A 2-week Sri Lanka Travel Itinerary
Sri Lanka was my second international trip which I took in December of 2019. It’s 6 months later and I still can’t get over the country, the places I visited and the kind-hearted people I met during my time there. I was there for 2 weeks and it was an absolute blast. I loved every bit of the country and it’s high time that I shared my itinerary with you.
So it goes something like this.
Arrive at Colombo, check-in to your accommodation. Explore Colombo, watch the sunset over Galle Face Green and end your day with a chilled beer from In…on the Green pub.
Explore the Pettah Market. Walkthrough its bustling streets and you’ll end up at the Red Mosque, a 100-year-old mosque with a hybrid style of architecture, drawing elements from native Indo-Islamic and Indian architecture combining it with Gothic revival and Neo-classical style.
A little further is the Colombo Fort area and the Dutch Hospital Complex - a marvel in itself. And end your day with a visit to the famous Buddhist temple in Colombo - Gangaramaya Temple. Read more: From one land to the other: Colombo Travel Guide
Pack your bags because you’re en-route to Sigiriya. You can either take a taxi or a bus to Sigiriya. I took the bus from Colombo bus station and it took me about 5 hours and 30 minutes to reach Dambulla, a nearby town.
Reach your accommodation, rest, watch the sunset through the canopies of trees and prepare for the hike.
Hike up the Sigiriya Rock - ask your host or hotel front desk for the transport. They can cut a great deal for you. To hike up the rock, you will need to get a ticket and it costs you $30 and covers the access to the Sigiriya Museum. Members from the SAARC countries can avail the tickets at a discounted rate upon showing your passport.
Once you’re done with the hike, head to Dambulla Cave Temple, which houses over 1500 murals of Buddha on its ceilings and Buddha statues of various sizes. While this temple welcomes people of all beliefs, there is an entry fee of LKR 1,500 for foreigners.
It’s a travel day today. Pack your bags and head to Kandy. It’s a 2-hour bus ride from Dambulla. Reach your accommodation, take some rest and set out to explore the city. An evening stroll around the Kandy Lake and exploring its market make a great start to your time at Kandy.
Visit the temple of Sacred Tooth Relic and make sure to wear something white. While the temple welcomes people of all beliefs, there is an entry fee associated with foreigners. Members from the SAARC countries get a discount.
Once you’re done visiting the temple, go for the culture and fire show, which happens every evening at 5 PM. You’ll have to pay LKR 1000 for entry.
Once have witnessed the culture and fire show, spend some time by the Kandy Lake and watch a glorious sunset. Read more: Beautiful Kandy, for the traveller in you
Well, it’s time for you to pack your bags and head to your next destination - Nuwara Eliya.
You can either take the bus, taxi or the famous train. However, if you wish to take the train, I would highly recommend for you to book your tickets in advance so that you don’t end up standing with hundred other people for the five hours of travel.
Once you reach Nuwara Eliya, get to your accommodation, rest for some time and explore the quintessential hill town which undoubtedly looks straight out of a movie.
There aren’t many touristy things to do in Nuwara Eliya and this will serve as a breather for the intense travelling and explorations that you been doing the past week.
Take the train from Nuwara Eliya to Ella or if you have are with your friends or know a couple of people who are headed to Ella, you could also hire a taxi to Ella. It’s a 2-hour ride through the beautiful roads of Sri Lankan countryside.
Once you get to Ella, check-in to your accommodation, freshen up and set out to explore Ella.
Hike up to the Nine Arch Bridge through the woods to the distinct sound of the small streams. Once you are at the Nine Arch Bridge, get inside the tea plantations and get your Instagram worthy pictures taken.
Unlike other towns in Sri Lanka, Ella has a young crowd and you should visit the bars in the town. Dinner with karaoke would be the perfect way to end your day.
Rise and shine because early morning hike to the Little Adam’s Peak or the Ella Rock would be the perfect way to start your day, on a winter morning among the mist-covered landscape of Ella. Soak in the fresh air at the summit and click some great pictures because you deserve it.
Get back to your accommodation, freshen-up, head for breakfast and set out to explore the other hidden gems of Ella. You could either go for a tea plantation tour, indulge in some aromatic tea tasting or go on another hike up the Ravana Cave and the Buddhist temple near the cave as I did.
Read more: Making Friends On The Road In Sri Lanka
It’s an early start today as are set for the next destination. You can head to the southern towns of Sri Lanka namely Galle, Mirissa or Hikkaduwa.
I chose Mirissa and it was an absolute treat. Sit back and relax for the day or maybe even go for a stroll by the beach and catch the beautiful sunset.
The southern part of Sri Lanka is filled with different beaches and you could explore them. An agenda-free day is a good way to go about.
Or you could sit by the beach, soak in some Vitamin C and read your favourite book. It’s important to take a little break when you are travelling and this is exactly what I did.
Beach is bae. Put on your favourite beach clothes and set out to explore the ocean, don’t forget your sunscreen. You could go for an early morning whale watching expedition or go surfing at Weligama Beach. Or you could just rest, sit by the ocean and enjoy the view - this is what I did.
Another viable option that you can explore is to take a bus or drive down to the nearby fort town of Galle. Immerse yourself among the heritage sites of the town, visit the fort and end the day with a beautiful sunset by the beach.
Or get an Ayurvedic massage. It would be such a relief after travelling through the country, lugging your luggage on your shoulders.
Read more: Mirissa, a paradise on earth
Take a dip in the ocean. Sit back. Relax. Once you are done soaking enough Vitamin C, you could pack your bags and set for Colombo, depending upon your flight back to your home country.
Cherish all the memories that you have had in this island nation and get ready for the flight journey back to your home country. But don’t forget to buy some of your favourite liquor or souvenirs from the airport’s duty-free.
Does this sound like an exciting plan for your perfect two-week travel around the island nation of Sri Lanka? Let me know in the comments below or you could write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Instagram @weirdlyrosh for more travel-related content.
Happy and safe travels!