How to Plan Your Sri Lanka Highlights Tour in 6 Days in Colombo

How to Plan Your Sri Lanka Highlights Tour in 6 Days in Colombo

If you’re looking for an adventure in Sri Lanka but have limited time, a private custom 6-day tour might be just what you need. With an expert guide taking care of everything, you’ll be able to relax and explore the country’s highlights while staying in budget hotels and enjoying most of your meals. This tour is perfect for those who want to see and do a lot in a few days. The itinerary includes exploring the historic city of Kandy, famous for its tea plantations and the Temple of the Tooth, visiting Yala National Park to spot some wildlife, and riding a train to the scenic town of Ella.


This private tour starts and ends in Colombo and includes transportation in a private vehicle with a driver-guide. You’ll visit various sites during the day, with the option of having your guide arrange activities for you. Most of your meals are included, and you’ll stay in budget hotels. Admission fees to all the sites in the itinerary are covered, but admission to Yala National Park and any safari drives are at your own expense.


Day 1: Colombo-Kandy

Your driver-guide will meet you at your hotel or at the airport in Colombo in the morning. You’ll then head to Kandy, with opportunities to stop along the way and explore the countryside. After checking in at your hotel, you’ll visit the Temple of the Tooth, one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the world. In the evening, you’ll have the option to watch a cultural dance performance.

Day 2: Kandy-Nuwara Eliya

After breakfast, you’ll travel to Nuwara Eliya, a town known for its tea plantations and stunning landscapes. On the way, you’ll visit a tea factory and learn how tea is produced. You’ll also pass by Hakgala Botanical Gardens and Gregory Lake. Once in Nuwara Eliya, you’ll have time to explore the town and stay overnight at a budget hotel.

Day 3: Nuwara Eliya-Ella

Today, you’ll leave early for the train station and take a scenic train ride to Ella, passing through tea fields and waterfalls. Once in Ella, you’ll check in at your budget hotel and enjoy some free time. Your guide can recommend some hikes or other activities in the area.

Day 4: Ella-Yala

In the morning, your driver-guide will take you to Yala National Park for a safari drive. Yala is known for its leopards, elephants, and crocodiles. After the safari, you’ll head to your budget hotel near Yala for dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 5: Yala-Galle-Colombo

You’ll start the day with a visit to the famous stilt fishermen in Koggala before heading to the historic city of Galle. You’ll have time to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle Fort before heading back to Colombo. You’ll return to your hotel in Colombo for a final night’s stay.

Day 6: Departure

Your driver-guide will take you to the airport in Colombo for your departure flight.

What’s Included

  • Private transportation
  • Professional guiding at all the sites
  • Driver guide’s food and accommodation
  • Gratuities
  • Entry fees for all the sites in the itinerary & safari jeep
  • Hotels and food

How to Book

To book this private custom 6-day tour of Sri Lanka from Colombo, visit book the tour here on the tour provider’s website. Prices may vary depending on your group size and travel dates.

Frequently Asked Questions about Colombo

Colombo is the commercial capital and the largest city of Sri Lanka. It is a vibrant city with a mix of modern skyscrapers, colonial architecture, and historic temples. Here are some frequently asked questions about Colombo:

1. What is the best time to visit Colombo?

The best time to visit Colombo is from January to March when the weather is dry and sunny. The temperature ranges from 27-31°C (80-88°F), making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities. Avoid visiting Colombo from May to August when the city experiences heavy rainfall and high humidity.

2. What are the must-visit tourist attractions in Colombo?

Colombo has a rich history and culture, and there are plenty of things to see and do in the city. Some of the must-visit tourist attractions in Colombo are:

  • The National Museum of Colombo
  • The Gangaramaya Temple and Seema Malaka
  • The Independence Memorial Hall
  • The Viharamahadevi Park
  • The Beira Lake
  • The Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct
  • The Old Parliament Building

3. What are the best places to eat in Colombo?

Colombo is a foodie’s paradise, with a wide range of restaurants and cafes serving delicious local and international cuisine. Some of the best places to eat in Colombo are:

  1. The Ministry of Crab
  2. The Gallery Cafe
  3. The Dutch Burgher Union
  4. Green Cabin
  5. Barefoot Garden Cafe

4. What are the popular shopping destinations in Colombo?

Colombo is a shopper’s delight, and there are plenty of markets, malls, and boutiques in the city. Some of the popular shopping destinations in Colombo are:

  • Pettah Market
  • Odel
  • Majestic City
  • Crescat Boulevard
  • Paradise Road

5. What are the transportation options available in Colombo?

Colombo has a well-developed transportation system, and there are several options available for tourists to explore the city. Some of the transportation options available in Colombo are:

  • Tuk-tuks
  • Taxis
  • Buses
  • Train
  • Car rental

6. What are the popular festivals and events in Colombo?

Colombo celebrates several festivals and events throughout the year, reflecting the city’s diverse culture and traditions. Some of the popular festivals and events in Colombo are:

  • The Colombo Art Biennale
  • The Colombo International Book Fair
  • The Kala Pola Art Market
  • The Duruthu Perahera
  • The Navam Perahera

7. What are the safety tips for tourists in Colombo?

Colombo is a safe city for tourists, and with a few precautions, visitors can have a hassle-free and enjoyable trip. Some safety tips for tourists in Colombo are:

  • Avoid going out alone at night
  • Do not carry too much cash or valuables
  • Beware of pickpockets in crowded areas
  • Use licensed taxi services or ride-sharing apps
  • Be respectful of local customs and traditions

8. What is the best way to exchange currency in Colombo?

The best way to exchange currency in Colombo is through authorized money changers, banks, or ATMs. It is advisable to avoid exchanging currency with street vendors or unauthorized dealers, as they may offer unfair exchange rates or counterfeit currency.

