Polonnaruwa was about an hours drive from our hotel in Habarana. We spent 1/2 day exploring the ruins of the ancient kingdom and also saw a few great lakes. Let me recall one massive lake - prarakram samdra lake
The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 CE to reunite the country once more under a local leader.
Today the ancient city of Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned Archeological relic sites in the country, standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdom's first rulers. Its beauty was also used as a backdrop to filmed scenes for the Duran Duran music video Save a Prayer in 1982. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Polonnaruwa is the 2nd largest city in north central province. But it is known as one of the cleaner and more beautiful cities in the country. The green environment, amazing ancient constructions, Parakrama Samudraya (a huge lake built in 1200 A.C.), attractive tourist hotels and most importantly nice people with hospitality, always attracted local and foreign tourists. One recent scientific observation is that of its climate changes. Historically Polonnaruwa had a tropical climate most of the year, although it was occasionally chilly in December and January. But in recent years the rain and chillyness has been increased noticeably. Although this is surprising to some people, it is more enjoyable for tourists. But sometimes paddy field farmers suffers when there is too much rain.
More information can be obtained in Wikipedia
Recommended review time for sightseeing: 2 h
Polonnaruwa was about an hours drive from our hotel in Habarana. We spent 1/2 day exploring the ruins of the ancient kingdom and also saw a few great lakes. Let me recall one massive lake - prarakram samdra lake
Perhaps I have been spoiled by the truly amazing remnants of ancient civilisations I have had the pleasure of viewing - Rome, Angkor Wat, and many Mayan ruins throughout Mexico and Guatemala - but these were mainly foundations with very few in tact buildings. Unlike the wonders of the Colosseum, the city of Tikal or the towering brilliance of the remains of Angkor Wat, Polonnaruwa is a non event. Sorely disappointed.
We came there after a 4.5 hours drive from Negombo, and boy was it worth it! Incredible statues and ruins very well preserved. We took a guide (recommended!) who enriched our experience tremendously. The sleeping Buddha is amazing, so huge.
They can not stop going !!!! It is an incredible archaeological city !!!! I was fascinated !!! !!!! Go again Spectacular !!!!
We spent a very hot day at Polonnaruwa and enjoyed every moment. We had a private driver/guide plus also hired bikes as it seemed a better way to cover all the distant sites.
You do need a guide to understand the significance of the sites and their meaning.
Recommend you visit if anywhere nearby.
Polonaruwa is a really interesting complement to a day spent in Anaradapura. Whereas the Anaradapura site is huge (and I mean truly vast) and involved a lot of travel between 'highlights' in a car, Polonaruwa felt much more manageable, and many of the buildings here are still standing, or partially so, giving a much clearer vision of what life would have been like in the palace and monastic compounds.
We didn't visit the local sights, but used it as an overnight stay after the safari. There was a lot of small flies and over priced hotels
We spent about four hours with a driver going through the myriad historical sites at the old citadel. It just keeps on getting better the deeper you go into the citadel. The reclining Buddha is a spectacle to behold - and clearly revered.
Some criticisms are poor and or limited signage, it is quite littered in places, some of the sites are not being well maintained and you are more harassed by vendors and guides than anywhere else. Having said this though, we loved our time here.
This is another place we visited during our trip, All these areas are really warm as the day goes on so be there as early as possible much better for the travelers. One main attraction is the stature of great king parakkramabahu , Next is his palace, by 10 am we were able to cover these two places.
Polonnaruwa is the ancient capital of Sri Lanka from the 10th to 13th century. The ticket is 25 dollar per each person. There are some fine temple ruins and statues to be visit. The Buddhist temples are a lot but the well conserved are the round one, the square one and the one where there is the biggest Buddha statue. All these temples are still a sacre places so you must take off the shoes.
There is also a place where you can see 2 big Buddha statues: the first statue is in sleeping position and the other one is in meditation position.
The temple ruins and the statues are a very beautiful place to visit but there are a lot of rubbish!!! It was unacceptable because the ticket is expensive and there are a lot of guards who were only check your ticket!! What a pity for a nice place like Polonnaruwa!!
