Perched at the northern tip of Sri Lanka lies the laid-back town of Jaffna. With its calm atmosphere and distance from the chaos of Colombo, Jaffna offers a unique and tranquil getaway. Since the end of the civil war in 2009, a small but growing hospitality industry has emerged, offering a range of accommodations for every budget. From budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels, Jaffna has something for everyone. Don’t be fooled by the corporate-style offerings at the top range properties. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find hidden gems in charming heritage houses.
Foodies, pay attention! Jaffna is famous for its delectable seafood specialties sourced from the nearby saltwater lagoon. Indulge in the ever-popular Jaffna Crab Curry and experience a burst of flavors unique to the region. Beyond the gastronomic delights, Jaffna is steeped in history. Explore the remains of a star-shaped Portuguese and Dutch-era Fort, marvel at the beautifully rebuilt Jaffna Public Library, or admire the striking St Mary’s Cathedral and the red-and-white Nallur Kandaswamy temple. For those seeking a more relaxed experience, nearby destinations such as Keerimalai Hot Springs and Kankesanthurai Beach offer a short drive away.
Immerse yourself in the local culture as you trundle along the causeway connecting the nearby islands to the mainland. Witness fishermen wading in the shallows and birds soaring overhead. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a ferry to the sacred sites of Nagadipa and the former Dutch settlement on Delft Island, where wild ponies roam free.
While options for bars and restaurants may be limited, Jaffna’s balmy evenings are a haven of tranquility. Find yourself a spot at one of the best places to stay in Jaffna and soak up the local culture without the crowds. With relatively few tourists, this northern city offers a truly special off-the-beaten-track experience.
For a City Style Experience
When it comes to city style, Jetwing Jaffna is the place to be. This smart and central modern hotel offers contemporary rooms with traditional touches and impressive city views. Indulge in local delicacies at the hotel restaurant and catch a breathtaking sunset from the panoramic rooftop bar.
For a Boutique Getaway
If you prefer a more intimate experience, Thambu Illam is the perfect choice. This recently renovated heritage home, nestled in a leafy residential area, offers just four ensuite bedrooms. With a laid-back atmosphere and plenty of privacy, you’ll feel like you’ve found your own personal retreat. The friendly staff are always available to assist you during your stay.
For an Apartment or Villa
If you’re searching for an apartment or private villa experience, we recommend visiting our online partner, Booking.com, for a wide selection of options to suit your needs.
Flying to Jaffna? The simplest way to reach this captivating destination is by train from Colombo or Anuradhapura. Make sure to book your tickets in advance at the train station, as reserved seats can sell out quickly. For the latest train times, visit our DHPL Travels website.
Jaffna is a year-round destination, but temperatures peak in April and May, creating sticky conditions. Monsoon rains usually fall from October to December. With the high season lasting from May to September, it’s advisable to book early to avoid disappointment.
Still Not Sure?
Browse through our carefully curated list of Jaffna’s best places to stay for more options. Alternatively, expand your search to include all our Sri Lanka recommendations. If you need further assistance or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team at DHPL Travels.