42 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

42 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Sri Lanka tour planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Colombo
— 2 nights
Train to Habarana, Taxi to Polonnaruwa
2
Polonnaruwa
— 5 nights
Drive
3
Dambulla
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Anuradhapura
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Jaffna
— 5 nights
Drive
6
Nilaveli
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Kandy
— 6 nights
Drive
8
Nuwara Eliya
— 5 nights
Drive
9
Haputale
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Galle
— 4 nights
Drive
11
Colombo
— 2 nights
Fly

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Colombo

— 2 nights
The commercial capital of the country, Colombo has added modern touches to its colonial-era core, creating an exciting and eclectic coastal city.
Step off the beaten path and head to See Lanka Travels and Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple. Your inner history buff will appreciate Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya and St. Thomas Chapel. Explore Colombo's surroundings by going to St. Sebastian’s Church (in Negombo) and Pio Ayurveda Center (in Waikkal). Next up on the itinerary: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of St. Michael & All Angels, Polwatte, don't miss a visit to St. Mary's Church, pause for some photo ops at Independence Memorial Hall, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Borella All Saints Church.

To find other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Colombo trip itinerary builder website.

Denpasar, Indonesia to Colombo is an approximately 10.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Central Indonesia Time to India Standard Time is minus 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 37°C in June, and nighttime lows around 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Colombo

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trips

Polonnaruwa

— 5 nights
Lying 216 km (134 mi) from Colombo, Polonnaruwa offers a rich history second in Sri Lanka only to Arunadhapura.
Get some historical perspective at Polonnaruwa Vatadage and Manik Vehera. Get a sense of the local culture at Nishshanka Latha Mandapaya and Dalada Maluwa. Explore Polonnaruwa's surroundings by going to Kallady Beach (in Batticaloa), Passikudah Beach (in Kalkudah) and Habarana (Off-Road Tours, Safaris, &more). Next up on the itinerary: take an in-depth tour of Archaeological Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hatadage, explore the ancient world of Pabalu Vehera, and don't miss a visit to Kumara Pokuna.

For photos, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Polonnaruwa online trip itinerary builder.

Do a combination of train and taxi from Colombo to Polonnaruwa in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Dambulla.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Wildlife · Historic Sites · Parks · Outdoors

Side Trips

Dambulla

— 2 nights
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 23rd (Wed): relax and rejuvenate at Heritance Kandalama Spa, Head underground at Golden Temple of Dambulla, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Dambulla Royal Cave Temple. On the 24th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Dhilip De Alwis, then explore the ancient world of Sigiriya Fortress, then browse the exhibits of Pethikada, and finally stop by sigiri art gallery.

For ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Dambulla online trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Polonnaruwa to Dambulla in 1.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Thu) so you can go by car to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Dambulla

Historic Sites · Parks · Spas · Nature

Side Trips

Anuradhapura

— 5 nights
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and Wilpattu National Park. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Yapahuwa Rock Fortress and Mihintale. Take a break from Anuradhapura with a short trip to Yapahuwa Ancient Kingdom in Yapahuwa, about 1h 30 min away. There's much more to do: don't miss a visit to Jethawanaramaya Dagoba, explore the ancient world of Moonstone or Sandakada pahana, get outside with Eth Pokuna, and delve into the mystery of Sakwala Chakraya (Star Gate).

To find maps, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Anuradhapura online tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Dambulla to Anuradhapura in 1.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Jaffna.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites · Parks · Wildlife · Nature

Side Trip

Jaffna

— 5 nights
A center of Tamil culture, the city of Jaffna remains in the process of rebuilding after suffering greatly during the civil war.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Nallur Kovil and Jaffna Fort. Get some historical perspective at Kantharodai Viharaya and Dambakola Patuna Sangamitta Temple. Get out of town with these interesting Jaffna side-trips: Thalaiyadi Beach (in Maruthankerny) and Kovalam Beach (in Karainagar). And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Casuarina Beach, kick back and relax at Kankesanthurai Beach, steep yourself in history at Nagadeepa Rajamaha Viharaya, and take an in-depth tour of Jaffna Archaeological Museum.

To find ratings, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Jaffna sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Anuradhapura to Jaffna in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) early enough to drive to Nilaveli.

Things to do in Jaffna

Historic Sites · Beaches · Parks · Outdoors

Side Trips

Nilaveli

— 2 nights
The coastal resort town of Nilaveli draws visitors with its beaches, dive spots, and seaside hotels.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Mon): take in the natural beauty of Kanniya Hot Springs, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sri Pathrakali Amman Temple, then admire the landmark architecture of Velgam Vehera, and finally kick back and relax at Nilaveli Beach. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Trincomalee Beach and then see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Nilaveli day trip planning tool.

