30 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

30 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

30 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Glasgow
Fly:  16​h 30​min
1
Colombo
— 3 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
2
Galle
— 4 nights
Fly + taxi:  3​h 30​min
3
Ella
— 3 nights
4
Polonnaruwa
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
5
Trincomalee
— 3 nights
6
Jaffna
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
7
Anuradhapura
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
8
Kandy
— 6 nights
+2
bus + foot + Fly:  19​h
End: Glasgow

3
nights
Colombo

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 Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara and Food Tours. Change things up with these side-trips from Colombo: Kalutara (Dolphin & Whale Watching & Kalutara Bodhiya). There's lots more to do: don't miss a visit to Independence Square, take an in-depth tour of Colombo National Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Old Kathiresan Temple, and stroll around Viharamahadevi Park.

To see maps, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Colombo trip planning site .

Glasgow, UK to Colombo is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from Glasgow to Colombo, you'll lose 5 hours due to the time zone difference. Plan for much hotter temperatures traveling from Glasgow in September, with highs in Colombo at 36°C and lows at 30°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can catch the train to Galle.

Things to do in Colombo

Tours Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Kalutara
Find places to stay Sep 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara ©
Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara
Kalutara Bodhiya ©
Kalutara Bodhiya

4
nights
Galle

The southernmost city on the island, Galle combines colonial-era history with a tropical feel and climate.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Dolphin & Whale Watching and Japanese Peace Pagoda. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Galle: Hikkaduwa (Tsunami Honganji Vihara & Community Tsunami Museum). Next up on the itinerary: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, examine the collection at Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complex, contemplate the long history of Galle Fort, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Dutch Reformed Church.

For ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Galle trip itinerary maker website .

You can take a train from Colombo to Galle in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. September in Galle sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 30°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to travel to Ella.

Things to do in Galle

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Hikkaduwa, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Japanese Peace Pagoda, Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara
Find places to stay Sep 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara ©
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara

3
nights
Ella

Ella ©
The relaxing hilltop village of Ella benefits from a more temperate climate than much of the rest of country thanks to its high elevation.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Lipton’s Seat and Buduruwagala. There's lots more to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Honey Bee Garden, take in the dramatic scenery at Ravana Ella Falls, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Little Adam's Peak, and take an in-depth tour of R. M. S Antique And Brassware.

To find more things to do, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Ella day trip site .

Do a combination of flight and taxi from Galle to Ella in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can drive to Polonnaruwa.

Things to do in Ella

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Lipton’s Seat, Buduruwagala
Find places to stay Sep 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Honey Bee Garden ©
Honey Bee Garden
Lipton’s Seat ©
Lipton’s Seat
Little Adam's Peak ©
Little Adam's Peak

3
nights
Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa ©
Lying 216 km (134 mi) from Colombo, Polonnaruwa offers a rich history second in Sri Lanka only to Arunadhapura.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Gal Vihara and Pethikada. Change things up with these side-trips from Polonnaruwa: Habarana (Minneriya National Park & Dambulla Cave Temple) and Sigiriya (Sigiriya & Pidurangala Rock). There's still lots to do: pause for some photo ops at Polonnaruwa Vatadage.

For ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Polonnaruwa road trip site .

Drive from Ella to Polonnaruwa in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a train. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Trincomalee.

Things to do in Polonnaruwa

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Sigiriya, Habarana
Find places to stay Sep 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Sigiriya ©
Sigiriya
Gal Vihara ©
Gal Vihara
Dambulla Cave Temple ©
Dambulla Cave Temple

3
nights
Trincomalee

Trincomalee ©
A center of Tamil culture and language, Trincomalee suffered greatly during the 30-year civil war, but the troubles haven't dimmed the natural and cultural charms of the place.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Koneswaram Temple and Scuba & Snorkeling. Take a break from Trincomalee with a short trip to Pigeon Island National Park in Nilaveli, about 56 minutes away. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Nilaveli Beach, brush up on your military savvy at Orr's Hill Army Museum, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Saint Mary's Cathedral, and explore the different monuments and memorials at Trincomalee War Cemetery.

To find reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Trincomalee travel route builder tool .

Traveling by car from Polonnaruwa to Trincomalee takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to drive to Jaffna.

Things to do in Trincomalee

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Nilaveli
Find places to stay Sep 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Nilaveli Beach ©
Nilaveli Beach
Koneswaram Temple ©
Koneswaram Temple
Trincomalee War Cemetery ©
Trincomalee War Cemetery

2
nights
Jaffna

Jaffna ©
A center of Tamil culture, the city of Jaffna remains in the process of rebuilding after suffering greatly during the civil war.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Thu): take in the spiritual surroundings of Naga Pooshani Ambal Kovil, take in the spiritual surroundings of Nagadipa Purana Vihara, then steep yourself in history at Jaffna Fort, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Nallur Kovil. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kadurugoda Buddhist Temple, trek along Kayts Causeway, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Dambakola Patuna Sangamitta Temple, and finally explore the ancient world of Kantharodai Viharaya.

To see other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Jaffna online tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Trincomalee to Jaffna takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Anuradhapura.

Things to do in Jaffna

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Sep 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Nallur Kovil ©
Nallur Kovil
Naga Pooshani Ambal Kovil ©
Naga Pooshani Ambal Kovil
Nagadipa Purana Vihara ©
Nagadipa Purana Vihara

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Ruwanwelisaya and Ritigala Forest Monastery. Get out of town with these interesting Anuradhapura side-trips: Dhilip De Alwis (in Habarana) and Avukana Buddha Statue (in Kekirawa). And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, make a trip to Isurumuniya Temple, delve into the distant past at Sakwala Chakraya (Star Gate), and pause for some photo ops at Samadhi Statue.

To find more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Anuradhapura trip itinerary planning tool .

You can drive from Jaffna to Anuradhapura in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) so you can drive to Kandy.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Dhilip De Alwis, Avukana Buddha Statue
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Ruwanwelisaya ©
Ruwanwelisaya
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi ©
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Jethawanaramaya Dagoba ©
Jethawanaramaya Dagoba

6
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Elephant Freedom Project and Ramboda Waterfall. Venture out of the city with trips to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (in Pinnawala), Nuwara Eliya (Shri Bhakta Hanuman Temple & Bluefield Tea Gardens) and Matale (Aluvihara Rock Cave Temple & Euphoria Spice and Herbal). The adventure continues: steep yourself in history at Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, look for all kinds of wild species at Udawattekele Sanctuary, stroll the grounds of Kandy War Cemetery, and don't miss a visit to Degaldoruwa Temple.

For traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Kandy vacation builder site .

Traveling by car from Anuradhapura to Kandy takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kandy

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Nuwara Eliya, Matale, Elephant Freedom Project, Ramboda Waterfall, Knuckles Forest Reserve
Find places to stay Sep 23 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ©
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Elephant Freedom Project ©
Elephant Freedom Project
Kandy Garrison Cemetery ©
Kandy Garrison Cemetery

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