🇱🇰 Sri Lanka
Ancient wonders amidst serene beauty

Anuradhapura - Vacation Briefing

Anuradhapura, located in Sri Lanka, is a captivating city steeped in rich history and natural beauty. As one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, it is home to numerous ancient ruins and sacred sites. Explore the awe-inspiring remains of ancient Buddhist temples, dagobas, and exquisite palaces that date back to the 4th century BC. The city's serene surroundings, with tranquil lakes and lush greenery, create a peaceful ambiance. Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting vibrant markets, tasting authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, and witnessing traditional ceremonies. Anuradhapura offers a unique blend of spirituality, history, and natural splendor, making it a fascinating destination for travelers.

Popular Sights in Anuradhapura

Things to do during your Anuradhapura vacation

Anuradhapura is a sacred city in Sri Lanka known for its ancient ruins and religious monuments. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers a glimpse into the country's rich history and culture.

  • Visit the Sacred Bodhi Tree: Revered as the oldest living human-planted tree, the Sacred Bodhi Tree is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists.
  • Explore Ruwanwelisaya Stupa: Marvel at the massive white stupa, one of the oldest and largest in Sri Lanka, surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens.
  • Discover Jetavanaramaya: Admire the enormous brick-built stupa, formerly the tallest structure in the ancient world, offering panoramic views from the top.
  • Visit Mihintale: Climb the steps to this mountain peak to explore ancient monasteries, shrines, and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
  • Explore Kuttam Pokuna: Marvel at the twin ponds, an architectural marvel known for its symmetrical design and intricate stone carvings.
  • Visit Abhayagiri Monastery: Discover the remains of an ancient monastic complex with magnificent brick structures, moonstones, and statues.
  • Explore Isurumuniya Temple: Admire the rock temple known for its beautifully carved rock relief of the famous 'Isurumuni Lovers'.
  • Discover Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi: Pay respects to the Bodhi tree that originated from the original Bodhi Tree in India, making it one of the oldest living trees.
  • Visit Lovamahapaya: Explore the ruins of a massive ancient building complex, often referred to as the 'Brazen Palace'.
  • Experience the Anuradhapura New Town: Discover local food markets, souvenir shops, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of the modern town area.
  • Cycling Tour in Anuradhapura: Rent a bicycle and explore the ancient city at your own pace, taking in the sights and sounds of this historical destination.

Why you should visit Anuradhapura


Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka is a destination worth considering for its rich cultural heritage and historical sites.


Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka has an average safety rating. While the city does experience occasional petty crimes and scams, overall, it is relatively safe. However, it is recommended to take necessary precautions and be vigilant while exploring.


Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka offers a rich cultural experience with its numerous ancient temples, ruins, and historical sites. Visitors can immerse themselves in the fascinating history and heritage of the city.


Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka has limited nightlife options. The city is more focused on its cultural and historical attractions rather than a vibrant nightlife scene.


Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka does not offer many adventure activities. While there are opportunities for nature walks and cycling, it may not be the ideal destination for adrenaline-seekers looking for extreme sports or adventure experiences.


Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka has some relaxing options such as tranquil lakes and gardens. However, it might not be as renowned for its beaches or hiking opportunities compared to other coastal destinations in Sri Lanka.

Best time to visit Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka is a captivating destination that can be enjoyed throughout the year. However, if you want to experience the ancient city's rich history without the crowds, the best time to visit is from February to May.

Warm weather, but crowded
20°C - 31°C
Ideal weather and fewer tourists
21°C - 33°C
Mild temperatures and cultural festivals
22°C - 34°C
Optimal weather with blooming flowers
24°C - 35°C
Great weather, fewer tourists
25°C - 35°C
Hot temperatures and occasional rain
25°C - 35°C
Warm weather, least crowded
24°C - 34°C
Warm temperatures, occasional rain
24°C - 34°C
Mild weather and cultural events
23°C - 33°C
Pleasant weather with cultural festivals
23°C - 32°C
Comfortable temperatures, fewer tourists
22°C - 31°C
Mild weather, occasional rain
21°C - 31°C

A guide To your first day of Anuradhapura vacation


  • Visit the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree, believed to be the oldest recorded tree in the world.
  • Explore the ancient ruins of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, including the Abhayagiri and Jetavanaramaya stupas.


  • Enjoy a peaceful walk around the serene Tissa Wewa reservoir.
  • Visit the magnificent Isurumuniya Temple and admire its rock carvings and beautiful surroundings.


  • Take a leisurely cycle ride through the ancient city of Anuradhapura, enjoying the cool evening breeze.
  • Experience a traditional Sri Lankan cultural show showcasing music, dance, and fire performances.


  • Stroll along the illuminated Ruwanwelisaya stupa, one of the most sacred sites in Anuradhapura.
  • Indulge in delicious Sri Lankan cuisine at a local restaurant, trying out dishes like hoppers and kottu roti.

How to get to Anuradhapura

By Plane

To reach Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by plane, the most convenient option is to fly into Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo. With excellent global connections, CMB offers frequent international flights and is just a few hours away from Anuradhapura by road. Upon arrival, it's recommended to hire a private taxi or take a prearranged transfer to reach the city comfortably.

By other means

Anuradhapura is easily accessible by public transport. The city has a well-connected railway station, with frequent trains running from major cities like Colombo and Kandy. Travelers can also reach Anuradhapura by bus, with regular services from various locations across Sri Lanka. Exploring the city is convenient thanks to local tuk-tuks and taxis available near transport hubs.

Tips for Booking Your Trip

Planning a trip can get tricky, right? Don't worry, we've got some solid advice to make your life easier. Here's how you can find flights and accommodations without a hitch.

Flights: How to Score the Best Deal

First things first, check out Google Flights. Their price calendar and nearby airport options are really useful. Found a good deal? Great, but hang on a sec—make sure you compare it with prices on Kayak, Skyscanner, Momondo, and Kiwi. A little research can go a long way.

Accommodation: Find Your Ideal Spot

For places to stay, start by scanning and Airbnb to get an idea of what's out there. Then, level up your search by looking at Hostelworld and Agoda. Oh, and a quick tip: the hotel's own website might have some special offers, so give that a look too.

Ready to make some moves? The links you need are right below. Happy booking!



Best for travelers who are ...

History enthusiasts, spiritual seekers, and nature lovers

How long to stay in Anuradhapura?

It is recommended to spend at least 2-3 days in Anuradhapura to fully appreciate its historical and cultural significance, as well as explore its serene surroundings.

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