Skip to Content

10 Days In Sri Lanka Itinerary – The Perfect Guide

Planning 10 days in Sri Lanka can be difficult. So here’s our guide to the best places to visit on a 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary.

How To Get Around Sri Lanka

The island of Sri Lanka is not massive and the transport system is easy to use, making it a great country to explore.


Buses are frequent throughout Sri Lanka, however be prepared to experience what it’s like to be a sardine in a can.

The on and off procedure is about as quick as they come, and the journeys can be a little bit sweaty.

The best way to find out which bus to take is just to ask people at the nearest stop.

Fares vary from Rs 10 to 50, depending on distance.

There is usually a sign on the front of the bus with the destination in English.


Sri Lanka’s towns and cities are really well connected by train.

Moreover, you can enjoy some beautiful, scenic railway journeys across this country.

In fact, the famous Kandy to Ella train ride is one of the top things to do when visiting Sri Lanka.

Taxi/Tuk Tuk

Depending on distance, taxis and tuk tuks are an option and start from 60 Rupees.

Most taxis should operate on a meter, so if you’re unsure of a fair price always ask for the metered option.

Haggling is always a starting point of conversation with both taxis and tuk tuks, so have your wits about you and be sure to agree a price before you get in the vehicle.

Uber is also available for a fixed price option.


Some of the best days out we’ve had in Sri Lanka have been on private tours.

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

From food tours, to safaris and village tours, there’s plenty to keep you busy in Sri Lanka.

Best Time To Visit Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a tropical country and therefore the weather can be unpredictable. It also varies across the different areas of the island. 

There are two monsoon seasons, a North East monsoon (between October and January) as well as a South West monsoon, (between May and July).

The best times to visit for calmer oceans and stable weather is between January to April and Mid July to September, this applies for the whole country.

However, these months are considered peak season, especially January to April, and therefore it will be busier with tourists and prices can go up as well.

Remember, this is just a guide, so you may want to mix it up and add/subtract different attractions.

What To Pack

Photography Camera


Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle


Lightweight Rain Jacket

10 Days In Sri Lanka Itinerary


The Capital, and the only international airport in and out of Sri Lanka. Making it a natural first stop on your 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary.

Most people say avoid it, we absolutely loved it.

As for Colombo itself, the city is by far the cleanest we’ve seen on our trip! For a place that homes the largest percentage of Sri Lanka (over 12%) it was surprisingly spacious.

It had an easy to use bus system, and the tuk tuks were all on meters. So there’s less chance of being scammed/getting ripped off.

The people seemed genuinely interested and friendly, going out of their way to make sure you got on the right bus without expecting anything in return.

There are also some great tours available to get you used to the Sri Lankan culture, such as:

Small-Group Tuk Tuk Tour with a Local Guide

The True Essence of Colombo:Private Highlights & Hidden Gems

Eat, Eat, Repeat Small Group Tour with a Local

So our advice, if you’re on a short holiday and in a rush to get around then of course head down south and get to the palm tree covered beaches as soon as possible.

On the other hand, if you have time during your 10 days in Sri Lanka, then don’t rush out as quickly as everyone says.

3 Week Sri Lanka Itinerary Galle Face Green Colombo Sri Lanka
Colombo is a great place to begin your 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary.


The next stop on your 10 days in Sri Lanka is a few hours inland by bus, and the most natural step to take from Colombo.

One of the most beautiful attractions in the country is Sigiriya Rock, and its surrounding areas are a MUST if you’re looking for scenic photos.

However, we decided to visit it’s little brother Pidarangala Rock, for an epic hike with rewarding views!

For those on a short schedule, there is also a highly rated Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip from Colombo tour.

This tour allows you to visit the historic rock fortress of Sigiriya, and explore the large cave temple complex of Dambulla on a full-day trip from Colombo with a private driver.

If you do have time, we certainly recommend spending a day or two in Dambulla to explore to your hearts content.

3 Week Sri Lanka Itinerary Pidurangala Rock View Sigiriya Sri Lanka
Enjoying a moment during our 10 days in Sri Lanka at the top of Pidurangala Rock.


From Sigiriya, you can easily headed over towards Kandy.

If you hadn’t heard of Kandy before your 10 days in Sri Lanka, you certainly will have within your first few days of travel.

Labelled as one of the most scenic train journeys on the planet, a Kandy to Ella train ride whilst hanging out of the open doors can not be missed if you’re a fan of landscapes.

There are 3 trains that depart from Kandy towards Ella everyday.

Departure Times from Kandy Railway Station: 3.30am, 8.47am or 11.10am.

The journey takes roughly 7 hours and it’s one of the most popular things to do in the country!

For those that have a little time to spare on your 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary, it’s certainly worth spending a couple of days in Kandy to unwind and enjoy the calmness of the town.

Kandy Lake, the Royal Botanical Gardens, and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic are all worthy of a visit.

You may even take a Kandy: Temples, Gardens & Cultural Show City Highlights Tour, with a local english speaking guide.

