12 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

12 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Sri Lanka vacation planner

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Route & dates

12 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Johannesburg
Fly:  17​h 30​min
1
Colombo
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
2
Galle
— 2 nights
Fly + taxi:  5​h
3
Anuradhapura
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
4
Polonnaruwa
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
5
Kandy
— 1 night
taxi + Fly:  19​h
End: Johannesburg

2
nights
Colombo

Colombo ©
The commercial capital of the country, Colombo has added modern touches to its colonial-era core, creating an exciting and eclectic coastal city.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Thu): buy something for everyone on your list at Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct, then stop by Stone 'N' String, then stop by Barefoot, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple. On the 28th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Negombo Beach and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

For photos, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Colombo trip planner .

Johannesburg, South Africa to Colombo is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight, taxi, and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 3 hours traveling from Johannesburg to Colombo. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Johannesburg in December since evenings lows in Colombo dip to 27°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Galle.

Things to do in Colombo

Shopping Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Negombo Beach
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Stone 'N' String ©
Stone 'N' String
Barefoot ©
Barefoot
Negombo Beach ©
Negombo Beach

2
nights
Galle

The southernmost city on the island, Galle combines colonial-era history with a tropical feel and climate.
On the 29th (Sat), stop by Cara Jewellers and then look for all kinds of wild species at Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Mirissa Beach and then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To see reviews, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Galle online trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Colombo to Galle in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. On the 31st (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Galle

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Mirissa, Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project, Jungle Beach
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Jungle Beach ©
Jungle Beach
Dutch Reformed Church ©
Dutch Reformed Church

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 1st (Tue): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Dagoba of Thuparama, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ruwanwelisaya Dagoba, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Isurumuniya Temple, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sri Maha Boodhi Temple.

To see reviews, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Anuradhapura online road trip planner .

Getting from Galle to Anuradhapura by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi, flight, and train; or do a combination of train, flight, and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi ©
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Isurumuniya Temple ©
Isurumuniya Temple
Dagoba of Thuparama ©
Dagoba of Thuparama

2
nights
Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa ©
Lying 216 km (134 mi) from Colombo, Polonnaruwa offers a rich history second in Sri Lanka only to Arunadhapura.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): explore the striking landscape of Kaudulla National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu): delve into the distant past at Polonnaruwa Vatadage, appreciate the history behind Gal Vihara, then explore the ancient world of Polonnaruwa Archaeological Ruins, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Polonnaruwa.

For traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Polonnaruwa trip planning tool .

Traveling by car from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) early enough to drive to Kandy.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Wildlife Parks Nature

Side Trip

Kaudulla National Park
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Kaudulla National Park ©
Kaudulla National Park
Polonnaruwa Vatadage ©
Polonnaruwa Vatadage
Polonnaruwa ©
Polonnaruwa

1
night
Kandy

Kandy ©
Nestled between mountains in inland Sri Lanka, Kandy proudly bears its World Heritage Site designation while remaining culturally independent and colorfully picturesque.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Fri): stop by Jayamali Batiks Studio, stroll the grounds of Kandy Garrison Cemetery, then contemplate the long history of Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, and finally get engrossed in the history at Raja Museum. On the 5th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the different monuments and memorials at Commonwealth War Cemetery, then look for all kinds of wild species at Udawattekele Sanctuary, then contemplate the waterfront views at Kandy Lake, and finally look for gifts at Kandy City Center.

To plan Kandy vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Traveling by car from Polonnaruwa to Kandy takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Kandy Garrison Cemetery ©
Kandy Garrison Cemetery
Kandy War Cemetery ©
Kandy War Cemetery
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©

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