How to spend 5 days as a first-time tourist to Sri Lanka


places to visit in sri lanka in 5 days

Planning a trip as a first-time tourist to a country you never had been to before sounds like fun and excitement. Some times the most common way to find out about Sri Lanka is of course by browsing and conducting a little research over the internet and going through reviews and relevant travel facts from other travellers. A holiday in Sri Lanka is definitely worth experiencing especially during a time when the country is witnessing an economical boost and infrastructure transformation. Today, Sri Lanka is among the fastest growing economies in the South Asian region and is continuing on that path.From the treasured entities that Sri Lanka can boast of, the tourism industry has gained momentum and is continuously doing so with each boost in tourist influx. Travel agents in Sri Lanka assemble together pretty interesting tour packages and products and a good number of them take the time to customize itineraries depending on the tourist’s requirements. To give you a heads up on how to start planning your trip, a travel agent will help you by adding in their personal touch and getting you off the ground with your trip. The tips will depend on your travel patterns and attitude as well. If you are someone who looks to travel back and forth within a week, then this travel strategy should seem pretty sound for you and the best places to visit in Sri Lanka in 5 days.

Arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo

sri lanka itinerary 5 days

A meet and great awaits you and there are a few travel agencies who would send one of their representatives to be there when you arrive and even take a selfie with you! Anyway, the level of interaction is very pleasant and engaging and will make you feel at ease. Unless you’re knackered from the flight and prefer to go straight to your hotel room, you can get your driver to take you around and check out some of Colombo’s shopping hotspots if time permits. Spend your first night in either Colombo or Kandy. If not, you can always deal with Colombo before your departure date and opt to spend the first night in Kandy.

After a scrumptious breakfast, begin your tour of Sri Lanka!

5 days in sri lanka

sri lanka 5 day itinerary

If your first night was spent in Colombo, then start your trip bound for the city of Kandy. En route you can make a stop at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. This place is truly worth visiting if you are an animal lover. The orphanage also attracts volunteers from around the world who come down and engage with the elephants by feeding them, bathing them and keeping the area clean. If you arrive at specific times, you might even be able to get a glimpse into how they are fed, how the calves are handled and how the elephants get bathed on a river bank opposite the main orphanage grounds.

Kandy, a historic extravaganza of a city

sri lanka in 5 days

Kandy is Sri Lanka’s last royal domain and is a thriving cultural hill city. Kandy is worth visiting, especially the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic which holds the tooth relic belonging to Lord Buddha. One can check out the temple and then tour the city afterwards. Kandy City Centre or KCC as it is popularly known is a popular shopping complex that accommodates a number of Sri Lankan ‘high street’ clothing boutiques, designer shops showcasing international brands, restaurants, banks and accessory stores and is located very close to the Sacred Temple. On your walk around the city, you can try out authentic Sri Lankan food from local restaurants on the main streets and also scan a number of creative handicraft and gem shops that you will find scattered in some places. Sri Lanka is popular for her abundance in producing blue sapphires among other types of gems.

NuwaraEliya is chilly enough for those who crave cooler climates

sri lanka 5 days itinerary

what to see in sri lanka in 5 days

After spending your second night in Kandy as a first-time tourist, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya is worth a visit too, before heading to NuwaraEliya. Dubbed lovingly as ‘Little England’, NuwaraEliya is the coldest part of the country with temperatures that get as low as 4 degrees Celsius in rare occasions. En route to NuwaraEliya, your itinerary might include a trip to a tea plantation and factory where you can find out the process it takes starting from the tea leaf until it makes its way into your teacup. You can also go for a tea-tasting session and enjoy breath-taking sceneries of the hill country.

Travel to Yala via Ella

places to see in sri lanka in 5 days


If you feel you are up for a safari ride, Yala is the place to go for. Yala National Park is amongst the best parks attracting animals such as elephants, leopards, sloth bears and water buffalos. You can either opt for an evening safari depending on the best times to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.

Head to the beach for a nice tan, Bentota for example

5 days trip to sri lanka

Depending on your favored modes of enjoyment while you’re on holiday, you can always decide to check out Sri Lanka’s warm beaches and bask in the sun or just leave the chillaxing part to the end subsequent to your departure date. Sri Lanka is abundant with beautiful coastlines and beaches such as Bentota. This area is very popular amongst the youth during music festival seasons. After Bentota, if your itinerary mentions it, you can also drop by the town of Galle. If Old Dutch influenced architecture is your thing, then this is the place.

A last minute shopping and safe travels back

Try Laksala and Odel for souvenirs and maybe in your next trip, you can prepare an itinerary and check out other significant spots you can visit in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is the land of smiles and nice people. When you leave, you will no doubt go back with pleasant memories and a place in your heart for Sri Lanka!

Checkout this video from Sebastian about Sri Lanka:

Loving Lanka from Sebastian Linda on Vimeo.

For more inquires contact Olanka Travels.

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