Top 5 Places to visit in Sri Lanka within one day
There are a large number of places to visit in Sri Lanka within one day, but after considering the historical, natural and cultural importance as well the time is taken to up and down transfers from Colombo, we have chosen below mentioned 5 places to visit in Sri Lanka within one day. With only 1 day at your disposal, you can not do much on the island, you can barely scratch the surface. Don’t try to add too many things to your road trip because you have to calculate the time spent on travelling. You can easily overlook the time required for travelling due to the interesting attractions that you encounter on the trip. After all, you need considerable time to study the places you visit too.
In this article, we are not only discussing 5 places to visit in Sri Lanka within one day (40 places to visit in Sri Lanka) but also discuss the important attractions in each place. You can easily explore all these 5 places on one day tours from Colombo or from the airport. So you can choose 1 of the activities listed below when you plan your next short holiday in Sri Lanka.
After days of hard and routine work, you might have got a brief break from the office and a short sightseeing tour is a need of the hour. Excursion of one day or two days is the best option for you. If it is well planned you will be able to see some of the very beautiful places of Sri Lanka within this short period, same times make use it to get away from tension and stress or daily routine office work. There are many places to visit in Sri Lanka within one day and choose the best places to explore based on what you like most.
Perhaps you are in Sri Lanka on an official visit and like to experience some interesting things. Or you are in transit and waiting for your flight to the next destination and looking for a Sri Lank tour operators such as Seerendipity tours to book a short trip from Colombo.
Whatever your requirement good to have a short tour, goooooooood idea, right? Having time constraints due to the office work, scheduled meetings, or scheduled flight a short tour from Colombo seems to be the ideal option and of course, well deserved too.
If there are constraints on the availability of time, plan for a short gateway to the nearest yet most interesting place from Colombo. With a tour of one or two days, you will be able to explore some interesting places nearby, can take part in interesting activities, can experience Sri Lanka shopping, can indulge in a refreshing Ayurveda course, can gorge on some delicious Sri Lankan fresh seafood, have relaxed on the pristine beaches of Sri Lanka etc.
Have your special attention on transport and find the best way to get around Sri Lanka, try to stick to private transport with a local driver, because transport can suck your time if you do not plan it properly. Taxi/private transport is the best way of getting around Sri Lanka it is safe and most importantly it saves time but the acute shortcoming of the taxi is the cost that involves it. You have to reduce the time spent on travelling since you have only limited time for the tour. You can use transport modes such as train and public buses but they might not be the best options for you, though it is very affordable they take a lot of time to travel from one place to other, you might end having no time for sightseeing.
So, pack your bag and make all ready to treat yourself and enjoy life at your best during the brief vacation. Seeredipity tours offer many day trips from Colombo and with those tours you can explore most of these places chosen by the author as places to visit in Sri Lanka within one day.
Places to visit in Sri Lanka within one day from Colombo
There are a large number of places to visit in Sri Lanka within one day when you start your day trips from Colombo. Below mentioned day trips from Colombo offers some thrilling options. From scenic mountains with tea gardens of Nuwara Eliya and Kandy to the idyllic beach resorts on the west and southern coast, plan your day trips from Colombo/airport to relax, look for activities and be blessed by the divine.
1. Negombo is top in the list of places to visit in Sri Lanka within one day
Distance from Colombo 40km Time is taken to travel from Colombo to Negombo-1 hours (10 minutes from the airport)
Negombo day trip is one of the easiest day trips from Colombo. Negombo, the beach city of Sri Lanka near the Colombo international airport, is one of the most sought-after beach holiday destinations in Sri Lanka (A list of most popular beach resorts in Sri Lanka). Negombo is one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka within one day, due to its proximity to Colomb. It is just 10 minutes drive from the airport to Negombo, therefore it is one of the places for a day trip from Colombo even if you stay only a few hours on the island. The beaches of Negombo attracts travellers in all age groups. The beautiful pristine beaches, affordable accommodation, shopping and recreation activities are the main attributes that make Negombo a favourite.
Places to visit in Negombo
The fish market is one of the must-visit attractions in Negombo. Negombo is very rich in many varieties of fish and fishing is the major livelihood of most people here. Try to hit the fish market early hours to get the best experience. Behind the fish market adjoining the sea is a flat land reserved for fish drying. A large amount of fish is scattered over the huge land and left to dry under the scorching heat of the sun.
The textile market is another must-visit attraction in Negombo. A large number of shops are lined up along the main road and they are full of clothes, handicrafts and food items etc.
Amongst a large number of places to visit, this Catholic church is a must-visit in Negombo. Built-in 1886, the large crucifix in the church is the most important object in the church.
