Travel Guide to Jaffna

The complete tour guide to Jaffna, find information about the city's famous attractions, a list of things to do and much more. Book hotels at the best price and reserve your table at the top restaurants.

Jaffna Overview

Images of Jaffna

About Jaffna

If you want to feel time literally pass slowly then head on over to Jaffna, one of Sri Lanka's undiscovered treasure troves. You will feel the difference as you set foot in Jaffna, it's almost like stepping into another world! Although the sun beats heavily here, it's one of the rare places where you will feel cut off from the rest of the world.

Jaffna is filled with stories of which some will touch your heart and some will leave you marveling at the history behind this territory that was forbidden to the outside world for a long time. Lined with majestic palm trees Jaffna is famous for its Jaffna food, pulukodiyal which is a type of hard Palmyra snack, and Rio ice cream. The locals believe that the water in Jaffna adds alot of flavour to the food. Strange but true!


Getting into Jaffna

Jaffna is easily accessible by train, bus and private hire. It's located approximately 400km away from Colombo. The drive to Jaffna through the A9 road is beautiful, whereas some areas still carry marks from the war. The ideal way to travel to Jaffna is by intercity train, which is less tiring than the bus. Check for times and the schedule. Buses to Jaffna leave at night. There are several ticket booking stations found in Wellawatte.

You can also book a hire a private taxi at the international airport itself to get to Jaffna. However travelling by train is more affordable. Check for more information on rates.


Getting around Jaffna

Cycling is the most preferred way to travel short distances in Jaffna. Otherwise there are places from which you can rent a car. You can also travel by tuk tuk aka three wheelers, but make sure you negotiate a price before getting into the tuk tuk to avoid paying more than required. It will also help if you can ask locals how much it’s to get to your destination just to be sure you are paying the right amount. Having said that you can also travel by bus which is the most affordable way and you can ask locals to help you. The bus conductors are quite friendly and will be able to help you. Make sure you have small change in the form of coins and notes when going by bus instead of large notes. For example Rs.50, 20, 10 and a few coins.


Where to go and things to do in Jaffna

The palm tree lined Jaffna is filled with a variety of places to see such as Kantharodai, Jaffna fort, and Casurina Beach. You can also travel to nearby islands such as Delft, and Pungudutheevu from the town. Scroll above and click on our 'What to see' section to discover and explore more of Jaffna.