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Ways to Experience Sigiriya The Ancient Rock Fortress
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126
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All reviews sri lanka early in the morning afraid of heights take your time avoid the crowds half way bottle of water rock fortress amazing views coming down heat site stairs frescoes climb palace passport
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Reviewed October 28, 2019 via mobile

We deliberated on whether we would visit and climb the rock as we had a 2.5hr drive from Kandy to Sigiriya and the weather was poor (as it is in October). We made the journey, and we didn’t regret it. It was a good experience, it essentially rained the entire climb which meant just taking it easy to avoid slipping. It is over priced like everyone else has mentioned (but so is stone henge, and that was far more disappointing!). When it isn’t wet, it’s very quickly very hot (so bring water!).

On reflection I would consider not climbing the rock when it is wet. It becomes seriously slippery, the stairs become the run off for water and you are exposed to the elements when at height. If something was to go wrong, you’d be in a bit of strife.

We went on a Monday at approx 10:30am and it wasn’t busy and we were back in our car by 12:30pm.

A guide could be handy next time to give you context on the history (we overheard one guide for a couple and he was very informative). But make sure they are wearing a white guise top

Date of experience: October 2019
2  Thank marcia1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2019

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Date of experience: October 2019
Thank trips_srilanka
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2019

Very nice location special for sunrise, nedt time visit 6:30 morning afternoon very hot and busy....

Date of experience: October 2019
Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank Asaf A
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2019

At USD 25 per person, not a cheap day out for a family But that is true of most sights in Sri Lanka.

There are over 2000 steps, but its not as bad as it sounds as they are quite well spaced out into various sections (2 main ones). And the view at the top is definitely worth the effort.

If you are a little wary of heights watch out for the official looking guides (in matching T shirts) who will rush to help you (or may help even if you don't need it). In particular they can be found on the last steep section (as you go through the lion paws). Once you are at the top they will demand money for their services! And not small amounts at 1000 Rps.

Luckily we had our own real guide for our tour of Sri Lanka. And there are a lot of details that he relayed that made our visit all the more interesting. For example, how did they get water to the top of the rock? And pointing out the fountains fed from pools at the top of the rock.

If you are lucky you may spot a crocodile in the pools at the base.

I highly recommend getting there in the morning before the sun rises over the rock and beats down onto the steps. We arrived around 0930 and were back down within a couple of hours and were in the shade whilst climbing.

Date of experience: August 2019
2  Thank CongleTony
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2019

This ancient attraction is just as impressive and awe-inspiring as websites and other reviewers have said. The site is a massive one and other than the rock fortress (for which there is an entry fee), there are other places which visitors can roam for free. As you get down, you will be approached by numerous guides who will try to dissuade you from buying tickets to the rock fortress by mentioning the arduous 1200 step climb and instead offer you a tuk-tuk ride covering the places which are free. They arent aggressive but can be pushy, so you need to firmly tell them off.
Foreigners need to but tickets from the museum (entry to which is USD 5 if brought separately and complimentary if you purchase the rock fortress tickets). The museum is a good place to start off your visit.
The tickets to the rock fortress are USD 30 for adults and USD 15 for children. SAARC country nationals are entitled to a 50% discount on the adult price but no further discounts for children (so USD 15 for both adults and children). Payment can be made in USD or LKR but change, if any, is returned in LKR.
The climb itself is actually quite difficult, especially if you go in the afternoon. The place is also crowded on weekends because of lots of locals coming for a picnic.
My suggestion would be to go early morning to beat the heat and the crowds. Carry lots of water and snacks as well, as there werent any outlets selling food or water.
The way up is different from the way down, so take pictures as you go up, because you wont get the same view on the way down.
A lot of people have suggested the recommended length as being 3-4 hours but from my experience, it takes a lot longer, especially if you have young children and also explore the whole place. So in my opinion, take your time and enjoy the whole place in all its splendour and beauty. Dont try to rush things through and combine this with another attraction (like Dambulla, Anuradhapura etc) because those places too require more than 3-4 hours and it would be better to comprehensively cover both places rather than do a bit of both.

Date of experience: October 2019
2  Thank jitub77
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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