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The Ultimate 2-Week Sri Lanka Itinerary (2023)

If you're planning a trip to Sri Lanka, this blog post might help you to find the best travel route. First, I'll share my travel route, where you can get inspired, and next, I have created a recommended travel route for Sri Lanka, which you can add to your Sri Lanka itinerary.

Table of Contents:

My Sri Lanka Travel Route

I arrived at Colombo Airport and didn't stay a minute there (lol). At the airport, I took a taxi, which took me straight to Hikkaduwa, my first stop in Sri Lanka. I stayed in Hikkaduwa for five nights.

From Hikkaduwa I went to Unawatuna by a Trishaw. That's a small vehicle, where you sit inside a self-made built construct that is somehow connected with the driver on his scooter. In Unawatuna, I spent four wonderful days and three nights. Honestly, I could have stayed more.

I headed towards Mirissa by another Trishaw, for three nights and took then another Trishaw to Mirissa, where I spent three more nights there.

The next stop was Ella, a small mountain village in the inner part of Sri Lanka. There are two possible ways to get to Ella:

  1. The direct way, where you order a taxi that brings you up north

  2. Book a safari tour, where the transfer is included.

I did the safari tour, which started very early! The driver brought us to the Udawalawe National Park, where we saw many elephants and some birds. After our safari adventure trip, we continued our drive to Ella and arrived in the afternoon.

I enjoyed the mild temperatures in Ella, explored the little town, made a hike for sunrise, and after three nights, I took the famous train ride to Kandy, which took me 6-7 hours. An authentic train ride through Sri Lanka's astonishing landscape. Beautiful but it's a long ride!

Train Ride from Ella to Kandy

I only spent two nights in Kandy and since I had time left and liked Sri Lanka more in the south I took a long and bumpy bus ride back to a new beach destination: Dickwella.

In Dickwella I spent three nights and decided to go back to the place I liked the most during my travels - Unawatuna. I enjoyed the last seven nights at this beach town before I headed all the way back to Colombo to catch my flight back to Switzerland.

The Perfect 2-Week Travel Sri Lanka Itinerary

My travel route was planned spontaneously, and I just went with the flow. Because of that, I spent hours on an uncomfortable bus and that can be avoided. For those who don't have a month in Sri Lanka planned, I've created this 2-week itinerary to Sri Lanka that I think could make your journey perfect.

Sri Lanka 2-Week Itinerary

Day 1: Arriving in a Tropical Paradise

I know after a long flight, nobody wants to travel further. However, Colombo is not worth seeing and I recommend skipping Colombo and taking a taxi down south.

At the airport you must negotiate for a good price, otherwise they'll rip you off. I was able to haggle the price down to $40 which brought me straight to Hikkaduwa.

After you've finally arrived in Hikkaduwa, it's time to rest, adjust yourself to the environment, and slow down. Hikkaduwa is also known as having good waves for those who like to surf.

For this reason, I recommend spending three to four nights in Hikkaduwa.

Day 4: Take some Surf Lessons in Unawatuna

After you get yourself some rest, it's time to take a trishaw* to Unawatuna. It's an approximately 45-minute ride. Unawatuna offers a lot to do, such as surfing, or a day trip to Galle.

Unawatuna was my favorite place in Sri Lanka and I included it in my travel guide about the coastline in Sri Lanka, click here to read it.

I recommend spending at least four nights in Unawatuna before you head towards the next destination.

Day 8: Relax at the Beach in Mirissa

In comparison to Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna Mirissa is a bigger town and popular among tourists with families. What I liked the most about Mirissa was the beautiful blue-colored and clean beaches.

In comparison to the other beach towns, you can't surf here. Nonetheless, a great place for relaxing, drinking coconuts, and enjoying the relaxed vibe.

In my opinion, two nights in Mirissa are enough.

Day 10: Explore Sri Lanka's beautiful Landscapes

After you've done nothing but just relax you're reading for a new adventure. Say goodbye to the ocean because it's time to head to the mountains.

I recommend booking a safari tour, where the transfer to Ella is included. Ella is a beautiful place in the mountains. The perfect place for a digital detox and reconnecting to nature. Read more about things to do in Ella, in another blog post. Click here to read it.

Ella is also the place where you can hop on the well-known train ride to Kandy. After spending two nights in Ella, you can easily embark on the train.

Day 12: The Famous Train Ride from Ella to Kandy

Although it's a very long ride, traveling on a public train in Sri Lanka is a unique experience. Plus it comes with one of the most beautiful views of Sri Lanka's unique landscape.

The ride takes "only" 6-7 hours and transports you to Kandy, the second-largest city in Sri Lanka. I recommend not spending too much time here because there's honestly not much to do. One night should be enough.

🤫 Extend for another night to see rock Sigiriya, one of Sri Lanka's UNESCO heritage sites.

Day 13: Get Back to Colombo

It's already time to head back to Colombo. You can choose between a taxi or the public bus. It's a long and curvy way back.

I'm not the biggest fan of having a full day of traveling. For this reason, I like to rest in an accommodation near the airport before the flight. Relax, take a refreshing shower, and enjoy the last bits of your trip.


Sri Lanka is not the most famous travel destination, but as described in this itinerary it has lots to offer. Sri Lanka is a country packed with scenic landscapes, beautiful beaches, cultural insights, and many activities to do. I promise you won't get bored!

If you have more than two weeks in Sri Lanka, feel free to extend your nights, or maybe add more stops to your itinerary.

💬 Did you like this itinerary or even follow the described path? I would love to hear about your travel experiences. Feel free to write in the comments.

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