23 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

23 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Sri Lanka planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Kandy
— 4 nights
Fly
2
Hikkaduwa
— 5 nights
Drive
3
Mirissa
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Udawalawe National Park
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Polonnaruwa
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Anuradhapura
— 4 nights
Taxi to Colombo, Fly to Brisbane

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Kandy

— 4 nights
Nestled between mountains in inland Sri Lanka, Kandy proudly bears its World Heritage Site designation while remaining culturally independent and colorfully picturesque.
Explore hidden gems such as Udawattekele Sanctuary and World Buddhist Museum. Escape the urban bustle at Royal Botanical Gardens and Kandy Lake. Change things up with a short trip to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawala (about 1h 20 min away). There's lots more to do: explore the different monuments and memorials at Kandy War Cemetery, don't miss a visit to Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, step into the grandiose world of Royal Palace of Kandy, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery Kundasale.

To find more things to do, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read our Kandy trip planner.

Brisbane, Australia to Kandy is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. Traveling from Brisbane to Kandy, you'll gain 4.5 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Hikkaduwa.

Things to do in Kandy

Historic Sites · Parks · Wildlife · Museums

Side Trips

Hikkaduwa

— 5 nights
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.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Jungle Beach and Hikkaduwa Beach. Take a break from the city and head to Ahungalla Beach and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Change things up with these side-trips from Hikkaduwa: Kowilawatta Temple (in Balapitiya), Kosgoda (Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research & Conservation Center & Kosgoda Turtle Care) and Bentota Beach (in Bentota). There's much more to do: pause for some serene contemplation at Dutch Reformed Church, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery, view the masterpieces at Saffron Robes, and kick back and relax at Narigama Beach.

To see traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Hikkaduwa online attractions planner.

Traveling by flight from Kandy to Hikkaduwa takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. In March, daytime highs in Hikkaduwa are 38°C, while nighttime lows are 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) early enough to drive to Mirissa.

Things to do in Hikkaduwa

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Mirissa

— 4 nights
The fishing town of Mirissa has developed into a notable tourist destination.
Head to Indika Art Gallery and LAZY.RIDEfor some retail therapy. Get in touch with nature at Mirissa Beach and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Venture out of the city with trips to Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complex (in Galle), Kahandamodara Beach (in Kahandamodara) and Kalametiya Eco Bird Watching (in Kalametiya). There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Goyambokka Beach (Sriyanga Sanjeewa), experience rural life at Handunugoda Tea Estate, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and get some fabulous bargains at Tea House.

To see ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Mirissa holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Hikkaduwa to Mirissa takes 1.5 hours. In March, plan for daily highs up to 38°C, and evening lows to 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) early enough to drive to Udawalawe National Park.

Things to do in Mirissa

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trips

Udawalawe National Park

— 2 nights
One of the primary nature reserves in the country, Uda Walawe National Park provides vital habitat for a herd of Sri Lankan elephants.
On the 15th (Tue), tour the pleasant surroundings at Elephant Transit Home (ETH). Here are some ideas for day two: explore the striking landscape of Udawalawe National Park.

For ratings, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Udawalawe National Park travel route planner.

Drive from Mirissa to Udawalawe National Park in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight. In March in Udawalawe National Park, expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Udawalawe National Park

Wildlife · Parks · Nature

Polonnaruwa

— 2 nights
Lying 216 km (134 mi) from Colombo, Polonnaruwa offers a rich history second in Sri Lanka only to Arunadhapura.
On the 17th (Thu), appreciate the history behind Gal Vihara and then take an exotic tour of a safari tour. Here are some ideas for day two: delve into the distant past at Siva Devalaya (No 1), appreciate the history behind Polonnaruwa Vatadage, then get to know the fascinating history of Polonnaruwa, and finally contemplate the long history of Lankathilaka Image House.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Polonnaruwa tour itinerary planner.

Fly from Udawalawe National Park to Polonnaruwa in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Historic Sites · Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Anuradhapura

— 4 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.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Pethikada and sigiri art gallery. Visit Sigiriya Fortress and Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi for their historical value. Change things up with these side-trips from Anuradhapura: Dhilip De Alwis (in Habarana) and Golden Temple of Dambulla (in Dambulla). Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Ritigala Forest Monastery, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Isurumuniya Temple, admire the striking features of Ruwanwelisaya, and make a trip to Jethawanaramaya Dagoba.

To see more things to do, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Anuradhapura trip planning app.

You can drive from Polonnaruwa to Anuradhapura in 2.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Wildlife

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.