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Places to visit in Matara
Written by Nigilesh on June 16, 2023 Share on

Best Places to Visit in Matara Sri Lanka in 2024

This is a very busy commercial town with full of activities. It is situated at. a distance of 160 km from the capital city Colombo. The high rise buildings that you can see there are some leading multinational companies. They don’t seem like a tourist place at all. However, it doesn’t mean that there is no point in visiting this place. It has a fair bit of things close to nature as well that one can get some taste of when they are travelling to Matara. The list starts from beaches to Islands and few temples as well. Tryout a Sri Lanka tour packages with us!

The beaches around this place are just stunning and most of them are very pristine as this doesn’t attract too many people as the other places of Sri Lanka does. here we take a look at the best tourist places to visit in Matara, Sri Lanka.

7 Best Tourist Places To Visit In Matara

1. Star Fort

The star fort
Source: Google Images

The name implies the shape in which the monument has been built. This was built by the Dutch people to prevent an attack from external enemies, as it was the peak of Colonialism. The fort has a point in all direction and therefore having 6 points, each point guarded with two large canons.

There is a well in the centre of the fort, that offered water within the territories. Apart from that, there are 2 prisons in the fort premises making it one of the best places to visit in Matara, Sri Lanka. Once this place was occupied by English people, they transformed this to perform administrative work. This place will surely remind you of the peak of the colonial time.

Also Read: Top Places To Visit In Nilaveli During Your Sri Lanka Vacation

2. Old Dutch Trade Center (Nupe Market)

Now considered as a market was once a trade centre for the Dutch people. This place is in the shape of the English alphabet ‘T’. it is located on the western part of the town, back in the time the market was bloomed with various trade activities. The town is composed of high and imposing roofs.

The structure is held in place by the wooden beams and columns, while the welcoming is done by the majestic entrance. The roof is full of clay tiles and it is locally called as Peti Ulu.

3. Weherahena Temple

Weherahena Temple
Source: Google Images

The next one is a temple that is built on the eastern part of the town of Matara. The temple comprises of man-made caves, like most other caves in Sri Lanka this again depicts the life and reaching of Lord Buddha. There is a Buddha statue, which stands 25 metres tall. The pathway that leads to this place itself is so colourful such that it feels like a different experience on its own.

The temple has strict rules for photography, even though it is a picturesque spot. Every year in the second part of November or at the beginning of December, a festival happens here. You get to see trained dancers and some elephants performing during the festival making a reason enough to make it one of the best places to visit in Matara.

Also Read: Top Places To Visit In Gampaha During Your Sri Lanka Vacation

4. Polhena Beach

The Polhena beach is one of the best beaches near Matara. Though it is just 2 km away from the city centre of Matara, it is not very touristy for some reason. But the place is an absolute treasure that needs to be brought into the light. The offshore coral reefs can be seen at a particular time of the year. The water is more towards the calmer side encouraging the swimmers.

Locals consider this place like a weekend getaway, for all other tourists this place is a honeymoon destination due to its romantically appealing atmosphere.


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5. Crow Island

crow island
Source: Google Images

This Island is located right across the Polhena beach, and that is where the Nilwala Ganga River merges with the Indian Ocean. This place is full of Mangrove forestation. The place where people would want to spend time when they are here is the Crow Island beach park. It is a theme park with some serious rides and plays areas. Though the water around this Island is clean and good enough for water sports and swimming, People are not encouraged to do that because of the fact that the Island is choppy.

But then you can spend that time on trying out the local seafood. In the evenings, you can take a peaceful stroll along the coast and end your day with some delicious dinner along the shore with the cool breeze. Perfect!

6. Dondra Head Lighthouse

Dondra is a place that is situated on the southernmost tip of Sri Lanka. And can there be a better place to build a lighthouse than this? Since it is on the edge of the Island, gives the ships some better visibility. It towers at a height of 160 feet. And it is the tallest lighthouse in the whole of Sri Lanka. The structure is monolithic and whitewashed from all directions. The concept was done by Sir James Nicholas Douglass.

The stones used to construct the structure were imported from Cornwall and Scotland. The tower is built in an octagonal shape with a spiral staircase in the hollow centre. Panoramic views of the Indian Ocean can be seen from the topmost floor making it one of the best places to visit in Matara, Sri Lanka.

Also Read: Top Places To Visit In Koggala During Your Sri Lanka Vacation

7. Matara Paravi Duwa Temple

Matara Paravi Duwa temple, matara buddhist temple
Source: Google Images

This is the second temple in the list and it sure must be included. It is located on a very small island. Like the previous one on the list, this is also a Buddhist temple. This is surrounded by ocean and an ideal place for the Buddhist monks who come here seeking the soul. Silence should be maintained inside the temple, as even the sounds of the waves thrashing the rocks feels like meditation to the ears.

This is one of the smallest places that you can visit in Sri Lanka. Even then it has the capability to blow people’s mind with the range of activities and places to visit. Wait no more. Get your next Sri Lanka honeymoon packages customized according to your needs with the help of a destination expert form Pickyourtrail. Want to know more about the destination? Check out our Guides page. We help travellers with tailor-made itineraries for all their dream destinations.

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