Attractions of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka – what to see in 1 day

Nuwara Eliya is a British colony in Sri Lanka, it was founded by the British 200 km from Colombo. The area of the central part of the island belongs to tea plantations, known all over the world and supplying tea to many countries.

The sights of Nuwara Eliya are natural beauties, beautiful observation decks and parks. With the usual museums, temples and monuments, it is different here: they simply did not have time to “accumulate” for a short history since the 19th century. Of course, there are colonial-style buildings and several modern temples in the city, but they do not carry great historical significance.

Experienced tourists will agree that admiring the beautiful nature and unique reserves is also wonderful, it is a great rest and relaxation. Nuwara Eliya is just such a place. This is a special place with many waterfalls, botanical gardens and parks, and it is better to travel to them and around them on horses, bicycles or jeeps. Local travel agencies organize excursions, and it’s also a convenient way to experience central Sri Lanka.

Tea plantations are the hallmark of the country, and during your trip visit one for sure, bring home as a gift several varieties of good tea.

Nuwara Eliya Post Office

The post office building of 2 floors was built of red brick in 1894, like many buildings in the city, by the British. The so-called Tudor style is highlighted by a turret with a spire and a clock. Undoubtedly, this is the most recognizable building in the city center, it looks like a toy pretty house. Traditionally, tourists take pictures near it or inside, buy a postcard and immediately send it home to their relatives.

There are several small halls at the post office, there are few historical exhibits from the 19th century. It is the oldest post office in Sri Lanka. Tourists throw letters and postcards home in a large wooden box, as citizens did in the 19th century. When visiting the post office, it seems that the time machine has taken it to the past, and everything in it is cozy and homely. The locals speak Sri Lankan and English, but if you do not speak either of them, they will try to help you in any case: they will sell the most beautiful postcard, stamp and send it to the address. Nuwara Eliya and Sri Lanka is a beautiful and welcoming place.

How to get there: the building is located opposite the central bus station

Victoria Park

Victoria Park is one of many in Nuwara Eliya, it is small but very nice. For a modest city, it is very well cared for, and sometimes even megacities cannot boast of such natural beauty. It has many natural and architectural attractions. The park was founded by the British at the end of the 19th century and named after their Queen Victoria, in 1897 was the 60th anniversary of the coronation. The park area was laid not as a place of entertainment, but as part of a botanical garden for the acclimatization of plants from England. Today it is a huge park of 27 hectares, and plants from other countries are found in it. This is made possible because of the good location in temperate climates, although these are the tropics.

There are several areas in Victoria Park, and all of them are open for inspection: a flower garden, a water cascade next to the pool, a French-style rose garden, green lawns and a children’s playground. Exotic trees and shrubs are planted throughout the territory.

A walk through the park is very similar to being in the wild: it is crossed by the Nanu Oya River, and with the help of designers, it is turned into a water cascade. There are a lot of roses in the park, it is an important flower for Buddhists, a symbol of knowledge, path and law.

Ornithologists observe rare species of birds here during the migration from the Himalayas to the Pacific Ocean.

How to get there: city center, entrance from the south side from Uda Pussellawa street



Lake Gregory

The beautiful water surface of Lake Gregory, artificially created during the time of the colony, is located outside the city. The area around it is clean and well maintained, and so it has been from the very beginning of its founding during the tenure of Governor Sir Gregory William in the 1930s.

Nowadays it is a beautiful place where people come for a walk on bicycles, boats, a family picnic or just relaxing on the shore.

Please note that the entrance to the coast is paid, there are several entrances, and the price per ticket may vary slightly. The reason for this phenomenon is difficult to find, but in any case, the funds collected go to maintain cleanliness and order at the lake.

Lake Gregory is often called a reservoir, it is located in the heart of Sri Lanka. Until the moment when it was created, in this area there were swamps at the foot of the hills on the border with the city. At the end of the 19th century, the stream originating from the mountains was artificially blocked so that the land dried up, and urban buildings would be located on it. A little later, trout were settled in the pond.

