23 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

23 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Sri Lanka attractions planner

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Route & dates

23 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Colombo
1
Colombo
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
2
Galle
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
3
Mirissa
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Nuwara Eliya
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Kandy
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
6
Pinnawala
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
7
Anuradhapura
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
8
Dambulla
— 2 nights
Drive:  30​min
9
Sigiriya
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
10
Trincomalee
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
11
Jaffna
— 3 nights
train:  6​h 45​min
End: Colombo

3
nights
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 8th (Thu), discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour and then stop by Lakarcade. On your second day here, explore the galleries of Ganeshism Studio Gallery, get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Borella All Saints Church.

To see ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Colombo trip maker app .

If you are flying in from United Kingdom, the closest major airports are Bandaranaike International Colombo Airport and Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport. In August in Colombo, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 30°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) early enough to take a train to Galle.

Things to do in Colombo

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Scuba & Snorkeling
Find places to stay Aug 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Scuba & Snorkeling

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 10th (Sat): look for gifts at Tea Zone and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. On the next day, take in the spiritual surroundings of Fort Shri Sudarmalaya Buddhist Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya, then look for all kinds of wild species at Sea Turtle Farm and Hatchery, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Seenigama Muhudu Viharaya.

To find maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Galle tour planner .

You can take a train from Colombo to Galle in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In August, daily temperatures in Galle can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 30°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Mirissa.

Things to do in Galle

Historic Sites Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Hikkaduwa, Sea Turtle Farm and Hatchery
Find places to stay Aug 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya ©
Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya
Sea Turtle Farm and Hatchery ©
Sea Turtle Farm and Hatchery
Fort Shri Sudarmalaya Buddhist Temple ©

2
nights
Mirissa

Mirissa ©
The fishing town of Mirissa has developed into a notable tourist destination.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Mon): kick back and relax at Kabalana Beach, then kick back and relax at Medawatta Beach, and then stop by Dress Palace. On the 13th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: steep yourself in history at Kushta Raja Gala, then kick back and relax at Secret Beach, then don't miss a visit to The Shrine of Our Lady of Matara, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Matara Paravi Duwa Temple.

For where to stay, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, read Mirissa trip itinerary builder app .

Drive from Galle to Mirissa in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train. August in Mirissa sees daily highs of 39°C and lows of 29°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Wed) early enough to travel to Nuwara Eliya.

Things to do in Mirissa

Beaches Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Matara, Kabalana Beach
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Medawatta Beach ©
Medawatta Beach
Dress Palace ©
Dress Palace
The Shrine of Our Lady of Matara ©
The Shrine of Our Lady of Matara

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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Wed): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Holy Trinity Church and then take a peaceful walk through Saga Travels & Tours Nuwara Eliya. Here are some ideas for day two: play a few rounds at Nuwara Eliya Golf Course and then take in the dramatic scenery at Bomburuella Waterfall.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Nuwara Eliya day trip planner .

Do a combination of flight and taxi from Mirissa to Nuwara Eliya in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Kandy.

Things to do in Nuwara Eliya

Outdoors Parks Nature
Find places to stay Aug 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Nuwara Eliya Golf Course ©
Nuwara Eliya Golf Course
Holy Trinity Church ©
Holy Trinity Church
Bomburuella Waterfall ©
Bomburuella Waterfall

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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Fri): see the interesting displays at Ceylon Tea Museum, explore the different monuments and memorials at Kandy War Cemetery, then stop by Jayamali Batiks Studio, and finally stroll the grounds of Kandy Garrison Cemetery. Keep things going the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at Udawattekele Sanctuary and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

Make your Kandy itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Drive from Nuwara Eliya to Kandy in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sun) early enough to drive to Pinnawala.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Udawattekele Sanctuary ©
Udawattekele Sanctuary
Kandy Garrison Cemetery ©
Kandy Garrison Cemetery
Kandy War Cemetery ©
Kandy War Cemetery

1
night
Pinnawala

Pinnawala ©
The main attraction in Pinnawala is undoubtedly its elephant orphanage.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Sun): identify plant and animal life at Pinnawala Jumbos, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mahamevnawa Amadahara Buddhist Monastery Pinnawala, and then view the masterpieces at Pinnawala Handicrafts Emporium.

To find ratings, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Pinnawala travel website .

