The Best Of Sri Lanka In Three Days

Photo of The Best Of Sri Lanka In Three Days by Priya Pareek

An island nation in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is famous for its diverse landscapes ranging from rainforest and arid plains to highlands and sandy beaches. The island attracts followers of Buddhism who come here to explore Buddhist ruins, including the 5th-century citadel Sigiriya. From Victorian architecture to modern skyscrapers, from lush green tea estates to vibrant clubs, the nation indeed reflects true amalgamation of rustic beauty with modern necessities.

Here is a complete three days itinerary to the island nation to help you get the most out of Sri Lanka. Your trip, indeed, is going to be as diverse as the country itself!

Day 1

(c) Iris Liu

Photo of Kandy, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

Set on a plateau surrounded by mountains, Kandy boasts of tea plantations and biodiverse rainforest. Situated in the heart of the city is scenic Kandy Lake which is popular for strolling. Besides, the city is famed for sacred Buddhist sites, including the Temple of the Tooth.


Kick start your day with a delightful meal at Cafe Channa Pinnawalla. Though a small, basic cafe, it serves tea, coffee and snacks amid peaceful setting.

(c) Dananjaya Chathuranga

Photo of Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Bus Stop, Kegalle-Rambukkana Rd, Rambukkana, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

After breakfast, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. One of the largest elephant orphanages in Sri Lanka, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is about two hour’s journey from Colombo. Most of the elephants here are baby elephants that were lost to their herds. The elephants are fed at the orphanage and bathed in the nearby river twice a day.

Entry timings: 8:30am–5:30pm

Entry fee: ₹1,376


(c) Tripadvisor

Photo of The Best Of Sri Lanka In Three Days by Priya Pareek

For lunch, head to The Empire Cafe. Tastefully designed to woo the visitors, the restaurant offers delicious food and friendly services. Try siganture dishes such as rice and curry, parahera stack, trinity burger and seafood pasta for a delightful meal.

(c) Mal B

Photo of The Best Of Sri Lanka In Three Days by Priya Pareek

Temple of the Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple which is considered the foremost sacred place of worship in the Buddhist World. As per the legend, when Buddha lay on his funeral pyre, tooth was taken from him. The tooth became an object of great reverence so it was enshrined in a series of nested jeweled reliquaries. The temple building has a simple design and has red roofs. While the exterior of the building look plain and simple, the interiors mesmerize visitors with their rich caring and decoration done with inlaid woods, ivory and lacquer. Make sure to witness the stunning Cultural Dance Show in the temple.

(c) Kate Nevens

Photo of The Best Of Sri Lanka In Three Days by Priya Pareek

An artificial lake in the heart of the hill city of Kandy, Kandy Lake was built in 1807 by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe next to the Temple of the Tooth. The lake is also known as Kiri Muhuda or the Sea of Milk. Visitors come here to relax and unwind after a long day.


Le Garage

(c) Le Garage

Photo of The Best Of Sri Lanka In Three Days by Priya Pareek

Though Kandy is not known to have a very vibrant nightlife, yet you can head to Le Garage which is the main night club here. The club gets exuberant crowd and best beats on both weekdays and weekends. Grabe yourself a drink and shake the night away.

Day 2

(c) dronepicr

Photo of Colombo, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo is a bustling city holding the ancient and modern together. The architecture of the city reflects its heritage by blending colonial buildings with high-rises and shopping malls.


(c) Michael Coghlan

Photo of Beira Lake, Colombo, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

There cannot be a better start to your day than visiting a serene lake in the morning. Right in the middle of the capital, the lake is surrounded by many large businesses. Behold the beauty of the city by taking a stroll around this area.

(c) Tripadvisor

Photo of Café Français, Park Street, Colombo, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

One of the best places to have breakfast near Beira Lake, Café Francais is simple yet elegantly designed cafe. Try Beet Tartare, which is marvelous and is served classic style with French fries on the side.

(c) Explore Sri Lanka

Photo of Gangaramaya Temple, Sri Jinarathana Rd, Colombo, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

A great blend of modern architecture and cultural essence, Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo. The iconic temple is 120 years old and organizes Sri Lanka’s largest and the most colourful Vesak festival annually. The area was once a swamp beside the Beira Lake but has now turned into an iconic complex consisting of the temple, the assembly hall and the vocational training institute.


(c) Iris Liu

Photo of National Museum, Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

Also known as the Sri Lanka National Museum, National Museum of Colombo is the largest museum in Sri Lanka. Well preserved and tastefully renovated with a small cafeteria, the museum is worth a visit for history and culture buffs. It has over 100,000 exhibits and also houses the most important library on the island.

(c) Kuuraku Colombo

Photo of Kuuraku Japanese Restaurant, Park Street, Colombo, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

Relish a Japanese meal for your lunch at Kuuraku Japanese Restaurant after your visit to the museum. The classy interiors of this place are warm and inviting. Do try chicken and beef while "pork katsu-don" remains one of the most flavourful dishes.

Head to Pittah market to explore the scope of shopping in Colombo. The open market has almost everything from vegetables, toys to local souvenirs.


(c) Dhammika Heenpella

Photo of Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

Dedicate this evening to art and literature instead of visiting a club. Head to the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre which illuminates with neon lights to add a pinch of sparkle to your ordinary night. While you get immersed in the beauty of the architecture, step inside and witness some of the most astounding art scenes.

(c) Flamingo House

Photo of Flamingo House, Colombo, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

There cannot be a better place to dine in Colombo than this pleasantly eccentric restaurant named The Flamingo House. Narrating the romantic fable of Sir Alfred Clarke and Satyavati, the place is ingeniously designed to entice and satisfy all senses.

Day 3

(c) Jimmy Legrand

Photo of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

Touted as ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka, Nuwara Eliya is a nature lover's paradise with plenty of gardens, tea estates, waterfalls and pleasant weather. The city offers a wonderful opportunity to relax and unwind while beholding the beauty of nature. One does not really need a well-planned trip to the city as a stroll towards the downtown can unravel so many marvels of the city.

(c) Dennis S. Hurd

Photo of Hakgala Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya-Badulla-Chenkaladi Highway, Hakgala, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

Start your day by allowing yourself to witness the enthralling beauty of nature in Nuwara Eliya. The naturally landscaped Hakgala Botanical Gardens displays colorful flowers of different types. The second largest garden in Sri Lanka, Hakgala Botanical Gardens is believed to be the highest set botanical gardens in the world.

(c) Tripadvisor

Photo of Indian Summer Restaurant, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

Head to Indian Summer Nuwara Eliya to relish delicious Indian food for your breakfast. Visitors can choose from a wide menu that includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.


(c) Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Seetha Amman Temple, Seetha Eliya, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

Located close to the gardens is a colorful temple dedicated to goddess Sita. The Sita Amman Temple, situated in the hills of Nuwara Eliya, is treated with enduring devotion by Hindus. It is believed that the temple marks the spot where Sita was held captive by the demon king Rawana.

(c) Feng Zhong

Photo of Nuwara Eliya Post Office, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

One of the most beautifully maintained buildings, the Nuwara Eliya post office is housed within a beautiful Tudor mansion. The red bricked walls of the historic building look enticing in a colorful contrast with the sprawling lawns. Constructed in 1894, it is one of the oldest buildings in Nuwara Eliya.

Tea Factory Hotel Restaurant

(c) Heritance Hotels

Photo of The Best Of Sri Lanka In Three Days by Priya Pareek

Step in the Tea Factory Hotel Restaurant to have your lunch. The restaurant is popular among visitors for delicious food and friendly services. While the menu has a range of cuisine, do try Sri Lankan dishes to get the authentic taste of local food.

(c) Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Victoria Park, Badulla Road, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

One of the country's most attractive, and best-maintained parks, Victoria Park freshens you up with a stroll around its paths. During March to May, and August and September, the park blooms with colorful flowers.


(c) hillcrestvillalk

Photo of The Best Of Sri Lanka In Three Days by Priya Pareek

In the evening, visit the Lover's leap waterfall known for its romantic folklore. Legend has it that lovers have leapt to their deaths from this water fall and hence the name Lover's Leap.

(c) Grand Indian

Photo of Grand Indian, Grand Hotel Road, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka by Priya Pareek

For dinner make a reservation at Grand Indian restaurant that offers an array of flavors spanning the subcontinent. You can have all kinds of Indian breads with delicious curries.

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