44 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

44 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

44 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Singapore
Fly:  7​h 45​min
1
Colombo
— 6 nights
Fly:  1​h
2
Kandy
— 7 nights
Fly + taxi:  1​h 15​min
3
Mirissa
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Hikkaduwa
— 4 nights
Fly + taxi:  2​h 45​min
5
Ella
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h
6
Yala National Park
— 3 nights
Fly:  1​h 45​min
7
Sigiriya
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
8
Polonnaruwa
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
9
Anuradhapura
— 7 nights
taxi + Fly:  9​h 45​min
End: Singapore

6
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Colombo National Museum and The Galleries of Sapumal Foundation. You'll explore and learn at The Bandaranaike Museum and Sri Lanka Air Force Museum. Explore Colombo's surroundings by going to Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya (in Boralesgamuwa), Negombo (Negombo Beach, Nature & Wildlife Tours, & more) and National Telecommunication Museum (in Padukka). And it doesn't end there: admire the masterpieces at Ranjiths Carving and Batik Museum, pause for some serene contemplation at Thewaththa Church (Basilica Ragama), stroll around Galle Face Green, and examine the collection at Dutch Museum.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Colombo vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Singapore, Singapore to Colombo is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from Singapore to Colombo, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in December, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Colombo

Museums Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Negombo, Ranjiths Carving and Batik Museum, Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka, National Telecommunication Museum, Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Colombo National Museum ©
Colombo National Museum
Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple ©
Safaris

7
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Royal Botanical Gardens and Elephant Freedom Project. Appreciate the collections at Arankelle Ancient Monastery and Aakarsha Gem House. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Kandy: Pinnawala (Pinnawala Handicrafts Emporium & Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage), Panduwasnuwara Kingdom (in Kurunegala) and Euphoria Spice and Herbal (in Matale). There's much more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, examine the collection at Ceylon Tea Museum, and look for all kinds of wild species at Knuckles Forest Reserve.

To find reviews, maps, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Kandy day trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Colombo to Kandy takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can travel to Mirissa.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trips

Matale, Pinnawala, Arankelle Ancient Monastery, Ramboda Waterfall, Panduwasnuwara Kingdom
Find places to stay Dec 26 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Royal Botanical Gardens ©
Royal Botanical Gardens
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage ©
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

4
nights
Mirissa

The fishing town of Mirissa has developed into a notable tourist destination.
Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complex and Indika Art Gallery will appeal to museum buffs. Get a sense of the local culture at Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara and Art Batiks. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Mirissa: Nature & Wildlife Tours (in Galle), Nandana Tea Factory (in Akuressa) and Kalametiya Eco Bird Watching (in Kalametiya). There's still lots to do: get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, kick back and relax at Mirissa Beach, enjoy the sea views from Tangalle Lighthouse, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, use the Mirissa online vacation maker .

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from Kandy to Mirissa takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or drive. January in Mirissa sees daily highs of 37°C and lows of 27°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Hikkaduwa.

Things to do in Mirissa

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Tangalle, Matara, Nandana Tea Factory, Kalametiya Eco Bird Watching, Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complex
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Kalametiya Eco Bird Watching ©
Kalametiya Eco Bird Watching
Mirissa Beach ©
Mirissa Beach

4
nights
Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa ©
One of the most scenic beach resorts in Sri Lanka, Hikkaduwa features a number of long white sand beaches with palm trees and gentle waves.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Galle Fort and Sri Vijayarama Viharaya. Visiting Sinharaja Forest Reserve and Bentota Beach will get you outdoors. Change things up with these side-trips from Hikkaduwa: EXOTIC ROOTS (in Galle) and Unawatuna (Scuba & Snorkeling & Jungle Beach). Next up on the itinerary: view the masterpieces at Tsunami Photo Museum, examine the collection at Ariyapala & Sons, look for gifts at Genuine Batik, and browse the exhibits of Saffron Robes Gallery and Studio.

To find traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Hikkaduwa online tour planner .

Traveling by car from Mirissa to Hikkaduwa takes 1.5 hours. January in Hikkaduwa sees daily highs of 37°C and lows of 27°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Ella.