In 1913, the waters of the lake began to be used for the benefit of the city: they were allowed through a tunnel on the blades of the hydroelectric power plant, and to this day it supplies energy to Nuwara Eliya.

Lake Gregory has always been beautiful and calm, and in the days of the British, water sports were practiced on its surface.

Hakgala Botanical Garden

This is one of the largest botanical gardens in Sri Lanka, located at the foot of the eponymous Mount Haqgala. It is a unique combination of landscape with bizarre architectural elements.

From Nuwara Eliya, the park can be reached in 15 minutes by car or local transport.

The Botanical Garden was established in 1860 for the experimental cultivation of trees for quinine production, and now it is a huge park with amazing plants, the names of which many have not heard.

At the entrance to the garden there is a map of the territory with marked plant species and the direction of movement. Landscape designers have so skillfully placed flowers and plants in flower beds that the eyes “run away” from the abundance of shapes and colors:

  • At the very beginning, along the path with mimosas, tourists get to the top of the slope through the “forest”. There is a thematic planting of medicinal plants, in which there is a well-known aloe.
  • Further along the route is a stone garden of 70 m, everything is covered with moss and it seems that the stones are randomly scattered. In the depressions between them flows water, and lilies and lotuses live in it. It’s very beautiful! Even daisies and cacti grow along the “banks” of the stream, but it looks nevertheless harmonious.
  • Two ponds in the garden are a great place for romantic encounters. One of them has the shape of a heart.
  • Through the rainforest you can climb to the Japanese garden, walk along a small picturesque bridge at the entrance. It is quiet and calm in Japanese, streams flowing surrounded by ferns.
  • The zone with huge ficus and cryptomeria is like a fairy-tale forest with shadows, they are formed by tree trunks and roots inclined to the ground.
  • Pine forest from America and Australia looks exotic in Sri Lanka.

Hakgala Garden is an amazing place in Nuwara Eliya, a living open-air encyclopedia.

How to get there: Peradeniya-Badulla-Chenkaladi Hwy, Hakgala, Sri Lanka

Водопад Hakgala Ella Falls

The waterfall is a mountain phenomenon, and in Nuwara Eliya, in the central part of Sri Lanka, you can find a huge number of natural beauties. The rivers of Mount Hakgala became the source for a very beautiful waterfall named after the mountain. It is located near the Botanical Garden, and can be a great addition to a walk among exotic plants.

Sita Amman Temple

A small bright temple is a historical place, the only one in the world built in honor of the goddess Sita. It is located on the way from Nuwara Eliya to Ella. Legend has it that in these places Ravana held the goddess Sita, she was found (monkey god Hanuman) released and handed over the wedding ring. A small river departs from the temple, and in it, according to legend, Sita took ablutions.

All the gods, goddesses and kings from the legend are very important and especially revered in Sri Lanka, so several places in the district fought for the sacred place for some time.

The temple itself is small, but it is impossible not to notice it on the way: its bright gabled roof immediately attracts attention. The interior decoration is very modest and dull, it is difficult to pass to the altars. The small courtyard around the sanctuary does not accommodate many visitors, there is a tree growing there, and it is all entwined with colorful ribbons. Just below the temple flows the river Sita River, and on the bank you can see traces. It is said that they were abandoned by the God Hanuman when Sita was saved.

According to local traditions, the goddess Cité, as an intercessor, is prayed by women. Entering the temple, you need to undress, there are no other requirements.

Mount Pidurutalagala

Mount Pidurutalagala is the highest on the island and a famous tourist attraction. For ease of pronunciation, it is called “Pedro”, and the top is a wonderful observation deck. There are no climbers here, Pedro is not used for professional climbing. Getting to its surroundings is not difficult, it is only 2 km from Nuwara Eliya, the height above sea level is more than 2500 m.

The mountain is high, beautiful, but tourists cannot climb it, and it is strictly guarded by the military. The reason is simple: at the top is the main TV broadcaster for the whole country, and the zone is declared an officially secret object.

