13 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

13 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Bengaluru
Drive:  11 h
1
Jaffna
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 30 min
2
Anuradhapura
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
3
Polonnaruwa
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
4
Sigiriya
— 1 night
Taxi + Fly:  4 h 30 min
5
Mirissa
— 2 nights
Fly + Taxi:  4 h 15 min
6
Nuwara Eliya
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
7
Kandy
— 2 nights
Taxi + Fly:  7 h
End: Bengaluru

1
night
Jaffna

Jaffna ©
A center of Tamil culture, the city of Jaffna remains in the process of rebuilding after suffering greatly during the civil war.
On the 23rd (Sat), browse the collection at Jaffna Public Library, steep yourself in history at Jaffna Fort, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nallur Kovil.

For reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Jaffna day trip tool

Bengaluru, India to Jaffna is an approximately 52.5-hour car ride. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 23rd (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Jaffna

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Nallur Kovil ©
Nallur Kovil
Jaffna Fort ©
Jaffna Fort
Jaffna Public Library ©
Jaffna Public Library

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.
On the 24th (Sun), contemplate the waterfront views at Kalu Diya Pokuna Natural Black Water Pond, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Dagoba of Thuparama, explore the ancient world of Moonstone or Sandakada pahana, don't miss a visit to Mirisaveti Stupa, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ruwanwelisaya Dagoba. On your second day here, delve into the distant past at Ranmasu Uyana and then make a trip to Mihintale.

To see maps and other tourist information, you can read our Anuradhapura itinerary builder site

Drive from Jaffna to Anuradhapura in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Ruwanwelisaya ©
Ruwanwelisaya
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi ©
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Mihintale ©
Mihintale

2
nights
Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa ©
Lying 216 km (134 mi) from Colombo, Polonnaruwa offers a rich history second in Sri Lanka only to Arunadhapura.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Tue): delve into the distant past at Polonnaruwa, appreciate the history behind Gal Vihara, then make a trip to Sandakada Pahana, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Gal Potha, and finally explore the ancient world of Weijantha Prasada.

To find photos, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Polonnaruwa online trip itinerary maker

Drive from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa in 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Wed) so you can drive to Sigiriya.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Polonnaruwa ©
Polonnaruwa
Gal Vihara ©
Gal Vihara
Sandakada Pahana ©
Sandakada Pahana

1
night
Sigiriya

Sigiriya ©
The historic rock of the same name dominates the landscape of World Heritage-listed Sigiriya, where the steep and striking lava plug contains the ruins of an ancient empire.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Wed): identify plant and animal life at Hurulu Eco Park and then make a trip to Sigiriya World Heritage Site.

For where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Sigiriya day trip planning tool

Traveling by car from Polonnaruwa to Sigiriya takes 1.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Thu) so you can drive to Mirissa.

Things to do in Sigiriya

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks

Side Trip

Hurulu Eco Park
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya
Hurulu Eco Park ©
Hurulu Eco Park

2
nights
Mirissa

Mirissa ©
The fishing town of Mirissa has developed into a notable tourist destination.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Thu): race across the water with a speed boat tour. Here are some ideas for day two: stop by Stick No Bills Poster Gallery, steep yourself in history at Galle Fort, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Mirissa travel planning app

Traveling by car from Sigiriya to Mirissa takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of flight and train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) so you can travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Mirissa

Historic Sites Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Galle
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Galle Fort ©
Galle Fort
Spas & Wellness
Speed Boats Tours

2
nights
Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya ©
Sitting high up in the hills, the green and pleasant Nuwara Eliya offers both a rich history and proximity to pristine natural areas.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Sat): admire the natural beauty at Hakgala Botanic Gardens and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sita Temple. On the next day, admire the natural beauty at Victoria Park of Nuwara Eliya, look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Holy Trinity Church.

To see reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Nuwara Eliya tour planner

Getting from Mirissa to Nuwara Eliya by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. You'll have a few hours on the 1st (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling to Kandy.

Things to do in Nuwara Eliya

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Hakgala Botanic Gardens ©
Hakgala Botanic Gardens
Victoria Park of Nuwara Eliya
Victoria Park of Nuwara Eliya
Sita Temple ©
Sita Temple

2
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.
On the 1st (Mon), explore the different monuments and memorials at Commonwealth War Cemetery and then look for all kinds of wild species at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, explore the activities along Kandy Lake, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.

To see photos, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Kandy attractions tool

Traveling by car from Nuwara Eliya to Kandy takes 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Royal Botanical Gardens, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Kandy Garrison Cemetery ©
Kandy Garrison Cemetery
Kandy War Cemetery ©
Kandy War Cemetery

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