Sri Lanka is an island nation in southern India, in the Indian Ocean. It offers diverse landscapes from tropical rainforests, tea fields to beaches.
Visa Sri Lanka
The visa for Sri Lanka is very easy to get online. The tourist visa has a single entry and is valid for 30 days. More about e-visa here.
When to Visit Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is positioned close to the equator, that means the temperature is relatively constant throughout the year. Practically the weather varies depending on which part of the island you are visiting. Between December and March is the best time to visit the western and southern coast and the central area. If you plan to visit the eastern coast, the best weather is between April / May and September.
Itinerary 2 weeks in Sri Lanka
We spent 14 days in Sri Lanka, starting with the island center to visit the sights we caught our attention and then we continued on the southern coast to relax at the beach.
Negombo / Colombo – 1 day
The airport is located at 10 km from Negombo and 32 km from Colombo. Both cities are perfect for starting your trip in Sri Lanka if you arrive or leave at night. Otherwise, you can skip over the two cities.
Dambulla – 2 days
Dambulla is in the middle of the island and is the perfect city to explore the surroundings. The most famous are Sirigiya Rock and Pidurangala Rock. You can also visit the Royal Cave Temple which consists of seven caves with statues of Buddha dating back hundreds of years. And at two hours driving distance is the ancient royal town of Polonnaruwa Kingdom, which you can visit.
Kandy – 1 day
A small and cozy city that has several tourist attractions, the most famous find “Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic”. But you will not see any tooth because it is enclosed in several boxes, so we skipped it. But everybody comes here to take the train to Ella to enjoy the most beautiful train ride.
Ella – 2 days
Ella is the perfect city for adventurous people who are not afraid of a little exercise. It’s situated at an elevation of 1,041 meters and is surrounded by mountains. So you can hike Little Adams Peak and Ella Rock. And you can visit the bridge epic: Nine Arch Bridge.
Tangalle – 2 days
Here is the perfect place to relax, because there are fewer tourists. And you also have to eat freshly cooked fish, for us it was one of the best fishes we ever have eaten.
Mirissa – 2 days
Mirissa is full of beautiful beaches and peninsulas. Such as Secret Beach, Parrot Rock, and Coconut tree spot.
Galle – 2 days
In this city, you can visit a fort founded by the Portuguese in the 16th century, which also has Dutch and British influences. One day is enough to explore the Galle Fort, and the other one can spend at a nearby beach.
Hikkaduwa – 2 days
In Hikkaduwa, you have the chance to see the turtles up close and feed them. And you can do snorkeling because the reef is very close to the shore. We didn’t want to leave this place.
Directly to the subject, the budget differs depending on what type of traveler you are. We want our money to get us further, so we have a set budget in advance that we try to respect. In the end, we realized that in Sri Lanka we managed to get under the budget.
In the two weeks, we spent 390 euros, with a daily average of 26 euros. So we think it would be quite difficult to get over 30-40 euros per day.
Although Sri Lanka is a cheap country, it is not as cheap as other countries in Asia. Especially when it comes to sights. The local currency is Sri Lankan Rupee. 100 Rupee = 0.5 Euro
To get an idea, here are some prices:
- Tuk-tuk from Dambulla to Pidurangalla and back (40 km) – 1,500 rupees
- Water bottle 1,5l – 70 rupees
- Coconut – 70-100 rupee
- Meal for 2 people – 1100-1600 rupees
- Dambulla – Kandy bus – 110 rupee/person
- Dambulla Royal Cave Temple ticket – 1500 rupee/person
- Sigiriya Ticket – 4500 rupee / person
We spent for one night of accommodation between 10 and 24 euros. And we realized that the price of the accommodation will not be reflected in the quality of it. Among the countries we visited in Asia, Sri Lanka we liked the least. Let’s just say that much more time had to be spent on cleaning the rooms and facilities. But it’s incredibly nice to get out of the room and be surrounded by palm trees.
In any city you want to get to in Sri Lanka you can do it by bus. Buses are the main means of transport and are the cheapest option. But at the same time, it’s also an option full of adrenaline, because drivers do not keep track of any road rules. If you do not want to have emotions there are also taxis/tuk-tuk, but the cost is much higher and they do not want to negotiate with the tourists.
We traveled by 9 buses, one train (Kandy-Ella), and two tuk-tuks. So in two weeks, we spent about 28 euros per transport. Read here more about how we traveled in Sri Lanka.
The railway network is not very developed, only in the south and the center of the country, and the trains are very slow.
We have also seen the option in which tourists rent tuk-tuks, and drive it through the whole country. And we find it a great option because it gives you freedom of movement. But it didn’t fit into our budget. And we do not know exactly what the conditions are to drive in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan Food
From a gastronomic point of view, Sri Lanka has a lot of Indian influences. In India, the same dish tastes differently depending on the influences of each region of the country. For the same reason, classical dishes like rice and curry have another flavor in Sri Lanka, using different spices.
But there are a few specific preparations for this country:
Kottu or Kottu Roti is a dish made from a flatbread called roti, vegetables, eggs and/or meat and spices. It is the most popular dish in Sri Lanka and you will definitely hear when it is prepared. The roti is cut and mixed with the other ingredients on a metal table with quick knife movements.
Dosa is found both in Sri Lanka and in southern India. This is a kind of pancake made from a fermented dough. The main ingredients are rice and black gram ground together in a fine dough with a pinch of salt. Traditionally, dosa is served with sambal, daal and stuffed with potatoes.
Coconut Sambal is a traditional, freshly grated coconut spice. Coconut mix with red onion, chili, lime juice, and salt. It is used to accompany rice, dosa, hoppers, etc.
Hoppers are a kind of pancake made from a fermented dough (rice flour, coconut milk, and spices) and fried in a deep skillet that makes it have the shape of a bowl. There is a simple option that can be eaten as a snack, or Egg Hoppers, perfect for breakfast.