9. What are the best day trips from Colombo?

Colombo is a great base to explore the diverse landscape and cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. Some of the best day trips from Colombo are:

  • Kandy
  • Galle
  • Dambulla
  • Anuradhapura
  • Whale Watching in Mirissa

10. What is the language spoken in Colombo?

The official language of Colombo and Sri Lanka is Sinhala. However, English is widely spoken and understood in Colombo, especially in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants.

In conclusion, Colombo is a vibrant and exciting city with plenty to offer for tourists. With its rich history, culture, and cuisine, Colombo is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Sri Lanka. Plan your trip well in advance and enjoy all that Colombo has to offer!

How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in Colombo

Colombo is a vibrant, bustling city that offers a mix of old-world charm and modern attractions. The city is known for its historic temples, bustling markets, and vibrant nightlife, making it a popular destination for tourists. If you’re planning a trip to Colombo, you’ll need to know how to make the most of your time. In this post, we’ll explore the best things to do in Colombo, from visiting cultural landmarks to enjoying the city’s delicious cuisine.

1. Visit the Gangaramaya Temple

If you’re interested in learning about Buddhism and the island’s cultural heritage, a visit to the Gangaramaya temple should be on your list. This temple is renowned for its striking architecture, a mix of traditional Sri Lankan and Indian styles, combined with modern influences. In addition to the temple hall and shrine room, the complex features a museum and library where you can learn more about the Buddha’s teachings and Sri Lankan culture.

2. Explore Colombo’s Markets

One of the best things about visiting Colombo is the opportunity to explore its bustling markets. The Pettah market is a must-visit for its colorful stalls, exotic aromas, and vibrant atmosphere. You’ll find everything from spices and textiles to souvenirs and jewelry. Be sure to haggle hard when negotiating for prices, as bargaining is expected in markets in Sri Lanka. Other than Pettah, the Good Market is also worth visiting. This organic and eco-friendly market is open every Saturday, with a range of local and organic produce, artisanal crafts, and clothing.

3. Discover Colombo’s Street Food

Sri Lankan cuisine is known for its complex flavors, with influences from South India, Indonesia, and colonial Europe. One of the best ways to experience this culinary heritage is by trying the street food in Colombo. From hoppers (rice flour and coconut milk pancakes) to kottu rotis (shredded flatbreads with vegetables and meat), the street food scene in Colombo is bound to tickle your taste buds. Be sure to try out popular food spots like Green Cabin, Upalis, and Galle Face Hotel.

4. Take a Stroll at the Galle Face Green

Situated in the heart of Colombo, the Galle Face Green is a vast open space that offers stunning ocean views. The green is a popular spot for joggers, families, and visitors looking to escape the chaotic city. The green also offers a range of food stalls serving delicious snacks like achcharu (spicy pickled fruits) and kadala (chickpeas), all while watching a spectacular sunset.

5. Learn About Sri Lanka’s History at the National Museum

The National Museum of Colombo is a must-visit for those interested in the island’s history. The museum’s extensive collection features artifacts from Sri Lanka’s ancient kingdom’s early colonial times to the present day. Highlights include the royal throne of King Wimaladharmasuriya II, an extensive collection of traditional masks, and a replica of the Avukana Buddha statue.

6. Escape to the Seaside Village of Mount Lavinia

If you’re looking for a break from the city, head to the seaside village of Mount Lavinia. Located a short distance from Colombo, this charming village has plenty to offer visitors. The highlight of Mount Lavinia is the beach, a long stretch of golden sands that’s ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. If you’re interested in the colonial history of Sri Lanka, be sure to visit the Mount Lavinia Hotel, a former British Governor’s mansion that’s now a luxury hotel, with a renowned seafood restaurant.

7. Enjoy the Nightlife in Colombo

Colombo’s nightlife is vibrant and exciting, with plenty of clubs, bars, and lounges to choose from. Whether you’re looking for dancefloor hits or a quiet night out with friends, you’ll find something to suit your style. Some popular nightclubs in Colombo include H20, Clique, and Rhythm and Blues. If you’re interested in live music, be sure to check out the Colombo Jazz Festival, held annually in February.

Final Thoughts

Colombo is a city that offers a mix of traditional culture and modern attractions, making it an exciting and captivating place to visit. Whether you’re exploring historic temples or enjoying street food, be sure to make the most of your time in this vibrant city. With plenty of things to see and do, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

How to Plan Your Sri Lanka Highlights Tour in 6 Days in Colombo