How To Spend 3 Days in Sri Lanka

3 Days in Sri Lanka

How to spend 3 days in Sri Lanka, you wonder? Then you’ve come to the right place. T2 Travels Sri Lanka offer some of the best tour packages to Sri Lanka.

Whether you are planning to spend 3 days in Sri Lanka or two weeks, we offer customised tours to give you a memorable time on the island.

Here’s our take on what you can do to make the most of your three days in Sri Lanka.

Many visitors want to visit Sri Lanka but they don’t know much about the country.

If you are someone who has already visited then you will get a vivid picture of a beautiful island blessed with gorgeous beaches, amazing history, incredible wildlife, heritage sites, unique train rides, and mouthwatering food! Here’s our value for money tour package on ‘how to spend 3 days in Sri Lanka’ T2 style!

3 Days in Sri Lanka Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 – Dambulla/Sigiriya
  • Day 2 – Ella
  • Day 3 – Negombo

Day 1 – Dambulla/Sigiriya

Sigiriya

When you only have 3 days to spend in Sri Lanka it’s important to get the best experiences. We give you a chance to experience two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in one day on our tour package.

Dambulla is located in the Matale District and is renowned for the Dambulla Cave Temple, a well-preserved historical Buddhist temple.

This will be the first UNESCO World Heritage Site you will be visiting. The 2000-year-old temple comprises of five caves, which can be accessed by climbing almost three hundred steps.

The ticket counter is located at the entrance of the temple and you need to buy tickets before you start the climb! It will take you 10 -15 minutes to reach the temple from the foot of the entrance and you will be sweaty since it’ll be in the morning or afternoon hours.

What to expect

The temple comprises five caves and is home to more than a hundred and sixty Buddha statues. The walls and the ceiling of the caves are covered with murals related to Buddhism.

According to historical findings King Valagamba had taken refuge inside these caves during wartime. Later the king had decided to convert it to a Buddhist temple.

The entrance of the temple is home to wild monkeys that loves to grab food or flowers that people carry, so beware!

As with any Buddhist temples, you need to wear modest clothes to enter. Visitors need to remove footwear during afternoons since it gets scorching hot, so socks can be a lifesaver!

After spending your morning at the Dambulla Cave Temple, you can rejuvenate with a hearty Sri Lankan style lunch.

After checking into your hotel and getting comfortable you can head out to explore your next location – Sigiriya!

About Sigiriya

Sigiriya is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. Dating back to more than four thousand years, Sigiriya was once the ancient rock fortress and the royal palace of King Kashyapa.

The kingdom had a short lifespan and it was later converted to a Buddhist monastery.

Sigiriya is immersed in various historical stories relating to the royal family and their tribulations, Buddhist monks, wars, triumphs, and defeat in monarchs.

For those who enjoy going back in time to explore the Lankan history and culture, a visit to Sigiriya should be on top of the list.

Explore Sigiriya on Sri Lanka 3 days tour package

Sigiriya is the next UNESCO World Heritage site you will be travelling for the day. The climb is steep but an interesting one.

You can look forward to seeing the Sigiriya frescos, an ancient mirror wall, and the iconic lion’s paws at the foot of the main entrance to the fortress.

The cherry on the cake is when you reach the summit when you will be taken away to a different time with royal gardens, ponds, and boulder gardens.

Remember you only see the remains of all these so don’t expect to see an actual royal palace!

Entrance to Sigiriya

The ticket office is open from 6.30 am to 6 pm. It is easy to miss buying a ticket but make sure you do BEFORE starting the climb since you will have to head down and start your climb again! The ticket covers a tour of the museum so you may want to do that tour before climbing.

After a busy day of ancient temples, monuments, and lots of steps you will be glad to unwind at your hotel at the end of the day!

Suggested Read: Sri Lanka or Thailand: The Best Holiday Destination for You

Day 2 – Ella

Ella

If you are wondering, how to spend 2 days in Sri Lanka? Then, keep reading! On your second day in Sri Lanka, we take you on a four-hour ride from Sigiriya to get to one of the coolest locations in the country – Ella.

Ella has become one of the most sought after holiday destinations in the country.

Travellers have a lot to choose from when exploring Ella, from gushing waterfalls to luxuriant forests and green pastures all of these and more are what you can expect during your visit.

If you are an adventure lover and the great outdoors is your thing, then Ella is somewhere you need to go. Long hikes, picture postcards like settings and breathtaking nature is all that and more you can expect in Ella.

Exploring Ella in a day!

If you are wondering, how to spend 3 days in Sri Lanka? Then, keep reading! On your second day in Sri Lanka, we take you on a four-hour ride from Sigiriya to get to one of the coolest locations in the country – Ella.

Ella has become one of the most sought after holiday destinations in the country.

Travellers have a lot to choose from when exploring Ella, from gushing waterfalls to luxuriant forests and green pastures all of these and more are what you can expect during your visit.

If you are an adventure lover and the great outdoors is your thing, then Ella is somewhere you need to go.

