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Rising around a scenic lake, UNESCO-listed Kandy is home to sacred landmarks, landscaped gardens, and cultural museums. Beyond the city, a cloudy forest and tropical plantations roll across the mountain slopes providing plenty of hiking and wildlife-watching opportunities, while upscale resorts line the Mahaweli River.
With a wide sandy beach, big hotels, and handy proximity to Colombo, Negombo is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular resorts. Beyond its sands lies an interesting mix: a colonial-built canal and crumbled fort; a lively fish market, traditional fishing communities, and a wildlife-rich lagoon.
Colombo is the gateway to Sri Lanka for most travelers—but don’t be tempted to simply pass through this diverse and interesting city. Take a train ride along the coast to Mount Lavinia, a popular beach, or explore the Talangama Wetland, which several TripAdvisor travelers say is the perfect place to take a break from the bustling streets of the city.
Perched on Sri Lanka’s southwest coast, Galle wears its history on its sleeve. Windswept beaches and nodding palms surround its colonial-era showpiece, a 16th-century Portuguese-built fort, while the rest of the city is trimmed with Dutch-style houses, quirky shops, whitewashed mansions, and heritage museums.
Dubai is a destination that mixes modern culture with history, adventure with world-class shopping and entertainment. Catch a show at the Dubai Opera, see downtown from atop the Burj Khalifa and spend an afternoon along Dubai Creek exploring the gold, textile and spice souks. If you’re looking for thrills, you can float above the desert dunes in a hot air balloon, climb aboard a high-speed ride at IMG Worlds of Adventure or skydive over the Palm Jumeirah.