If you want to start or end your trip with some days at the beach then Trincomalee is the perfect stop.During our trip through Sri Lanka we actually wanted to add Arugam bay to our itinerary, but we the weather was nog great so we decided to add Trincomalee to our itinerary instead. A lovely beach destination, but not quite the vibe we expected. We had hoped for that surfer vibe as described at Arugam Bay, but unfortunately we did not find it here. Still, it was a fine destination that we certainly did not regret.
Trincomalee can be found on the east coast of Sri Lanka. We thought it was time for some beach again after Kandy, Sigiriya and Ella and then Trincomalee fit the itinerary perfectly. The city itself is not very special, but the beaches are more than fine.
In this article
- To do
- Travel time
- Practical information
- The nicest accommodations
- How do I get there?
- Our opinion
What to do in Trincomalee
Visit Nilaveli beach
You visit Trincomalee for the beach and then Nilaveli beach is surely the gem. It is a quiet beautiful expanse of sand. It has some nice beach spots and is much quieter than southern Sri Lanka.
You’ll find the beach about 20 kilometers from Trincomalee.
Visit Sri Pathrakali Amman Kovil
Trincomalee is home to several Hindu temples, including the colorful Sri Pathrakali Amman Kovil. An absolute must-visit during your visit to T
Visit Koneswaram Temple
Rent a scooter and drive to Koneswaram Temple. HIer you will not only find a beautiful temple on a hill, but also have a great view of the bay.
- Snorkeling at Pigeon Island. Unfortunately for us, the weather was not good for snorkeling, so we were not able to do this trip. The stories do vary a bit about this place.
- Fort Frederich: a large Dutch fort built in 1623 by the Portuguese.
- Trincomalee also seems to be the best place to spot whales. Learn about the organization and how they handle animal welfare beforehand.
Hotspots & food in
- Cafe on the 18th: our absolute favorite! The best spot for lunch and dinner in Trincomalee. Delicious sushi and more.
- Be Cool Juice Bar & Seafood Restaurant: perfect for breakfast and lunch.
- Fernando’s Bar: despite the poor reviews, this is actually a very nice place for some beers. I might skip the food.
- Snack bar Hawaii: beachside restaurant.
Best time to travel to Trincomalee
The best travel time to visit Trincomalee is from February to March and in December. In April, the climate is also still fine.
Which budget do i need in Trincomalee?
A few days in Trincomalee need not look expensive at all. Thus, in 4 days we spent only 160 euros incl. transportation from Sigiriya to Trincomalee and scooter rental.
Practical information about Trincomalee
- Download the app PickMe. Sri Lanka’s uber with which you can also book tuktuks. Ideal!
- Bus tickets can be arranged on the bus
- Negotiating the price is very common in Sri Lanka. So do this too!
- For a Tuktuk ride, you pay about 100 – 300 rupees (about 1.50 max). This is for a ride of about 5 – 15 minutes.
- They drive LEFT in Sri Lanka. Don’t forget.
- At most restaurants, you pay an additional 10% service charge. It is then still customary to tip 5 – 10% (depending on the food and services). Sounds maybe a lot but on average a dinner with drinks costs less than 10 euros incl. service charges. So that one euro you can well spare ;p
- Want to visit a temple? Then keep your clothes in mind. VOor both men and women, legs and shoulders covered. Buy a nice sarong somewhere and make sure you always have it with you.
What are nice places to stay in Trincomalee?
How to get to Trincomalee?
A train goes from Colombo to Trincomalee twice a day. You also have the option of going by night train. By bus, it takes about 7 hours.
From Sigiriya to Trincomalee is about 2 hours. We decided to take a cab for 20 euros and were in Trincomalee within 2 hours. It is also possible to take the bus. Then it will take you about 4 hours.
From Anuradhapura to Trincomalee takes about 2 hours by cab. It is also possible to catch a bus directly from Anuradhapura to trincomalee. A ticket costs about 2-3 euros and the bus takes about 4-5 euros.