An easy way to see the highlights, whilst being transported around in an air-conditioned vehicle.

As for the transport out of Kandy though, the train to Ella is an absolute must on your 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary!

Kandy To Ella Train Sri Lanka
Lauren hanging out with the locals on our 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary on the Kandy to Ella train.


After disembarking from your train journey, we recommend staying for a couple of nights in the mountain town that is Ella.

With incredible viewpoints, treks and just a refreshing vibe around it, Ella is well worth a couple of days on your 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary.

Prepare your hiking boots, as Ella Rock, The Nine Arch Bridge and Little Adam’s Peak will tire your legs but fill your memory bank forever.

If you prefer to explore as part of a group there’s the popular 2-Day Tour of 3 Iconic Ella Sites available, which includes Ella Rock, Little Adam’s Peak, and the Nine Arch Bridge.

For those on a quicker schedule there are a couple of options available with reputable company Ella Day Tours:

Little Adam’s Peak and Nine Arch Bridge (Half Day Tour )

Ella Rock & 9 Arch Bridge, Little Adams Peak with Transfer (Full Day Tour)

All of the sights in Ella are doable alone though, and we spent 2 days discovering all the best things to do in Ella.

Ella Rock Sri Lanka Ella Rock Hike
Ella Rock is a hike with the effort on your 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary.

Udawalawe National Park

One of THE most epic experiences of our travels, and an absolute must on your 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary, is to head out on an Udawalawe Safari!

There are a few options available in terms of Sri Lanka safaris. The most popular being: Yala National Park, Minneriya National Park or Udawalawe National Park. And after a lot research, we opted for the latter.

Udawalawe is a small town located in the southern part of the Ratnapura District in Sri Lanka.

It’s not only extremely habitant of elephants, but apparently not as crowded as Yala National Park, a popular destination for those on the hunt to find Sri Lankan leopards.

The most popular destination that tourists choose to visit Udawalawe from is Ella.

We booked onto the Udawalawe National Park: Private Safari Half Day (3 hours).

Cost: £15 per person.

Start time: 6:30am.

However, if you just wish to visit on a day trip safari from other areas of Sri Lanka, there are plenty of options on Get Your Guide such as:

Ella To Udawalawe National Park Wildlife Safari Tour

Colombo To Udawalawa National Park Wildlife Safari Tour

Bentota To Udawalawa National Park Wildlife Safari Tour

Negombo To Udawalawa National Park Wildlife Safari Tour

All of these 1 day tours will all include hotel pickup and drop-off, national park fees, and a private Udawalawe jeep safari.

Elephants Udawalawe Safari Udawalawe National Park Best Safari In Sri Lanka
Elephant spotting at Udawalawe – Another must on your 10 days in Sri Lanka itinerary.


For the final stop on your 10 days in Sri Lanka, it’s time for some well deserved beach time!

Just a short journey down from Udawalawe, we’ve saved three solid days of your 10 day Sri Lanka itinerary for this gem in the South of the island.

Mirissa is located in the centre of the South coast, popular for its palm tree covered beaches, and we recommend using it as a hub and exploring the South coast from on scooters.

If you wander up and down Mirissa Beach, you’ll be able to find Parrot Rock. A giant rock formation with views over Mirissa from the summit.

There’s also Coconut Tree Hill, a large dome covered in palm trees and a great spot for sunset.

One other thing that Mirissa prides itself on is its marine life!

With blue whales, sperm whales and dolphins known to hover around the coastline from November until the end of April, whale watching is certainly one of the top things to do in Mirissa.

There are so many companies to choose from, however Island Breeze Mirissa is one of the highest rated in the area.

Hopefully Mirissa is the perfect place to end your 10 days in Sri Lanka. From here you can either ride the train all the way up to Colombo, or jump in a taxi directly to the airport.

Coconut Tree Hill Mirissa 10 Day Sri Lanka Itinerary
Admiring the view at Coconut Tree Hill in Mirissa

Where To Stay In Sri Lanka

For pre-booking accommodation when travelling, we always recommend!

From 5 star hotels, to budget backpacker hostels, it’s got everything and the site is super easy to use.

So to compare deals, and pre-book all of your Sri Lanka accommodation, you can check the latest prices on

More Sri Lanka Blogs

2 Weeks In Sri Lanka – The Perfect 2 Week Sri Lanka Itinerary

Secret Beach Mirissa – A Complete Guide To Visiting

7 Best Things To Do In Arugam Bay – The Ultimate List

7 Best Things To Do In Unawatuna – The Ultimate Guide

Pin It For Later

The Perfect 10 Days In Sri Lanka Itinerary


Monday 31st of October 2022

Great blog, thanks for the tips! I'm currently planning a short trip to SL at the end of the year. With the first and last days in the capital, that leaves me 10 days, but I struggled to see how you could fit all the above in 10 days, how many days did you spend at each place?

Charlie Pauly

Tuesday 1st of November 2022

Hey! Just a couple of days in each place will do, plus Udawalawe is just a day trip from most places in the South so you should be fine.