Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka and also the largest city of the peninsula. Colombo has a mix of the old and the new by way of old colonial buildings as well as sky scrapers. Colombo is hilly in the northern and southern parts, has marshes in the south eastern and eastern parts and has the Kelani river bordering the north eastern and northern boundaries. The Colombo port was used by the Arabs, Romans and Chinese traders in the past. The city of Colombo has various colonial structures like the Parliament, the Colombo Museum and the Queens House. One of the major attractions of the city is the Hindu Vel festival. The festival involves peacock dancers and musicians who come out on the streets and enjoy themselves.
Anuradhapura the ancient city is surrounded by monasteries. Historically, Anuradhapura is also significant in Hindu legend as the capital of the King Ravana in the Ramayana. It is famous for its well-preserved ruins of the thousand plus years of Lankan history and civilization. Anuradhapura has several monuments of historical importance - the dagobas, the temple of the Bodhi tree as well as the remains from palaces, temples etc. The Bodhi tree here was grown from a cutting of the original tree under which Buddha found enlightenment more than 2500 years ago. There are various temples and ancient structures to see here. Some of them are Ruwanveli Seya, The Mirisavati Dagoba and the Thuparama Temple. There are large lakes and other water reservoirs here where travellers can go for a walk. Cycling and hiking are also popular in Anuradhapura.
Polonnaruwa is a city in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I in the 11th century AD and maintained its status until the 13th century. In 1982 the ancient city of Polonnaruwa was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. What's nice about Polonnaruwa is that the ruins are in one compact area so you can visit them quite easily. Just one three wheeler ride from where you're staying to the entrance and you can walk about them all day long.
Kandy is located at the center of Sri Lanka and is generally recognized as the island nation's cultural capital. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Kandy was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. Since the Kandyan kingdom came under the British only around 1815, the city still retains the living traditions of its sovereign kingdom era. Kandyans are usually proud of their heritage and most Kandyans subscribe to Buddhist values. Kandy is home to The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most venerable places for the Buddhist community of Sri Lanka and all around the world.
Nuwara Eliya is a city in the Hill Country of Sri Lanka. Its temperate climate gives the city a very different feel from other parts of the country and, along with the colonial architecture, has earned it the name 'Little England'. Haggala Botanical Gardens & Pedro Tea Factory offers fascinating tours. In the hills nearby there are paths through the tea plantations to wander along. Hortons Plains National Park and World's End Offer fascinating walks though this temperate mountain environment. Within the town itself there are a number of interesting sights. The Post Office is a very unusual building - a remnant of the colonial era. Victoria Park nearby is a pleasant place to spend an hour or so, with an astonishing variety of plants, ranging from tropical rain forest to English country garden. The mountains in the central province of Sri Lanka and near to Nuwara Eliya are adorned with many picturesque waterfalls including Dunhinda Falls, Diyaluma Falls, Baker's Falls, St. Claire's Falls, Ravana Ella, Bambarakanda Ella, Abe.