Well it was very informative about the historic side of Sri Lanka. Atleast one place preserved properly. But sadly if your Muslim who covers the head just remember you can see it from only the outside. You cannot enter the inside since covering the head is disrespectful for the Buddha. Other than that nothing to complain.
Superb site, very well preserved, very quiet with nice monuments. We could imagine the life of the kings at that time. Very pleasant to ride a bike as it is huge.
With Sigiriya, for me, this is the highlight of Sri Lanka! Beautiful ruins...temples...statues... It is best to hire a bike and drive slowely thru the ancient city. It took me 5 hours to see all on a very hot day! Be prepared to be barefooted and without a hat in the temples, though they are in the open
So I have written a lot about the ridiculous pricing of the tickets for tourists in Sri Lanka, hence I won't again.
However for the price they charge for these sites I would highly recommend Polonarurwa over Anuradhapura.
While it is the SECOND Capitol not the first, the stone Buddhas here are simply amazing and with a guide, there is much more impressive things to see.
If you wish to do both, of course be my guest. But in my experience, Polonarurwa is a much more impressive and worthwhile trip.
Take a guide (~2000rs DONT pay more) and a car/bike. And remember ladies that it is a holy place, so long skirts and shoulders covered.
PS the ground BURNS bare feet so maybe take socks???
We were lucky to have a very knowledgeable driver guide for our 8 day tour of Sri Lanka and he was very good at choosing the most interesting places to visit in an orderly way through this site. Personally I found it more interesting than Anuradapura as the buildings are slightly less ruined and it is therefore easier to imagine the ancient occupants going about their business. A lot of shoe removing is involved but this is just showing respect for the culture and is entirely acceptable but I do endorse the view of others who suggest wearing socks. Also take care not to offend local people. We saw one young man adopt a silly pose with his back to a Buddha to be photographed. A Sri Lankan gentleman insisted on taking the camera to delete the picture and then handed it back. - good for him.
This site is huge, it would need more than a day to visit and absorb it all and too much space on this review to describe it. So all I will do is to strongly recommend that it is included in your itinerary.
We were lucky enough to have a guide who has worked at the site for over 37 years. He knew every building inside out. We started at the museum and studied the model of the site, which gives and idea how huge it is.
The buildings have a fascinating history, although by the end of the day, we were getting a little worn out.
The site is completely different to Anuradhapura. Much of the site has still to be 'discovered'. As other have said, take decent footware for walking but can be easily taken on and off.
Great ruins. Worth the journey and well maintained. Don't need a guide if you have your Lonely Planet or Rough Guide. There is a lot of history here and everything is just very epic. Lot of places you do need to take off your shoes.
The ancient city is worth to see but be aware when finding local tour guide, they might not be professional. Needa remove shoes and cover yourself up if you wanna go into the temple.
This is the place where lots of ancient located at. The building is awesome so it's worth to visit this place unless you do not like to visit an ancient city.
If the historical legacy of Sri Lanka is your thing then go ahead a spend a day filling yourself with it, in truth on a hot July day it didn't float our boat, there are some must see photo shots, but much of the site is low walls where things once stood. The museum is a good start (text in English so unless you need someone to read it to you don't get a guide here). The site is holy so be prepared to have shoes on and off at regular intervals and dress appropriately.
We visited this site as a part of of our escorted tour. As mentioned in previous reviews, the entry ticket price is much higher for tourist (and you must buy the ticket), but this is the reality across the Island, the same regarding intrusive locals, trying to be your guide and selling the junk. These aspects were the only negative ones, otherwise this place is must to visit. Compare to other places (Sigiriya and Kandy), it really worth to have reliable guide (or at least to visit the museum first) and with the car, because the site is large - scale, and you cannot just walk on it. The alternative could be to hire a bike, but could be difficult when the weather is hot.
Yes, its better; the ancient city is easier to visit since the sites are more concentrated in one place, the national park with elephants is nearby and its situated along a beautiful lake and therefor more beautiful than Anradhapura.
