Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa
4.5
Historic SitesAncient RuinsPoints of Interest & LandmarksHistoric Walking AreasArchitectural Buildings
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Duration: More than 3 hours
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Admission tickets
from £39.23
All you need to step foot in the door.
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  • Bea
    Sydney, Australia
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A lot of ruins please bring your imagination
    I love ancient ruins but it was a very hot today and the sun was blaring suggest go first thing or late afternoon. You really have to imagine as there are no drawings as to how the buildings looked. There are a few temples on site so please ensure you are dressed appropriately or bring something to cover yourself when entering the temples. Quite an expensive entry fee but goes towards the maintenance of the grounds, we saw many monkeys and stray dogs. I would love to see some future restoration of the sites
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 16 August 2023
  • danny b
    Melbourne, Australia
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonder of the world
    In a trip full of highlights, Polonnaruwa was probably our favourite place in Sri Lanka. We hired bikes (1500 rupees each - probably could have got the cheaper) and spent four wonderful hours on paved roads, cycling through a true wonder of the world. I've been to the Angkor temples, but found this a far more enjoyable experience because of the relatively compact layout, lack of crowds and fewer hassling touts and gift sellers. Put it on your bucket list before the rest of the world gets there. As someone who has has been privileged to travel a fair bit, this place put the word "wow" back in my vocabulary.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 30 August 2023
  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great restaurant on the way to Polonnaruwa 😋
    Polonnaruwa is not to be missed. An ancient city spread over a huge area. It was hot when we visited, take a hat, sun cream and plenty of water. We stopped at Waandora Gedara for lunch. It’s on the Habarana road at the top of the big lake. A buffet of 22 curries including raw examples of the veg each one is made from. It’s set up for tourists but delivers a delicious authentic Sri Lankan feast.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 21 October 2023
  • VGriet
    Leuven, Belgium
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must visit
    You get tickets at the museum before you van enter any of the sites. Very rich history here and variety of different type of buildings to see: Old Palace ruins, stupas, budha statues, Old monastery with hospital. And a nice stroll as well at some of the sites. It does get hot between the stone buildings, so be prepared. On the other hand, to enter most you must take of hat, take if shoes and be covered to below the knee- so take that in mind.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 November 2023
  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A cultural history lesson.
    The best way to visit is with a private guide and car. There are a few sites to visit. A fascinating historical site of immense architectural achievement. Layer this with other ancient sites across the world and you have an amazing cross cultural view of the way civilisations emerged.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 10 November 2023
  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Perfekt!
    Really great! Nice to ride the bike aorund the park, its very big! A little bit annoying with all the people trying to sell stuff everywhere, not accepting a no. But apart from that, its really amazing.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 November 2023
  • Oamaruvian
    Oamaru, New Zealand
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fascinating historical day out
    We spent the day vising the vast network of ruins in this park. It is quite expensive at $29 US/person but you get a lot for your money, starting with the museum. Be aware, many are classified as culturally sensitive, so shoes off and shoulders and knees covered before you enter. Best to wear attire that is easy to slip on and off or light clothing. Take an umbrella if it is raining as there is very little shelter. It is wise not to take food as the monkeys will cause you problems. To get a full understanding of the history, it is worth hiring a guide, which are readily available at the ticket office. Enjoy you day.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 January 2024
  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Historical Sri Lanka
    We had planned to hire bikes and cycle round the ruins as they're spead out over a large area. However, there was torrential rain so we travelled between sites by car. Definitely worth buying a guidebook or read about the site before going to get most out of your visit. The Buddist temples/holy sites require people to cover their legs (knees covered) and take off shoes so sandals are best (particularly when it's raining).
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 9 January 2024
  • VThallur
    Chennai (Madras), India
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Definitely a must visit... if you are a history buff.
    Awestruck by this ancient capital city ruins. Spread over a large area, it gives you an idea of the scale and grandeur it dispensed in it's heyday. Can spend an entire day walking around. It's a photographer's delight. If you are wearing shorts & intend to enter the interiors of temple ruins ( a couple of them), remember to carry a wraparound cloth. However, you are free to wear shorts and footwear if you are not entering the temple interiors and just catching glimpses from the outside (like I did, 'coz I was wearing shorts & didn't have a wrap).
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 January 2024
  • Nik
    Singapore, Singapore
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    HistoricalGems -Polonnaruwa
    Polonnaruwa, a mesmerizing step back in time! The ancient city's well-preserved ruins left me in awe. From the majestic Gal Vihara to the royal palace, every step felt like a journey through history. The ambiance is serene, and the guides share fascinating insights. USD 25 for entrance ticket per person. And 50% off for children. A must-visit for history enthusiasts and those seeking a unique cultural experience. Truly a gem in Sri Lanka! Highly recommended to travelers.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 4 February 2024
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,648 reviews
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levace
Sami, Greece
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
What a messy set up, The Ticket Office is not by the places to visit, Plus the prices are a total joke,
This also includes Vatandage & Gal Vihara, But no way in the world is it worth it
Beings there nothing special there, It was no big deal. But ido think Greed has gotten out of control, As no one seemed to be entering.
But theres till some interesting ruins
Naipena vihara Which are FREE, And ruins both sides of the road
Written 26 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