Negombo is a beach holiday destination, hence it is popular as a beach holiday destination but Negombo is also a place to explore the rich wildlife of Sri Lanka due to its proximity to Muthurajawela wetland. The wetland harbours a large number of aqua bird species, animals such as crocodiles and many flora species. Muthurajawela is most popular as a destination for bird watching.
Exploring the beach
Negombo is one of the best places for beach holidays on the west coast, shallow water and palm-fringed beaches with snow-white sand is a heaven for beach holiday lovers.
Some other places to include on the day tour to Negombo
Negombo lagoon, Dutch canal, the Dutch fortress
2. Places to visit in Sri Lanka within one day – Colombo city
Colombo is also one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka within one day. The city offers a large number of places to visit and many activities to keep you busy during the day and night.
Colombo is the commercial hub of Sri Lanka and the busiest city in the country. This economic hub of the island has a fascinating blend of new and old. You can see here highrise modern skyscraper to historical buildings dating back the first half of the 18th century. Colombo city is one of the best places for an unforgettable shopping experience.
Distance from Colombo international airport 35km
Time is taken to travel from the international airport to Colombo city-1 hours
Bazaar area of Pettah is one of the must-visit places in Colombo if you fancied of shopping in Sri Lanka. The colourful market is full of imported and local products. The diversity of products is great so is the price. Virtually you can buy everything available on the island. Clothing, leather products, gems and jewellery, tea, Ayurveda you name it that can be bought in Pettah.
Wolvendaal Church is dating back to1600’s and built by Dutch administration of Sri Lanka. The Church is built at the highest point of Colombo. The church is one of the oldest churches on the island.
Majestically standing on the ban of Beira lake this magnificent temple is one of the oldest Buddhist institutions in the city. It has a very calm and serene atmosphere, identical to a religious place, through the temple is located in the busiest city in the country. The pompous temple differs in many ways from other Buddhist temples in the country. Don’t forget to visit the museum of Gangarama temple, which has a large number of objects with high value.
The park is a green oasis and provides shelter for thousands of visitors to Colombo. A large tract of land with huge trees and plants. This is a place to have a peaceful time in Colombo, the well-laid park has the running tracks, play areas, waterfalls, cafeteria and hundreds of bunks in the shade.
One of the reminiscent of Sri Lanka’s independence. This is the places where 1st independent parliament of Sri Lanka was summoned. The building is built after typical Sri Lankan architecture.
Galleface beach is the major beach of the city with a huge open area. As the name suggests it is a huge ground covered with grass, though it is a beach bordering the ocean. Galle’s face is a popular place to perform various sports and family gatherings.
Some other places to explore during the Colombo city tours;
Colombo Museum, Colombo zoo, BMICH, Hindu temple Compannavidiya
3. Visiting Kandy on a day trip from Colombo
This is one of the most sought-after day trips from Colombo. Kandy is also one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka within one day, Kandy differs in many ways from all other places that are identified as places to visit in Sri Lanka within one day, mainly due to its location in the mountains. The city lies 500 meters above sea level and has a cool climate. Kandy is among the few places in the mountains that can be explored on day trips from Colombo.
Kandy is one of the most picturesque gateways from Colombo. Kandy is a cultural, historical city with Colonial touch, essentially the British influence. Kandy is the home of the most venerated Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka and Mecca for Sri Lankan Buddhists. The temple of the tooth relic is the temple where the tooth relic resides today. Kandy is the cultural centre of Sri Lanka and has a large number of historical, natural and religious monuments within its borders.
Distance from Colombo airport 115km Time is taken to travel from Colombo to the Kandy-3 hours
Temple of the tooth relic
The tooth relic temple (tooth relic temple of Kandy) is the most sacred Buddhist temple in the island and the left eye tooth of Buddha suppose to be residing here. The temple has a rich historical past and standing beside the Kandy lake.
The biggest Botanical garden of Sri Lanka and dating back to the Kandyan kingdom. Today it is a research centre, botanical garden, herbarium and picnic place.
Tea is one of the major export goods in Sri Lanka, perhaps you don’t know that the world-renowned Ceylon tea is produced here. Sri Lanka is the home for Ceylon tea and best Ceylon tea is coming from the upcountry of Sri Lanka. The well-maintained tea garden is very attractive and photogenic.
Pinnawala elephant orphanage
Most day trips from Colombo to Kandy include Pinnawala elephant orphanage in the itinerary. Pinnawala is one of the places that included in most roads trips in Sri Lanka too. Here you can see the largest herd of tamed elephants in the world. The number of animals in the herd now exceeds 80.
