How and Where to Backpack in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka's a relatively easy place to backpack in, especially if you know how to get around and if you plan a little bit in advance. There are plenty of cheap options on bookings.com (filter through price), and of course, there are quite a few hostels to check into as well.

In this piece, we'll give you a quick rundown of popular places to visit, how to get there, and where you could possibly stay.


Places to Visit

Galle

What to see:

  1. The Galle Fort and the lighthouse. Try our 24 Hours in Galle guide too. 
  2. Beaches
  3. Jungle Beach in Rumassala

How to get there:

  1. Bus from Fort, usually No. 02. (there are plenty of buses, both airconditioned and non-AC'd).
  2. The Highway Bus from Maharagama.
  3. Train from Fort. There's an express train at 7AM.

Jaffna

What to see:

  1. The Jaffna Fort
  2. The Library
  3. Casuarina Beach
  4. Delft
  5. Point Pedro

How to get there:

  1. Bus from Fort, route No. 87
  2. Train from Fort (daily intercity available)
  3. Coach service from Wellawatta

Kandy

What to see:

  1. Kandy Lake
  2. Dalada Maligawa
  3. Udawattakale
  4. Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya
  5. Peradeniya University

How to get there:

  1. Train from Fort (daily intercity available)
  2. Bus from Fort, Route No. 01

Ella

What to see:

  1. Ella Rock
  2. Little Adam's Peak
  3. Nine-arches bridge
  4. Demodara Railway Loop/ hike
  5. Ravana Falls

How to get there:

  1. Train from Fort (Nightmail or 6AM Badulla train)
  2. Superline Express

Arugam Bay

What to see:

  1. All the beaches! Also try our 2 Days in A'Bay post
  2. Whiskey Point
  3. Peanut Farm
  4. Crocodile Rock
  5. Lahugala National Park

How to get there:

  1. Bus it from Fort to Pottuvil.
  2. Go via Ella

Hostels 

Tip: You can filter prices through bookings.lk or booking.com for more options on where to bed down.


Transport

Mobile Booking

Reserving bus tickets through a Dialog connection:

  • Dial 444 to access the BusSeat.lk Ticketing service.
  • State your name, Mobile number, national ID number, destination information and number of tickets.
  • You will receive the reservation details with reference number via SMS from port 444.
  • Show your SMS tickets to the Bus Conductor in the respective buses.

Reserving train tickets through a Mobitel connection:

  • Dial 365 to access the Mobitel Ticketing service.
  • State your name, national ID number, destination information and number of tickets.
  • You will receive a reference number.
  • Reservation details will be confirmed via SMS.
  • Collect your ticket at any Mobitel branch, Fort Railway station special counter or from Colombo, Gampaha, Peradeniya, Kandy Railway stations.

The Government Information Centre (you can buzz them up on 1919) has info on trains and its schedules.


Camping Gear

Tents and camping gear are usually acquired through personal contacts and numbers that gets passed along, but there are sites you can rent them through as well. Check out


That's our list of suggestions for now, but we'll be updating this as and when we get more information. If there's anything more you'd like to know or we could improve on, drop us a line!

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