Once at the top and with not much to see there, just enjoy the luxurious greenery of the surrounding countryside. If you’re not used to it (like me) then it can be a jaw drop experience.
At the end of the stairs and through the the carved doorway (while you have been impressed by the grandiose entrance) you’ll face a bit of disappointment as the ruins there are not much to see. The Lion Terrace as it is called might have been the site of the Temple of the Tooth or of the king’s palace.
What makes Yapahuwa unique is the Maya looking like staircase. The stairs are step and not for heart-fainted. The staircase sides are decorated with statues of lions, elephants, goddesses and dwarfs. By the end of the staircase on the upper level is a carved doorway and windows. The quality of carving is considered as high
If you're on your own car and river then Yapahuwa makes an easy stop on the way from Colombo to Anuradhapura.
If you're travelling by train then stop at Maho (served by trains from Colombo to Anuradhapura or local trains from Kurunegala) and there hire a tuk-tuk.
If you're using buses, take any bus between Anuradhapura and Kurunegala and get off at Daladagama. Then take a tuk-tuk. Estimated price of a return trip with tuk-tuk plus waiting time should be less than 500 Rs...given price rise after tsunami :-(