Sri Lanka, Trincomalee: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Trincomalee is the administrative headquarters of the Trincomalee District and it is the major resort port city of Eastern Province. Trincomalee is located on the east coast of the island that overlooks the Trincomalee Harbour. Trincomalee’s best known feature is the natural harbour and it is considered to be one of the largest, safest and most picturesque natural harbours in the world. The population is around 100,000. It is also called as Trinco. The city witnessed a lot of fighting during the Sri Lankan Civil War but it has recently been recovering. The town was also fought over by several foreign powers. The Danes first landed here in 1617 and the Portuguese built a fort here in 1624 but in 1639, the Dutch took over the city from them. Then the British captured the city for good. The city is sacred to the Hindu community because it contains many Hindu pilgrimage sites.
The city can be easily reached by train, bus, plane or a private vehicle. The Train Station of Trincomalee is located about 1 km north or the town. There are direct trains to Trincomalee that leave from the Colombo Fort Railway Station. The journey takes around 8 hours. Buses are better options when comparing to the trains. There are also several buses that leave frequently from the Colombo Pettah Bus Station. There are also buses from Dambulla, Jaffna, Anuradhapura and Batticaloa. The Bus Station of Trincomalee is located directly in town across the street from the clock tower and the market. From the airport, it is easier to hire a taxi. There is an airbase located about 7 km south west of the town. The Sri Lankan Air Force operates commercial flights from Colombo to Trincomalee. There are also private seaplane operators flying the Colombo – Trincomalee route.
The city is very compact the most suitable way to see the town is by walking. For longer trips, there are three wheelers available nearly at every corner. Negotiating the price beforehand is recommended. In order to go to Uppuveli or Nilaveli, there are buses from the town.
Places to Visit
It is one of the holiest Hindu temples in Sri Lanka. It houses the rescued Swayambhu Lingam (Hindu Phallic symbol). It is located at the summit of a rocky outcrop. It is one of the five historical Hindu temples dedicated to Shiva and it was established to protect the island from natural disaster. It attracts pilgrims from across the nation. Address: Kandasamy Kovil Road, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
The Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1624. It was built from the debris of a Hindu temple known as Koneswaram Temple. The Fort changed hand many times between Portuguese, Dutch, French and British. The main tourist attractions that the Fort has are the rebuilt Koneswaram Temple and Gokanna Temple. Nowadays, the Fort is occupied by the Sri Lankan military but visitors are allowed to wander around the Fort. Address: Konesar Road, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
Koneswaram Hindu Temple
It is situated on top of the Swami Rock. It can be considered the highest place in Trincomalee. The temple has a beautiful surrounding area. There are carved figures in the temple.
St Mary’s Cathedral
It is an old church which was built in 1852. It has a sky-blue neo-baroque frontage and a tiled towered. Address: St Mary’s St, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
It is located on Swami Rock and the name comes from the love story of Francina van Reed who was the daughter of a gentleman of rank in the civil service in Holland. She was engaged to a young Dutch officer who broke off engagement when his period of Foreign Service came to an end. According to the story, she watched the ship taking away her love and she flung herself over the rock and intro sheer drop of 400 feet. It is unknown that whether the story is real or not. Visitors can climb the rock and watch the breath taking view of the sea from this rock.
It is located 6 km north of the town and it is a nearly pristine beach. It is possible to reach the beach by taking the bus north and getting off at the church on the west side of the road 5-6 km north of Trincomalee. After the church, there is a side road leading directly to the beach along.
It is also located at the north. The beach is similar to Uppuveli but it is less crowded. There is a big military base right in the middle of Nilaveli but there are also nice beaches. The main Nilaveli beach is long and pristine with no crowds.
