Do People in Dambulla Speak English?

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Do People in Dambulla Speak English?

If you are planning to visit Dambulla, Sri Lanka, you might be wondering whether the locals speak English. Dambulla is a small town located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, known for its famous Dambulla cave temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The official language of Sri Lanka is Sinhala, but English is widely spoken in the country. In this blog post, we will discuss whether people in Dambulla speak English and how you can communicate with the locals during your stay.

The Use of English in Sri Lanka

English is one of the official languages of Sri Lanka, along with Sinhala and Tamil. It was brought to the country during the British colonial era and has remained an important language ever since. Sri Lanka’s education system includes English as a subject, and many Sri Lankans are fluent in the language. In fact, Sri Lanka was ranked 30th out of 100 countries in the EF English Proficiency Index 2020, which is a testament to the country’s high level of English proficiency.

English Speaking in Dambulla

Dambulla is a popular tourist destination, and many of the locals who work in the tourism industry are fluent in English. You will find that hotel staff, tour guides, and restaurant workers speak English fluently. If you are staying in a hotel or guesthouse, there is a high chance that the staff will be able to communicate with you in English. Moreover, many of the signs and menus in Dambulla are written in English as well, making it easier for tourists to navigate the town.While the average local in Dambulla is not as fluent in English as those working in the tourism industry, you will still be able to communicate with them using simple English phrases. Sri Lankans are known for their hospitality and friendliness, and they will likely go out of their way to help you if you need assistance. It is also worth noting that many young people in Sri Lanka are more fluent in English than older generations, so you might have an easier time communicating with younger locals.

Tips for Communicating in Dambulla

While it is not necessary to know Sinhala to get around in Dambulla, it is always helpful to know a few basic phrases. This will make it easier for you to communicate with the locals and show them that you respect their culture. Here are a few commonly used phrases in Sinhala that you might find useful:- Hello: Ayubowan- Goodbye: Aayubowan- Thank you: Bohoma isthuthi- Yes: Owa- No: Nehi- Please: KarunakaralaTo make things even easier, you can also download a translation app such as Google Translate or use a phrasebook to learn some basic phrases before your trip. This will help you feel more confident when communicating with locals in Dambulla.


In summary, while Sinhala is the official language of Sri Lanka, English is widely spoken in Dambulla, especially among those working in the tourism industry. You will find that many of the locals are friendly and eager to help, even if their English skills are limited. By learning a few basic phrases in Sinhala and being respectful of the local culture, you can have a great experience in Dambulla and communicate effectively with the locals.

An Insider’s Guide to Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Dambulla is a city situated in the central province of Sri Lanka. Known for its ancient caves and temples, it attracts tourists from all over the world. If you’re planning to visit Dambulla, this insider’s guide will help you make the most of your trip.


Dambulla is most famous for its cave temple – Dambulla Cave Temple (also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla). The temple dates back to the 1st century BC and contains over 150 statues of Lord Buddha, along with magnificent murals and frescoes. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a must-visit attraction for tourists.

Another major attraction in Dambulla is the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. It is a fortress built on top of a 660-foot tall rock and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The climb to the fortress is challenging, but the view from the top is breathtaking.

Other notable attractions in and around Dambulla include the Ironwood Forest, Ritigala Forest Monastery, and the Popham’s Arboretum.

Dining Spots

Dambulla offers a variety of dining options for foodies. Some of the popular spots include:

– Aappa Kadai: A restaurant that serves traditional Sri Lankan food, including hoppers, string hoppers, and kottu roti.
– Triposha Restaurant: A vegetarian restaurant that serves a mix of local and international cuisine.
– The Cobra Cafe: A cafe known for its coffee and cake.

Cultural Experiences

When in Dambulla, immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions. Some of the cultural experiences you can have include:

– Watching a Kandyan dance performance, a traditional dance form of Sri Lanka.
– Visiting a spice garden and learning about the various herbs and spices used in Sri Lankan cuisine.
– Attending a pooja (a religious ceremony) at a local temple.

Local History

Dambulla has a rich history dating back thousands of years. Some of the historical landmarks you can visit include:

– The Cave Temple of Dambulla: The murals and frescoes in the temple depict the history of Sri Lanka.
– The Sigiriya Rock: The ruins of the fortress built on top of the rock date back to the 5th century.
– The Aluvihara Rock Cave Temple: This temple is believed to be the place where the Buddhist scriptures were first written down in Sri Lanka.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions

Apart from the popular attractions, Dambulla has many hidden gems that are worth exploring. Some off-the-beaten-path suggestions include:

– Visiting a local village and learning about the lifestyle of the villagers.
– Taking a walk in the Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs, an archaeological site known for its prehistoric stone structures.
– Going on a safari in the nearby Minneriya National Park, where you can see elephants, leopards, and other wildlife.

In conclusion, Dambulla is a city that is rich in culture and history. It has something to offer for everyone, from history buffs to foodies to adventure seekers. By following this insider’s guide, you can make the most of your trip to this beautiful city.


Do People in Dambulla Speak English?

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