Travel Guide to Kalutara

The complete tour guide to Kalutara, 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.

Kalutara Overview

Images of Kalutara

About Kalutara

Settled in the western province of Sri Lanka, Kalutara is known as the country's third largest city. Titled as a scenic resort city, Kalutara was once a vital spice trading point.

According to local history the name Kalutara is derived from the river Kalu ganga which flows gently through the town. Lined with sky-reaching coconut trees Kalutara was once a capital under the reign of a southern prince. The town carries with it memorabilia from the time of the Portuguese, Dutch and the British. The strong fortification built by the colonists speak of the town's importance. 

You'll also find that the land is blessed with a sweet dark purple shiny fruits known as the Mangos teen which is a specialty of Kalutara. It's said that the fruit was first brought to the island during the early 19th century from Malaya. The season for this fruit is between June and September. Besides this the town is famous for its expertise on anything coconut! You'll find a variety of coconut products for sale such as coconut fiber mats, ropes and baskets.


Getting into Kalutara

Kalutara is located merely 40km away from Colombo and is easily accessible by train, bus or private hire. The drive to this coastal town from Colombo will take you just over an hour. You can also travel by train which will be much faster and quite an experience. Check for times and the schedule.

If you are at the Bandaranaike International Airport then you can hire a private taxi at the airport counter. Check for more information on rates.


Getting around Kalutara

Most Sri Lankans travel around cities and towns by tuk tuk aka three wheelers. Note that it's a rule of thumb to fix the price before getting into a tuk tuk to avoid paying more than required unless of course the tuk has a meter. 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 will also be able to help you in any way that they can. 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 Kalutara

There is so much to see and do in Kalutara starting from exploring the nearby beaches to boating on the Kalu Ganga river. The town is also sprinkled with cultural and religious monuments such as the three story Kalutara Vihara, a Buddhist temple built in the 1960s and the only one in the world that is hollow. Scroll above and click on our 'What to see' section to discover and explore more of Kalutara.