The all place is various and not so ruins as in Anuradhapura, than is more enjoyable. It takes around 2,5 hours to see everything - by car.
I have loved ones of ancient monuments is their architettura.Molto advanced dal'europa conservation is also maintained and lakes all around this beautiful ancient city we had so much fun doing bagno.Polonnaruwa as a city is worth a visit.
We visited Polonnaruwa in November and had mixed experiences of it. The whole site is huge with numerous buildings and historical places to see from old temples and stoops to swimming pools and statutes. It was fascinating but visit with a guide as there are no real explanations about what each building is or it's historical importance. If you visit on your own you can visit the museum across the road which explains the history and what each place is but you will have forgotten which building is which when you walk around.
I found the whole site interesting and for those of you who like animals we saw a whole range of local wildlife during our visit including about 100 monkeys feeding in a field. I would say it is a must see but spare a whole afternoon as you can not just pay a quick visit.
Before I got to Sri Lanka, I knew that entrance fees were generally high for tourists so I could only pick one "expensive" attraction and I picked Polonnaruwa. No regrets there!
I got on a bus from Dambulla and in less than 2 hours, I arrived near the entrance of the archeological park. I rented a bicycle for Rs350 and paid the entrance fees of Rs3250 at the museum office. The museum is located next to a gigantic lake that's almost like an ocean. The winds were really strong too. That alone was a great place for pictures.
I spent about 4 hours touring the archeological park. There were signs all around and the bicycle place also gave me a map so I had no trouble navigating the park. Most of the ancient ruin sites had information in English. Of course, having a guide (easily available for a fee around the sites) would help but I opted not to have a guide. The weather was very very hot so please make sure to hydrate yourself. I had 2 coconuts in the span of 4 hours. During the time I was there, there weren't too many tourists so I got pretty good photos and also enjoyed just sitting in the shade and looking at the magnificent ruins. There were also some restoration works going on and the park itself was very well-maintained with minimal trash and comfortable pavements to ride on. That made me realize that the entrance fees are completely necessary to maintain this place. If we could travel thousands of kilometers to visit this country, what's a few bucks to contribute to the upkeep of the site. How else would we be able to see the magnificence of this park in a comfortable state?
This is one of those things that you must do during your visit to Sri Lanka.
Tip: Walking would limit you to the number of sites you can visit in a day and can be very tiring. Other options besides cycling would be to hire a tuk-tuk who may double as a guide for an additional 2-3 thousand rupees
Now, the first thing I shall say is I am writing this review from the basis that we had a driver escorting us around the city. If you have a driver then great and I think most people would say a tuk-tuk is recommended to get around. I wouldn't recommend trying to talk round the city...it's massive. I would estimate it took us 3-4 hours in a car. Some also recommend a bike, but I'm not sure this is the best idea. With the amount of time it takes to take it all in even starting early morning you will still encounter the hottest parts of the day and cycling may be quite exhausting. Overall, I thought this was a fantastic attraction, a city well preserved and steeped in history, housing three of the ancient Sri Lankan kings.
Take a good guide and let you show this amazing place. Never you will forget this stupas, the Buddha and the different antics. Also to visit the Museum is a must as well as the most wonderful Lotus bath.
Lots to see and imagine what it is like. Go with a guide to see the best bits. Not quite as spectacular as Sigiriya but still worth a visit. Saw some elephants crossing the road on the way there which was unexpected.
You can see the impresionant ruins of the city. We rent a bicicles and visit the ruins like this. I like so much this city.
The people is fantastic. They always are smiling.
Great lot of ruins close together .
Have a guide of some sort but having said that lonely planet great
Take water and have an umbrella
Polonnaruwa's ruins are closer to each other than Anuradhapura's. However, its best to have some sort of transportation as there is a lot to see. we had bicycles and it was perhaps the most perfect way to see the sites. The famous sites are filled with tourists and schoolkids, but its not difficult to find sites that nobody seems to be visiting. The stupas offer no shade, so its good to have on some sunscreen/hats. That siad the area in general has a lot of trees and shade. One thing to keep in mind if you are not part of a group that arranges everything for you is that the ticket office is located a bit away from the entrance to the site. the office is by the lake. if you are coming from town to the site, get your tickets first, otherwise you will have to go back for it.
