The Most Beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is not only just a land of sandy beaches, rich history and culture. In fact, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has selected eight sites – six cultural and two natural sites to be UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site is an important landmark chosen by the organization as a protected area. The places selected are usually in a historical location with cultural and anthropological importance. Keep reading to find out what they are, and plan your trip to visit them all.

1.The Sigiriya Rock Fortress



Sigiriya is probably the most famous of the UNESCO heritage sites in Sri Lanka and is also called the ‘Eighth wonder of the world’. It is a definite must see in Sri Lanka for the beauty and heritage it beholds is marvelous and bewildering. You can make a day trip to Sigiriya while you stay in comfort with us at Cinnamon Lodge Habarana or Habarana Village by Cinnamon, which is only a 20-minute drive from Sigiriya.

2.The old city of Galle and its Fortifications


Galle is rich in historic and cultural importance, the scenic Galle lighthouse, Dutch Fort and its sprawling lavish sandy beaches make Galle a tourist hotspot and the perfect destination to add some colour to your Sri Lanka travels. The city of Galle and its fortifications have attracted much tourist attention, not only for its cultural and historic importance, but also for the beautiful views from the city and its fortifications.

3. Historic city of Anuradhapura


Anuradhapura forms part of the Cultural Triangle and it is no surprise why it has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, as it is a repository of ancient monuments and artefacts. The city is considered to be one of the oldest cities in the country, which has been continuously inhabited, and is home to many a cultural monuments and historical artefacts. This makes it a treasure trove for history-lovers and enthusiasts.

4.The Royal Cave Temple at Dambulla


For a pleasant surprise of colour, artefacts and statues, you must visit the Cave Temple at Dambulla. What awaits you atop this rock is simply breathtaking and definitely worth the climb of 160m. Magnificent wall paintings and over 150 statues in and around the temple makes this a tourist hotspot that can be visited easily during your stay at Cinnamon Lodge Habarana or Habarana Village by Cinnamon.

5. Sacred city of Kandy



Kandy, situated in a stunning natural landscape of rolling hills and mountains never cease to leave travelers in a jaw dropping excitement with its evocative and lush green landscapes but that is not all! Kandy was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site owing to the places of cultural importance including the Temple of the Tooth in all its ancient majesty and sacrality.

Experience the beauty of Kandy while you indulge with us at Cinnamon Citadel Kandy situated at the heart of all these sites in Kandy.

6. Sinharaja Forest Reserve



The Sinharaja Rainforest, loosely translated to mean the ‘Kingdom of the Lion’ is said to be the country’s last undisturbed area of primary tropical rainforest. Sinharaja is symbolic of Sri Lanka’s biodiversity and is home to innumerous amounts of rare endemic species including mammals, butterflies, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians. It is an absolute must that you explore the Sinharaja rain forest and witness the rich biodiversity of Sri Lanka.

7. Central Highlands of Sri Lanka



This UNESCO World Heritage site comprises a combination of three wet-zone parks, which are the Peak Wilderness Protected Area, the Horton Plains National Park and also the Knuckles Conservation Forest. Being inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 2010, it is the newest addition to Sri Lanka’s list of world heritage sites. The Central Highland of Sri Lanka was added to the list owing to its rich biodiversity and it is definitely a must visit on your Sri Lanka travels.

8. Ancient city of Polonaruwa


Polonaruwa is another city, which forms part of the cultural triangle and is full to the brim with rich culture and history. The ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa contain many Bhramanic constructions from the Chola civilization. It is simply heaven for history lovers and sight-seeing enthusiasts owing to the countless ruins to witness, including Polonnaruwa Vatadage, Hetadage, Rankoth Vehera, Nissanka Latha Mandapaya, Gal Vihara and Vatadage.

Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts has much to boast about with its plush and comfortable living spaces, luxurious room, delectable and wide array of food, top notch service and much more.

Therefore, do stay with us at Cinnamon whilst you explore the world heritage sites Sri Lanka has been endowed with.

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