tissa Wewa, an artificial reservoir that King Devanampiya Tissa constructed in the third century BC to supplement Anuradhapura’s water supply and provide irrigation for the king’s royal gardens. Later on, a network of irrigation canals was built and connected to this reservoir.

This is where you will find Miriswatiya Dagoba, the first of King Dutugemunu’s monuments. After he was sanctified, an ornate sword with a priceless Buddha relic was set down on the coast on the seventh day of the Tissa Wewa water festival. When the king returned from his bath at the reservoir, they tried again and again to draw his sword, but he was unable, so they erected this dagoba on top of it. They saw this as a sign of healing.

The Temple of Thuparama

Next is a visit to the Thuparama Temple. It was built before any other stupa in Sri Lanka, following Buddhism’s introduction to the country. Built by King Devanampiya Tissa. The Thuparama is among the tiniest stupas in the world, if not the island. Buddhists hold a high regard for the right collarbone relic of Lord Buddha that Mahinda, the son of Indian King Ashoka, sent to Sri Lanka.

The Monastery of Abayagiri

Next, you will be taken to the famous Moonstone, which is kept at the Abayagiri Monastery and is located at the top of the main staircase in the main building. Among the finest and best-preserved relics from the 7th and 8th centuries, this moonstone is highly regarded. And then we shall see the guardstone. Before the South Indian invaders destroyed it, the Rathna Prasada stood large and majestically atop the Abhayagiriyi monastery. A guardstone, carefully carved over the years by the several kings who have come before him, shows a deity monarch shielded by a Naga Gala, a five-headed snake, holding a vase of flowers, symbolizing riches.

The Sinhalese monarch Vattagamini Abhaya constructed the Abhayagiri Monastery Complex, which is the largest monastery complex in the Anuradhapura kingdom. You then enter the complex after that. Included in this complex is the main stupa, Abhayagiri Stupa, which was constructed over the footprint of Lord Buddha. A limb of the Sri Maha Bodhi tree is also present. The stupa was the second-tallest structure on the island when it was first built, at 370 feet tall. Excavated during the excavations, the new museum at Abhayagiri Monastery was devoted to Fa-hsien in order to preserve and display the objects. Among these antiques was gold jewelry set with stones and jewels. This museum’s main goal is to hold all of the items and relics discovered during archaeological excavations.

The statue of Samadi Budda

After seeing this complex, proceed to the Samadhi Buddha Statue, a masterwork of Sinhala sculpture and art. Situated atop the Bodhi tree, facing the four cardinal directions, the 2-meter-tall granite sculpture stands watch. It is carved into the contemplative pose known as Samadhi, which is associated with the Buddha’s first enlightenment.

The Monastery and Stupa in Jetavanarama

You will then encounter the Jetavaranama Stupa and monastery. Built in the third century, this magnificent structure was once the world’s biggest brick structure and the third largest of its type. This enormous bulbous stupa, composed of more than 90 million bricks, inspires thoughts of peace, introspection, and a sense of being connected to the past. The building’s sheer size serves as a testament to the era’s accomplishments and tenacity, making it a worthwhile tourist destination. The ruins of a monastery that once housed three thousand monks surround it.

The Kuttam Pokuna

Kuttam Pokuna, commonly known as the “Twin Ponds,” insists on this and will follow. It is an architectural environment, constructed in the eighth century as a bathing pool with terraces for the monks.
Lunch will be provided to you at about 12:30 p.m.

The Temple of Isurumuniya

The day trip will continue with a visit to Isurumuniya Viharaya after lunch. The stunning Isurumuniya Viharaya temple is perched atop a rock and partially encased in a cave. Elephant sculptures in fine detail may be found near the foot of the cliff, perched atop a rock that looks as though it is rising from a gorgeous pond. The famed “Isurumuniya Lovers” sculpture, which was originally placed on a granite slab but is now kept in the Archaeological Museum, is among the temple’s many exquisite carvings.
We’ll take you to the Aukana Buddha Statue or Mihintale. This tour should take you about an hour.

The Mihintale

Given that Buddhism originated in Mihintale, it is a must-visit location for Buddhists worldwide. Tourists come in droves to this location, in addition to pilgrims, to climb the hill and view the monastic community’s many religious shrines. Adding to the prominence of the location is one of these shrines, a majestic 40-foot stupa built in the first century BC

The Buddha Statue in Aukana

According to historical reports, the Aukana Buddha Statue is one of Sri Lanka’s tallest standing Buddha sculptures and commands reverence. The Buddha statue is a magnificent sculpture that stands 42 feet tall and is a monument to the skill and workmanship of those who crafted it.