You can drive from Kandy to Pinnawala in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. In August in Pinnawala, expect temperatures between 35°C during the day and 30°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) early enough to drive to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Pinnawala

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trip

Pinnawala Jumbos
Find places to stay Aug 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Pinnawala Jumbos ©
Pinnawala Jumbos
Pinnawala Handicrafts Emporium ©
Pinnawala Handicrafts Emporium

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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Thanthirimale Rajamaha Viharaya and Ranmasu Uyana. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Eth Pokuna and Mirisaveti Stupa. And it doesn't end there: explore the activities along Kalu Diya Pokuna Natural Black Water Pond, take in the views from Gal Palama (Stone Bridge) over Malwathu Oya, and don't miss a visit to Isinbassagala.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Anuradhapura trip planning website .

Getting from Pinnawala to Anuradhapura by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Wed) so you can go by car to Dambulla.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Aug 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Ranmasu Uyana ©
Ranmasu Uyana
Thanthirimale Rajamaha Viharaya ©
Thanthirimale Rajamaha Viharaya
Eth Pokuna ©
Eth Pokuna

2
nights
Dambulla

Dambulla ©
On a trip to Dambulla, visit the largest and best-preserved cave temple complexes in the country, declared a World Heritage Site.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Thu): make a trip to Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs, then browse the fresh offerings at Dambulla Dedicated Economic Centre, and then get outside with Jathika Namal Uyana.

To see reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Dambulla day trip planner.

You can drive from Anuradhapura to Dambulla in 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Fri) to allow time to drive to Sigiriya.

Things to do in Dambulla

Outdoors Shopping
Find places to stay Aug 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Dambulla Dedicated Economic Centre ©
Dambulla Dedicated Economic Centre
Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs ©
Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs

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 23rd (Fri): look for gifts at Karu Arts & Crafts, take in nature's colorful creations at Luck Uyana Herbal Medecines Garden, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then look for all kinds of wild species at Dhilip De Alwis, and finally view the masterpieces at Pethikada. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get some fabulous bargains at Oakray Woodcarvings, make a trip to kaludiya Pokuna, and then examine the collection at Sigiriya Museum.

For more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Sigiriya trip planning app .

Sigiriya is just a short distance from Dambulla. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sat) so you can drive to Trincomalee.

Things to do in Sigiriya

Shopping Museums Parks

Side Trips

Habarana, Karu Arts & Crafts
Find places to stay Aug 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Karu Arts & Crafts ©
Karu Arts & Crafts
Sigiriya Museum ©
Sigiriya Museum
kaludiya Pokuna ©
kaludiya Pokuna

2
nights
Trincomalee

Trincomalee ©
A center of Tamil culture and language, Trincomalee suffered greatly during the 30-year civil war, but the troubles haven't dimmed the natural and cultural charms of the place.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Sun): learn about all things military at Sri Lanka Navy Museum, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sri Pathrakali Amman Temple, then pause for some serene contemplation at Saint Mary's Cathedral, and finally appreciate the history behind Velgam Vehera.

For where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Trincomalee travel route builder site .

You can drive from Sigiriya to Trincomalee in 2 hours. Another option is to take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Jaffna.

Things to do in Trincomalee

Historic Sites Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Aug 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Sri Pathrakali Amman Temple ©
Sri Pathrakali Amman Temple
Arisimale Beach ©
Arisimale Beach
Saint Mary's Cathedral ©
Saint Mary's Cathedral

3
nights
Jaffna

Jaffna ©
A center of Tamil culture, the city of Jaffna remains in the process of rebuilding after suffering greatly during the civil war.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Tue): explore the ancient world of Kantharodai Viharaya, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Naguleswaram Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Dambakola Patuna Sangamitta Temple, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Kovalam Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: view the masterpieces at Jaffna Art Gallery - Kalaithuthu Kala Mutram, browse the eclectic array of goods at Jaffna Market, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Kayts Causeway.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Jaffna online trip maker .

You can drive from Trincomalee to Jaffna in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and train; or take a train. On the 29th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can take a train back home.

Things to do in Jaffna

Shopping Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Kovalam Beach
Find places to stay Aug 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Jaffna Market ©
Jaffna Market
Kovalam Beach ©
Kovalam Beach
Dambakola Patuna Sangamitta Temple ©

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