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Travel Guide of Jaffna in Sri Lanka by Influencers and Travelers

Jaffna is the capital city of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. It is the administrative headquarters of the Jaffna District located on a peninsula of the same name. With a population of 88,138 in 2012, Jaffna is Sri Lanka's 12th most populous city.

The Best Things to Do and Visit in Jaffna


1 - Delft Island

   41 km away

Neduntheevu or Nedunthivu is an island in the Palk Strait, northern Sri Lanka. This island is named as Delft in the Admiralty Chart unlike the other islands, whose names are Tamil. The island's area is 50 km² and it is roughly oval-shaped. Its length is 8 km and its maximum width about 6 km.

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Delft Island things to do in Jaffna

2 - Bird Watching in Jaffna

(SKU: LK75200200)Chundikkulam Lagoon and its surrounding area was designated as a bird sanctuary on 25 February 1938 under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance.Chundikkulam Lagoon is partly surrounded by mangrove swamps and sea grass beds. The surrounding area includes palmyra palm plantations, scrub forests and a variety of dry zone flora.

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Bird Watching in Jaffna things to do in Jaffna

3 - Shore Excursions in Jaffna

This full day trip takes you to two differently unique islands off the coast of Jaffna peninsula. Delft is a remote n island with rich history from the Chola Dynasty, Portuguese, Dutch and the British colonial period and Nagadeepa island is home to the historic Nagadeepa Viharaya complex and the elaborate Nagapooshani Amman Kovil shrines.

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Shore Excursions in Jaffna things to do in Jaffna

4 - Mountain Bike Tours in Jaffna

(SKU: LK77200100) This four-hour tour takes you to see the ancient and thriving city of Jaffna. See the many remnants from the Jaffna Kingdom, the throne of the ancient Tamil Kings of Sri Lanka. Visit famous temples, churches and other places of cultural importance. Cycle through the busy streets of Jaffna Market with their many delicious fruits, food items, and handicrafts. Stop by the most famous local ice-cream parlor for a quick snack. Many other exciting discoveries and new sights await!

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Mountain Bike Tours in Jaffna things to do in Jaffna

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Pictures and Stories of Jaffna from Influencers

4 pictures of Jaffna from Louise Burton, Shavin Peiries, Eshan Malaviarachchi and other travelers

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Why should you visit Jaffna ?

Travel to Jaffna if you like:

  🏖️ Beach     🏞️ Waterway     🐾 Wildlife  

How to visit Jaffna ?

Why traveling there?

Jaffna, the northernmost city of Sri Lanka, is a unique destination with a rich cultural heritage, vibrant local life, and a fascinating blend of Tamil, Dutch, and Portuguese influences. This lesser-known gem offers a different perspective on Sri Lanka, away from the typical tourist trail. With its stunning Hindu temples, historic forts, and pristine beaches, Jaffna is a must-visit for those interested in history, culture, and natural beauty.

How to get there?

There are several ways to reach Jaffna from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. The most convenient option is to take a domestic flight from Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport to Jaffna International Airport, which takes about 1 hour. Alternatively, you can take a train from Colombo Fort Railway Station to Jaffna Railway Station, which takes approximately 6-7 hours. Buses are also available from Colombo to Jaffna, with a journey time of around 8-9 hours.

What to book in advance?

Although Jaffna is not as touristy as other parts of Sri Lanka, it's still a good idea to book accommodation and transportation in advance, especially during the peak travel season (December to February). If you plan to take a guided tour of the city or participate in any cultural experiences, it's also recommended to book these ahead of time.

What are the costs?

Jaffna is a relatively affordable destination, with budget accommodations starting from around $15 per night and mid-range options from $30 per night. Meals at local restaurants are typically inexpensive, costing around $2-$5 per person. Entrance fees to the main attractions, such as the Jaffna Fort and Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, are usually free or minimal. Transportation costs within the city are low, with tuk-tuks and buses being the most common modes of transport.

What are the best things to do?

Some of the top attractions in Jaffna include visiting the majestic Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, exploring the historic Jaffna Fort, and strolling through the bustling Jaffna Market. A trip to Delft Island is also highly recommended, where you can see wild horses, ancient ruins, and stunning beaches. Other popular activities include visiting the Keerimalai Hot Springs and Naguleswaram Temple, as well as enjoying the pristine beaches of Casuarina and Nilavarai.

Where to eat?

1. Mango's: A popular local restaurant offering delicious Jaffna-style cuisine, including crab curries and traditional vegetarian dishes.
2. Malayan Café: A family-run eatery serving a variety of tasty Tamil dishes, including dosas, idlis, and rice-based meals.
3. Nila Restaurant: Known for its authentic Jaffna cuisine, Nila Restaurant offers a range of flavorful curries, seafood dishes, and vegetarian options.

Where to stay?

1. Jetwing Jaffna: A modern, upscale hotel located in the heart of Jaffna, featuring comfortable rooms, a rooftop bar, and a restaurant serving local and international cuisine.
2. Green Grass Hotel & Restaurant: A mid-range option offering clean, comfortable rooms and an on-site restaurant serving a variety of local and international dishes.
3. D'Villa Guest House: A budget-friendly guesthouse with basic but clean rooms, a friendly atmosphere, and a convenient location near the city center.

Off the beaten path

For an unusual travel experience in Jaffna, visit the mysterious Chunnakam Power Station Ruins. Located in the small village of Chunnakam, these abandoned structures are remnants of a power station built during the British colonial era. The ruins are surrounded by lush greenery and are an interesting site for history buffs and urban explorers. The area is not frequented by tourists, so you'll get a unique, off-the-beaten-path experience in Jaffna.

   Where to Stay in Jaffna

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   More Travel spots to explore around Jaffna

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Discover more travel spots to explore around Jaffna

  🏞️ Waterway spots     🏖️ Beach spots     🐾 Wildlife spots  

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