What is Sri Lanka Best Known For?

While Sri Lanka is a small country in the middle of the Indian Ocean, it has plenty of appeal to tourists. With several serene stretches of beach and ancient historical monuments to explore, Sri Lanka is the place to be for a diverse holiday experience.

Before you travel, make sure you have plenty of Sri Lankan rupees and all the necessary entry requirements to visit, which include having a Sri Lanka visa for British citizens or any other nationality, depending on the case. Nothing can hinder your holiday plans quite like unprepared paperwork! 

If you’re looking to visit Sri Lanka, you may be wondering what the country is best known for and what makes them so appealing to tourists. Here is our list of what Sri Lanka is best known for and what you should make time to see while visiting. 


Sri Lanka is one of the leading world producers of cinnamon, creating around 80% of the total cinnamon output globally. The scientific name of cinnamon derives from ‘Ceylon,’ which Sri Lanka was previously called.


Keeping things sweet, Sri Lanka is also known for its distinctive tea, Ceylon tea, a strong black tea often consumed with milk and sugar. Tea was first grown in Sri Lanka in 1824, and nowadays, 5% of the population work in the tea industry.

Many local areas will offer tourists the opportunity to select and create their customized tea blend to be enjoyed, which is excellent for those who love a cuppa. Alternatively, tea-lovers can visit the home of Sir Thomas Lipton and enjoy the view he once did of his estate!

Sigiriya Fortress

This impressive man-made structure is a rock fortress that resembles a lion, and the paws near the entrance can still be seen. Due to its unique archaeological structure, it is one of the top tourist destinations in Sri Lanka.

There are over 1200 steps required to reach the top of the Sigiriya fortress, but the view is worth the climb. Visitors can witness gardens, ponds, fountains, and fortifications previously used to protect the artifact. 


Sri Lanka is a hub of all things natural, allowing some of the most endangered species in the world to thrive. There are over 700 animal species within Sri Lanka, and National Parks enable visitors to get up close and personal with some of these animals. 

Yala National Park is the leading leopard sanctuary within Sri Lanka, and if you’re lucky, you might ‘spot’ one of these carnivorous creatures. In addition, Udawalawe National Park is home to over 400 elephants that are allowed to roam free over the grassland. 

Sri Lanka is also great for birdwatching, particularly between November to January, to soak up the warm weather.

As well as on land, the biodiversity also spreads to the water, as several species of whales can be found within the ocean. Popular whale species include the Blue Whale, Sperm Whale, and the Humpback Whale.

Dambulla Cave Temple

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Dambulla Cave Temple is home to the Golden Buddha Statue, which is not to be missed by fans of antiquities. Previously, the caves were home to Sri Lankan monks and still hold sacred significance. 


As part of its natural beauty, Sri Lanka also has a variety of beaches that visitors can relax and rest on. However, if you’re better suited to something sporty, the beaches also offer optimal surfing for those who like to ride the waves.

The best time of year for surfing in Southern Sri Lanka is November to May, while on the Eastern Coast, the best time is April to October. Check your dates before you visit so you can catch the best waves. 

The Temple of the Tooth

Reported to hold a tooth that belonged to Gautama Buddha, the Temple of the Tooth is a crucial piece of Sri Lankan history that should not be missed. The temple is located in the city of Kandy, which itself has plenty of charm and appeal to tourists. 

Several wars were fought over the tooth, which has formed part of Sri Lanka’s history. Nowadays, many visitors choose to pay their respects by leaving petals as offerings and lighting candles at the site.

Sri Lanka a hotspot for tourists all over the world

With so much to see and do in Sri Lanka, this island country has become a hotspot for various tourists. Whether you’re interested in sightseeing, surfing, experiencing the culture, or learning about the past, Sri Lanka offers it all.

There are several attractions and outputs that Sri Lanka is known for, and knowing which ones appeal to you the most can help you navigate your way around on your travels.