Some other important places to explore during the Kandy day trip from Colombo;
Kandy lake, Embekke devala, Lankatilaka temple, Gadaladeniya temple, Kandyan cultural show, a gem museum
4. Visiting Wilpattu National park on a day trip from Colombo
Distance cover from Colombo 166km Time is taken to travel from Colombo -3 hours
Wilpattu national park day tour is one of the interesting day trips from Colombo. This is the only national park that I chose as one of the places to visit in Sri Lanka within one day (Tips for Sri Lanka wildlife tours). Because you need to do 2-day trips from Colombo in order to explore most other national parks on the island such as Yala, Udawalwe national park. Located at the north-west corner of the island the Wilpattu national park one of the least explored wildlife reserves in the island. It was closed for visitors for many decades due to the civil war of northern Sri Lanka. One of the important characteristics of the park, which differs from most other national parks in Sri Lanka is the existence of willus (natural lakes). These are shallow waterholes with a sandy soil rim store water during the shower. They provide valuable service as the main water storage in the park for all kind of creatures.
Area: 317sq km Annual Average Temperature: 27.7°C Annual Rainfall: 1000mm Best Time of the year To Visit: October to May visiting hours: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Fauna: 31 species of animals can be seen here such as Leopard, sloth bear, elephant, sambhur, wild buffaloe, mongoose, spotted deer, crocodile, monkeys are among the popular.
Flora: many types of vegetation to be found here including littoral trees and plants such as salt grass, scrubs, dry zone forest trees such as weera, palu, milla, satin, wewarna, ebony.
Birds: A large number of avian fauna species have been identified in Wilpattu national park. There are many endemic birds among them. Sri Lankan junglefowl (Gallus lafayetii), little cormorant, The painted stork, the open bill, terns, gulls, along with many species of owls, kites buzzards, eagles, are very common here. Some of the wetland birds such as cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) , black-headed ibis (Threskiornis malanocephalus), spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), pintail (Anas acuta), whistling teal (Dendrocygna javanica), garganey (Anas querquedula), purple heron (Ardea purpurea),large white egret (Egretta alba modesta) can also be seen here.
Reptile & Amphibians: Gunther’s Cat Skink, Deccan Ground Gecko, Malabar Pit Viper, Humayun’sWrinkled Frog, Beddome’s Lacerta, Bombay Bush Frog etc.
Some other places to explore during the Wilpattu one day safari tour
Manawari temple and Munneswaram temple Puttalam
5. Visiting galle on a day trip from Colombo
Distance from Colombo 118km Time is taken to travel from Colombo -3 hours
Galle one day tour is one of the most popular day trips from Colombo. Galle is the capital of southern Sri Lanka and located towards the southern border of Sri Lanka. A city is an important place of interest among the traveller, due to the Galle Fort. The fort is built by Portuguese in the 1500s and largely expanded by Dutch administration in Sri Lanka. Today Galle fortress is a UNESCO world heritage site and it is an archaeological zoo with a large number of buildings and palaces built after old Dutch architecture. Most of these old houses and palaces are converted hotels, guest houses, rest houses, shops, museums and galleries.
Interesting places to include on day trips from Colombo to Galle
Galle maritime museum is located within Galle the fort and it occupies a part of the storage building used by the Dutch East Indian company. A large number of artefacts are been displayed here.
Martin Wickramasinghe museum
Martin Wickramasinghe museum is a folk museum, which showcases the life pattern of people of Galle. There is a large number of exhibits discovered from southern Sri Lanka, all of them are closely connected to the day to day life of common people.
Madu rover is a Ramsar wetland and important ecological asset of the island. Madu river provides shelter to endangered mangroves and large extent of mangrove forest can be found along the river bank. A large number of aquatic bird species, as well as many types of animal species such as water monitors, crocodile, monkey, also can be spotted here.
Hikkaduwa is one of the most popular beach resorts on the west coast. Hikkaduwa is most popular for its coral reefs and the fascinating underwater world off the shore. Glass bottom boating is a popular activity among the visitors here, that enables the visitors to see large coral reefs with many fish species in the shallow water.
Moonstones is a semi-precious stone with the grading of 4. This milky coloured semi-precious stone can be found only in Ambalangoda, near Hikkaduwa. A large number of people of Hikkaduwa making precious jewellery with the moonstones and jewellery making has become a leading cottage industry in the area. Many small shops are selling Gems and jewellery in Ambalangoda some of the jewellery is fastened with moonstones and some of them are studded with other precious stones such as sapphires, blue sapphires, amethyst, aquamarine etc.
Several important places to add to the day trip from Colombo to Galle
Mak museum, sea turtle farm, stilt fisherman, Kande vihara