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Polonnaruwa, Polonnaruwa

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Historic Walking Area Architectural Building
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. Using our online itinerary creator, Polonnaruwa attractions like Polonnaruwa can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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7 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA September, culture, relaxing, historic sites, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 16 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM GERMANY December, culture, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 9 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM PAKISTAN October, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 12 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM LAOS August, culture, historic sites, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 6 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA August, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA August, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA August, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA September, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 25 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM ISRAEL September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA August, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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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.
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  • The historic site is in an enclosed area with the key attractions located relatively close by. It is conserved pretty well and there are a lot of attractions to see. I would recommend this as the best...  more »
  • Too many obnoxious tourists on the site. All we saw were ruins of old buildings, more statues more Buddhist temples and nothing unique that you can't find anywhere else in Sri Lanka. It consists of a ...  more »
  • There were extensive and interesting ruins in Polonnaruwa scattered over a fair distance. From our experience, it is best to visit all of these with a driver, as we did, who will drop you off, tell yo...  more »