Journey: Colombo to Jaffna

Jaffna is a city of bliss with its natural and unique beauty, charm and culture. It is a legendary city which has opened its doors to visitors from all parts of the country. Create the perfect vacation by discovering beauty in its sheer abundance.

Transportation Options from Colombo to Unawatuna

By Bus

Many semi-luxury and luxury buses are operating from Colombo to Jaffna. Bus stops at Ramakrishna mission in Wellawatte, supermarket in Kotahena have buses starting its journey between 7 and 8 PM. If you go directly to the bus stand in Pettah, there are plenty of CTB buses operating at this central point. The journey by bus usually takes from 8 to 9 hours. The bus fare is between Rupees 500 and 1,000. Busses tend to stop at various points including small restaurants and shops for passengers to freshen up with food and drinks.

Air Travel

Tourists can fly to Jaffna on Cinnamon Air which is a charter flight and takes up to 1 hour. This is a form of luxury travel and is more expensive than regular travel by land. The Palali Airport is in the northern capital city.

By Train

Daily train services operate from Colombo to Jaffna with 4 trains operating to and 4 coming back. There are an intercity express and the Yal Devi which is the night mail train. The intercity express is fully air conditioned, and cost of train fare will be approximately Rupees 1,500. The duration of travel from Colombo to Jaffna is 7 hours. Train services offer separate compartments which can be booked even if you are travelling in a second class carriage. There are first, second and third class compartments when travelling by train which has both reserved and unreserved seats. Third class tickets can be purchased 15 minutes before the train leaves the station.

By Taxi

Tourists can hire a taxi at the Bandaranayake International Airport which will take them directly from Katunayake to Jaffna. The travel distance to Jaffna is 380 kilometres while travel time is between 5 and 6 hours.

Private Vehicle

Another comfortable travel option would be to hire a private vehicle. The usual rate for cars is Rupees 45 per kilometre with vans going slightly higher at Rupees 50 and 75 per kilometre. Tourists can drive the vehicle themselves; else, they can hire a driver along with it.


There are three wheelers in plenty and tourists can use this form of travel to journey to Jaffna from Colombo. It is the cheapest and quickest way to get around while in the city. Some of the tuk-tuks are fitted with a meter.

Travel Tips

There are boat/ferry services available once you get to Jaffna which allows tourists to visit surrounding islands. There are a small Dutch fort and the stunning peninsula with shallow waters around it.

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