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Central Province

Trip Planner Asia  /  Sri Lanka  /  Central Province
(30,000+ reviews from top 30 attractions)
Sightseeing Nature Historic Sites
At the heart of Sri Lanka, Central Province encompasses a mountainous region dotted with tea plantations and colonial-era hill stations. Most of the area's mountain ranges and cloud forests feature on the World Heritage List and play an important role in the success story of Central Province tourism. While some visitors come here to admire the views of pristine mountain slopes covered in lush vegetation, others plan their trips around cultural and historic sites located in and around Kandy, the provincial capital that contains most of the area's top attractions. With so much rural and urban appeal, a Central Province vacation can be both outdoorsy and culturally rewarding. Take a peek at our international travel planner: Central Province and its charms laid bare and easily scheduled.
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Plan in the cities

Visit top cities in Central Province:
Sightseeing, nature, nightlife
Visit for: 4 daysStart a plan »
Historic sites, sightseeing, museums
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Nature, wildlife areas, parks
Visit for: 3 daysStart a plan »
Nature, historic sites, parks
Visit for: 2 daysStart a plan »
Parks, historic sites
Visit for: 2 daysStart a plan »

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Recently planned trips to Central Province

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Central Province Holiday Planning Guide

At the heart of Sri Lanka, Central Province encompasses a mountainous region dotted with tea plantations and colonial-era hill stations. Most of the area's mountain ranges and cloud forests feature on the World Heritage List and play an important role in the success story of Central Province tourism. While some visitors come here to admire the views of pristine mountain slopes covered in lush vegetation, others plan their trips around cultural and historic sites located in and around Kandy, the provincial capital that contains most of the area's top attractions. With so much rural and urban appeal, a Central Province vacation can be both outdoorsy and culturally rewarding.

Places to Visit in Central Province

Destinations in Central Province

Kandy: One of the most historically important cities in Sri Lanka, Kandy is a favorite among tourists thanks to its World Heritage Site designation and the surrounding landscape.

Sigiriya: Discover the local culture and art at World Heritage-listed Sigiriya, containing the ruins of an ancient empire.

Nuwara Eliya: Including Nuwara Eliya on a Central Province itinerary allows you to enjoy fresh air and interesting colonial architecture.

Dambulla: A fusion of modern and traditional, Dambulla invites visitors to see and experience both its nature and numerous cultural attractions.

Peradeniya: When you visit Peradeniya during your Central Province trip, you'll be able to admire its world-famous botanical gardens, drawing more than 2 million annual visitors.

Popular Central Province Tourist Attractions

Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa): World Heritage-listed Temple of the Tooth contains one of Buddhism's most important relics, the tooth of the Buddha.

Kandy Lake: Created for the last king of Kandy, the lake serves as a popular relaxation and recreation spot.

The Golden Temple: This World Heritage Site boasts a total of 157 statues, mainly depicting the Buddha.

Sigiriya World Heritage Site: This complex includes the remains of an ancient city and the ruins of Sri Lanka's oldest palace.

Royal Botanical Gardens: The country's largest garden showcases a large variety of flowers, trees, and numerous other plant species from around the world.

Kandyan Dance Performance: A visit to Kandyan Dance Performance helps visitors gain a better understanding of the country's cultural rituals and traditional clothing.

World's End: Incorporate some mountain hiking on your Central Province itinerary and see World's End, offering arguably the best views in the entire country.

Golden Cave Temple: A World Heritage Site and a major place of pilgrimage, this temple features over a hundred statues of the Buddha.

Gregory Lake: The area surrounding the lake provides plenty of outdoor activities, from horseback riding to hiking.

Dining and Shopping on Holiday in Central Province

Cuisine of Central Province

For most foodies, a truly memorable Central Province vacation must include a sampling of some of the country's curries. Among a range of curry dishes you can try, perhaps the most famous one is chicken curry, prepared with a variety of spices, including cinnamon.

Other common specialties often include prawns, goat and pig meat, and pickled fruit and vegetables, combined to make delicious regional meals.

Shopping in Central Province

If you're looking for Western-style shopping malls to visit during your Central Province holiday, you may be disappointed with the selection. But, if you want to purchase handicrafts and learn about the local culture in the process, you'll find an abundance of street markets to satisfy your curiosity.

Don't miss Lanka Silks if you want to pick up a special gift for a fashionista you love, or a souvenir that'll remind you of your trip every time you touch or wear it.

Know Before You Go on a Trip to Central Province

Interesting Facts About Central Province

* The province contains several World Heritage Sites--that's a claim many larger countries cannot add to their name

* The highest mountains in Sri Lanka are in this region, so it's a good idea to spend some of your Central Province vacation hiking or climbing

Holidays & Festivals in Central Province

If you're looking for a must-visit festival for your Central Province trip, look no further than Kandy's Esala Perahera. Held in July or August, the festival includes a procession during which the sacred tooth of the Buddha (otherwise stored at a local temple) is paraded and celebrated around town.

Sri Lankans celebrate New Year in April--the event symbolizes a new beginning, and to mark it, many locals clean out their homes of accumulated clutter and enjoy a festive street atmosphere, with lots of music and good food.

May is reserved for Buddha's Day, when the locals pay homage to the Enlightened One and try to bring happiness to the less fortunate citizens, like the elderly and the sick.

Useful Central Province Travel Tips

Climate of Central Province

Central Province is situated in a high altitude region, so its climate is often chilly and rainy. The temperatures may differ slightly from town to town, but generally hover between 16 C and 24 C (60-75 F).

Plan your Central Province holiday with this in mind--April and September may offer the best weather nationwide. Visiting at that time ensures you miss the monsoons, and take advantage of shoulder-season prices.

Transportation in Central Province

This region offers well-planned bus routes, but you can also rent a car or call a taxi if you want to enjoy greater flexibility and freedom of movement during your Central Province tour.