But at the foot of Pedro grows so many reeds that the locals make mats from it, and the second name of the mountain is “mat”.

In order to admire Mount Pidurutalagalala at least from the side, tourists can climb the neighboring Adam’s Peak, it is slightly smaller, but the path to it is open, and all the surroundings are perfectly inspected.

Single Tree Hill

There are a few high peaks in Sri Lanka, but not all can be climbed.

The mountain of the Lonely Tree with a height of 2100 m is the tenth peak of the island, and to reach the top, you need to overcome only 200 m along it, the city of Nuwara Eliya is located at its foot. The ascent itself is not difficult, the road is with a good unpaved surface. Along the way, you can admire a Buddhist temple and views of tea plantations. Being in tropical climates, remember that having a hat or umbrella from the sun is a must.

As on other peaks in Sri Lanka, on the mountain of a lonely tree there are TV towers, and part of the species is blocked by them and trees. A little advice from experienced travelers: if you do not walk to the top of 200 m and turn off the trail, then on the other side of the hill begins another beautiful route to the city. It runs through national villages and tea fields, and at a leisurely pace you can walk there all day.

Lover’s Leap Falls

One of the most beautiful waterfalls in central Sri Lanka. From Nuwara Eliya, they get to him by local bus or rented car.

By the way, experienced tourists stop in the mountains for the night in tents, using rail transport to the point, this is also an interesting experience.

The way to the waterfall “Jump of Lovers” lies through the forest and tea plantations, past Buddhist temples.

The waterfall is powerful and high, more than 30 m, and a beautiful legend is told about it. A long time ago, even before the formation of the English colony here, the prince of the kingdom of Kandy fell in love with a poor girl, to which he had no right, and first of all religious. The entire royal family tried to stop him from taking the wrong step, but the couple loved each other so much that they committed suicide from Mount Pidurutalagala. A waterfall is now raging at this place. It is surrounded by forests and beautiful tea plantations, and it is quite difficult to get close to it. Depending on the time of year and temperature, you can swim in the waters, but above all tourists come to admire its beauty. From here, from a high point, you can see the city and tea plantations, you can hear the chants of monks in the nearest temples.

Водопад Galwala Ella Falls

The waterfall with a height of 23 m refers to those that “wake up” only in the rainy season. It originates on the western slope of the Pidurutalagala Range. In its stream, it is divided into 3 streams, and they all flow together along a modest in size granite slope. Many years ago, people came here to swim, but then a dam was built on top, and the flow is no longer so strong. Laid pipes supply the cities with water.

Galwala Ella Waterfall is not as popular as Lover’s Leap, but they are still nearby, and you can visit both in one trip. In the area of Nuwara Eliya there are a lot of waterfalls, all of them are beautiful and are an ideal place for walks and photo shoots. The rainy season in Sri Lanka is quite warm, excess moisture in the air should not be afraid, but the Galwala Ella waterfall is becoming more plentiful and attractive.

Bomburuella Waterfalls

One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Nuwara Eliya, and so say not only tourists, but also locals. It also has a second name Parawella, you need to know this in case of finding a way to the waterfall It is formed by the falling water of the Uma Oya River, from nearby towns you can get here in half an hour, but then overcome on foot about 3 km. The best time to visit the waterfall is December-May.

Bombarduru is a cascade of 10 small waterfalls that start high in the mountains covered with dense forest. This is the territory of the reserve, and at an altitude of 1500 m above sea level, the waterfall is fed by the Uma River and its tributary the Duugala. The total height of Bomburu is 30 m and the water, descending from such a height, made a depression at the place of fall: it turned out to be a small pool for swimming. The surroundings are very well suited for relaxing with tents, it is not terrible to stay overnight, it is allowed to build a fire.

Водопад Windy Corner Falls

It is located outside the urban area of Nuwara Eliya and is fed by one mountain river. The names of the waterfalls were given by the British, and it is likely that at the time when they developed the territory and cared for it, the area was not popular enough because of the emerging winds, although this phenomenon in Sri Lanka is very rare. Nowadays, the waterfall is one of the most beautiful in the Ella area, a hotel with good infrastructure, a cafe and a comfortable veranda was built nearby. All the natural beauty can be enjoyed from the room.

