Trincomalee coral reef
Beaches Colombo East

Getting From Colombo to Trincomalee & Places to Visit in Trincomalee

Lies on the east coast of Sri Lanka at the distance of about 260 Km via Ambepussa – Kurunegala Highway from Colombo, Trincomalee is a small, famous port city with beautiful sand beach. Among travelers, Trincomalee is famous for Snorkelling, scuba diving, and whale watching. Trincomalee had been a significant cause of tensions among the Sri Lankan invaders. Nearly all nations who invaded Sri Lanka, they battled against each other to seize the Trincomalee primarily because of Trincomalee harbour. Trincomalee history also reveals that back in 1659, a well-known British sea captain, vacationer, and adventurer Sir Robert Knox, who surrendered to the King of Kandy, arrived ashore by a chance that the harbour was a considerable commercial capital during the colonial period. Although Trincomalee had hit in the 2004 Tsunami, the fort was not extremely infected. When compared to other coastlines, most of the Trincomalee residents managed to save and were able to migrate.

Trincomalee coral reef
Coral Reef in Pigeon Island -Trincomalee

How to get from Colombo to Trincomalee?

Getting from Colombo to Trincomalee is simple but tame-taking. Several options are out there. You can get there by bus, train, taxi, and flight.

By Bus

Tourist buses from Colombo to Trincomalee come with AC. That being said, it requires loads of energy for the reason that getting to Trincomalee from the Colombo bus takes about six and a half hours. So, If you are used to doing such bus adventures and have enough time to explore other portions of the island, you ought to book tickets online upfront to protect yourself from unnecessary frustration that you may come across in case of on the spot reservation. The second edge of booking tickets online before your trip date is you could be assigned a window seat (Not-Guaranteed). You can make a reservation online with 12go.Asia by clicking here. The company offers a refund, which means, if you change your mind in the future, you will get your money back.

Listed below are bus route details from nearby cities.

Anuradhapura To Trincomalee

It is easy to take a direct bus three times a day at the Anuradhapura bus station. The journey to Trincomalee takes around 3 to 3,5 hours and ticket cost would be about 300 LKR (2$).

Sigirya To Trincomalee

From the Inamaluwa bus station, you can take a bus that originally departs from Dambulla and charge about 130 LKR.

Note: The above two mentioned buses can’t be book online and also don’t have AC. 

By Train

Despite the fact, Colombo sits in the west part of the country and Trincomalee on the eastern side, there is a direct train from Colombo fort to Trincomalee. However, the Night Mail train, but as the name implies it leaves Fort station (and Trinco) in the evening at 21:30 from Colombo fort and reach in Trincomalee morning 5.30 AM. Sadly currently no seat reservations are possible for second-class, but the first-class you can book online in $23  by going here. The First-Class carriage comes with a Sleeper so investing $23 does make sense. Isn’t? Whether the limited comfort, hygiene, and safety make this a nice trip is up to personal preference. Besides the direct night train from Colombo to Trincomalee, The sole daytime option is the 6.05 AM train Colombo to Batticaloa, which has a more or less guaranteed transfer at Galoya junction station at noon to the local Trinco train which arrives around 2 PM. And there is an inverse option from Trinco early morning.  You can’t book this train online. but no worry 2nd class hardly ever is full at the departure from Fort.

Please note trains have roughly the same speed as bus and cab, don’t expect a very fast transport. But it’s a nice stretch and scenic at sections.

By Taxi

If you can manage to pay for a taxi, Getting from Colombo to Trincomalee by taxi is a highly recommended option. Normally, Colombo to Trincomalee taxi set you back around 18,000 LKR (98 $).  Taking the taxi cost into account, a number of tourists probably would not pick out this option. Then again, if you’re 3 to 4  person getting by taxi to Trincomalee from Colombo should be your initial preference. The taxi takes about six hours.

By Flight

If getting from Colombo to Trincomalee in a short time span is your main agenda, think about the flights between Colombo to Trincomalee. As you can assume, flaying tends to be an expensive form of transportation, so be prepared to spend more than above-described options. Cinnamon Air (run in partnership with Sri Lankan Airlines) has daily scheduled flights from CMB airport, generally via Sigiriya, to Trincomalee. See also our review/blog for Cinnamon air here. Their prices are generally costly. An option costing ¼ of Cinnamon Price level, only about USD 50 one-way, is Helitours. They fly from Ratmalana airport (south of Colombo) to Trinco on Monday-Wednesday-Friday (out in the morning, back in the afternoon). Booking on their website can be challenging, like with many companies owned/run by the SL government; but if it fails a travel agent should be able to secure seats for you.

Places to Visit in Trincomalee

The fort is quite renowned for its beaches. Apart from Trincomalee beaches, a few other things that can be done in Trincomalee.  So allow me to share top things to do in Trincomalee.

Whale Watching

There’s no question Mirrisa is known for whale watching and frequently vacationers don’t miss it. However, sometimes because of season limitations you are unable to see whale watching in Mirrisa. If that’s the case, you’re still able to do whale watching in Trincomalee as the best time of Whale watching in Trincomalee is absolutely in contrast to Marrissa.  In comparison with Mirrissa, Whale Watching price in Trincomalee is also lower. Typically it cost is about 6000 LKR (30$).

Snorkeling & Scuba Diving at Pigeon Island

Found about 1km off the Nilaveli beach. With the area of  4.714 km², Pigeon Island is famous for scuba diving, Snorkelling, and corals. In the course of the Britsh era, the island was utilized to perform a practice shoot. Until 2003 was just a sanctuary, but in 2003 Pigeon island was selected as a national park in Sri Lanka and the entry fee has been enforced. The name Pigeon Island was given to it because of its Pigeon rock.  When you are turning up at Nilvaelie beach, you will certainly pay attention to some boat services which are awaiting passengers. These boats can transfer you to the Island at the cost of between 3000 LKR to 4000 LKR ( $15-17) include the park entrance fee.

Nilaveli Beach

A long but not much-crowded beach with less strong waves, Nilvalia beach is located on the northern side of Trincomalee.  The beach is managed by lifeguards. It’s a good beach to sunbathe.  The best time to visit, the beach is from April to October.  Nilaveli Beach is properly developed and it has several resorts, restaurants and boat services that can sift you to pigeon island as mentioned above.

You can learn more about Nilaveli Beach here.


Visit Sri Pathrakali Amman Kovil

On of the magnificent Hindu temples in Sri Lanka dedicated to Hindu lord Kali.  The temple has it own history. Every morning at 11.30 am worshiped is being performed by Hindu. The temple is situated opposite of the Trinco bus station.

Kanniya Hot Springs

Basically developed in the memory of giving rites by King Raavanan. Total there are actually seven (7) hot water wells and the entrance fee is LKR 10 for local visitors and LKR 50 from foreign peoples. The interesting features of the Kenniya hot springs is each well carry a distinctive degree of temperature. Hot springs wells are 3-4 feet deep and you can certainly view the base.

Where to go after Trincomalee?

After done the Trincomalee trip you can make below trips.

  • Trincomalee to Sigiriya
  • Trincomalee  to Ella
  • Trincomalee to Kandy
  • Trincomalee  to Arugam Bay

How Long Should I Stay In Trincomalee?

The town has a great opportunity for tourists. With respect to your interest, an individual can spend as you would like. However, In my choice, 4-5 days are sufficient to say in Trincomalee.




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