A day in Pollonaruwa was a memorable one. We arrived early and was alone (with only some monkeys to keep us company) at some sites which was a fantastic experience - we felt almost like a lone explorers. So, do try to start early to have a place to yourself.
Some advices for fellow travellers:
- wear socks (you need to take of your shoes and the stone gets really hot)
- wear decent clothes or you will be wrapped in drapes
- do not smoke near the sites (it is forbidden, but there are no signes)
- do not pose for pictures with your back facing Budha statues
- there are no maps provided in the museum (where you buy the tickets for the site) so try to bring your own even if it is fairly easy to navigate even whithout the map
This is an excellent place for a visit. The history of this place never ends and has alot to obtain. Must visit place in Polonnaruwa. More than 2500 years of history.
We spent half a day cycling around Polonnaruwa. There is plenty to see both in terms of ruined sites and religious temples.
The Buddhist sites were numerous but my favourite part was a Hindu ceremony taking place in one of the very old temples. It felt somewhat strange especially with a almost bacchanalian girl performing a whirling dervish type dance around the temple.
Make sure you bring your own guide book; as with many other historical places in Sri Lanka, maps of the site and information can be lacking.
Even if the entrance to here and many other places are steep, these places have to be visited as they are magnificent historical monuments and I personally think subsidising local tourism is good.
If you enjoy ancient historical sites, this is a lovely one. The lush green setting makes it special. To see the ruins rising out of the greenery or glimpsed through the trees is magical. With imagination ---and copious notes or a good guide---- you can 'see' how it might have been, imagine all the ceremonies and activities and take yourself back 100s of years. The site covers a large area. Many people ride around it on bicycles or have a tuk tuk or car to get to the main entrances. There are some small occasional stalls/shops where you can get water (most important when you're walking around in the heat) and snacks.
We visited Polonnaruwa ancient city one day after Anuradharpura ancient city visit. Generally speaking we found this one was better. They show you the overall picture and background info in a museum first, which is helpful. Besides Buddhism, here you can also find Hindu heritage. We also saw a group of deer closely during our visit here. Overall, I prefer Polonnaruwa than Anuradharpura.
if u like culture and history tourism, visit this place. it's enjoyable and so much better than Anuradhapura
The Polonnaruwa area is alive with so much to see of the ancient city with many ruins. There is so much to see that it may warrant a few days to take everything in,
We fell in love with this part of Sri Lanka due to its natural beauty. The local people were happy and friendly, leading a simple lifestyle. The jungle and abundance of wildlife makes this corner of the world especially beautiful due to its unspoilt natural beauty.
We went to the museum first, which was helpful to get a sense of the area before we set out. Then we went across the road and rented bikes to tour the 3mi stretch of ruins. We were able to cover a lot more ground on bikes than on foot, and the bikes were safe to just set down, without locking, while we explored each area.
Polonnaruwa ruins are remarkably well preserved and some of the finest examples of craftmanship in Sri Lanka, mainly due to it being the youngest of the cultural triangle ancient cities. Cycling or tuk tuk tours around the city are probably the best way to get around, and one day is enough time to explore fully. The town however offers little except fantastic rice and curry at a little sunken, corner cafe near the roundabout. Believe it or not, Polonaruwa is the only place that I was hasseled as a female! However, this is not to be missed off any cultural itinery!
Lot of people complain that it's all about statues and Buddha all because they didn't bother to learn the history at the museum where you buy tickets. I was deeply engaged while visiting the ruins for the tour at the museum gave some background of what I would see at the site. I arrived at 8AM at the museum (too early) and spent an hour before going to the site. Before lunch I went out to escape the heat and came back at 3. Just tell the entrance that you'll return they'll write down your passport number on your ticket. A bike was really useful to go around it and recognize the different sites written on my guide. After lunch, very few people were there except for the couple who didn't have bikes and took it on foot! I spotted a deer, some eagles and birds. The paths leading to the Lotus Pond was uphill so it was kind of steep. Had a great day!
if you don't wanna go out, bring packed lunch. Contrary to what people say at the entrance, no decent meals are sold inside.
