Add dates

Things to do in
Anuradhapura

Our most recommended things to do in Anuradhapura

Colombo: Colombo Airport (CMB) and Negombo City Transfer

1. Colombo: Colombo Airport (CMB) and Negombo City Transfer

Enjoy a relaxing and comfortable private transfer from Sri Lanka's Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) to your hotel in Negombo. After landing at the airport, head to the arrivals lobby to meet your driver who will be holding a board with your name on it. If you are unable to locate your driver, a support team is on hand 24/7. Your driver will escort you and your luggage in a comfortable and safe vehicle so all you have to do is sit back and relax during the 1-2 hour journey. Rely on your driver's expertise to travel the safest, most traffic-free route possible. Feel free to let your driver know in case you need to stop for refreshments or emergencies.

Sigiriya and Dambulla Private Full-Day Tour

2. Sigiriya and Dambulla Private Full-Day Tour

After pickup from your hotel, travel first to Dhambulla Golden Cave Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Inside the caves, discover a collection of beautifully preserved ancient Buddhist statues and intricate wall paintings. After exploring Dhambulla Golden Cave Temple, the tour proceeds to Sigiriya, also known as the "Lion Rock." Ascend to the top, and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Next, head to a local village to experience the traditional Sri Lankan way of life. Meet the locals, learn about their customs, and witness traditional activities like farming and cooking. Finally, visit the Minnariya National Park, famous for its large population of wild elephants and is known as one of the best places in Sri Lanka for elephant sightings. Embark on a thrilling jeep safari through the park, allowing you to get up close to these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Minneriya: Minneriya National Park Private Safari

3. Minneriya: Minneriya National Park Private Safari

With the grace of majestic giants and pristine tropical dry forest settings, Minneriya National Park is a perfect spot to spend a few hours witnessing one of the most astonishing wildlife spectacles on earth.  Renowned as a prominent stopover for wandering elephants searching for food during the August and September the dry season, Minneriya National Park attracts up to 300 giants from the neighboring national parks. Enjoy the flicker of monkeys swinging through the branches and search the forest for the sight of majestic elephants, leopards, sloth bears, mongooses, spotted deer, sambar deer, wild buffalo, porcupine and Indian pangolins. Do not miss out on this quintessential safari destination in a strikingly beautiful forest.

Sigiriya Dambulla & Minneriya Safari with Pickup/Drop

4. Sigiriya Dambulla & Minneriya Safari with Pickup/Drop

Experience the wonders of Sri Lanka on our captivating day tour that begins with convenient pickups from Colombo, Negombo, and Kalutara areas. Prepare for a day filled with cultural exploration, natural beauty, and culinary delights. Our first stop is the Dambulla Cave Temple, a Unesco6 World Heritage Site renowned for its ancient rock cave complex. Marvel at the intricate cave paintings, Buddha statues, and the serene atmosphere that surrounds this spiritual site. After soaking in the history and artistry of Dambulla, we'll indulge in the sweetness of local fruits, a delightful opportunity to savor the exotic flavors of Sri Lanka. Next, we embark on a journey to the iconic Sigiriya Lion Rock, another Unesco-listed treasure. Ascend this ancient fortress, perched atop a towering rock, and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the lush landscape. Recharge with a scrumptious Sri Lankan meal, an authentic culinary experience that will tantalize your taste buds with flavors unique to the region. Our adventure continues with a thrilling national park safari, either at Kaudulla, Minneriya, or an Eco Park—our choice will be guided by the opportunity to spot the most wildlife on that particular day. Whichever park we choose, prepare for an awe-inspiring wildlife encounter, where you may spot elephants, leopards, and a myriad of bird species. As the day unfolds, you'll be immersed in the natural and cultural wonders of Sri Lanka, making unforgettable memories. We'll conclude the tour by dropping you back to your respective pickup locations, leaving you with a heart full of memories and a deeper appreciation for this enchanting country.

Kandy/Negombo: Sigiriya, Dambulla & Minneriya Private Tour

5. Kandy/Negombo: Sigiriya, Dambulla & Minneriya Private Tour

Experience the ultimate Sri Lankan adventure on a tour of Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Minneriya National Park from Negombo. Travel in a climate-controlled vehicle with a licensed guide while exploring ancient sites and immersing yourself in the country's natural beauty. Your adventure begins with a visit to the iconic Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 5th century A.D. Enjoy stunning views as you hike to the top of the fortress, passing through ancient frescoes and mirror walls along the way. Next, arrive at the Dambulla Cave Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses numerous statues and paintings depicting the life of Lord Buddha and his teachings. Admire the serene beauty of these sacred caves and learn about the ancient religious beliefs and practices of Sri Lanka. The tour culminates at the Minneriya National Park. Enjoy an open-air 4x4 Jeep safari in search of elephants, the park's most intriguing inhabitants. Get up close and personal with these gentle giants and observe the park's other wildlife, including a plethora of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The picturesque landscape of the national park includes a beautiful lake surrounded by jungle, making this stop a wonderful opportunity to relax and unwind amidst the breathtaking nature of Sri Lanka. Fully soak in Sri Lanka's rich cultural heritage, history, and diverse wildlife before the end of your trip.

