Ultimate Itinerary for a Week in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has something to offer everyone. This beautiful island nation has a rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and friendly locals. Whether you are a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or simply seeking a relaxing beach getaway. Traveling to Sri Lanka can be a truly enriching experience. 

In this blog post, we will explore the top attractions, transportation options, accommodations, and safety tips to ensure your trip to Sri Lanka is memorable and hassle-free.

What are the Must-visit Attractions in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka, an island nation in South Asia, is a treasure trove of enchanting attractions that will captivate any traveler. From pristine beaches to ancient ruins, this tropical paradise offers a diverse range of must-visit sights. One such attraction is the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site that boasts breathtaking views and intricate frescoes. Another must-see is the sacred city of Kandy, home to the revered Temple of the Tooth Relic, where pilgrims flock to pay their respects. 

For wildlife enthusiasts, Yala National Park is a haven for spotting leopards and elephants in their natural habitat. And let’s not forget the idyllic beaches in Mirissa and Unawatuna, where you can soak up the sun and enjoy water sports. Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage is also showcased in its ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, where ancient temples and stupa ruins transport you back in time. With so much to explore, Sri Lanka is a destination that should not be missed.

How to Get Around Sri Lanka?

Getting around Sri Lanka is relatively easy and there are several transportation options available. Here are some ways to explore Sri Lanka:

  1. Train: Sri Lanka has a well-connected railway network that covers most parts of the country. The train rides are scenic and offer a unique experience. You can choose between different classes, including first class, second class, and observation carriages. It is advisable to book your train tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  2. Bus: Buses are the most common mode of public transportation in Sri Lanka. There are both government-owned and private bus services available. Buses are relatively cheap, but they can be crowded at times. It is important to note that buses might not always adhere to strict schedules, so it’s a good idea to check the timings beforehand.
  3. Tuk-tuk: Tuk-tuks, also known as three-wheelers, are a popular mode of transport in Sri Lanka. They are convenient for short trips within cities and towns. Tuk-tuks do not have meters, so you will need to negotiate the fare with the driver before starting the journey. It’s always a good idea to agree on the price before getting in.
  4. Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Sri Lanka, especially in urban areas and tourist hotspots. You can either hire a taxi for a specific journey or book one for the entire day. It is advisable to use metered taxis or negotiate the fare in advance to avoid any misunderstandings.
  5. Car rental: If you prefer the freedom and flexibility of having your vehicle, you can rent a car in Sri Lanka. There are several car rental companies available, but it is important to have a valid international driving license and be aware of the local traffic rules and regulations.
  6. Domestic flights: If you are traveling long distances or want to save time, you can opt for domestic flights. Sri Lanka has several domestic airports, and flights are available between major cities.

It’s important to plan your transportation options based on your itinerary and personal preferences. Some modes of transport may be more suitable for certain destinations than others.

The Ultimate Itinerary for a Week in Sri Lanka

Creating an ultimate itinerary for a week in Sri Lanka involves a blend of cultural, natural, and recreational experiences to appreciate the diversity and beauty of the island fully. Here’s a suggested itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival in Colombo

  • Morning: Arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo. Check into a hotel and rest.
  • Afternoon: Explore the city’s colonial architecture, visit the National Museum, and stroll along Galle Face Green.
  • Evening: Enjoy local cuisine at a restaurant in Colombo.

Day 2: Colombo to Sigiriya

  • Morning: Travel to Sigiriya. It’s approximately a 4-hour drive.
  • Afternoon: Visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Climb to the top for breathtaking views.
  • Evening: Relax at a hotel near Sigiriya.

Day 3: Sigiriya to Kandy

  • Morning: Head to Kandy, visiting the Dambulla Cave Temple en route.
  • Afternoon: In Kandy, visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic, a sacred Buddhist site.
  • Evening: Enjoy a cultural dance performance in Kandy.

Day 4: Kandy to Nuwara Eliya

  • Morning: Take the scenic train journey from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, known for its tea plantations.
  • Afternoon: Explore the tea estates, learn about tea production, and enjoy a tea-tasting session.
  • Evening: Stroll around Gregory Lake and relax in the cool climate.

Day 5: Nuwara Eliya to Yala

  • Morning: Depart for Yala National Park.
  • Afternoon: Go on a safari in Yala National Park, famous for its leopards and diverse wildlife.
  • Evening: Stay at a hotel or safari camp near the park.

Day 6: Yala to Galle

  • Morning: Travel to the historic city of Galle.
  • Afternoon: Explore Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and enjoy the coastal views.
  • Evening: Relax at a beach resort in the nearby coastal town.

Day 7: Galle to Colombo

  • Morning: Spend time at the beach or explore more of Galle.
  • Afternoon: Return to Colombo (approximately a 2-hour drive).
  • Evening: Last-minute shopping in Colombo and farewell dinner.

Safety Tips for Travelling in Sri Lanka:

While Sri Lanka is generally a safe travel destination for travelers, it’s always important to take precautions. Here are some safety tips:

  • Stay informed about the current political and social situation before your trip.
  • Keep your valuables secure and be cautious of pickpockets in crowded areas.
  • Follow any travel advisories and respect local customs and traditions.
  • Stay hydrated, use sunscreen, and carry insect repellent to protect yourself from the tropical climate.

Where to Stay in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Some popular choices include:

  • Luxury resorts: Pamper yourself with world-class amenities and stunning views in beachside or hilltop resorts.
  • Boutique hotels: Experience personalized service and charming ambiance in boutique hotels located in historical towns or natural settings.
  • Homestays: Immerse yourself in the local culture by staying with a Sri Lankan family and enjoying authentic home-cooked meals.


Traveling in Sri Lanka offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and warm hospitality. From exploring ancient ruins to relaxing on pristine beaches, this island nation has something for everyone. By visiting the must-see attractions, utilizing different transportation options, choosing suitable accommodations, and practicing safety measures, you can make the most out of your trip to Sri Lanka. So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in the teardrop-shaped paradise.