17 Sep 2020

Cities by the sea in Sri Lanka – Our favourite spots for combining culture with coast

Nestled in the midst of the mighty Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is blessed with a number of cities that are tucked right on the edge of its coastline. These cities are no less than a dream where the rich legacy of the country shines brighter than diamond! Cradling the splendour of Sri Lankan culture and the exquisiteness of the coastline, this is where one finds the best of both the worlds!

Here one can wave at the past, touch the withered structures, and eye the grandeur of the bygone era while the waves splash on the rocks in the background and the coastal winds toss their hair.


A city that tenderly seizes in its arms a soulful sunset, shows the eternal charm of Dutch architectural style, and firmly embraces UNESCO's World Heritage site badge, Galle is Sri Lanka's most valuable possession. Snuggled next to the sea, the city is blessed with air that works as a refreshment pill for all and when it comes to seafood, Galle is second to none.


A port city where the beach is in reach, Trincomalee is indeed a mesmeric beauty! Embracing the distinguished antiquity of Sri Lanka, the aureate Shiva idol here shines brighter than the sun. Dotted with an array of kaleidoscopic boats lined at the seashore, a gleaming past, an intriguing mix of cultures and a gorgeous beachfront, Trincomalee is breath-taking.

Arugam bay

Fabulous Arugam Bay is a ring-shaped curl of smooth sand and is an adobe to Sri Lanka’s finest surf spot! It is a petite town, with a close-knit community and everything is clustered along a single street paralleling the shore. For someone who is a sun-seeker and wants to explore the excellent past of Sri Lanka while the beach-winds toss their hair, Arugam bay is the place.


Negombo is one of Sri Lanka's most prominent coastline cities with a big stretch of white sand beach, large and fancy accommodations, and convenient proximity to Colombo. Along with the moist beach-air, the freshness from the lagoons and the olive-greens all around, Negombo has a fascinating mix of Sri Lankan cultures: a colonial time canal and collapsing fort; a vibrant fish market and local fishing communities that go way back in time.


A magnificent coastline, an endearing wildlife, along with the astonishing facts and narratives of the ancient Ceylon city and the raw spiciness of cinnamon, Hikkaduwa is where one gets to see the faultless blend of culture and coast in Sri Lanka.


Tucked calmly next to the shore, Tangalle is a winsome coast-side town painted in all colours sombre and earthy. It is the entrance to south-east Sri Lanka's beautiful scenery and shows a way to open beaches, that makes it difficult to say which one is better! Conversing with the stilt fishermen here, embracing the decaying structures and eavesdropping locals' conversation on olden days is what makes this town really special.


Located on the edge of Indian Ocean, Passikudah is known for its sparkling waters, hot tropic sun, and the many sea-shore activities like boogie boarding to surfing and sailing across in a canoe. Dotted with coconut palms and palmyrah trees, Passikudah is a charmer. Apart from the beach, Passikudah also has a number of historically and religiously important attractions, like the Temple of Mari Amman which is about seven centuries old and Batticaloa Dutch Fort.


Known as the northern capital, Jaffna has a way of its own, it is gorgeously different from the rest of the realm. Vibrant Hindu temples dot the region and the culture is varied from the Sinhalese and Buddhist culture of the south. The beach here is the perfect escape from all the cultural magnificence one gets surrounded by. The shallow sea, grainy sand and the timeless beauty of a palm tree shade, Jaffna has it all.


A place where dolphins and whales wave hello, Kalpitiya is mystic. Adorned with water sports, the perfect weather, great sandy beaches, and a sky that steals the show, this coastline town is beyond beautiful. Apart from the gorgeous beach, the town has gems left from the colonial era which are worth every glance. The Dutch Fort is one nobody should miss!


Embracing a legacy of opulence and grand architecture, the city of Colombo has all the charms to take one's breath away. From illustrious architecture left by Geoffrey Bawa and a bunch of gleaming hotels along with an array of classy office blocks and red-tiled colonial-era buildings to the exhilarating seaside activities, the capital serves it all faultlessly.

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