Planning 2 weeks in Sri Lanka can be difficult. So here’s our guide to the best places to visit on a 2 week 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.
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
The Capital, and the only international airport in and out of Sri Lanka. Making it a natural first stop on your 2 week 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:
So our advice, if you’re on a shorter holiday, say 10 days in Sri Lanka, and in a rush to get around then of course head down south and get to some of the best beaches in Sri Lanka as soon as possible.
On the other hand, if you have time during your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka, then don’t rush out as quickly as everyone says.
The next stop on your 2 weeks 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 It’s 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. As well as 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.
From Sigiriya, you can easily headed over towards Kandy.
If you hadn’t heard of Kandy before your 2 weeks 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’t 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 2 week Sri Lanka itinerary, it’s certainly worth spending a couple of days in Kandy. Just 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 2 week Sri Lanka itinerary!
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 2 week Sri Lanka itinerary.
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.
The surf capital of Sri Lanka and a place many tourists end up extending their stay because of the chilled vibes, beautiful beaches and late night antics.
Arugam Bay is one place you CANNOT miss out of your 2 week Sri Lanka itinerary.
With pros flocking from Australia and Bali to hit the waves on the East coast, Arugam Bay is the most popular place to surf in Sri Lanka.
So whether you’re a beginner or an international veteran, this is the place to get out on a board and ride with the big boys.
There are plenty of places to hire boards from in town. We paid 500 rupees for a half day which gave us 4 hours of Arugam Bay surfing.
Aside from catching waves, or attempting to, the town itself is very cute and has plenty of shopping and eating options.
If you have some downtime one evening, Hideaway is a great place to grab a cocktail and hang out.
One of THE most epic experiences of our travels, and an absolute must on your 2 week 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:
All of these 1 day tours will all include hotel pickup and drop-off, national park fees, and a private Udawalawe jeep safari.
For the penultimate stop on your 2 weeks 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 2 week 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 unwind on your 2 weeks 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.
The final stop on our 2 weeks in Sri Lanka is another awesome beach location.
A little more touristy than Mirissa, Unawatuna is definitely worth renting a moped and exploring too.
From the shops, to the beach front restaurants and releasing baby turtles into the ocean, this is one of our top recommendations to add to your 2 week Sri Lanka itinerary.
We spent a few nights in Unawatuna and the huge bay of white sand curves round, making it easy to walk all the way around.
Also, just a short trip up the coast from Unawatuna, you’ll find the famous Dalawella Beach Rope Swing.
Be sure to head up early in the day to avoid the crowds, and keep your eye out for the Stilt Fisherman from the road along the way.
For pre-booking accommodation when travelling, we always recommend Booking.com!
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 Booking.com.