Solo TravelIn Anuradhapura

The ancient city of Anuradhapura is steeped in rich history and filled with ancient ruins that are waiting to be explored! From rundown monasteries that seem to hold secrets they’ll never reveal to massive stupas that have stood the test of time, Anuradhapura has all the right sights for you.


Established sometime in the 4th century BC, the Kingdom of Anuradhapura was the leader of a new and powerful era in Sri Lanka. It led the way in terms of agricultural innovation, religious architecture, and politics. Before its eventual fall, Anuradhapura had accumulated riches in the form of astounding structures that, during their time, challenged those around the world. Its irrigation system was so complex, it rivalled its contemporaries with its efficiency and reliability.

Here are some spots you should visit:

  • Kala Wewa
  • Mahasen Palace
  • Biso Maligawa (Queen’s Palace)

Anuradhapura Archeological Museum

The Anuradhapura Archeological Museum was established in 1947. A lot of the artefacts displayed here came from the excavation of the Kantaka Chetiya dagoba, and some among them date back to the 5th century BC. It contains a compendium of antiquated memorabilia from Sinhalese civilization prior to foreign invasion, telling the stories of a distant past. Among the exhibits are limestone portraits of Lord Buddha, priceless coins and jewellery, and a stunning model of the Thuparama temple vatadage.

The museum is open from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm and photography is strictly banned within museum premises.

The Sacred City

The city of Anuradhapura was the stronghold of ancient Sinhala-Buddhist civilization in the early days of the region. The once-strong city remained derelict for centuries post-abandonment. Once it was re-discovered, years of excavation and restoration efforts have provided the closest thing to an expansive look into Sri Lanka’s ancient Buddhist history. This includes the Sacred City itself.

Sites within the city that shouldn’t be missed:

  • Sri Maha Bodhi Tree
  • Lovamahapaya (Brazen Palace)
  • Ruwanweliseya
  • Thuparamaya
  • Jetavanaramaya

❂ Useful Tips:

  • A rented bicycle is one of the best ways to travel to the ancient sites around the city.
  • The region can get very dry and hot, so it is best to carry a bottle of water and wear a hat.
  • Remember that you will need to cover your shoulders and legs to enter temples and religious sites.

More Itineraries for Solo Travellers