With tropical, tangled forests, clear, sandy beaches, and crumbling ancient ruins, planning what to see in Sri Lanka is a difficult task. We’ve created three itineraries for the perfect two weeks in Sri Lanka.
2 Weeks in Sri Lanka Itinerary 1: Colombo + The Western Provinces
Destinations: Negombo, Gampaha, Colombo, Mount Lavinia, Deniyaya
Our first Sri Lanka 2 week itinerary focuses on things to do in Colombo along with destinations in and around the Western Province of the country. One of our favourite travel tips for Sri Lanka is to spend a little time in Colombo before going to explore the rest of the island.
As the capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo spreads over forty kilometres and is home to around eight hundred thousand locals. The city of Colombo is diverse with towering, tiered temples slotted between bustling shopping centres and colonial ruins.
While Colombo offers few tourist hotspots, the west coast of Sri Lanka boasts a selection of cool lagoons, animal sanctuaries, and long stretches of golden beaches. This itinerary will help you make the most out of your two weeks in Sri Lanka.
Day 1 – 3: Negombo Lagoon
Once you’ve landed in Katunayake you’ll need to take a taxi for about twenty minutes to reach Negombo.
After the long flight to Sri Lanka we imagine you’ll want to rest up before you start your Sri Lankan backpacking adventure. Day one of your Sri Lanka 2 week itinerary will be spent unwinding on Negombo beach before heading into the city centre to find a bite to eat.
Spend your third day on a day tour around Negombo lagoon. Several rivers and canals flow into the lagoon while you’ll find rice paddies, coconut plantations, and grasslands in the surrounding area.
Check accommodation prices in Negombo
Day 4: Attanagalla Rajamaha Viharaya
Zig zagging across to Gampaha, day four of your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka will be spent in the bustling, urban city.
Alternatively you could take a tour of the city or of the wildlife in Gampaha. Grab some food at the Letona Cafe for a taste of traditional Sri Lankan cuisine.
Suggested stay: Spyglass
Check accommodation prices in Gampaha
Day 5: Galle Face Green
On the morning of your sixth day in Sri Lanka you’ll need to take a taxi or public transport to Colombo. Once arriving in the capital of Sri Lanka, Galle Face Green is the perfect place to relax and catch a bit of sun before heading off to explore the city tomorrow.
The five hectare urban park stretches across the coast of Colombo and opens out onto the Indian Ocean. Once you’ve wandered the promenade patchworked with tiles we’d recommend finding a spot to eat and calling it a day.
Suggested stay: Colombo Hotel by Ceilao Villas
Check accommodation prices in Colombo
Day 6 + 7: Gangaramaya Temple
Colombo is home to many ancient temples including the Gangaramaya Buddhist temple. For the next few days of your Sri Lanka 2 week itinerary we’d suggest exploring these temples and taking in the history held in relics, stupas, and shrines found in the Gangaramaya temple and the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara.
After spending two days snapping pictures of the carved buildings and statues of Buddhas lining the temples in Colombo, you’ll return back to the city centre.
Suggested stay: Residence by Uga Escapes
Day 8: Beira Lake
Still sticking to Colombo, you’ll spend day eight of your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka wandering around Beira Lake. Whilst exploring the sixty five hectares of gardens surrounding the famously green lake, make sure to stop of at the Seema Malaka temple.
On your way back to the hotel we’d recommend splurging on a few treatments at the Siddhalepa Ayuverdic Spa to offer a little relaxation and pampering in preparation for the next days following your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka.
Suggested stay: Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo
Day 9: Pettah Floating Market
Before travelling along the west coast of Sri Lanka you should mooch around the Pettah Floating Markets. With over ninety stalls selling everything from fresh fruit to handmade jewellery, a trip to Colombo is not complete without hours lost haggling with stall owners at the Pettah Floating Markets. Then you’ll need to hire a car, or take a train, to Mount Lavinia.
Suggested stay: Mount Lavinia Hotel
Check accommodation prices in Mount Lavinia
Day 10 + 11: Mount Lavinia Beach
Once you arrive in Mount Lavinia we’d suggest heading straight to the sun-soaked, sandy Mount Lavinia Beach.
The next few days could be spent either wandering the National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka or exploring the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya. There’s also a bird sanctuary and Elephant House to pass your time with. In the evening you’ll go for cocktails at Le Voile Blanche or for dinner at Governor’s Restaurant or the Seafood Cove in the Mount Lavinia Hotel.
Suggested stay: Mount Lavinia Hotel
Day 12 + 13: Sinharaja Forest Reserve
You’ll spend most of day twelve of your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka itinerary travelling to the Sinharaja Rainforest Views Villas. Here you can relax and rest up before spending tomorrow hiking around the Sinharaja Forest.
The reserve spreads to around twenty one kilometres and is home to many different species of animals including elephants, Sri Lankan blue magpies, tree frogs, and butterflies.
Suggested stay: Sinharaja Rainforest Views Villas
Check accommodation prices around the Sinharaja Forest
Day 14: Colombo Part 2
To break up the long trip back towards Katunayake airport we’d recommend travelling first back to Colombo. Here you can break for a few hours while dipping in and out of shops, snacking in cafes, and wandering along the western coastline of Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, it’s now time to head home.
