Polonnaruwa Historical Tour
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What you should know
If you're coming from Colombo, the fastest way to get to Polonnaruwa is by car, and the journey will take 5 hours. If you would like to arrange a driver to take you from Colombo, this can be done for an additional US $75.
You can also take the train from Colombo to Polonnaruwa station, which will take about 6.5 hours. From Polonnaruwa train station, you would need to flag down a tuk tuk which would take you into the city center.
Some people also come to Polonnaruwa as a day trip from Kandy (albeit a long day trip!). The drive from Kandy takes approximately 4 hours each way, and our partner guide Nihal can arrange return transport for an additional US $60. Please do let us know if you would like this to be arranged.
You can walk around Polonnaruwa on your own with a map, and hit all the major points of interest. However, it is not nearly as interesting without a knowledgeable guide to tell you the story of this ancient kingdom.
Nope! You get to pick the pace you want to explore at, so it's entirely up to you how much of the complex you would like to cover.
There's no bad time of year to visit Polonnaruwa, so you can visit all year round! Whatever time of the year you decide to visit, we do highly recommend a late afternoon walk when the weather is cooler.
On average it will take you 4 hours to walk around the complex, though it's best to leave a bit more time to see everything Polonnaruwa has to offer in case you are in a larger group or want to take a more leisurely pace.
If you are feeling hungry after all the walking around, we can recommend a few places:
Priyamali gedara: this has a great buffet of local fare with beautiful views of rice paddies
Wishma: this is the place to go if you are feeling hungry for some fresh seafood! It has everything from fish to shrimp and calimari.
Jaga Food: this restaurant is a bit out of the way, but is definitely worth the trek for local cuisine cooked on firewood stoves. In particular, the curries here are worth writing home about! You can also spend longer, and take a cooking lesson here.