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In this article, you will discover the most convenient, cost-effective, and thrilling ways to travel from Colombo airport or city to Trincomalee. You'll be guided on how to arrange a transfer and purchase train, plane, or bus tickets from Colombo to Trincomalee. Compare prices and travel times across all modes of transport. And for those who read to the end, there's a bonus - tips on making your journey from Colombo to Trincomalee a delightful adventure with visits to ancient cities, temples, and a national park with wild elephants.

How to get from Colombo to Trincomalee

Contents of the article:

  book transfer from Colombo airport to Trincomalee

How far is Trincomalee from Colombo

The distance between Colombo and Trincomalee is 256 km.

The distance from Bandaranaike International Airport (Colombo Airport) to Trincomalee is 245 km.

How long does it take to get from Colombo to Trincomalee

While Google may suggest that this distance can be covered by car in 5 hours, it's important to note that this is a very optimistic estimate. In reality, the journey is likely to take longer.

My forecast after trips by myself along this route:

Imagine how difficult it would be to endure such a trip if you had previously endured a long flight to Sri Lanka. What to do? Break the move into parts and simultaneously see the most exciting sights of Sri Lanka. Read on if you want to know how to do this.

Suppose you may be interested in the fastest way to get from Colombo airport or city to Trincomalee. In that case, you can order a transfer on the Intui Travel or 12GoAsia websites.

Find the best way from Colombo to Trincomalee

It is worth noting that the road from the airport and the city of Colombo to Trincomalee passes through the "Cultural Triangle" of Sri Lanka. It is the region where the historical and cultural attractions of Sri Lanka are concentrated.

Therefore, you can turn a trip from Colombo to Trincomalee into an exciting tour.

For instance, on your journey from Colombo to Trincomalee, you can explore the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, the Golden Cave Temple of Dambulla, and the Mineriya National Park. These are just a few of the exciting sights you can experience along the way.

The road from Colombo to Trincomalee
The road from Colombo to Trincomalee can hardly be called a highway

The easiest way to organize your trip is to order a car with a driver who will meet you at the airport and accompany you to the sights of Sri Lanka you have chosen for several days

An alternative option is to divide the trip into three stages:

  1. Transfer from Colombo to Harbarana. Why do I recommend Habarana? There, you will find a good selection of hotels, convenient infrastructure and transport links to all the Sri Lanka Golden Triangle attractions.
  2. 1-3 nights at a hotel in Habarana and excursions by tuk-tuk or with a local driver. You can book tours on the Viator website.
  3. transfer from Habarana to Trincomalee.

This way, you can turn an ordinary, dull journey from Colombo to Trincomalee into an exciting sightseeing tour.

Remember that you can buy train or bus tickets on the 12GoAsia website from Colombo city, but not from the airport.

How to get from Colombo Airport to Trincomalee

There are two types of transport available from the airport in Trincomalee - cars and flights:

Flights suit those ready to pay $300 - $400 for a 50-minute flight from Bandaranaike Airport to Trincomalee. You can buy domestic flights in Sri Lanka on the Cinnamon Air website.

How to get from Colombo city to Trincomalee

To get to Trincomalee from Colombo City, you can take

  • train,
  • bus,
  • individual transfer (taxi),
  • or guided tour.

All transport options can be quickly ordered/purchased on the 12Go Asia website.

Schedules and prices for transport from Colombo city to Trincomalee
Schedules and prices for transport from Colombo city to Trincomalee on the 12GoAsia website

The most comfortable way to get from a hotel in Colombo to a hotel in Trincomalee

A private transfer (taxi) will take you and your luggage from any hotel in Colombo to any hotel in Trincomalee,

  • It is an ideal option for families with children or tourists with big suitcases,
  • A driver will arrive at any time convenient for you and take you to Trincomalee in 6-7 hours,
  • Stops for rest or lunch are possible,
  • Choose a car according to the number of passenger seats and the luggage you need.

The most exciting way to get from Colombo to Trincomalee

Transfer with excursion (Trincomalee via Mineria) will allow you to cover 250 km and see Sri Lanka culture and nature:

  • The trip program includes elephant watching in Mineriya National Park, lunch in a traditional Sri Lankan village, and a boat ride on the lake.
  • The trip starts at 08:00 from your hotel in Colombo. Travellers will arrive in Trincomalee by 20:00,
  • The transfer and excursion program cost $120, plus an additional entrance fee to Mineria National Park is $15.

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The cheapest ways to get from Colombo to Trincomalee

The Trincomalee trains depart from Colombo Fort Station at 05:50 and 21:30 and is scheduled to arrive at Trincomalee at 11:50 or 05:30.

  • The ticket price is $7 - $20 and depends on the class of carriage.
  • Don't expect Sri Lankan trains to be punctual - they are almost always late.
  • Due to the air conditioning, it can be cold in the train carriages - do not hide warm clothes far away.
  • Train tickets to famous destinations should be purchased in advance as they sell out quickly.

The buses from Colombo to Trincomalee depart at 21:45 or 22:30 and arrives in the centre of Trincomalee around 5 am.

  • Bus ticket cost - $10,
  • I advise you to read reviews from other travellers before tickets purchasing,
  • The bus stops are approximately 10 km south of the centre of Colombo city.
Transfer with excursion (Trincomalee via Mineria) is an opportunity to become familiar with the locals' way of life
Transfer with excursion (Trincomalee via Mineria) is an opportunity to become familiar with the locals' way of life

Which transport option to choose to get from Colombo to Trincomalee

If you want to get to the beach as quickly as possible, book a transfer from the airport to your hotel in Trincomalee.

Are you ready to add excitement to your trip and explore the sights for a few days? Stay at a hotel in Habarana or Sigiriya, halfway between Colombo and Trincomalee. Relax in a tropical getaway and visit the sights of Sri Lanka:

  • Sigiriya rock fortress,
  • Golden Cave Temple in Dambulla,
  • Ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura.

Do you prefer to save money and travel like a locals? Take a train or bus from Colombo City to the centre of Trincomalee.

About the author

The author of AsiaPositive Iryna Rasko

I am a passionate traveller and photography is my greatest love. Asia is a constant source of inspiration for me.

The information I share in my articles is based on personal experience and extensive research. It is my sincere hope that my articles will assist you in planning your travels in Asia and beyond.

Please note that English is not my first language and I apologise for any errors or awkward phrasing.

© Iryna Rasko