Dutch Bank Cave
The café-restaurant is set in a historic building. The restaurant served Sri Lankan meals. There are also espresso and cappuccino, juices and shakes. The restaurant faces the inner harbour. Meals change between Rs 400 – 800. Address: 88 Inner Harbour Road, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
There is harbour view dining at this hotel restaurant. It serves some original and successful Western dishes. It is also a good spot for a drink. Main dishes change between Rs 450 – 750. Opening hours: 11 am – 3:30 pm & 7 -9:30 pm. Address: 66 Orr’s Hill Lower Road, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
This eatery is famous for its fried rice, curry, cheese and pizza. Main dishes change between Rs 150 – 300. Opening hours: 5 – 9:30 pm. Address: 145 A Dockyard Road, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
Green Park Beach Hotel
This hotel that is located on Dutch Bay serves local, Western and North Indian dishes. They also offer espresso. Main dishes change between Rs 350 – 650. Address: 312 Dyke St, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
Anna Pooram Vegetarian Restaurant
This veggie eatery serves Tamil dishes and it is always packed at lunchtime. It has a couple of tables but it is hugely popular for its take-away trade. Address: 412 Dockyard Road, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
This hotel restaurant is a popular lunch spot among locals. Main dishes change between Rs 80 – 120. Address: 65 Post Office Road, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
Sunflower Bake House
This place has a range of sweet and sour pastries. It also served breakfast and lunch. Main dishes start from Rs 80. Opening hours: 6 am – 9 pm. Address: 154 Post Office Road, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
New Parrot Restaurant
The restaurant offers noodles, rice, kotthu, soup and many more. Main dishes change between Rs 100-400. Opening hours: Closed on Sunday evenings. Address: 96 Main St, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
This restaurant serves Asian cuisine with big portions. Main dishes change between Rs 100-250. Opening hours: 5:30 am – 10:30 pm. Address: 65 Post Office Road, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
Where to Stay
Rest Way Inn
This guest house features free Wi-Fi and children’s playground. It is located 1.8 km from Fort Frederick. Free private parking is available on site. Rooms come with air conditioning and a flat screen TV. Some rooms have a seating area. All rooms are fitted with a private bathroom equipped with a shower. There is a 24 hour front desk at the property that offers private check in/out services. Common areas include a garden and a shared lounge/TV area. The guest house also serves car hire and currency exchange facilities. The guest house has also water sports facilities such as snorkelling and windsurfing. Address: No.37, Court Road, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
Dutch Bay Beach Cottages
The resort offers a hot tub and a private beach area. It is located 1.3 km away from Fort Frederick. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Rooms come with a flat screen TV with satellite channels. Come rooms include a seating area. All rooms have a private bathroom equipped with a shower. There is a 24 hour front desk at the property. The resort has water sports facilities and bike hire and car hire are available. Address: 294, Dyke Street, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
Sellammah Beach Hotel
The hotel features free Wi-Fi, a barbecue and a children’s playground. It is located 1.3 km away from Fort Frederick. There is a water park on site and guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Free private parking is available on site. Certain rooms come with a seating area. Each room come with a private bathroom equipped with a bath. Rooms have a flat screen TV with satellite channels. There is a 24 hour front desk at the property. The hotel has a private beach area and bike hire and car hire are available. Guests can engage in various activities such as windsurfing, diving and cycling. Address: 330, Dyke Street, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
This bed and breakfast features a private beach area where the beach is 50 metres from the property. Free Wi-Fi access is available. Some rooms come with a work desk, television and air conditioning. There is a 24 hour front desk, barbecue facilities and a shared kitchen at the property. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site such as fishing, diving and snorkelling. Free private parking is available on site. Address: 228 Dyke Street, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
Hotel Pyramid Inn
This hotel features barbecue and views of the garden. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Free private parking is available on site. Rooms come with air conditioning and a flat screen TV. Certain rooms have a seating area. There is a kettle in the room. Rooms come with a private bathroom fitted with a bath. Bike hire and car hire are available at this hotel. Guests can engage in various activities such as fishing and hiking. Address: 464 Anbuvalipuram Road, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
Hotel Blue Waves
The hotel provides a la carte meals and special diet menus on request. Free Wi-Fi is available in its public areas. Rooms come with city and garden views, air conditioning, a flat screen Tb with cable and satellite channels and a laptop safe. The bathroom comes with a shower. Guests can get assistance with airport shuttle, laundry and ironing services. The property is located 1.6 away from the Trincomalee Bus Station and 2.9 km away from the Trincomalee Railway Station. Address: No 113, Court Road, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
This hotel offers a restaurant. Free Wi-Fi access is available. Rooms come with a satellite TV and a DVD player. Guests can enjoy sea view and city view from the room. There is a 24 hour front desk, a garden and barbecue facilities at the property. Free private parking is available on site. Address: 22, Lower Road, Orr’s Hill, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
Sayura Guest House
This guest house features free Wi-Fi throughout the property. The guest house also offers pet friendly accommodation. Free private parking is available on site. Rooms are fitted with a private bathroom equipped with a shower. There is a shared kitchen at the property. The area is popular for snorkelling and diving. The guest house is located 1.5 km from Fort Frederick. Address: No 344/2, Weeranagaraya, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.