Водопад Glassaugh Falls

A cascading waterfall 20 km from Nuwara Eliya, in the immediate vicinity of Nanu Oya, and in one day you can include both of these places in a walk.

Beautiful quiet place for family holidays and lunch, but coming there in the rainy season be careful, it can be slippery.

A cascading waterfall usually has several levels, and each has its own approach. The landmark of Glassaugh Falls is the railway, but when crossing it be careful, it is still used. The upper part of the waterfall lies near the tea plantation, it is not forbidden to walk there, but there is no official route.

Водопад Nanu oya Water Falls, Nanu Oya

The waterfall originates in the Pidurutalagala Mountains, at an altitude of more than 2000 m. The source is a whole system of rivers, and the longest, more than 350 km, were discovered by the British in the 19th century. The Kotmale River was the beginning not only of many waterfalls, but also of the famous Gregory Lake in Sri Lanka.

The name of the waterfall comes from the name of the small river Nanu Oya, whose waters form this beautiful place.

Pedro Tea Factory

In this famous tea factory, you will see with your own eyes how tea is produced, which you drink during your holiday in Nuwara Eliya. Production was opened in 1885, and in the shops you can still see equipment from the 19th century.

It is best to come here with a tour, otherwise an individual walk can be prohibited on plantations, and it is more useful to get comments on the process in production.

Pedro’s factory produces a light variety of tea, it is collected and processed only in the cool season, that is, at night in the high season and mainly in the non-hot season.

Excursions are held every half hour, inside the shops they are not allowed to take pictures, but tourists from the group after the story can walk around part of the plantation, taste tea and, if desired, buy it in the store.

Buying tea in a factory or doing it in a supermarket cheaper, the decision is for the tourist. The manufacturer claims that they have it fresh and is not mixed with second-rate.

How to get there: Bus from Nuwara Elia to Ragalla or Kandalopa. Stop “Pedro Tea Factory”.

Gallway’s Land National Park

Travelers are accustomed to the fact that the concept of a National Park means a huge natural area, well-groomed and open to the public.

Galway Park is located in the center of Nuwara Eliya and has a very modest size. The status of a National Park was given to it only in 2006, and it has been protected since 1938. Maintaining the territory and plantations in excellent condition requires investments, and therefore a fee of about $ 10 is charged for the entrance.

What you can admire in the park: a trail of 2 km overgrown with beautiful moss, at the top are the crowns of tropical trees. There are practically no animals, and there are many birds, but it is better to observe them in the morning.

Galvey National Park is open from 6:00 to 17:00.

Moon Plains

A large open space, a natural plateau, decorated in the form of a landscape park. The status of a national protected reserve was not assigned to it. The lunar plateau has a second name “Mini Edge of the World”, so they say because of the observation deck on the cliff. The views from here are stunning, and for the sake of this it is worth a visit. There is no variety of imported vegetation, animals can be found, but not always. Choose sunny weather for a visit to the Lunar Plateau, otherwise there will be no visibility.

The park on the Lunar Plateau is open 06:00- 17:00

You can move around the territory only by jeep, rent is paid additionally from the cost of the entrance ticket.

How to get there: 6 km from the center of Nuwara Eliya



Horton Plains National Park

A popular park in Sri Lanka, which is not only pleasant to visit, but also profitable: it is allowed to walk independently, without renting a jeep, paying for the services of a guide or a group.

On its territory there is a landmark known as the End of the World. It is easy to guess that this can be the name of the observation point on the cliff: you can see all the surroundings, but it is quite dangerous to stand there, you need to be careful.

The total area of the national park is about 3200 hectares at an altitude of 2100-2300 m, from the city of Nuwara Eliya it is a half-hour drive. On the Horton Plateau are the 2 highest mountains of Sri Lanka, several waterfalls and a variety of flora and fauna.