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2 Weeks in Sri Lanka Itinerary 2: Southern Sri Lanka Itinerary
Destinations: Unawatuna, Galle, Tangalle, Kataragama, Sithulpawwa, Yala, Colombo
After spending time deciding how to plan the perfect Sri Lanka trip, our second itinerary for Sri Lanka in two weeks is based surrounding Galle and the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. The south of the island and the bordering Sabaragamuwa region are the homes of many temples, churches, and ruins.
This area is surrounded by beaches and dotted with National Parks, offering travellers no end of things to do in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. We’ve covered everything from forts to flamingos in our second sightseeing two week itinerary for Sri Lanka.
Day 1: Unawatuna Beach
The first stop after arriving in Sri Lanka is in Unawatuna. Just fifteen minutes from Galle, you’ll spend the first day weaving between the palm trees lining Unawatuna Beach. After spending the afternoon sprawled on a colourful towel spread on the sand, we’d recommend heading to the strip of shops selling textiles, jewellery, and souvenirs in the centre of Unawatuna. End the first day by heading into Galle to spend the night.
Suggested stay: Secret Garden Fort
Check accommodation prices in Galle
Day 2: Galle Fort
Day two of our itinerary for 2 weeks in the southern province of Sri Lanka will be focused on exploring the Galle Fort. The fort, constructed in 1588, is a monument of both historical and architectural interest and is often the main draw to the city of Galle.
Covering fifty two hectares, Galle Fort also has its own museum worth visiting. After a day on your feet we’d recommend a sugar boost in the form of crepes at the Crêpe-ology cafe.
Suggested stay: The Galle Fort Hotel
Looking for somewhere a little different? Tri Hotel on Koggala Lake, near to Galle is one of our favourite boutique hotels in Sri Lanka, here’s why.
Day 3: Galle Lighthouse
After staying in The Galle Fort Hotel, day three of our itinerary will be spent taking a trip to the Galle Lighthouse, Galle Clock Tower and The Old Dutch Hospital. Before the two hour journey to Tangalle tomorrow we’d suggest wandering the shops, cafes, and restaurants that line the city centre of Galle.
Suggested stay: Tri Lanka Hotel – read our full review now
Day 4 + 5: Goyambokka Beach
Once you’ve arrived in Tangalle you’ll head to Goyambokka Beach. Although the waves can be a little rough to swim in, here you can relax and sunbathe before exploring some of the sights of Tangalle tomorrow.
Day five of your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka itinerary will be spent taking a tour on a fisherman’s boat across the Rekawa Lagoon before driving for fifteen minutes to see Hummanaya Blow Hole, the second biggest blow hole in the world. You could also visit Bundala National Park while in Tangalle.
Suggested stay: Good Karma Ayurvedic Resort
Check accommodation prices in Tangalle
Day 7 + 8: Lunugamvehera
The journey from Tangalle to Kataragama will take around an hour and forty minutes by car. While you’ll be exploring Yala National Park from day eleven onwards, it’s also worth visiting Lunugamvehera National Park during your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka.
A day trip around the park promises close encounters with leopards, elephants, deer, and buffalos. For the eighth day of the itinerary you’ll be wandering around the many temples and shrines in the town of Kataragama.
Suggested stay: Heina Nature Resort
Check accommodation prices in Kataragama
Day 9 + 10: Sithulpawwa Rajamaha Viharaya
It’ll take approximately half an hour to travel from Kataragama to Sithulpawwa. Here you can spend one day visiting the Sithulpawwa Rajamaha Viharaya Buddhist monastery and the other taking a trip to Padikema Rock.
Suggested stay: Pelican View
Check accommodation prices in Situlpawwa
Day 11 – 13: Yala National Park
To complete your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka you’ll travel an hour from Situlpawwa to Yala. Here you’ll stay in the Yala Safari Camping tented accommodation located in Yala National Park. For the next few days you’ll go on safari trips around the park, sit around campfires, and enjoy Sri Lankan cuisine from the dining area. Yala National Park is home to elephants, deer, and has the largest population of leopards in Sri Lanka.
Suggested stay: Yala Safari Camping
Check accommodation prices in Yala
Day 14: Colombo
It’s the last day of your Sri Lankka suggested 2 week itinerary. After a quick breakfast in your choice of resort in Yala, you’ll need to either drive around six hours to get back to Colombo to catch your plane or fly from Mattala airport to Colombo to get back home. Once in Colombo we’d recommend wandering along Galle Face Green and getting something to eat from the Barefoot Garden Cafe or The Gallery Cafe.
2 Weeks in Sri Lanka Itinerary 3: Kandy + The Central Provinces
Destinations: Kandy, Sigiriya, Nilaveli, Kuchaveli, Anuradhapura, Negombo
Our third and final itinerary to help you explore Sri Lanka in 2 weeks will take you through Kandy, the capital of the Central Province, and around the eastern coast and north side of the island. Kandy is tucked between forest covered hills and is home to many beautiful gardens, palaces, and temples. You’ll spend 2 weeks exploring, hiking, and trekking across the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka in our third, action-packed itinerary.
