Cities

A commercial hub of the eastern province, Ampara contains a national park and several sanctuaries, making it a good destination for wildlife enthusiasts. It is also culturally rich, with numerous shrines and temples nearby such as the Magul Maha Vihara, the Buddhangala Monastery and the Kadakkarai Mosque.

Badulla is the capital of the Uva province, and the town of Bandarawela is its closest neighbor. These areas are often visited by local travelers because of the cool weather, scenic mountains and clear waterfalls.

Colombo in the western province serves as the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. The most urbanized city on the island, Colombo acts as a meeting point of traditions as the residents are highly multicultural. The city also houses several cultural sites, such as the Gangaramaya Temple, the Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque and the Independence Square.

Jaffna is the capital of Sri Lanka's Northern Province and is the 12th largest city on the island. While the town suffered heavy damage during the civil war, Jaffna is still home to important cultural relics such as the Nallur Kandaswamy temple.

These towns are all situated in the northern province of Sri Lanka. Kiliinochchi is an agricultural community and has a few water tanks built in ancient times for the irrigation of paddy fields. Mannar is a larger town that has a landscape dotted with many mosques, temples and churches, most notably the iconic Ketheeswaram temple. Vavuniya, which lies further inland, was often called the gateway to Vanni, Sri Lanka's Northern Province.

Monaragala is a town surrounded by vegetation and natural landscape. Although it is mainly used by travelers as a waypoint on the journey to Arugam Bay, its Peacock Rock, a mountain covered in foliage, is a captivating scene to experience.

Ratnapura, or the city of gems, has long been at the heart of Sri Lanka's gem industry. Legend even states that King Solomon gifted gems from Ratnapura to Queen Sheba. The town is most frequently visited by gem traders, although travelers can visit the Gem Museum or the local shops to look through some exquisite specimens.