7 Offbeat Places to Visit on Your First Trip to Sri Lanka

If you are easily excited by the thought to exploring new lands, a trip to Sri Lanka should be on your bucket list. With long stretches of white and yellow sand beaches, quaint hill towns, and picturesque landscapes, Sri Lanka is quickly turning up on the travelers’ radar. With more and more people visiting the country every year, development efforts are in full swing. If you want to experience the old-world charm before modernization takes over, this is the ideal time to visit Sri Lanka.


  1. Jaffna – Often called the city of temples, Jaffna is home to some of the most beautiful temples in Sri Lanka. The temple of Nallur Kovil is the most popular. Other popular tourist attractions include Jaffna Fort, and the Nagadeepa Vihara Purana temple.
  2. Trincomalee – Popular for watersports and underwater adventures, Tincomalee beach is famous for scuba diving. This is the ideal place for beginners to experience deep sea adventures. The best time to visit Trincomalee is between February and April.
  3. Horton Plains National Park – The idea place for hiking, Horton Plains National Park is home to enchanting lakes, misty waterfalls, and numerous species of flora and fauna. The view from World’s End, the summit, is surreal. Give your legs a break at Far Inn Hunting Lodge that doubles up as a café and visitor information center.
  4. Tawalantenne – Located in the heart of Sri Lanka, this quaint village is the abode of the mighty St. Claire Falls. Often called Little Niagara of Sri Lanka, this breathtaking beauty is a hidden gem. If you are visiting Nuwara Eliya, take a small detour to reach Tawalantenne.
  5. Beira Lake – Located in the capital city of Colombo, Beira Lake offers respite from the humdrum of surrounding city life. Spend a quiet evening by the calm waters of the lake as the sun sets in the horizon. The lake is close some of the best hotels in Sri Lanka. If you are looking for luxury boutique hotels, Colombo is home to quite a few prominent properties.
  6. Bentota Beach – Located barely 65km away from Colombo, Bentota Beach is the ideal place to relax. Tourists should visit the nearby turtle hatching center, and enjoy a boat cruise.
  7. Colombo – Although not an offbeat destination, tourists often underestimate the attractions of the capital city. If you are looking for luxury villas Sri Lanka, Colombo is home to a few. Popular tourist attractions nearby include Slave Island, Diyatha Uyana, Seema Malaka, and the Colombo Dutch Museum.