Sri Lanka Travel Tips – Help a Reader Travel

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Sri Lanka Travel TipsWelcome to another post of helping a reader travel!

This weekly post is to help readers get a ton of travel advice from thousands of Deals We Like blog readers. Thus far, we’ve been able to help other readers travel to a slew of domestic and international destinations. Check out recent destinations and comment on suggestions here.

So this weeks travel destination includes Sri Lanka. I received the following email from reader Jill:

“My husband and I are looking for some Sri Lanka travel tips as we are not really sure where to start. Does anyone have any good itinerary to follow. We have up to two weeks to travel and would like to see as much as possible. What are some suggested hotels and activities as well? Any other tips and suggestions are much appreciated. Thank you in advance.”

If you’ve ever been to Sri Lanka, let’s help out reader Jill and I am sure many other interested readers by commenting below!

Also, if you have any upcoming travel where you need some help, feel free to email me at to be a featured “Help a Reader Travel” Monday special. Thanks!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. I spent three weeks in Sri Lanka last summer with my family (myself, wife, and two daughters aged 13 and 15). I’m happy to answer any questions.

    Your itinerary will largely be determined by the dates of your visit. Sri Lanka has monsoon (or, at least heavy rain) conditions on different part of the island at different times of the year. For a summer visit that meant the east and south coasts (some of the more popular tourist areas) were off limits. So we were mostly in the center, center-north, and west coast parts of the country. We never actually entered the capital city of Colombo at all. If you’re visiting in the winter you will probably concentrate on different areas than we did, just because of the weather.

    For late night arrival, the town of Negombo is closer to the airport than Colombo. This is a pleasant fishing village with picturesque outrigger boats and easy rail connection to Colombo and bus connection to the rest of the country.

    Major sites are the ruined cities of Anurahdapura and Polunnaruwa, the citadel at Sigariya, the hill towns of Kandy and Nuwara Eliya (but check the weather for the latter — when cold and rainy there it’s REALLY cold and rainy and not a lot of fun). Lesser sites include Dambula caves, Kataragama, and scads of other places we weren’t able to visit (you’ll easily fill two weeks).

    If you have the chance to visit Kandy during the Perahera (ten days of parades around the full-moon day in July / August) don’t miss it (and book a hotel early).

    There are many national parks which are expensive to enter (generally $25-$30 per person plus you must hire a jeep to take you around — figure $80 – $100 per person for a full day in a national park). The elephants are migratory so pay attention to where they are in the country when you visit. There is also an elephant orphanage between Kandy and Colombo which was kind of “meh” after having seen the Gathering at Minneriya NP.

    Public transport by bus, train, and rail bus is plentiful, easy, and very, very cheap although not luxurious. Renting a car and driver, either for a day or for an entire week-long or multi-week tour is quite common.

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