Fun to see, but a lot of rocks!
You should definitely rent a bicycle!!
Make sure you buy enough drinks before going. You can buy drinks down there, but it is really expensive,
I would not go around lunch time. It is the hottest time of the day... and I can tell you, it is to hot!
You have to take your shoes of if you want to see the sacred ruins too. So it burns your feet if you go around noon.
We had an excellent guide in Fernando. If the weather is hot take socks for when you have to take shoes off in the temples and walk on burning hot ground.
Look out for huge water monitors in the run-off from the tank near the museum entrance.
The ruins in Polonnaruwa and Buddha statues are well worth a visit. They date from the 12 century and are amazing in their construction. The 4 Buddha statues carved out of one piece of rock are also very impressive.
We had our own guide, Sam Samarakoon, who was able to provide us with lots of information, and drive us from site to site.
Should be included on any itinerary of Sri Lanka.
A place steeped on history. U must have a good guide to explain the ruins. Beware of the numerous souvenir sellers who can be pests. Don t miss the lotus pond and do bring sunglasses and bottles of water , a hat and a good pir of shoes.
The ruins of temples and houses are scattered everywhere. So you need a car or if you are able to take the burning sun you can hire a bicycle to ride around. The ancient ruins are not as monumental as Angkor Wat or Borobudor. You either like it or dislike it. But the value of understanding the culture and history of a country is the purpose for visiting the place. To enter the site you need to pay an entrance fee of US$25 at the Main Museum even though locals are free. Take you time to explore the site. You need to remove your shoe to enter the temple premises which is not a pleasant way to walk especially on a hot afternoon.Wear light clothing with hat and bring along bottle of water. You need to bargain till ridiculous low price before buying anything from touts selling souvenirs.
Such a long drive from Dambulla to see something that isn't that spectacular is so disappointing and such a waste of a good part of the day.
Ancient ruins. Not much left to say about this place really. We were driven around or you could cycle in the heat if you are crazy like some others. Wear something below knees. No photos allowed to be taken with your back to the statue. Remove shoes and get your feet burnt in the blazing sun on the heated rocky sandy path.
Costs 3,250 rps each
Ancient capital city of Sri Lanka. Loved & lived every moment of it!
:: Always carry loads of water.
:: Don't forget to take Hat/Umbrella/Shades
:: Do visit to museum during noon time to escape from SUN/heat.
:: Ladies, avoid wearing shorts keep a shawl always with you.
:: Do not take photographs of yourself with any statues on the background
Enjoy your trip!
Visited here after an early morning climb of Sigiriya Lion Rock, so it was 10.30 when we got to the museum. Quite busy but very interesting. I don't think you appreciate the distances between the relics so it was a good job we had a driver. Suggest to anyone to go to the Temples first where you need to take your shoes off because by 1pm you could fry eggs on the ground. If you are in flipflops or sandals take socks or you really will burn your feet. Lots to see with palace and temples and gardens and the breeze from the lake is very welcome. Not too littered, and if you are female and need the toilet at some of the locations there is another toilet which is locked. This is locked but for a few rupees the guy will unlock it and make sure there is toilet paper!
We visiting the site with a driver who also explained the importance of buildings. The ancient city is another of the old capital cities of Sri Lanka and so much has survived, albeit in ruins. There is so much to see. A huge garden with tranquility, outside the ancient city there is an artificial lake that are worth visiting.
We were lucky to have a monk as our guide and he took us to the most favoured places. We also had a car to take us to the different places. It was a hot day and taking shoes off and walking onthe hot ground was hard but it was all worth it. A guide is definitely a need here.
Found the museum very interesting. The site and the ruins of the palace and temples are spread out over a large area. We wished that we had allowed more time to take it all in. As a previous reviewer mentioned, shoes must be removed before entering some of the temples - trust me, that ground was hot!
