Frequently Asked Questions About Northern Sri Lanka

Northern Sri Lanka is a beautiful destination with plenty to offer travelers looking for cultural, historical and outdoor experiences. From ancient ruins and temples to stunning landscapes and wildlife reserves, this region of the country has something for everyone. Whether you want to explore Jaffna Town’s bustling markets or take a day trip to Delft Island, Northern Sri Lanka promises an unforgettable vacation experience. With its diverse attractions, exquisite cuisine and friendly locals, there’s no better place to visit in the country than the north!

The best time to visit Northern Sri Lanka is during the months of October and November when temperatures are mild and rainfall is low. This allows for more outdoor activities such as sightseeing, trekking and wildlife watching. During this period, the days are typically sunny with cooler nights, making it an ideal time for exploring the region. However, temperatures can still reach up to 30°C (86°F) so visitors should be prepared with sunscreen and light clothing. The shoulder season between May and June also offers pleasant weather conditions with minimal rain but slightly higher temperatures than in the peak season.

The best things to do in Northern Sri Lanka are:

1. Visit the cultural triangle - Home to some of Sri Lanka's most significant archaeological sites and monuments, including Anuradhapura, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa.

2. Explore the beaches of Trincomalee - The stunning beaches of Nilaveli and Uppuveli offer a perfect spot for swimming, snorkeling and diving.

3. Experience Wilpattu National Park – One of the oldest and largest parks in the country, home to an array of wildlife such as elephants, leopards, sloth bears and rare birds.

4. Trekking in Jaffna – Enjoy beautiful views from walking trails in the north of the country.

5. Visit Delft Island – Take a day trip to this remote island, where you can explore its colonial fort and observe wild ponies grazing on the beaches.

6. Shopping in Jaffna Town – From local handicrafts to delicious street food, there is plenty to discover amid the bustling streets of Jaffna's markets.

7. Cycling around Mannar - Explore the historic sites, temples and villages that make up Mannar district by bike.

8. Turtle watching at Nilaveli Beach - Witness wildlife in its natural habitat as sea turtles come ashore during certain months of the year to lay their eggs on Nilaveli Beach.

9. Take a day trip to Mannar Island - Visit the Museum of Mannar, explore ancient Dutch and Portuguese forts or simply relax on the beach.

10. Enjoy Yala National Park - Spot leopards, sloth bears and more in this expansive wildlife reserve.

11. Sample local cuisine – Experience some of Sri Lanka's classic dishes such as fish ambul thiyal (sour fish curry) and kottu roti (chopped flatbread).

12. Visit Wilpattu National Park – Explore one of the oldest and largest national parks in Sri Lanka, home to an array of wildlife including elephants, leopards and rare birds.

The best places to visit in Northern Sri Lanka include:

1. Anuradhapura – Known for its ancient sites and monuments, this city is home to the iconic Ruwanwelisaya stupa and the Brazen Palace.

2. Sigiriya – Climb to the top of Lion Rock, an ancient palace built atop a giant monolith.

3. Polonnaruwa – Explore this ruined city, renowned for its well-preserved ruins of palaces, temples and other structures from the medieval period.

4. Trincomalee – A coastal city renowned for its crystal clear waters and wide variety of beaches.

5. Jaffna Town – Experience the vibrant atmosphere of this northern city, with its bustling markets and traditional Hindu temples.

6. Mannar – A small coastal town with a number of historic sites, including the ancient Mannar Fort and Velgam Vehera Stupa.

7. Yala National Park – Spot elephants, leopards and other wildlife in this expansive reserve.

8. Nilaveli Beach – Relax on the white sandy beach or take part in some activities such as turtle watching or snorkeling.

9. Delft Island – Take a day trip to this remote island to explore its colonial forts and observe wild ponies grazing on the beaches.

10. Wilpattu National Park – One of the largest parks in the country, home to an array of wildlife including elephants, leopards and rare birds.