Minneriya National Park Safari in a 4x4 Vehicle

6. Minneriya National Park Safari in a 4x4 Vehicle

Explore pristine tropical dry forest settings on a guided safari through Minneriya National Park with hotel pickup and drop-off from Habarana included. See wandering elephants, spot swinging monkeys, and enjoy a view of the Minneriya reservoir. Meet your driver at your hotel and head to the Minneriya National Park. Enter the forest, and enjoy the flicker of monkeys swinging through branches. As you drive through the grassland, keep an eye out for the giant elephants who have wandered over in search of food from neighboring national parks. Search the woods for an array of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, sloth bears, mongooses, spotted deer, sambar deer, wild buffalo, porcupines, and Indian pangolins. Stop for a stunning view of the Minneriya reservoir before returning to your hotel.

Colombo: 3-Day Cultural Triangle 5 UNESCO Heritage Site Tour

7. Colombo: 3-Day Cultural Triangle 5 UNESCO Heritage Site Tour

Day 1 Explore the important historical monuments in Sri Lanka on this 3 days tour while visiting ancient Buddhist temples, museums, palaces, gardens, Buddha statues, and many more. Embark on an exciting and very rare 3-day cultural tour of Sri Lanka's holiest, the Cultural Triangle. Explore 5 UNESCO-listed sites where important historical monuments are to be found. Visit cultural triangle cities including Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Kandy. Stay overnight at a hotel in Sigiriya between private-guided sightseeing ventures. Get picked up in Colombo and head to your hotel in Sigiriya via Anuradhapura, the oldest city in Sri Lanka. The first activity of the 3 days tour is the hop-on hop-off city tour of the historical city of Anuradhapura. The tour covers a large number of historical places such as Buddhist temples, dagobas, palaces, gardens, and other remarkable structures in the city testify to the grandeur of ancient civilization. The city tour also includes the most sacred 8 Buddhist sites in the city, better known as "Atamasthana", Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya, Ruwanwelisaya, Thuparamaya, Lovamahapaya, Abhayagiri Dagaba, Jetavanarama, Mirisaveti Stupa, and Lankarama. Later in the day settle in for a good night's sleep at your hotel in Sigiriya. Day 2 After breakfast leave for the Sigiriya rock fortress, home to one of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. Your Sigiriya tour starts early morning, allowing you to escape the mid-day heat. Climb the rock and reach the summit to see the site of the King's palace, swimming pool, and king's throne. Soak up in the breathtaking scenery from the top of the pinnacle. Later drive to Polonnaruwa and see the dozens of ancient temples, Buddha statues, and many ancient structures built by ancient Kings. Witness massive stone-cut Buddha statues, dagobas, an audience hall, and much more at the cultural museum of Polonnaruwa. Later in the day Minneriya safari on an open jeep. Enhance your experience with a wildlife safari at Minneriya National Park. Spot wild elephants, bears, wild boar, deer, buffalo, monkeys, and maybe even a leopard. Stay overnight in Sigiriya. Day 3 Depart early for Colombo via Kandy, visiting a spice/herbal garden en route. In Matale, spices and herbs are used for Sri Lankan cuisine and medicine. Hear about this history as you explore the site with your guide. Later visit Dambulla Golden Temple and Tooth Relic Temple are sure to add another level of sacrosanctity to your experience. Dambulla hosts more than 150 Buddha statues and a large number of ancient murals. The next stop will be Kandy city. Today Kandy is one of Sri Lanka's most important cities because of the presence of the temple of the sacred tooth of the Buddha. This is the most visited Buddhist temple on the island, frequented by thousands of devotees every day. Return to your hotel in Colombo.

Minneriya National Park Jeep Safari

8. Minneriya National Park Jeep Safari

Welcome to our thrilling wildlife tour at Minneriya National Park, where you'll embark on an unforgettable adventure into the heart of Sri Lanka's untamed wilderness. Get ready to witness the mesmerizing spectacle of the annual Minneriya Elephant Gathering, a breathtaking natural phenomenon that brings together hundreds of majestic elephants in one location. As you delve into the park's diverse ecosystem, you'll encounter a plethora of other fascinating wildlife, from elusive leopards and sloth bears to colorful birds and endemic reptiles. Our expert guides will lead you on a safari through the park's verdant landscapes, ensuring you have a safe and enriching experience while witnessing some of the most extraordinary wildlife encounters of your life. Summary of Main Activity: The main activity of this wildlife tour is the safari through Minneriya National Park, primarily focused on observing the awe-inspiring Minneriya Elephant Gathering, where hundreds of elephants gather near the Minneriya Tank during the dry season. This phenomenon provides a unique opportunity to witness these gentle giants up close and study their natural behavior. Tour Highlights: Minneriya Elephant Gathering: Experience the unparalleled wonder of observing a massive congregation of elephants, as they interact, bathe, and forage, creating an awe-inspiring spectacle. Diverse Wildlife: Encounter an array of fascinating creatures, including leopards, sloth bears, sambar deer, spotted deer, and a wide variety of bird species such as painted storks, pelicans, eagles, and kingfishers. Lush Landscapes: Immerse yourself in the scenic beauty of Minneriya National Park, with its lush greenery, picturesque landscapes, and serene water bodies. Expert Guides: Our knowledgeable and experienced guides will provide insights into the wildlife and ecosystem, ensuring you gain a deeper appreciation for the animals and their habitats. Responsible Tourism: We prioritize ethical and sustainable practices, ensuring that our tours have minimal impact on the environment and wildlife. Photography Opportunities: Capture stunning moments of wildlife in their natural habitat, creating lasting memories of your extraordinary adventure. Join us on this extraordinary wildlife tour at Minneriya National Park, and let the magic of nature's wonders unfold before your eyes. Discover the untamed beauty of Sri Lanka's wilderness and create memories that will stay with you forever.