After the trip ends in the evening, you will return from Anuradhapura to your starting point.

A tour of Polonnaruwa city

Polonnaruwa is another popular hisotrical city for city tours in Sri Lanka. The city tour of Polonnaruwa is included in most multi-day tour package of sri Lanka. The city tour of Polonnaruwa includes many interesting places such as historifcal tempels, palaces, gardens, museums, stupas, Buddha statues and many more.

The Museum of Archaeology

The Archaeological Museum, which has an amazing collection of bronze sculptures and scale models of the sites portraying structures as they may have been, will be your first destination when you arrive in Polonnaruwa.

The King Parkramabahu’s Citadel

Following that, you will be escorted to King Parakramabahu I’s citadel and royal palace. In its original form, it was a seven-story building that would have been astounding to its contemporaries. An enormous chamber resembling a pavilion, the audience chamber or council chamber, features elaborate carvings. The Royal Bathing Pool is located in a secluded area of the palace grounds.

The Shiva Devale

After that, we’ll head to the Quadrangle, the ancient city’s nerve center. Beginning with the Shiva Devale, the complex includes the ruins of numerous ancient buildings, such as the Thuparamaya, an image house with good preservation; the Nissanka Latha Mandapaya, also known as the Floral Altar; the Hatadage, or House of Seven Relics; and the Polonnaruwa Vatadage, a creation that has been revered and prominent in Sri Lankan history.

The Satmahal Prasadaya

Following that, you will visit the Satmahal Prasadaya, an incredibly bizarre and intricate structure that drew inspiration from eastern design, and the Gal Potha, an immense rock-carved book. Standing six floors tall, it resembled a stepped pyramid.

The Pabalu Vhehara and Rankoth Vehera

The Pabalu Vehera, a symbol of love, and the Rankoth Vehera, the fourth largest dagoba after the three giants in Anuradhapura, are both accessible via bus from this location.

The Alahana Monastery

The next stop is the Alahana Pirivena Monastery, a magnificent complex of monasteries established in the eleventh century by King Parakramabahu I. Inside, you’ll find the Lankatilake image house and the Buddha Seema Prasada.

The Kiri Vehera

The Kiri Vehera, Polonnaruwa’s best-preserved dagoba and a shrine with a milky white exterior, would be the next stop on the itinerary.

The Gal Vehera

The next stop is the north, where you can marvel at the Gal Vihara and its renowned sculpture collection. One of the most impressive rock sculptures on the island is a set of four Buddha statues cut into a granite cliff.

The Nelum Pokuna

The next stop is at the Nelum Pokuna, followed by the Lotus Pond—a stunningly designed granite pool shaped like a lotus flower—and the Thivanka Image House, a massive monastery close to Polonnaruwa.

The Parakrama Samudraya

After lunch, you will be escorted to witness the wonder of the Parakrama Samudraya, which is also called the Parakrama Sea due to its enormous size. The engineering brilliance of King Parakramabahu I allowed for the creation of this man-made lake, which is filled up as it drains off the rainwater collected through eleven channels that fed a system of irrigation canals and smaller tanks.

The next stop is at the Royal Palace Complex of King Nissanka Malla. There is a raised platform supporting eight granite columns, and a low wall surrounds it. In the middle of the platform rests a little granite stupa. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to witness the Nissanka Raja Sabha Mandapa, which is the royal audience hall or council chamber.

The next stop on your bus tour will be the magnificent Giant Statue of Parakramabahu I, a work of monumental art dating back to the 12th century. Carved onto a rock face, the tall but respectful person wears a sarong and holds a sacred text. The next stop is at Pothgul Vihara. Among Sri Lanka’s historical sites, this library and monastery complex stands tallest.

At the conclusion of the tour in the evening, you will be taken back to your original location from Polonnaruwa.

Trincomalee city tour

The Trincomalee is the heart of the East Coast. The city is adored for its sandy beacheThe East Coast’s center is Trincomalee. The pleasant temperature and sandy beaches of the city are its main attractions.Entering the city is a delightful experience. The blue water is also visible, as is the cool weather.Traveling into the city is a leasurable journey. You can see the blue water as well.

