Things to do in Anuradhapura

THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Anuradhapura

Things to Do in Anuradhapura


Book these experiences for a close-up look at Anuradhapura.

Top Attractions in Anuradhapura

These rankings are informed by traveller reviews—we consider the quality, quantity, recency, consistency of reviews, and the number of page views over time.




From quick jaunts to full-day outings.



What travellers are saying

  • Jet Lanka Tours
    Kandy, Sri Lanka38 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mihintale, located in Sri Lanka, is a significant religious and historical site. It's known as the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, with a pilgrimage site atop a hill offering panoramic views. Visitors often appreciate the serene atmosphere, ancient ruins, and the opportunity to learn about Buddhism's introduction to the island. However, the climb to the top can be steep, so it's advisable to wear comfortable shoes and bring water. Overall, it's a culturally enriching experience for those interested in history and spirituality.
    Written March 27, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Nik
    Singapore, Singapore37 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Today's journey unveiled the serenity of the Sacred Bo Tree and the architectural marvel of Ruwanwelisaya. The knowledgeable guides breathed life into history with captivating stories.
    Now, for the practical details: Admission tickets are priced at $25 for adults, a reasonable fee for the historical richness offered. What's even better is the family-friendly approach with a 50% discount for kids making it an affordable and educational outing for families.
    The sprawling archaeological site is best explored with a guided tour, providing insights into the city's ancient glory. From awe-inspiring stupas to ancient monasteries, Anuradhapura is a captivating experience for history enthusiasts.
    Remember comfortable footwear, as there's quite a bit of exploring to do. Plan to spend a day soaking in the historical ambiance and enjoying the picturesque surroundings.
    In summary, Anuradhapura is not just a destination; it's a cultural immersion. A journey through time that's both enriching and affordable. No hesitation to recommend to everyone.
    Written February 15, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kevin T
    Auckland, New Zealand1,215 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Said to be over 2,500 years old and a sacred part of everyday life. There is a strict dress code and it was incredibly busy although it’s really difficult to see the tree itself. Having said that the atmosphere was compelling and it was a privilege to be part of something so important in day to day life. Enjoy……
    Written June 5, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • reins76
    Scone, Australia1,454 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A good experience overall, but your enjoyment will depend entirely upon your own attitude…..if you are expecting an interesting drive through varied landscape with the possibility of key wildlife as a bonus, go for it! You will love it! If you are anticipating seeing leopards elephants and bears up close, around every corner, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and may be better off at a zoo or safari park. These are wild animals that live over a vast range, so you can be lucky, or not!

    We were fortunate to see two sloth bears up close, and while we were lucky enough to watch a leopard walking along a lake shore, it was at a great distance such that my dream of a gorgeous leopard photo, collided with the reality of a small fuzzy quadruped appearing as a spot on my screen😢
    Written May 11, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Lahiru Gunasekara
    Bridgwater, UK10 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Old temple which were used to live more than 10,000 monks in earlier. Guiders will come with you. Ticket prices also very low.
    Written March 13, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Yuri_mw4
    Colombo, Sri Lanka10 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This was built by king dewanampiyatissa celebrating the introduction of Buddhism to srilanka this is the very first sthupa in here named by combining sthupa for structure and arama monastery
    Written January 18, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Akshay Sharma
    New Delhi, India11,101 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This tree was planted with a sampling from India from Where Lord Budhha obtained enlightenment. It has a temple built around it and is reverred by locals as well. A must visit place while in Anuradhapur - Sri Lanka
    Written March 17, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Peter M
    Melbourne, Australia1,293 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Isuruminya Temple is in the Royal Pleasure Gardens next to the Tisa Tank. There are three carvings of special interest in this Temple (Vihara)-Isuruminiya Lovers, Elephant Pond and the Royal Family. I only saw the Elephant Pond the largest. It was built by King Devanampiya Tisa (307-267BC)
    Written August 13, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Shardha
    Colombo, Sri Lanka124 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Just let your imagination run wild. You should let this transport you to 2,000 years ago to get impressed by it.
    Written January 13, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Peter M
    Melbourne, Australia1,293 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This stupa was built by King Valagamba. Nothing is known about the ancient form of the stupa, and later it was renovated. The ruins show that there are rows of stone pillars and it is no doubt that there has been a house built encircling the stupa cover it. The round courtyard of the stupa is 10 feet above the ground. the diameter of the stupa is 45 feet and the diameter of the courtyard 1319 feet
    Written November 17, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kasthuri Arachchi Jr.
    Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka70 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    If you are visiting Mihintale, make sure to visit this place too. You are coming from the Trincomalee road then you have to pass the Mihintale, and if you are coming from Kandy road you will find it before Mihintale. Best time to enjoy the view would be afternoons.
    Written January 18, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kai Wah
    Malaysia3,578 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Samadhi refers to Buddha’s enlightenment which is depicted by the statue with the sitting position of meditation. The statue is located in the Mahamevnawa Park in between the Twin Ponds and Thuparamaya Temple. It is inclusive in the entrance fee for Anuradhapura Ancient Site at USD25 or LKR4,550. Hiring a driver is necessary since various sites are far from each other. Appropriate dressing required and no shoes are allowed. There are locals here for the worshiping. Good representation of the heritage of Buddhism culture since Anuradhapura Kingdom in 3rd century.
    Written March 10, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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