23 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

23 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Sri Lanka route planner

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Route & dates

23 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  10​h 45​min
1
Colombo
— 3 nights
Train:  1​h 45​min
2
Galle
— 3 nights
Taxi + Fly:  1​h
3
Kandy
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Polonnaruwa
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Dambulla
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
6
Anuradhapura
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
7
Jaffna
— 1 night
Travel:  132​h
End: Melbourne

3
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.
On your second day here, look for gifts at Urban Island, take in the spiritual surroundings of Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Seema Malakaya Temple, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at St Anthony's Shrine.

For reviews, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Colombo trip builder website .

Melbourne, Australia to Colombo is an approximately 11-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Melbourne to Colombo is minus 4 hours. Prepare for much warmer weather when traveling from Melbourne in April: high temperatures in Colombo hover around 39°C and lows are around 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a train to Galle.

Things to do in Colombo

Historic Sites Parks Shopping
Highlights from your plan
St Anthony's Shrine ©
St Anthony's Shrine
Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple ©
Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple
Seema Malakaya Temple ©
Seema Malakaya Temple

3
nights
Galle

Galle ©
The southernmost city on the island, Galle combines colonial-era history with a tropical feel and climate.
Get some cultural insight at Kande Viharaya Temple and Meera Mosque. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Dutch Reformed Church and Fort Shri Sudarmalaya Buddhist Temple. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Galle: Kalutara Bodhiya (in Kalutara) and Tsunami Photo Museum (in Telwatta). There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Galle Fort, examine the collection at Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complex, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Saint Mary's Church, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya.

For photos, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Galle online vacation planner .

You can take a train from Colombo to Galle in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In April, daytime highs in Galle are 39°C, while nighttime lows are 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Galle

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Kande Viharaya Temple, Tsunami Photo Museum, Kalutara Bodhiya
Highlights from your plan
Kande Viharaya Temple ©
Kande Viharaya Temple
Dutch Reformed Church ©
Dutch Reformed Church
Galle Fort ©
Galle Fort

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.
On the 12th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the different monuments and memorials at Kandy War Cemetery, contemplate the long history of Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, and then stroll the grounds of Kandy Garrison Cemetery.

To find more things to do, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Kandy trip builder tool .

Getting from Galle to Kandy by combination of taxi and flight takes about an hour. Other options: do a combination of flight and taxi; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Kandy

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trip

Embekke Devalaya
Highlights from your plan
Kandy War Cemetery ©
Kandy War Cemetery
Kandy Garrison Cemetery ©
Kandy Garrison Cemetery
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

2
nights
Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa ©
Lying 216 km (134 mi) from Colombo, Polonnaruwa offers a rich history second in Sri Lanka only to Arunadhapura.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Tue): take an in-depth tour of Archaeological Museum, delve into the distant past at King’s Council Chamber, explore the ancient world of Siva Devalaya (No 1), then appreciate the history behind Polonnaruwa Vatadage, and finally contemplate the long history of Thivanka Image House. Here are some ideas for day two: steep yourself in history at Sathmahal Prasada, then contemplate the long history of Gal Potha, then contemplate the long history of Nishshanka Latha Mandapaya, and finally contemplate the long history of Hetadage.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Polonnaruwa online travel planner .

You can drive from Kandy to Polonnaruwa in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Dambulla.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
King’s Council Chamber ©
King’s Council Chamber
Thivanka Image House ©
Thivanka Image House
Gal Potha ©
Gal Potha

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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Thu): don't miss a visit to Sigiriya, then stroll through Dhilip De Alwis, and then stroll through Golden Temple of Dambulla. Keep things going the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Nalanda Gedige, then stop by Lanka Silks, and then contemplate the long history of kaludiya Pokuna.

For where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Dambulla trip planner.

Traveling by car from Polonnaruwa to Dambulla takes 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Dambulla

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Sigiriya, Nalanda Gedige, Dhilip De Alwis
Highlights from your plan
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya
Golden Temple of Dambulla ©
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Nalanda Gedige ©
Nalanda Gedige

3
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.
Isurumuniya Temple and Ranmasu Uyana will appeal to history buffs. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and Thanthirimale Rajamaha Viharaya. And it doesn't end there: make a trip to Jethawanaramaya Dagoba, snap pictures at Gal Palama (Stone Bridge) over Malwathu Oya, delve into the distant past at Sakwala Chakraya (Star Gate), and take in the spiritual surroundings of Mihintale.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Anuradhapura trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Dambulla to Anuradhapura in 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to drive to Jaffna.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi ©
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Isurumuniya Temple ©
Isurumuniya Temple
Jethawanaramaya Dagoba ©
Jethawanaramaya Dagoba

1
night
Jaffna

Jaffna ©
A center of Tamil culture, the city of Jaffna remains in the process of rebuilding after suffering greatly during the civil war.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Tue): admire the landmark architecture of Nagadeepa Rajamaha Viharaya, then pause for some photo ops at Maruthanamadam Anjaneyar Temple, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kadurugoda Buddhist Temple.

For more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read our Jaffna journey planning website .

Drive from Anuradhapura to Jaffna in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Jaffna

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Kadurugoda Buddhist Temple ©
Kadurugoda Buddhist Temple
Maruthanamadam Anjaneyar Temple ©
Maruthanamadam Anjaneyar Temple

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