What To Do in Polonnaruwa Ancient City
After an incredible 2nd day in Anuradhapura visiting the sacred city it was time to go to the ancient capital of Polonnaruwa and get ready to spend the next day exploring the ruins of ancient temples, Buddhist stupas and incredible carvings of Buddha statues. Don’t expect much more than a small quiet village to explore the ruins. So, in case that you are wondering what to do in Polonnaruwa, I can tell you that this is also a nice place to plan a visit to one of great Sri Lanka’s National Parks.
How to go to Polonnaruwa
As I already suggested in my previous post about Anuradhapura, you should wake up early in your last day visiting the sacred city to allow you enough time to catch the evening bus to Polonnaruwa.
TIP: If you took that advice, you will be able to take a bus the same day to Polonnaruwa, the second most ancient city in Sri Lanka. After the visit, my dear friend Rameez drove me to Anuradhapura new bus station. I took the next local bus, paid around 200Rs (around 1€) and enjoyed the 3hour ride making friends with the local people.
Where to stay in Polonnaruwa
Although the hostel area is located in the Old Town near the main junction, I chose one hostel a little bit away (just 1km) because of the reviews I found online.
TIP: I used an Agoda special offer with a generous discount to book my stay in the Sunset Tourist Home. It was really a total win. Close to the airport (not in Colombo city) and next to the main road where you can take the bus to Anuradhapura. This way you can avoid the transport from the airport to Colombo city center (35km).
Polonnaruwa Ancient City: World Heritage site
TIP: Before entering the complex you need to go to the Museum to purchase a day pass (25$!). Take into account that the museum is 2km away from the park, near the channel and the small lake, so don’t skip this step.
Today the ancient city of Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned archaeological relic cities in the country, standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdom’s first rulers.
TIP:The best way to visit the ancient city is to rent a bike. Most of the hostels can provide this service to you, and you can rent a bike for 350Rs. The distances are not too long, so you will be able to spend a pleasant day visiting the city riding your bike between the many temples, stupas, and statues. So grab a map in the museum and enjoy your exploration.