15 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

15 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Manchester
Fly:  15​h 30​min
1
Colombo
— 1 night
train:  1​h 45​min
2
Galle
— 4 nights
taxi + Fly:  2​h 15​min
3
Kandy
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Anuradhapura
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
5
Polonnaruwa
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
6
Sigiriya
— 2 nights
Fly:  17​h
End: Manchester

1
night
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.
On the 6th (Sat), stop by Barefoot, then stop by Stone 'N' String, then look for gifts at Laksala, and finally buy something for everyone on your list at Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple, get engrossed in the history at Colombo National Museum, and then stop by ODEL.

For more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read our Colombo travel planning app .

Manchester, UK to Colombo is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. You'll lose 5 hours traveling from Manchester to Colombo due to the time zone difference. Expect much warmer temperatures when traveling from Manchester in October; daily highs in Colombo reach 35°C and lows reach 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Galle.

Things to do in Colombo

Shopping Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Oct 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct ©
Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple ©
Barefoot ©
Barefoot

4
nights
Galle

Galle ©
The southernmost city on the island, Galle combines colonial-era history with a tropical feel and climate.
Shop till you drop at Orchid House and Vyanni. Appreciate the collections at Tsunami Photo Museum and Community Tsunami Museum. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Galle: Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project (in Kosgoda) and Kowilawatta Temple (in Balapitiya). The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Jungle Beach, look for gifts at Embark, examine the collection at Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complex, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see reviews, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Galle trip maker app .

You can drive from Colombo to Galle in 2 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) early enough to travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Galle

Shopping Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Unawatuna, Community Tsunami Museum, Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project, Kowilawatta Temple, Tsunami Photo Museum
Find places to stay Oct 7 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Tsunami Photo Museum ©
Tsunami Photo Museum
Galle Fort ©
Galle Fort

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.
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and Ceylon Tea Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Shop till you drop at Jayamali Batiks Studio and Prestige Selections - Batiks, Handicrafts and Gift Items. Take a break from Kandy with a short trip to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawala, about 1h 15 min away. The adventure continues: look for gifts at Kandy City Center, explore the different monuments and memorials at Commonwealth War Cemetery, identify plant and animal life at Udawattekele Sanctuary, and examine the collection at World Buddhist Museum.

To see where to stay, maps, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Kandy vacation maker app .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Galle to Kandy in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train, flight, and taxi. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trip

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Find places to stay Oct 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Kandy Garrison Cemetery ©
Kandy Garrison Cemetery
Kandy War Cemetery ©
Kandy War Cemetery
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

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 14th (Sun): take in the spiritual surroundings of Sri Maha Boodhi Temple, then delve into the distant past at Moonstone or Sandakada pahana, then don't miss a visit to Isurumuniya Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Mon): deepen your understanding at Short Handed Statue, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Dagoba of Thuparama, make a trip to Jethawanaramaya Dagoba, then contemplate the waterfront views at Twin Baths (Kuttam Pokuna), and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Ruwanwelisaya Dagoba.

To see maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Anuradhapura vacation planner.

Traveling by car from Kandy to Anuradhapura takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites Nature Parks
Find places to stay Oct 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi ©
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Isurumuniya Temple ©
Isurumuniya Temple
Jethawanaramaya Dagoba ©
Jethawanaramaya Dagoba

1
night
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 16th (Tue): steep yourself in history at Lankathilaka Image House, make a trip to Gal Vihara, and then explore the ancient world of Polonnaruwa Archaeological Ruins. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get to know the fascinating history of Polonnaruwa, explore the ancient world of King’s Council Chamber, then contemplate the long history of Nishshanka Latha Mandapaya, and finally pause for some photo ops at Polonnaruwa Vatadage.

To see where to stay, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Polonnaruwa online trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by car from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) so you can drive to Sigiriya.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Oct 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Polonnaruwa Vatadage ©
Polonnaruwa Vatadage
Lankathilaka Image House ©
Lankathilaka Image House
King’s Council Chamber ©
King’s Council Chamber

2
nights
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.
On the 18th (Thu), make a trip to Sigiriya World Heritage Site, see the interesting displays at Sigiriya Museum, and then look for gifts at Karu Arts & Crafts.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read our Sigiriya trip itinerary maker tool .

Getting from Polonnaruwa to Sigiriya by car takes about 1.5 hours. You will have some time to spend on the 19th (Fri) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Sigiriya

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trip

Karu Arts & Crafts
Find places to stay Oct 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya
Sigiriya Museum ©
Sigiriya Museum
Karu Arts & Crafts ©
Karu Arts & Crafts

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