Day 1: Kandy Lake
It’ll take an hour flight, or three-hour drive, to reach Kandy from Bandaranaike International Airport. Day one of your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka will be fairly relaxed with a trip to Kandy Lake (the legendary bathing place of Kings) to start you off on your Sri Lankan adventure. After wandering around Kandy Lake and snapping a few pictures we’d recommend stopping for a bite to eat in either the Cafe Aroma Inn or a few cocktails at the Slightly Chilled Lounge Bar and Restaurant that both sit besides the lake.
Suggested stay: Hotel OZO Kandy
Check accommodation prices in Kandy
Day 2 + 3: Temple of the Tooth
For your first few days in Sri Lanka you’ll be wandering some of the highlights of Kandy including the Temple of the Tooth, the Royal Palace of Kandy, and the Royal Botanical Gardens. Wales Park is another spot worth going to for views overlooking the entire city.
Suggested stay: The Secret Kandy
Day 4: Udawatta Kele Sanctuary
Day four of your two weeks in Sri Lanka will be spent exploring the one hundred and four hectares of forests covering the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary. The sanctuary contains many different species of fauna and flora along with three Buddhist monasteries. There are several different hiking trails around the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary that will take a day to complete.
Suggested stay: The Kandyan Villa
Day 5 + 6: Hanthana Mountain Range
It’ll take roughly fifteen minutes to get from Kandy to the Hanthana Mountain Range unless you choose to stay in The Kandyan Villa and wake up ready to hike. While the Hanthana Mountain Range could be conquered in one day, if you’d like the chance to hike every peak you’d need to pace yourself over two days. There are seven peaks in the range with the Uura Kanda peak climbing to three thousand and eight hundred feet.
Suggested stay: Earl’s Regent Hotel
Day 7: Sigiriya Ruins
You’ll need to travel for several hours to reach Sigiriya. We’d suggest stopping off first in the five, art adorned caves that form the Dambulla Cave Temple before continuing on to reach the Sigiriya Ruins. The Sigiriya Ruins are the remains of a fifth century city and also feature an ancient rock fortress. We’d suggest mooching around the restaurants in Sigiriya and calling it a day before setting out again tomorrow.
Suggested stay: Resort Amaya Lake
Check accommodation prices in Sigiriya
Day 8: Velgam Vehera
After travelling two hours to reach Nilaveli you’ll head out to see the Velgam Vehera temple. Once you’ve spent a few hours exploring the Buddhist temple you’ll be able to explore Nilaveli and head out to Nilaveli beach.
Suggested stay: Nilaveli Beach Resort
Check accommodation prices in Nilaveli
Day 9 + 10: Pigeon Island National Park
The Pigeon Islands are located one kilometre from Nilaveli. While you’ll spend one day exploring the two islands, the other will be dedicated to snorkeling and scuba diving in the coral reefs. You’ll need to head back to Nilaveli each evening to find somewhere to eat and a place to stay.
Suggested stay: Pigeon Island Beach Resort
Day 11: Kokkilai Bird Sanctuary
It’ll take two hours approximately to reach the town of Kokkilai. On the eleventh day of your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka we’d suggest taking a trip to the Kokkilai Lagoon and to the Kokkilai Bird Sanctuary. Other than these two spots there’s not a whole lot to do in the town of Kokkilai so we’d suggest heading back towards Kuchaveli to stay in the Jungle Beach Resort.
Suggested stay: Jungle Beach Resort
Check accommodation prices in Kuchaveli
Day 12 +13: Ruwanwelisaya
For your last few days of your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka you’ll head to the city of Anuradhapura. After several days of long journeys we’d suggest putting your feet up a little and heading out to see a few of the temples in the city such as the Ruwanwelisaya temple, Mirisawetiya Stupa, and the Isurumuniya temple.
Suggested stay: Hotel White House
Check accommodation prices in Anuradhapura
Day 14: Negombo Lagoon
Before heading home you’ll take an hour flight from Sigiriya to Bandaranaike International Airport. From here you could either fly straight home or drive for fifteen minutes into Negombo where you can wander the fish markets, forts, and Negombo lagoon. After several hours exploring Negombo it’ll be time to wave goodbye to Sri Lanka and head back to reality.
So that concludes our third and final itinerary for Sri Lanka in 2 weeks. What is your favourite itinerary? Are you more of a nature freak, sightseeing enthusiast, or adventure seeker?
Looking for more Sri Lanka travel inspiration? What about visiting one of Sri Lanka’s tea plantations?
What to Pack for Two Weeks in Sri Lanka
Wondering what to pack for your Sri Lanka trip? Start with our ultimate packing guide – but the following items are particularly useful.
- Sarong – useful for covering up in temples and as a beach accessory.
- Lightweight waterproof jacket – to keep you dry in the country’s tropical showers.
- Sandals – a pair of sturdy walking sandals like
- Broad-brimmed hat
- Insect repellant
- Water bottle
- Mosquito net
- Lonely Planet Sri Lanka Travel Guide
- Universal travel adapter
Let us know some of your favourite things to do in Sri Lanka in the comments below!
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