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Trincomalee is a city in northeastern Sri Lanka.


The city went through a lot of fighting during the civil war, but is being developed as a tourist destination.

Get in[edit]

Map of Trincomalee

By plane[edit]

  • Cinnamon Air, a domestic airline in Sri Lanka, operates flights from Colombo to Trincomalee. Along the way, it makes a stop at Sigiriya. The total duration of the flight is 1 hour and 15 minutes. One-way fare per person is US$227 (without tax).

By bus[edit]

  • The bus station is across the street from the clock tower and the market. Buses to Kandy leave at 4AM, around 9:15AM, 10:15AM, 1:45PM and 2:45PM. The bus at 9:15AM is supposed to be a/c and needs to be pre-booked, all other buses are standard non-a/c government buses.

By rail[edit]

  • The train station is about 1 km north of town. Both daytime and nighttime trains are available. The Night Mail departs Colombo Fort at 21:30 and arrives at Trincomalee at 5:30 the next morning. This train has 1st class sleepers as well as 2nd and 3rd class "sleeperettes" which are reclining seats. 2nd class (LKR 520) has arm-rests, 3rd class (LKR 325) does not.
  • There are also two day-time arrivals into Trincomalee each day. You must leave Colombo Fort on the 6:05 train to Galoya. Tickets are LKR 450 for 2nd class, LKR 285 for 3rd class. It should arrive at 11:36 so you can transfer to the Trincomalee train which departs at 12:00 and arrives at 13:40. If you miss this connection, there is a second Trincomalee train departing Galoya departing at 14:35 and arriving at 16:12. These trains have 2nd (LKR 140) and 3rd class (LKR 80) unreserved seats.

Get around[edit]

Trincomalee is a very compact town, so walking is a suitable way to see the town. For longer trips, rickshaws are available at nearly every corner. Negotiate your fare before boarding if there is no meter: a rule of thumb is around 50 LKR per kilometre.


  • Pigeon Island
  • Fort Frederick. Fort Fredrick is an old Dutch fort located on a peninsula North East of the town center. It still has a strong military presence from the war, but still a great place to explore. There is a nice Hindu temple atop the cliff at the end of the peninsula with spectacular views.
Uppuveli Beach, with Konesar Malai in background
  • 1 Salli Muthumariamman Kovil (temple), in Uppuveli (a coastal resort town 6 km north of Trincomalee). This is a beautiful Hindu kovil that provides a good view of Trincomalee town, and of the fishing boats in front of it. It us an important temple to the local Hindus, who regularly visit it for prayers and festivals. During festivals, it is common to see men with pierced tongues and women holding pots of milk. Drummers and dancers are also a common sight.


  • 2 Uppuveli beach. Uppuveli beach is about 6 km north of the town and is a wonderful nearly pristine beach.
  • 3 Marble Beach.
  • 4 Nilaveli beach. The sleepy village of Nilaveli is located 14 km north of Trincomalee. Because of the beautiful beach there are many hotels there.


  • 1 Snorkelling. A snorkelling trip to Pigeon Island is a must. There are local boats that will take you to this island for a fee of about US$30 (return). Snorkelling is a great way to see the abundant sea life. Sadly the coral is not respected by the locals. Snorkelling should be done with great caution as some areas are very deep, up to a thousand metres in depth. There is also dolphin and whale watching available from most of the guest houses on Uppaveli beach.
  • Dolphin and whale watching. There is dolphin and whale watching available from most of the guest houses on Uppaveli beach.



Most guesthouses will make meals for you if you talk to them. Restaurants are clustered near the hotels north of town near Ananthapuri.

  • Green Park Beach Hotel - North Indian food
  • Jeffry's Restaurant
  • JKAB Park Hotel - Sri Lankan buffet
  • Nina (Sarvodaya Road, Uppuveli, 300 meters from main road) family-run restaurant serving local and western food. Some specials every day. Smoothie bowls available.



  • Nilaveli Beach Hotel, 11th Milepost, +94 262 222 071. Great hotel nestled right in front of Nilaveli Beach.
  • 1 Methodist Church Nilaveli, 9th Milepost, Nilaveli. Absolute cheapest. Abandoned orphanage on the church grounds, outside shower and toilet. Very basic but good value for money. Rotating fans. Beach nearby. Rs.250 per person.
  • Pigeon Island Beach Resort, 11th Milepost, Nilaveli, +94 26 49 20 633. It offers 36 rooms (some of them have A/C), all of which have Internet, and there are satellite TV facilities as further entertainment. Some of its amenities include a yoga centre and spa and fitness centre for adults, and play room, reading corner, and a secure outdoor playground for children. Best rates on official website start at US$68.
  • 2 Trinco Blu by Cinnamon, Sampalthivu Post, Uppuveli, +(94) 262222307, . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. A high-end beachfront resort. It provides spacious accommodations with a freshwater pool, 3 dining options and free Wi-Fi. Starting from US$87.

There are tons of guesthouses along the beach at Uppaveli and Nilaveli. Shop around as the prices vary greatly.

There are also an increasingly large number of guesthouses to the South of Fort Fredrick on the beach. Once again shop around as prices vary greatly.

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