Sri Lanka in 9 days! Know where to go, what to do and how to explore

Sri Lanka, a country in the southeast tip of India, is famous for all the right reasons. From long stretches of sandy beaches to undulating mountain terrains, from lush green tea plantations to crystal clear lakes, this small island nation has it all.

Covering the entire island in 7 days is not possible. To help you get all the flavours of this country in such a short span of time, here is an amazing itinerary for you.

Good news: This itinerary is tested and verified by me 😉

Day 1: Arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport | Head towards Negombo

The modest beach town of Negombo is home to a friendly local community, an interesting 17th-century Dutch Fort and a beautiful beach.

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Time Duration: 30 minutes (approx.)
Places to Visit: Negombo Lagoon, Angurukaramulla Temple and Negombo Beach
Must Do: Witness the exuberant nightlife
Tips: Weather in Negombo remains hot and humid as compared to other parts of the country. Carry light summer clothes and flip flops.

Day 2: Move towards Dambulla

Dambulla is most famous for its rock cave temple, which is a recognised World Heritage Site. Under an overhanging rock lies five caves statues and paintings related to Gautam Buddha. It is a sight to behold.

Time Duration: 1 hour (approx)
Places to Visit: Dambulla Cave Temple

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Day 3: One Day Excursion to Sigiriya

Formed from the magma of an extinct volcano, Sigiriya never fails to amaze visitors. Other than offering sensational views, it is also famous as an interesting historical site. Ruins of an age-old palace, ponds, canals and alleys can be found at the top of the rock.

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Time Duration: 35 minutes (approx.)
Entry Fees: 2000 per person (Indian Nationals)
Must Do: On the way up, don’t forget to check out the Mirror Wall
Tip: Wear comfortable shoes and use a good sunblock to prevent sunburn

Day 4: One Day Excursion to Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is one of the most intriguing sights in South Asia. Enormous dagobas, ancient pools and age-old temples can be spotted across the region. The destination is a sheer delight for history enthusiasts and religiously inclined people.

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Time Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes (approx.)
Must Do: Visit Jetavanaramaya, world’s tallest stupa
Tip: Ensure that your legs are covered

Day 5: Dambulla to Kandy | Stay at Kandy

Passing through beaches, mountains and historic ruins, it is now time for the lake city of Kandy.  This city of imposing colonial-era and Kandyan architecture is a delight for your eyes. Explore the Temple of the Tooth and spend some time meditating in the peaceful temple premises.

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Time Duration: 2 hour 10 minutes (approx.)
Must Do: Go for a evening stroll near the lake
Recommended:  36 Bed & Breakfast (amazing hospitality and delicious food)
Tips: Best place to indulge in souvenir shopping

Day 6: One Day Excursion to Nuwara Eliya

Blessed with immense natural beauty, Nuwara Eliya is a scenic city in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is the coolest area in Sri Lanka and is known for its vast tea plantations. Do visit the Seetha Amman Temple, also known as Hanuman Vatika.

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Time Duration: 2 hour 40 minutes (approx.)
Must Do: Try water sports at Lake Gregory
Recommended: Learn the art of tea making in one of the tea factories. Also, do try the fresh strawberry pancakes.

Day 7: Head towards Colombo | Enroute visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

A captive breeding and nursing ground for wild Asian elephants, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is a must-visit. Get a chance to feed and bathe the baby elephants and click pictures with them.

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After spending a few hours here, head towards Colombo.

Time Duration: 3 hours 50 minutes
Recommended: Go for a night tour of the city and witness its scintillating nightlife

Day 8: One Day Excursion to Bentota

Along the mighty Indian Ocean is the scenic coastal town of Bentota. Other than a beautiful coastline, the sea turtle farm and hatchery is a major attraction here.

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Time Duration: 2 hour (approx.)
Must Do: Indulge in water sports and enjoy whale watching
Tips: Carry an extra pair of clothing

Day 9: Return flight from Bandaranaike International Airport

It is time to say goodbye to the beautiful island nation of Sri Lanka.

PC: Shishir Verma