Walking trails are open for tourists, and monkeys, deer, amphibians and beautiful tropical butterflies are very often found on them. Scientists have found that the Horton Plateau is also a halo of leopards, giant squirrels and wild boars, but these mammals are quite rare. Official statistics are as follows: Horton National Park is home to 87 species of birds, 24 species of mammals, about 20 reptiles and amphibians together.

Чайная фабрика Labookellie Tea Factory

Historically, this tea factory appeared first in Sri Lanka, plantations and production are located at an altitude of 1500 m.

It is difficult to talk a lot about tea production in Sri Lanka, because this type of production is the main one for them and put on stream. This factory was opened in 1841, it has expanded over the years not only to increase production volumes, but also to comfortably accommodate visitors. Now the production of Labookellie is in every tourist route.

High quality tea is produced here, it has been preserved for many years in Sri Lanka and abroad. A tour of the center is free, guests are treated to tea, explained how it is grown and then processed. By tradition, all varieties of the drink are presented in the store at affordable prices.


Kondalaga is a very beautiful mountain in the loolkandura estate, in the center of Sri Lanka. There they once started the business of collecting and producing tea and founded the first plantations. This happened under James Taylor, a British industrialist, and now the estate has preserved buildings and memorable places associated with him.

Condalaga is located behind Taylor’s cottage, and if you climb to its top, and this is 300 m above sea level, you can enjoy magnificent views. It is unique that the mountain “behaves” differently depending on the weather: from the ground you can both quickly warm up and freeze. Fog often forms at the top of Kondagala, and tourists should be more careful and careful.

Чайная фабрика Blue Field Tea Factory

One of the few largest factories in Nuwara Eliya. An excursion to any production is an opportunity to see not only the process of cooking the product, but also the working conditions. In tea shops, it is quite difficult to breathe, dust from already dried sheets “hangs” in the air. It smells very tasty, and at any production you can buy the freshest tea.

The territory of the Bluefield factory is quite large: there is a restaurant and a cafe, a play area for children and pleasant walking alleys. If you need a snack, then a local restaurant offers inexpensive set meals. A tour of the factory is conducted by the staff of the store, there is no fixed fee, but tips are always welcome.

Tourists note that in the store for the production of some types of tea in a beautiful package are cheaper than at the airport, so it makes sense to buy it there.



Водопад Puna Ella Falls

Pune Waterfall is the largest in the Ella area, near Nuwara Eliya. Jets of water fall from a height of 100 m, and outwardly form an interesting shape of the Latin letter Y. This natural object has 2 sources, and depending on the time of year, they are filled in different ways. This is its peculiarity, along with the bizarre shape.

The terrain in the Pune area is very beautiful: picturesque hills, dense tropical vegetation. The noise of the waterfall can be heard from the road, it can be seen from afar, and especially well from a special observation deck.

Ramboda Falls

The waterfall of amazing beauty Ramboda is the 11th highest in Sri Lanka, it reaches 110 m. It is located in the mountains of Nuwara Eliya, it originates from two rivers: from the territory of the forest reserve and agricultural land. In the place of the fall of water, a good pool has been formed, suitable for a full bath. The two source rivers are full-flowing in different ways, and during a drought the volume of water changes.

Ramboda is just off the road and can be seen on the way to Nuwara Eliya. For the convenience of tourists, they made an observation deck opposite, but usually everyone wants to come closer, swim or take a photo. In the surrounding area, you can spend the night in the hotel of the same name and a café-terrace overlooking the waterfall.

Devathura Ella Falls

A small waterfall near the famous Ramboda. Access to it is open around the clock, but for security reasons it is better to visit during the day.

How to get there: the road to Ramboda from Nuwara Eliya, 24 km from the city center. Landmark – Ramboda Falls, from it 15 minutes walk along the old road (not through the tunnel).

Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka is a land of natural wonders, a beautiful climate and a soft, non-scorching sun. Get to know the historical sights of the island, but be sure to devote time to the mountains, forests and waterfalls!