12 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

12 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly + taxi:  15​h
1
Kandy
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Anuradhapura
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
3
Polonnaruwa
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
4
Netolpitiya
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
5
Galle
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  15​h 30​min
End: Melbourne

3
nights
Kandy

Kandy ©
Nestled between mountains in inland Sri Lanka, Kandy proudly bears its World Heritage Site designation while remaining culturally independent and colorfully picturesque.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Mon): don't miss a visit to Kandy view point, then identify plant and animal life at Udawattekele Sanctuary, then appreciate the history behind Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue, and finally explore the different monuments and memorials at Commonwealth War Cemetery. Keep things going the next day: examine the collection at Ceylon Tea Museum, stroll the grounds of Kandy Garrison Cemetery, then stop by Jayamali Batiks Studio, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Kandy Lake.

For maps, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Kandy attractions tool .

Melbourne, Australia to Kandy is an approximately 15-hour combination of flight, bus, and train. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight and taxi. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria) (AEST) to India Standard Time (IST) is minus 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Museums
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Udawattekele Sanctuary ©
Udawattekele Sanctuary
Kandy Garrison Cemetery ©
Kandy Garrison Cemetery
Kandy War Cemetery ©
Kandy War Cemetery

2
nights
Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura ©
Explore the well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilization and its former capital at Anuradhapura, a World Heritage Site and erstwhile center of Theravada Buddhism set amidst peaceful green parks.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Wed): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Isurumuniya Temple, then make a trip to Moonstone or Sandakada pahana, and then don't miss a visit to Jethawanaramaya Dagoba. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the ancient world of Short Handed Statue, appreciate the history behind Abhayagiri Dagoba, then explore the activities along Twin Baths (Kuttam Pokuna), then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Sri Maha Boodhi Temple.

To see where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Anuradhapura trip planner.

Getting from Kandy to Anuradhapura by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) early enough to drive to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jan 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Isurumuniya Temple ©
Isurumuniya Temple
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi ©
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Jethawanaramaya Dagoba ©
Jethawanaramaya Dagoba

2
nights
Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa ©
Lying 216 km (134 mi) from Colombo, Polonnaruwa offers a rich history second in Sri Lanka only to Arunadhapura.
On the 26th (Fri), explore the striking landscape of Kaudulla National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Sat): explore the ancient world of Polonnaruwa Vatadage, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Gal Potha, then explore the ancient world of Polonnaruwa Archaeological Ruins, and finally pause for some photo ops at Gal Vihara.

To see reviews, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Polonnaruwa road trip planner .

Getting from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) so you can travel to Netolpitiya.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Kaudulla National Park
Find places to stay Jan 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Kaudulla National Park ©
Kaudulla National Park
Polonnaruwa Vatadage ©
Polonnaruwa Vatadage
Gal Potha ©
Gal Potha

1
night
Netolpitiya

Netolpitiya ©
Most people take a trip to Netolpitiya to enjoy a classic beach holiday.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sun): explore the activities along Tangalle Lagoon & Kayak.

To see ratings, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Netolpitiya tour planner.

You can drive from Polonnaruwa to Netolpitiya in 6 hours. January in Netolpitiya sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Mon) early enough to travel to Galle.

Things to do in Netolpitiya

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Tangalle
Find places to stay Jan 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Goyambokka Beach (Sriyanga Sanjeewa) ©
Tangalle Lagoon ©
Tangalle Lagoon
Indika Art Gallery ©
Indika Art Gallery

2
nights
Galle

Galle ©
The southernmost city on the island, Galle combines colonial-era history with a tropical feel and climate.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Tue): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Dutch Reformed Church, then relax in the rural setting at Handunugoda Tea Estate, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers. On the 31st (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see the interesting displays at Community Tsunami Museum, kick back and relax at Hikkaduwa Beach, and then kick back and relax at Unawatuna Beach.

For ratings, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, use the Galle trip builder tool .

You can drive from Netolpitiya to Galle in 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Wed) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Galle

Parks Spas Outdoors

Side Trips

Hikkaduwa, Handunugoda Tea Estate, Spas & Wellness
Find places to stay Jan 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Hikkaduwa Beach ©
Hikkaduwa Beach
Dutch Reformed Church ©
Dutch Reformed Church
Community Tsunami Museum ©
Community Tsunami Museum

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