Long hikes, picture postcard like settings and breathtaking nature is all that and more you can expect in Ella.

Nine Arch Bridge

The iconic Nine Arch Bridge is a must-see when in Ella. If you are an Instagrammer, then you would have heard about #NineArchBridge.

A short drive from the small Ella town will take you to the massive rail bridge completed of brick, stone, and cement.

The bridge stands out since it is more than a century old and is built without using any steel. The rail track takes up most of the space and you have very little space to walk across the bridge.

It’s called ‘Nine Arch’ since the frame holding the bridge has nine arches on it.

The famous train ride from Kandy to NuwaraEliya passes through the bridge and it’s a place famous for clicking some insta- worthy pics!

Hiking in Ella

Ella is famous for its short hiking trails. The hike up to the Ella rock takes only a few hours to complete and it’s an ideal way to spend the mornings.

This is a nice way to explore Ella if you have only one day to spend. The best part of the hike is reaching the top and enjoying the amazing scenery that beholds you.

Learn to cook

This is usually ideal for those who are on a long vacation. If you are out to explore diverse cuisines then take cooking lessons in Ella. The spice garden cooking classes are a popular choice among visitors.

The session begins by going around the spice garden outside and picking your own spices! The best thing about Sri Lankan food is the aromatic spices used so this is your chance to flaunt your cookery skills when you go back home.

You can even buy nicely packed spices to take home as gifts for your family and friends.

Dining in Ella

Ella has become a backpacker’s paradise over the years. This has resulted in many budget-friendly cafes and restaurants to come up in the area.

In the evenings, the atmosphere is lovely and it’s a great way to mingle with locals and visitors.

You can opt for Sri Lankan cuisine or if you are craving western dishes, then you find that as well. Try the local beer since most people love the taste.

Ravana waterfalls

Ella is known for it’s cascading waterfalls. Out of the many falls in the area, Ravana falls stands out.

The voluptuous flow of water is used by villagers for their daily living – for cultivation and to source water in general. You can’t miss Ravana falls located just outside of Ella since it’s on the main road.

The atmosphere around the waterfall is happening and full of activity.

You get vehicles stopping over to enjoy the mesmerizing sight of the waterfall, vendors selling knickknacks, and food outlets selling yummy local foods and hot tea.

Day 3 – Negombo

Negombo

After bidding adios to Ella, we take you back close to the airport. The closest major city to the Bandaranaike International Airport is – Negombo!

This is one of the favourite places for visitors to stopover on arrival or before departure since it’s located very close to the airport.

Negombo is a lovely coastal town where you can see a touch of colonial architecture, ravish the seafood, and let your hair down at the best beach parties.

Colonial Architecture

Negombo has dashes of colonial architecture left behind by the Dutch, Portuguese, and the British. The first thing you will notice about the town is the ‘Dutch Canal’ that flows through the town.

The canal was built as a means of transporting goods but today it’s used for sightseeing. You can take a tour of the town on a small motorboat.

The Old Dutch Fort is also another blast from the past. Built during the 16th century, it’s on a narrow strip sandwiched between the lagoon and the bay. Today you only see the ruins of a Fort that stood proudly.

Negombo Beach

Negombo beach is ideal for a quick plunge. There are many five star resorts located overlooking the beach and you have a choice to stay in one that fits your budget.

Diving is quite popular from December to April. The dive sites are divided into two sections, the dive sites that are close to the shore (radius of 8km) and the ones further away from the shore.

One of the popular spots for diving is the ‘third reef’. Negombo beach is also a great place to soak up the sun and enjoy a game of beach volleyball or build sandcastles!

Beach Partayy!

If you have time, Negombo beach parties are a must! Get wet and wild after the sun goes down while enjoying refreshing cocktails and the mouthwatering seafood platters.

You can get your groove on and enjoy the night away! If partying isn’t your thing then head to the beach restaurants in the area to relish the freshest seafood and coco-nutty cocktails!

St. Mary’s Church

You will notice a lot of churches in Negombo. And if you mingle with the locals you will realise that majority living here are of Christian faith.

The St, Mary’s Church is one of the most popular Catholic churches in Sri Lanka and it dates back to 150 years.

You don’t need to be a believer to visit, the architecture and the murals of the church are what make it beautiful. The stained glass windows and murals on the ceilings are amazing.

Take a catamaran ride

You can go fishing on a catamaran when in Negombo. There are private operators organizing tours where you can enjoy deep-sea fishing.

If fishing is not your thing, you can visit the famous Negombo fish market for the freshest catch of the day! These may not be possible to do in one day but you can add it to your list when you come on a long stay to Sri Lanka.

If you are still wondering how to spend 3 days in Sri Lanka, then drop us a message or give us a buzz.

We offer customized tour packages around Sri Lanka to suit your budget.

T2 Travels Sri Lanka offer safe and convenient travel opportunities for globetrotters who want to explore the beauty of paradise isle – Sri Lanka!

About the Author: Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at T2 Travels Sri Lanka is a team of experts who are specialists in Sri Lanka tourism.