This place is very spread out and our guide was great. Moon stones and Buddhist history considering the image houses and stoopers make this an amazing place. Without a guide I'd imagine this would be boring and dull.
The whole site covers miles and you are best starting at the Museum which is well laid out describing each part of the citadel. Then it really is a car or bus journey round, though I gather you can rent bikes. It was very hot for sight seeing when we were there and in parts you had to take your shoes off - take soaks with you to save your feet from the hot stone. However it is quite spectacular in its shear size and the number of different buildings. Sun cream and water essential.
I visited Polonnaruwa as part of my Intrepid Tour and preferred it than Anuradhapura. To be honest, I think I'm still ' ruined out' from my Central America holiday where I saw countless Mayan an Aztec ruins the year prior. It was beautiful, but I don't think I appreciated it as much as I could have. Think I'm going to avoid ruins for a couple of years now, however it's definitely a must see in Sri Lanka. There are some beautiful photo opportunities available here.
The museum is excellent and well presented. Use the toilet here as there is nothing available outside. it is also reasonably clean. You have to go to the museum to buy your ticket and then make your way to the site which is 5-10 minutes away. The site is huge and will require several days to absorb everything. Even just the highlights will take a whole day. The property is poorly signposted and finding your way around is not easy. My suggestion is to pick up an official guide (check the licence) lurking outside the museum, tell him how much time you have, negotiate a price and let him guide you. It is an amazing site well worth a visit as the poor maintenance will probably ensure that certain parts will be closed to the public in the future for preservation purposes. The huge granite carvings are worth the (expensive) entrance fees alone. The site is completely outdoors so go in the morning when it is cooler as it gets very hot in the afternoon. Also wear shoes you can take off easily as there are many sites which require you to enter bare footed. Wear sun cream and bring plenty of water as there's nothing available once inside.
Its nice place for the one who is interested in history. you can make lots of nice pictures and see many ancient ruins. knowing a story behind makes it more exciting but price is little high and its not very comfortable to drive to the museum to purchase the ticket..
Half day is enough to see the place.Be ready for the heat!
Visited in last days of July, its a realy big complex of monuments, with remarkable historic buildings. Comparable to monuments in Egypt or Greece. We couldn't visit all of them in half day. The weather was realy hot, suggesting everyone to use suncreme.
This palce has been added to UNESCO as a major site , old capital of Sri Lanka ...plenty of buildings and the site gives a good idea of town organisation several centuries ago .
Massively overpriced for poor relation to Annaradhapura. Tip - get the local tuk tuk driver to get you in the back entrance for a fraction of the price.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Polonnaruwa!
It brought out the inner Indiana Jones in my husband .. i'm sure much to the despair of our tour guide!
There are so many remains to see so be sure you leave plenty of time in order to be able to really appreciate them.
I consider myself to be an amateur archeology buff. I've been planning all my holidays around visiting archeological sites for 5+ years. Unfortunately P'ruwa is just average. The buildings are poorly preserved, with little artistic detail remaining, so most of the time you're just seeing piles of brick. I was done with the site in 3 hours. It is an interesting site, and it does provide insight on ancient Sri Lanka. But it's underwhelming if you've seen Pompei, Anchor Wat, Petra, or traveled to Egypt. I went to Sri Lanka assuming that A'pura and P'ruwa were world class sites. They're not.
Well worth the time spent here, and get yourself a good guide. Lots of hawkers which was the negative, but don't be put off. Good to start off at the museum to help understand the history more fully.
Again to appreciate everything to be seen here I would definitely recommend the services of a guide. The site is huge and unless you have a very good guide book I think you would just be wandering around without realising what you are looking at.
The ruins are spread over a vast area so I only did the main ruins. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1982 and I can see why as the site is full of stupas, temples, Buddha statues and historic ruins.
A place to visit to see these nice ruins, you need to spend couple of hours up to half day in that area at least.
First stop has to be the museum, which is not that big, but explains what you see in the ruins, what was there in the past etc. Not too crowded, I was alone and was not hassled or rushed at any stage. Very enjoyable.