Things to do in Hikkaduwa

Museums Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Ambalangoda, Galle, Unawatuna, Tsunami Photo Museum, Bentota Beach
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Tsunami Photo Museum ©
Tsunami Photo Museum
Galle Fort ©
Galle Fort
Sinharaja Forest Reserve ©
Sinharaja Forest Reserve

5
nights
Ella

Ella ©
The relaxing hilltop village of Ella benefits from a more temperate climate than much of the rest of country thanks to its high elevation.
Get a sense of the local culture at R. M. S Antique And Brassware and The Nazareth Chapel of the Good Shepherd Convent. Get outdoors at Little Adam's Peak and Ella Rock. Change things up with these side-trips from Ella: Nuwara Eliya (Horton Plains National Park, Mohini falls, & more), Haputale (Prabhawa Mountain Day View Point Haputale & Lipton’s Seat) and Thotupola Kanda Nature Trail (in Ohiya). There's lots more to do: admire the sheer force of Ravana Ella Falls, view the masterpieces at I Love Ceylon Gallery, savor the flavors at Honey Bee Garden, and take in the views from Demodara Nine Arch Bridge.

To see maps, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Ella trip planner .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Hikkaduwa to Ella in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel to Yala National Park.

Things to do in Ella

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Nuwara Eliya, Haputale, The Nazareth Chapel of the Good Shepherd Convent, Thotupola Kanda Nature Trail
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Little Adam's Peak ©
Little Adam's Peak
Horton Plains National Park ©
Horton Plains National Park
Ella Rock ©
Ella Rock

3
nights
Yala National Park

One of the most popular national parks in the country, Yala National Park boasts a wide variety of animals, and does important work in conserving and growing populations.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Kataragama Temple and Kiri Vehera. Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara and Yatala Wehera are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Yala National Park: Tissamaharama (Safaris & Nature & Wildlife Tours). Next up on the itinerary: explore the striking landscape of Yala National Park.

To find more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Yala National Park road trip planner .

Explore your travel options from Ella to Yala National Park with the Route module. January in Yala National Park sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can travel to Sigiriya.

Things to do in Yala National Park

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trips

Tissamaharama, Kataragama
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Safaris
Yala National Park ©
Yala National Park
Kataragama Temple ©
Kataragama Temple

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.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Sun): delve into the distant past at Sigiriya, explore the galleries of Pethikada, and then explore the fascinating underground world of Golden Temple of Dambulla. On the 20th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the striking landscape of Minneriya National Park, look for all kinds of wild species at Dhilip De Alwis, and then see the interesting displays at Sigiriya Museum.

For maps, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Sigiriya road trip site .

Fly from Yala National Park to Sigiriya in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and taxi; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to drive to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Sigiriya

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Dhilip De Alwis, Minneriya National Park, Golden Temple of Dambulla
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Minneriya National Park ©
Minneriya National Park

5
nights
Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa ©
Lying 216 km (134 mi) from Colombo, Polonnaruwa offers a rich history second in Sri Lanka only to Arunadhapura.
Let the collections at Orr's Hill Army Museum and Sri Lanka Navy Museum capture your imagination. Polonnaruwa and Polonnaruwa Vatadage are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Change things up with these side-trips from Polonnaruwa: Sorabora Lake (in Mahiyangana) and Trincomalee (Hoods Tower Museum & Trincomalee War Cemetery). The adventure continues: take an in-depth tour of Archaeological Museum, steep yourself in history at Sathmahal Prasada, don't miss a visit to Dalada Maluwa, and take in the pleasant sights at Medirigiriya Vatadage.

For traveler tips, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read our Polonnaruwa trip planner .

Drive from Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa in 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Trincomalee, Sorabora Lake
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Polonnaruwa ©
Polonnaruwa
Lankathilaka Image House ©
Lankathilaka Image House
Somawathiya Stupa ©
Somawathiya Stupa

7
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.
Museum-lovers will appreciate Yapahuwa Ancient Kingdom and Abhayagiri Museum. Get some historical perspective at Mihintale and Ruwanwelisaya. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Anuradhapura: Reswehera Rajamaha Vihara (in Buluewa) and Yapahuwa Rock Fortress (in Yapahuwa). The adventure continues: look for all kinds of wild species at Wilpattu National Park, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, don't miss a visit to Isinbassagala, and delve into the distant past at Ranmasu Uyana.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Anuradhapura road trip app .

Traveling by car from Polonnaruwa to Anuradhapura takes 2.5 hours. On the 1st (Sat), you're off tohome.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Yapahuwa, Reswehera Rajamaha Vihara
Find places to stay Jan 25 — Feb 1:
Highlights from your plan
Mihintale ©
Mihintale
Wilpattu National Park ©
Wilpattu National Park
Ruwanwelisaya ©
Ruwanwelisaya

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