You can drive from Jaffna to Nilaveli in 4.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of train and taxi. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) so you can go by car to Kandy.

Things to do in Nilaveli

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trip

Kandy

— 6 nights
Nestled between mountains in inland Sri Lanka, Kandy proudly bears its World Heritage Site designation while remaining culturally independent and colorfully picturesque.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Elephant Freedom Project and World Buddhist Museum. Get some historical perspective at Kandy Garrison Cemetery and Hindagala Temple. Step out of Kandy with an excursion to Embekke Devalaya in Handessa--about 32 minutes away. Spend the 11th (Sun) on the rails with a train tour. There's much more to do: don't miss a visit to Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Asgiri Maha Vihara pirivena, contemplate the waterfront views at Kandy Lake, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find reviews, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Kandy road trip site.

Traveling by car from Nilaveli to Kandy takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or do a combination of taxi, train, and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Mon) early enough to drive to Nuwara Eliya.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Nuwara Eliya

— 5 nights

Little England

Sitting high up in the hills, the green and pleasant Nuwara Eliya offers both a rich history and proximity to pristine natural areas.
Explore hidden gems such as Nuwara Eliya and Tea Country and Waterfall Tours. Get some cultural insight at Sita Temple and Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya. Change things up with a short trip to Christ Church Warleigh in Dickoya (about 1h 25 min away). There's lots more to do: stroll through Horton Plains National Park, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, play a few rounds at Nuwara Eliya Golf Course, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at International Buddhist Centre.

To see other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Nuwara Eliya journey builder tool.

You can drive from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) early enough to drive to Haputale.

Things to do in Nuwara Eliya

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Outdoors

Side Trips

Haputale

— 2 nights
Nestled atop Uva, Sri Lanka's main mountain range, lies tranquil Haputale.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sun): get great views at Lipton’s Seat and then take in the pleasant sights at Mahamevnawa Monastery. On your second day here, take in the spiritual surroundings of St Benedict's Monastery - Adisham, get great views at Prabhawa Mountain Day View Point Haputale, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at 'Pleasure ' Ayurveda.

To see photos, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, use the Haputale trip maker app.

You can drive from Nuwara Eliya to Haputale in 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Mon) so you can drive to Galle.

Things to do in Haputale

Historic Sites · Spas · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trips

Galle

— 4 nights
The southernmost city on the island, Galle combines colonial-era history with a tropical feel and climate.
We've included these beaches for you: Ahungalla Beach and Mihiripenna Beach. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Dutch Reformed Church and Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research & Conservation Center. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Galle: Puppetry Museum (in Balapitiya) and Tsunami Photo Museum (in Telwatta). Next up on the itinerary: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fort Shri Sudarmalaya Buddhist Temple, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Jungle Beach.

To find photos, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Galle travel route planning app.

You can drive from Haputale to Galle in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and train. July in Galle sees daily highs of 37°C and lows of 31°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Fri) early enough to go by car to Colombo.

Things to do in Galle

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Colombo

— 2 nights
Get some historical perspective at St Anthony's Shrine and Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple. Get a sense of the local culture at Kalutara Bodhiya and Murugan Temple. Get out of town with these interesting Colombo side-trips: Negombo (Scuba & Snorkeling, Negombo Beach, &more). Enjoy Colombo some more: relax and rejuvenate at Kemara, see the interesting displays at Traditional Puppet Art Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Shri Ponnambalawaneswaram Kovil, and stop by Urban Island.

To find maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Colombo day trip planning app.

You can drive from Galle to Colombo in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Colombo

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Baths · Spas

Side Trips

Sri Lanka travel guide

4.2
Sacred & Religious Sites · Beaches · Nature & Parks
India's Teardrop
Shaped like a teardrop and located just below the southern tip of India, lush Sri Lanka boasts some of the greatest biodiversity in the world. Unless you time your Sri Lanka holiday for monsoon season, you can expect bright blue skies and plenty of sunshine, perfect for exploring tropical forests, historic temples, colonial forts, and many other buildings dating back to Dutch rule. Popular things to do in Sri Lanka include swimming, sailing, and surfing, though a growing number of visitors come here just to eat their way around the country. Greatly influenced by nearby India, the national cuisine also features many elements of European cooking--a result of the Dutch and Portuguese colonial years. Of course, a trip to Sri Lanka would not be complete without a cup of its world-famous Ceylon tea.