Ultimate Sri Lanka Guide- a 3 week itinerary

sat on top of diyaluma falls, Sri Lanka

Ultimate Sri Lanka Guide- a 3 week itinerary

Sri Lanka, a tiny, tear drop island recently named Lonely Planets top country to visit and considered to be one of the best tea making countries in the world. For such a small country Sri Lanka has lots to offer.

that wanderlust boho in the jungle in Ella, Sri Lanka

Before you go

You will need to apply for an E-visa before visiting Sri Lanka. The visa costs $35 and will allow you to stay for up to 30 days and is valid for 3 months after purchase. You can also get a visa on arrival (which is what we did) but there is usually queues.


Day 1-2 in Colombo

Explore the hustle and bustle of ┬áthe capital in 1-2 days or if you’re short on time you can squeeze it into 1 whole day. Walk around the city or hire a tuk tuk for roughly 2000 LKR to see what Colombo has to offer.

Tip- Before getting in any tuk tuk make sure you agree on a price and route. The drivers are known to work with local businesses and they will try to take you to the stores where you’re encouraged to buy things and the driver gets a profit. This of course isn’t entirely bad but our driver got quite aggressive with us if we didn’t agree to visit a certain place he suggested. We later found out that it’s a known scam.

Top things to do in Colombo:

  • Gangaramaya Temple
  • Sri Kaileswaram
  • Jami Ul-Afar Masjid (red mosque)
  • Pettah market
  • Galle face green

that wanderlust boho outside the red mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Where to stay

For a mid budget room not far from the city centre click here


Day 2-4 in Dambulla

Dambulla is a quiet village situated roughly 30 minutes away from Sigiriya. Accommodation in Dambulla is a lot cheaper than those in Sigiriya and the tuk tuks to get there are very cheap. We took the local bus from Colombo Fort Station to Dambulla which cost us 500 LKR per seat. Please note that if you have a lot if baggage with you , you will need to pay for an extra seat/s as they don’t have much boot space (apparently).

Top things to do in Dambulla:

  • Sigiriya- Lions Rock
  • Pidurangula Rock (view of sigiriya)
  • Dambulla Royal Cave Temple

that wanderlust boho in sri lanka

Where to stay

For a budget room with friendly owners click here


Day 4-6 in Kandy

Kandy is a large city surrounded by mountains and set around the heart of the city- Kandy Lake. There are many things to do here including the incredible train ride Ella. The local bus from Dambulla to Kandy cost 500 LKR per seat.

Top things to do in Kandy:

  • Walk around Kandy Lake
  • Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha statue (Big Buddha)
  • Temple of the Tooth
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Kandy to Ella train

Kandy big buddha in Sri Lanka

Where to stay

The best place to stay is near Kandy Lake as it’s within walking distance to almost everywhere. Click here for places to stay.


Day 6-10 in Ella

Ella is a small town situated in the mountains. It’s surrounded by beautiful greenery, you’ll have the best view of Ella on the train ride there. It’s breathtaking and an absolute must do. One of my favourite places in Sri Lanka that’s for sure ­čÖé

Top things to do in Ella:

  • The famous blue train
  • Nine arch bridge
  • Diyaluma waterfall
  • Adams Peak and Little Adams Peak
  • Tea plantation


nine arch bridge in Ella, Sri Lanka

Where to stay

There are so many places to stay in Ella, click here to browse a range of accommodations and prices.


Day 10-13 in Arugam Bay

Arguam Bay is a small beach side town situated on the East Coast of Sri Lanka. It’s the perfect location if you fancy chilling. It’s also a great location for surfing in the right season.

Top things to do in Arugam Bay:

  • Chill at the beach
  • Peanut Farm
  • Surfing

that wanderlust boho at arum bay Sri Lanka

Where to stay

For places to stay in Arugam Bay click here

Day 13-15 in Mirissa

Mirissa is a beach side town with beautiful beaches and many great restaurants. It’s not too busy and has plenty of things to do on offer.

Top things to do in Mirissa:

  • Parrot rock
  • Coconut beach
  • Mirissa Beach
  • Surf
  • Eat at Deumini Roti

That wanderlust boho at a fruit stall in Galle

Where to stay

For places to stay in Mirissa click here

Day 15-17 in Hirikitiya

Hirikitiya is a beautiful sea side village full of surf & hipster vibes. The beach at Hirikitiya is small but stunning with plenty of waves to surf. Dikwella is the next town over which is really close. It has a super called beach and some great cafes like Verse Collective- a must visit spot.

Top things to do in Hiri:

  • Mahi Mahi Swing
  • Chill at Verse Collective
  • Dikwella Beach
  • Surf at Hirikitiya Beach


that wanderlust boho on a swing
Please note- I didn’t have a photo in Hirikitiya. This swing is situated near Unawatuna.

Where to stay

We used Airbnb and stayed at Mission House hosted by Dulunjan and family. Our friends Asja & JP at @travel_leap recommended it and it was our favourite stay in all of Sri Lanka. We have fond memories of drinking tea and chatting to Dulunjan and family, I can’t recommend them enough.┬áClick here to to check Mission House. (Not sponsored).

Day 17-19 in Unawatuna

Unawatuna is another beach side town that’s perfect to kick back and unwind. Everything to do here is at the beach and it’s not to be missed. I also recommend dining at one of the beach restaurants to watch the sunset. It’s really charming, just bring your bug spray.

Top things to do in Unawatuna:

  • Beach swing at Wijaya beach (near Dreams Cabana)
  • Dalawella beach
  • Unawatuna beach
  • Jungle beach
  • Unawatuna market

that wanderlust boho on a beach swing in unawatuna

Where to stay

For places to stay in Unawatuna click here

Day 19-21 in Galle

Galle is a coastal town in the south of Sri Lanka known for its beautiful Galle Fort. If you’re short on time you can visit Galle Fort on a day trip from Unawatuna by bus. It’s cheap and not very far to travel.

Top things to do in Galle:

  • Galle Fort
  • Galle Fort lighthouse
  • Watch the sunset from Galle Fort
  • Eat at Gallery 52


that wanderlust boho at Galle Fort Lighthouse

Where to stay

For places to stay in Galle click here

More on Sri Lanka…

I hope this Sri Lanka guide helps you in planning your Sri Lankan adventure. If you’d like more guides and things to do in Sri Lanka click here.

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pinterest that wanderlust boho


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