From Habarana or Sigiriya: Minneriya National Park Safari

9. From Habarana or Sigiriya: Minneriya National Park Safari

Venture to Minneriya National Park on this jeep tour from Habarana or Sigiriya. Explore this wildlife sanctuary that is a a dry season feeding ground for the elephant population from the forests of Matale, Polonnaruwa, and Trincomalee.  Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation Habarana or Sigiriya. Sit back and enjoy the countryside on the way to Minneriya National Park. Ride through the park with an animal tracker.  Try to spot elephants along the grass fields on the edges of the Minneriya reservoir. Look for herds up to 150–200 elephants. Drive along looking for endemic monkeys like the purple-faced langur and toque macaque. Let your guide help you to see large herbivorous mammals like sambar and axis deer. Have the chance to look for rare and endangered species like leopards, sloth bears and the slender loris.  Go to the Minneriya reservoir which is an important habitat for large water birds such as the lesser adjutant stork, the painted stork, and the spot-billed pelican. Enjoy birdwatching in an area where flocks of 2000 cormorants have been reported.  Spend time among the tropical trees, plants, vines, and grasslands. Return to your accommodations in Habarana or Sigiriya at the end of your tour. 

Minneriya National Park Safari by a 4x4

10. Minneriya National Park Safari by a 4x4

Explore pristine tropical dry forest settings on a guided safari through Minneriya National Park with hotel pickup and drop-off from Habarana included. See wandering elephants, spot swinging monkeys, and enjoy a view of the Minneriya reservoir. Meet your driver at your hotel and head to the Minneriya National Park. Enter the forest, and enjoy the flicker of monkeys swinging through branches. As you drive through the grassland, keep an eye out for the giant elephants who have wandered over in search of food from neighboring national parks. Search the woods for an array of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, sloth bears, mongooses, spotted deer, sambar deer, wild buffalo, porcupines, and Indian pangolins. Stop for a stunning view of the Minneriya reservoir before returning to your hotel.

All activities

146 activities found
Sort by:

Frequently asked questions about Anuradhapura

What top attractions are a must-see in Anuradhapura?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Anuradhapura?

The best day trips and excursions from Anuradhapura are:

Sigiriya

Other Sightseeing Options in Anuradhapura

Want to discover all there is to do in Anuradhapura? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Anuradhapura

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 26 reviews

Dee gods was a fantastic tour guide. Multi day tours can be difficult but he kept a really good balance between organised and flexible. I like how accommodations and restaurants are not pre booked and planned because it gives the customers ability to choose to their own preference how they want to stay and what they want to eat. We wanted to eat as much authentic local cuisine as possible and he was so attentive to find restaurants with low chance of sickness and washrooms that were hygienic for us to use. He went out of his way to make sure we were comfortable and content and is a really friendly guy. We got to do all the things we wanted to and more - he even took us to Anuradhapura which was interesting. So it was a good mix of the expected and also some cool things we weren’t expecting because the tour was customised and flexible. The driver was also very friendly and safe . I definitely recommend to use this company and Deegoda for anyone visiting Sri Lanka.

For the lazy, it was a great day that is highly recommended. For those who are really interested: A look outside the mainstream showed that Tim is extremely talented. Explanations about the culture and traditions and the history of the country were impeccable and were explained with patience. We also had dinner together on the long journey, he asked if we could make a quick stop at the scrapyard, logically, as a car mechanic I couldn't miss it. 🤣 The country has a lot more to offer than just a few historical sites and beach. So my personal expectations were more than exceeded, Tim did his job perfectly and can be recommended at any time!

Very happy with the tour. The guides were very nice and spoke good english which helped make the experience of the safari and Sigiriya lion rock even better. We did the village tour as well for lunch and that was definitely a cool experience!

Great activity for anyone interested in a little more culture and history. Your was well-organised, it’s worth to take a guide at Sigriya to reallly explain the history of this ancient place. Da bulls is breathtaking.

Very good, driver was excellent, done his best for us, we seen plenty of elephants and baby elephants however were unlucky not to see any leopards not due to the driver though by any means