This article provides a suggested Sri Lanka itinerary and map for one, two or three weeks in Sri Lanka. Where to go in Sri Lanka and places to visit in Sri Lanka, including cities like Jaffna, Pollonaruwa, Habarana and many more for a memorable trip on a budget.
Sri Lanka : our impromptu stop which became one of our most memorable visit.
We did not intend to visit Sri Lanka. Based on our itinerary, we had planned to go from Myanmar to India but J wanted us to go to Bangladesh (not my dream destination, but more on that later…). We made flights reservation from Bangkok to Bangladesh, which included a layover in Colombo at midnight (local time). So of course, J started contemplating a longer layover in Sri Lanka and the in-flight magazines from Sri Lanka Airlines only encouraged him even more…
With hindsight, I am very glad we extended our stay in Sri Lanka, a beautiful country so I hope this itinerary will help you decide where to go on this colorful island! It is extremely easy to travel by bus in Sri Lanka, each bus destination is very well indicated and you can pay directly on the bus. Trains are another travel option in Sri Lanka with beautiful scenery. More detailed posts about each cities will come soon.
This itinerary is doable in 12 days and can be easily stretched to two to three weeks.
Colombo: the capital of Sri Lanka and most likely where your Sri Lankan adventure will begin. There is not much to see in Colombo, you can get a feel of the city in about a day.
Recommended Stay: 1-2Days
Jaffna: the Northern capital of Sri Lanka, we wanted to visit the town post civil war, which ended in 2009. A long route for a two-day visit but it was very interesting to see how the city is re-building itself.
Recommended Stay: 2-3 days
Anuradhapura: Hop on your bicycle and ride through the ruins of Sri Lanka with the cultural triangle which also includes Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy. Two to three days in each city will suffice for visits.
Recommended Stay: 1-2days
Polonnaruwa: A very charming little town. We took a day to visit the ruins of Polonnaruwa.
Recommended Stay: 1-2days
Habarana: One of my favorite stops in the country thanks to our hotel, which allowed us to sleep in a treehouse and our spectacular visit to Minneriya National Park during the elephants migration.
Recommended Stay: 2 days
Recommended Stay: 1-2 days
Kandy: The second largest city in Sri Lanka and home to the Temple of the Tooth, a very nice city in the middle of the hills in the Kandy plateau. You can also explore the various tea plantations. Many people also go to hike up Adam’s Peak.
Recommended Stay: 1-3 days.
Galle: about 100km South of Colombo, we stayed in the Galle Fort and enjoyed a few days of calm and rest by the beach. A lovely place to relax and indulge.
Note: ladies, if you intend to swim at the beach, it’d be preferable to swim with your clothes on instead of a two-piece bikini – to be respectful of the local population (who all swim with their clothes on).
Recommended Stay: 2-4 days.
How long did you stay in Sri Lanka? Where else did you go?
View our other travel tips from Sri Lanka for travels on a budget.