Uncover the remnants of an ancient kingdom at Polonnaruwa, a World Heritage Site dating back to the 8th century. Once the royal city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa, the second oldest of Sri Lanka's ancient kingdoms, the city was first declared capital in 1070 by King Vijayabahu. Wind your way around the temple ruins, tombs, and statues stretching over 4 km (2.5 mi) and surrounded by light woodland and echoes of ancient gardens. Bring water and wear footwear suited to uneven terrain. Use our Polonnaruwa trip maker website to add Polonnaruwa and other attractions to your Polonnaruwa vacation plans.
Create an itinerary including Polonnaruwa
map
Polonnaruwa Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
1,588 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Impressive grounds with many ruins of temples. Many remain sacred places of worship with what is bring shoulders and knees covered, without hat and barefoot. Recommendation: easy to remove Sport Sandals (socks for the more sensitive), pants loose up to the knees or pirates and cool t-shirts but that cover the shoulders. I was getting and taking away pareos and was a can, as with the sports. Rent bike but made me eternal with the heat that was. I noticed that there were leads going into the enclosure, but I didn't know how much they charged was interesting but tiring. Bring water and sunscreen! r if it goes through the Museum first, one gets an idea of how they were some temples
    View original
  • The best way to visit the ruins is certainly by bicycle. Time visit of the site: approx. 3h. Entrance fee: 3750LKR ($25) for 1 day only. You buy the ticket at the museum (beside the canal). It is very...  more »
  • Extensive ruins, covering HUGE area. We walked but we saw bicycles which was a good idea. Take it slow and stay hydrated. Amazing ruins and kilometers of old brick lined roads.  more »

Plan your trip to Polonnaruwa

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Polonnaruwa

Famous for its UNESCO-protected and often-visited complex of ruins, Polonnaruwa caters to its visitors with dozens of guesthouses, the majority situated along Batticaloa Road. A number of mid-range and four-star hotels sit on Parakrama Samundra and the shores of Bendiwewa reservoir. Nearby Giritale village, some 7 km (4.3 mi) away, also offers nice alternatives as a rural base. A number of budget-friendly bed & breakfasts can be found near the lake.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Polonnaruwa by other users

6 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA February, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 8 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA March, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, beaches, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, culture, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA October, kids, culture, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, kids, culture, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA October, kids, culture, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, kids, culture, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES June, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDONESIA July, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 35 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM BANGLADESH March, outdoors, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA August, romantic, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM ISRAEL May, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans