Sri Lanka truly is a hidden paradise in the Indian Ocean. Its natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural heritage make it a must-visit destination. The country has been in a heavy crisis in the last couple of years, however it’s definitely worth visiting again.
If you’re wondering whether Sri Lanka is safe to visit right now, read this article about my recent experience regarding safety in Sri Lanka.
The country is filled with lush greenery, loads of waterfalls, authentic cuisine and beautiful beaches. If you’re asking yourself how to spend an epic 2 weeks in Sri Lanka, have a look at this travel guide.
This guide is for those who enjoy slow travel, waterfalls, lush jungle, delicious food and vibrant beach towns. Read on to find out how to spend two weeks in Sri Lanka in 2023.
Disclosure: please note that some of the links below may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase.
Essential things to know
There are a couple of useful things to know for your travels in Sri Lanka, such as:
The official languages of Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil, but English is also widely spoken and used in business, education, and government. Sinhala is spoken by the majority of the population, while Tamil is spoken mainly in the northern and eastern parts of the country.
The currency used in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). Notes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 rupees. There are also coins for 1, 2, 5, and 10 rupees.
If you are traveling to Sri Lanka, it is recommended that you are up-to-date on routine vaccinations, such as diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (DTP).
In addition, the CDC recommends hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines for most travelers to Sri Lanka. Here you will find more info about recommended vaccinations for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has a tropical climate with two main seasons: the dry season (December to March) and the wet season (April to November). Temperatures are generally warm, ranging from 25-30°C (77-86°F) throughout the year.
The wet season can bring heavy rains and occasional flooding, especially in the low-lying areas.
The plug type used in Sri Lanka is Type D and Type G. Type D plugs have three round pins in a triangular pattern, while Type G plugs have three rectangular pins.
The standard voltage is 230V, and the frequency is 50Hz. It’s recommended to bring a universal travel adapter if you plan on using electrical devices during your stay.
Make sure to check the visa requirements for your nationality. Some nationalities can get an electronic visa beforehand. More information about the visa requirements you will find here.
This app will be really useful during your stay in Sri Lanka. If you don’t have any internet, you can use the downloaded offline maps.
When you arrive at the airport
Change your cash into Sri Lankan Rupees. Also buy a sim card. The sim card will cost 1300 rupees for 10 GB and call and sms for 30 days. The sim card will be put into your phone by the employee.
Download the Pickme app
If you haven’t already downloaded this app, I would recommend to download it now. You can register to the app with your new Sri Lankan phone number.
The app makes it possible for you to order a cab, tuk tuk or minivan in almost all places in Sri Lanka. It’s really convenient, saves you the hassle and makes sure you’re getting a ride for a local price.
How to spend 2 weeks in Sri Lanka
There are so many worthwhile places to visit in Sri Lanka. It makes it difficult to know where to wander.
Luckily, Sri Lanka is quite an easy country to navigate, however in two weeks you won’t be able to see everything that Sri Lanka has to offer. Therefore, you will have to make a choice between the places you would like to see.
If you’re interested in a relaxed holiday, where you will explore Sri Lanka’s towns, waterfalls, jungles, beaches and food, this will be an excellent travel guide for you.
I would suggest the following itinerary for these two weeks in Sri Lanka:
1 night in Negombo
2 nights in Kandy
3 nights in Ella
2 nights in Hiriketiya
3 nights in Ahangama (less touristic) or Unawatuna (more touristic)
2 nights in Negombo
Day 1-2: Negombo
This is your first day in Sri Lanka. You’ve probably been on a long flight to get here. This day will be perfect to spend in underrated Negombo, as this seaside city is located nearby the airport. Negombo is only 15 minutes away from the main airport in Sri Lanka.
During this day, you will be able to unwind at your accommodation in Negombo. If you already want to go and explore during your first day in Sri Lanka, I would recommend to visit the beaches in Negombo. These beaches are really clean and beautiful.
A cheap place to have dinner in Negombo is Ocean14, which is located on the beach. If you want to have drinks afterwards at a gorgeous rooftop bar, head over to Regal Reseau.
The next day you’ve gathered enough energy to hit the road again. You can either take the train to Kandy or you can hire a private driver. Personally, I would recommend to hire a driver to take you to Kandy.
Use the Pickme app to schedule your ride the day before your departure to Kandy. It will take around 2.5-3 hours to get to Kandy from Negombo.
Day 2-4: Kandy
Kandy is the ideal place to really get a glimpse of the rich culture that Sri Lanka has. Here are many cultural attractions and it’s not that touristic yet. Especially the mountain area of lush Kandy is filled with greenery. You will understand why Jungle Book 2 was filmed here.
A must-visit destination in Kandy is the Sacred Tooth Temple. I highly recommend visiting this temple, as it teaches you a lot about Sri Lankan culture. The temple is located nearby the Kandy Lake, so you can easily combine a visit to both.
For authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, have lunch at Mandiya. This is a small restaurant run by a brother and sister. It’s really affordable as well.
If you want to unwind from the busy streets of Kandy, go to the Hideout Lounge. You can either take the famous scenic train from Kandy to Ella or you can hire a private driver to take you to Ella.
If you do hire a private driver, I would recommend doing the following. On the way from Kandy to Ella ask if you can stop at Ramboda falls (give the driver an extra tip at the end of the journey). The entrance fee for the falls is 100 SR. These falls are really beautiful and ideal to visit during your taxi ride to Ella.
Day 4-7: Ella
Popular Ella is a really pretty mountain village. It’s definitely worth visiting. It’s more touristy than other places in Sri Lanka, yet if you stay a bit more outside of the centre, you will still feel in tune with nature.
A place for an unforgettable stay includes Arawe Retreat. Click here to view their latest prices.
Ella is also home to many great restaurants and cafes. Especially Cafe Chill is worth visiting. They have a really laid-back atmosphere, delicious food and good cocktails. Their staff is really helpful too.
Another restaurant worth checking out is Bees Honey Cookery. This is owned by two sisters who also give cooking lessons. The food is really fresh and the scenery just looks surreal.
Ella and it’s surroundings are home to many waterfalls and hiking trails. That’s why this is the ideal place for nature lovers. You can for instance hike to Ella Rock (a longer trail) or to Little Adam’s Peak (a shorter trail).
A couple of waterfalls worth visiting are Ravana Falls and Diyaluma Falls. Especially the last falls are really impressive.
I recommend hiring a private taxi driver to bring you to Hiriketiya from Ella. We took a private taxi from Ella to Hiriketiya, which cost us 12000 Sri Lankan Rupees. This is around 30 euros.
Day 7-9: Hiriketiya
Relaxed Hiriketiya reminds me a bit of Canggu in Bali. It also reminds me a bit of Australia. It’s a typical surf town located on the South coast of Sri Lanka.
Here you will find lots of cute restaurants and cafes, where the food and coffee is really good. Some cafes I recommend visiting are Dots Bay House, Verse Collective and Smoke & Bitters (in the top 50 Bars in Asia).
During your time in Hiriketiya, definitely visit Silent Beach. This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka. And it’s not crowded yet!
If you want to wander a bit off the beaten path, go and explore Blue Beach Island as well. Also make sure to visit Hiriketiya Beach and of course go surfing (if you want to).
It takes a little more than an hour by car to reach Ahangama or Unawatuna from Hiriketiya. Hence, I recommend hiring either a private driver of a tuk tuk to get to your following destination.
Day 10-13: Ahangama or Unawatuna
Here you can choose whether you want to stay in a more touristy place (Unawatuna) or whether you would prefer to stay in a less touristy place (Ahangama). They both have good yet different atmospheres.
Unawatuna is visited by tourists all over the world, but especially by Russians. Popular Unawatuna has more things to do than Ahangama.
You can explore Jungle Beach, relax at Unawatuna Beach and take part in a cooking class for example. It’s also home to many enjoyable cafes such as Koha Surf Lounge.
Ahangama sees tourists from all over the world and is a bit more low-key. If you choose to stay in Ahangama, definitely have some drinks at the Pickled Pelican. Here you will have a great sea view. The owner is a really kind Dutch lady.
From Unawatuna or Ahangama you can easily go on day trips to other towns, such as the interesting town of Galle.
To get from Unawatuna / Ahangama I highly recommend hiring a private taxi driver via the Pickme app. This trip takes around 2.5 hours.
Day 13-15: Negombo
These accommodations are only 15 minutes away from the main airport of Sri Lanka. Besides, they both have a lovely pool and the owners are really attentive.
During your last couple of days in Sri Lanka it’s an ideal time to shop for souvenirs. Some of the best souvenirs can actually be found in regular shops in Sri Lanka.
Here you will find things that Sri Lankan people actually buy/use themselves, which I find is more interesting to bring back home.
If your country allows this, it can also be a great place to sample some authentic Sri Lankan food to bring back home with you.
Also make sure to visit a couple of local restaurants, visit one of Negombos beautiful beaches and unwind a little before you take off again.
You won’t be able to cover every part of Sri Lanka in two weeks. However, with this travel guide you will be able to see many amazing sights in Sri Lanka.
This travel guide includes breath taking waterfalls, delicious food, surf spots, beautiful beaches and cultural experiences. It gives you a better view of what traveling for 2 weeks in Sri Lanka looks like.
From the misty mountains in Ella to the Sacred Tooth Temple in Kandy, there is something in Sri Lanka for everyone. Have you ever been to Sri Lanka? Let me know in the comments!
Away with Danae
Read more Sri Lanka travel content:
- The Best Hotels in Galle Fort for 2023
- Is It Safe To Travel To Sri Lanka in 2023?
- Kandy in Sri Lanka: The Ultimate Travel Guide
- Unawatuna, Sri Lanka: A Guide To The Popular Tourist Destination
- Photo Impressions of Sri Lanka in 2023: Why You Should Visit
- The Ultimate Travel Guide To Ella in Sri Lanka
- Hiriketiya in Sri Lanka: Is It Really Worth Visiting?
- How To Spend 48 Hours in Negombo in Sri Lanka