We were fortunate with our guide/driver as he explained the site and the significance of the buildings clearly. I feel that it could be a little overwhelming to visit without an explanation. This is another of the old capital cities of Sri Lanka and so much of it has survived, albeit in ruins. There is so much to take it that I would suggest, if you are pushed for time, that you get transport and just take in the more important areas. The man-made lake is worth a drive along.
I spent about 6 hours there , I had to rend a bike because cars are not allowed on the site and it is about a 10 kilometers walk if you want to see everything. The heat made it very hard to stay and if you do nit have a guide they are just stones leftovers!
I think it is an easy one to skip and people should focus more on Dambulla cave and Sigirya rock
Yes, entrance fee is high, and they have special price for foreigners. But consider this is their best source of income for further protection, research and preservation of the site, and cough it up.
We did not took a guide, but we did a lot of research prior to visit. Explanations on the site are not very detailed,so if you don't know anything about it, a guide is recommended.
In any case, it is well worth visiting museum before visiting the site to familiarize yourself with it.
Best way to get around are bicycles, which can be rented cheaply around the town and in any guesthouse. Take your time and enjoy, this is a well worth half-day to full-day trip.
Expensive but a wonderful place, You must visit the museum first. Also be prepared for lots of travel between the various sites a bike , tutut or car is needed.
This is a vast site to visit so either arrange transport or hire a bicycle to fully appreciate it. The museum will give you a good insight into the history. Please remember that there are some temples and sacred sites so dress and behave appropriately. Definitely worth the visit but the $25 fee is a bit much
This sight cost 30 usd per person. Yes, it's really expensive but they are trying to conserve the amazing place so we were willing to pay. The ruins were great with Buddha statues relatively well preserved, a destroyed palace, temples which used to house the tooth relic and others. At least worth a visit once in your lfe.
this is second ancient capil of srilanka ,we visited to see seven story palace belongs to king parakrama was built on 5 century,veru nice and amazing evry body should go and visit them yes yes yes.
The ruins you see are relatively small compared to other ancient city ruins I've seen in other places in Asia. There are several places to visit in the area, some of which are quite small and similar. The real gap was the lack of information as you went though. You get some context from the museum, but nothing in depth anywhere else. It's best that you read up on the history and the site ahead of time if you are looking for more context. Same issue in Anuradapura. The entry prices are very very high for foreigners in my opinion for this and nearly every other site in the Sri Lanka. You should at least get better information and on-site "context" for your money.
The ancient ruins and the lovely environment. The people were friendly. The hotel we stayed was excellent.
After several days heavy rain and poor visibility, it was hot and sunny again the day we went round Polonnaruwa. It was a beautiful drive from Dambulla, going around the Minneriya tank and through the park, and our experienced driver/guide ensured we saw the ruins to best advantage, starting with the excellent museum. This really helped to put the site in context, as it is huge - far bigger than I had imagined. He took us from place to place by car, and we took his advice as to the order in which to do it. Bear in mind that many of the stupa and temple ruins are still regarded as holy sites and the usual rules about removing hats & footwear obtain - it really helps to have easily removable shoes! There were a few touts and sellers at each of them, but none are persistent or in your face. It really is very beautiful, and the crisp quality of some of the carvings after such a passage of time is amazing. As with most of the major attractions in Sri Lanka, the entry ticket price is quite high, but the cleanliness and condition of the large area is remarkably good. We thought it was fascinating and I enjoyed it more than Sigiriya, but possibly because the weather was good and it was on the flat!
We saw this place in January 2013. The biggest surprise was the size of this area - there are a few locations which can be visited at once. The best is to go there with some tour guide who will take to each place. Ticket price is pretty expensive - 30$ for person but it's worth to spend it.
Our tour guide recommend us this place instead of Anuradhapura which he sad is very similar but less interesting.
So many ruins and temples, so little time! We only had 1/2 day to explore the main sights at Polonnaruwa but could have easily spent days seeing each temple. We only had a driver (not a guide) so relied on him to direct us to each place of interest and then had to read the sign boards. I would recommend either taking along a guidebook that can explain each of the sights or having a guide with you.