  • On this full-day Trincomalee tour,
  • you’ll see the harbor,
  • pigeon Island,
  • Fort Frederick,
  • All the other must-see landmarks in this culturally rich city.

Take a boat ride out to sea off the coast of Trincomalee for about half an hour, and you’ll be able to observe dolphins surface frequently. We have seen whales on the east coast only during the spring (March–May), but you never know; you might be lucky enough to see one during the off-season.
The boat will transport you to Pigeon Island once the dolphin viewing tour is over. Sri Lanka has two marine national parks, one of which is Pigeon Island. It has breathtaking coral reefs that are home to a variety of magnificent tropical fish and other marine animals, like turtles. A snorkeling expedition is available as an extra for anyone who is interested in trying it out.
View breathtaking ocean vistas from atop the rock formations that lie across the island.
On the island, you will have breakfast in the form of a picnic.

Getting back to the mainland and heading to Fort Frederick will be your next step after breakfast. Discover the fort, which is home to the world-renown Konaswaram Temple, perched precariously on Swami Rock with breathtaking views of the Bay of Bengal and India’s eastern coast. Various temples can be found within the fort itself.

Returning to Trincomalee after lunch, the tour will stop at the city’s natural harbour, which spans several acres of land and water. Back Bay, Dutch Bay, and the inner harbor make it up. Take in the sights and sounds of the harbor as you meander past the many eateries and cafes that line its shores.

Marble Beach, one of the most picturesque and pristine beaches in the Trincomalee region, is the next stop on your itinerary. Since the Sri Lanka Air Force is in charge of it, you can rest assured that it is a safe place to swim in shallow waters. Take a leisurely walk around the beach and look for marble pebbles.

Get back on the road to where you came from.

Tour of Bentota City

Bentota attracts a large number of beach holiday lovers. However, bentota city tour is one of the popular city tours in Sri Lanka due to the large array of toruist atractions to be found in Bentota. bentota city tour incloudes ancisnt monuments, boat tours, beach hopping, visitng mask museum, visitng moonstone mines, and many more. Your adventure will start at eight in the morning. Your driver will transport you to the following sites after your hotel is dropped off:.

Visit to Lunuganga Garden excursion

Architect Geoffrey Bawa (23 July 1919 – 27 May 2003) created the Lunuganga estate with his concept. This farmhouse served as both his first source of inspiration and his laboratory; when his celebrity rose, he utilized it as a refuge. The mansion is decorated with an abundance of global artifacts and antiquities that highlight Bawa’s distinct style and quirky charm.

The Madu Ganga Biodiversity Area

Savor a pleasant two-hour boat ride down the Madu River while seeing a diverse range of wildlife. Explore the paths that the mangroves have created, which are concealed. Visit the people who cultivate cinnamon on one of the little islands. View the aquatic birds in their natural habitats.

Bawas Garden

Bevis Baawa’s Residence and Landscape Bevis Bawa’s famous garden hosted a host of famous people, including Agatha Christie, Vivien Leigh, Sir Lawrence Olivier, and numerous others. The Garden at Brief provides evidence of his developing personality. The towering gateway with the statue cap, hidden in the dense bamboo hedge, is the way to enter Bevis’s realm. Then we’ll go around the lush perimeter path, through the Japanese garden, past the large lawns, and finally past the circular pond and water stairs. Its maker’s proof may be found all throughout the garden.

Kosgoda Sea Turtle Hatchery

Members of the Chelonii order include turtles. They are also known as chelonians by researchers and environmentalists. The distinctive bony coating, or carapace, that chelonians receive from their ribs serves as a protective shell. Turtles are an exceptionally old group of creatures, with the first known appearance being more than 220 million years ago, during the Triassic Period. The order Chelonii, commonly known as the Testudines, is composed of three types of reptiles: terrapins, tortoises, and turtles.

How to book city tours in Sri Lanka

Seerendipity tours and most other local travel companies organize city tours in Sri Lanka. The tourists can book these city tours directly with the tour operrators. The city tours can also booked through the travel counters in torusit hotels. If you need more informatioj on Sri Lanka one day tours please get in touch with us at 0094-77-4440977 or

Sanjeewa Padmal (Seerendipity tours)

This blog is all about travelling in Sri Lanka, I am trying to illuminate my readers with a wide range of information related to Sri Lanka travel. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you need more information. Furthermore, we can organize your holiday package or any travel related requirement in Sri Lanka. Please contact us on read more

Recent Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WhatsApp us