manucanuck
Hong Kong, China
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
The entire ruin / site is huge once you get in you can't stamp out unless you buy another set of entrance ticket to the area. The different ruins do have signs explaining what that ruin was but the QR code never worked (i've tested at least 5 of them, none of them directly me to the correct page so dont bother), rather hire a professional guide (don't use the guys on site they charge quite a lot)
Written 15 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
This place is very good place to take fast food chip price.like a street food shop hire.hotdog,fence fries,potato fries,chicken nuggets ...
Written 22 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
I visit ruins and unesco site around the world and this one is clearly overrated. Compare to Buddhists sites in Thailand, Burma, Cambodia this one is nothing and cherry on the cake it's the price. Sri Lanka gouvernement want clearly make money with tourists but at one point they need to stop because everything has a value and this one like many others where you pay expensive price don't deserve it.
Written 16 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EH
Greater Melbourne, Australia
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Expensive entry tickets, which includes a small museum visit. As the ancient city is vast, recommend using transport to hop between sites. Some of the sites were only basic and you need to take off shoes and hats to enter temple ruins, as it was stifling hot, and in full sun we choose to skip parts which was a shame. Need a guide to explain the history of the sites.
Written 4 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jet Lanka Tours
Kandy, Sri Lanka
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Visiting Polonnaruwa was an absolute highlight of my trip to Sri Lanka! Stepping into this ancient city felt like stepping back in time. The well-preserved ruins and monuments are simply breathtaking, each telling a story of a bygone era. From the majestic statues of Buddha to the intricately carved temples and palaces, every corner of Polonnaruwa is filled with history and wonder.

Exploring the site on foot or by bicycle allows you to immerse yourself fully in its rich heritage. The layout is well-planned, and the signage provides helpful information about each structure. Don't miss iconic landmarks like the Gal Vihara, with its remarkable rock-cut Buddha statues, or the imposing ruins of the Royal Palace complex.

The peaceful surroundings, with lush greenery and occasional wildlife sightings, add to the charm of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Whether you're a history buff, a culture enthusiast, or simply a curious traveler, a visit to Polonnaruwa is an absolute must. It's an experience that will stay with you long after you've left, leaving you in awe of Sri Lanka's incredible past.
Written 29 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Victorianlad
Melbourne, Australia
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
The entrance fee for foreigners was expensive.

I found the museum drab and uninspiring. Lighting could be so much better.

The ruins were interesting with some, IIRC, dating back to about 1153AD.

However there seems little to no restoration occurring.

It was very hot mid afternoon: not an ideal time for a visit. First thing in the morning from 0700 hours would have been preferable.

The site is extensive. Too far for most to walk between the various ruins.

The vendors have to make a living, but some were fairly persistent. However the key is to try to be pleasant to them and politely state 'no thank you'.

The food/drink stalls were rudimentary even though they've probably been there for many years.
Written 25 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JR_Essex
Chelmsford, UK
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
We visited the ancient city of Polonnaruwa as part of our tour of Sri Lanka. There is a small museum you can visit first, which gives an overview before you actually enter the complex, worth a visit but hot and stuffy. The complex itself is vast and would recommend the use of a guide if you want to get a good understanding of the ancient city.
A visit here is an essential part of any visit to Sri Lanka
Written 5 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

traveller
Sheffield, UK
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Beautiful world heritage site over a wide area. You need a guide to fully appreciate the significance of the remains but well worth visiting
Written 3 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gmagel
Athens, Greece
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
It's an old city ruins. It has an expensive entrance. Not so old. It is about the medieval time in Europe. The civilisation is way inferior to ancient Greece and Romans. The buildings are of poorer standards from the ones built by the Byzantine empire and the temples in Europe. Although they were sophisticated in irrigation systems. Statues quality are of archaic season in Greece (pre classical) or like mesopotamia (a lot older). They resemble "kouros" of ancient Greece in the pre- classical season.
Written 15 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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