Just Go Exploring uses affiliate links. If you purchase something through them, I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you. See my disclosures page for more info.

15 Best Places To Visit In Jaffna, Sri Lanka In 2024

This post is all about my favourite things to do and places to visit in Jaffna. I recently spent a week in Jaffna and extensively explored the city and its surroundings.

Jaffna is full of historic sights, beautiful temples, unique history and culture, and some of the tastiest food in South Asia.

Why Visit Jaffna?

The capital of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, Jaffna is one of the most off-the-beaten-path destinations in the country.

Jaffna is a unique place and feels very different from the rest of Sri Lanka. The city’s distinctive Tamil culture, architecture, food, and overall feel captivated me.

Hardly any tourists make it up here. During the week I spent in Jaffna, I only saw a tiny number of foreigners there.


But, I think it’s well worth the extra effort. Jaffna rewards open-minded, curious visitors with a wealth of unique, authentic experiences. I’ve travelled a lot, but I’ve never been anywhere quite like Jaffna before.

I hope this post helps show some of what makes Jaffna such a compelling place to visit.

15 Best Places to Visit in Jaffna

For me, this list captures the essence of this distinctive northern city.

From the sacred Nallur Kandaswamy Temple to the remnants of the Dutch Fort, and the iconic library to the various islands offshore, you’ll get a good sense of Jaffna’s blend of culture and history.

I’ve also included some personal tips and suggestions to help you get the most out of your time in Jaffna.


1. Jaffna Fort: Exploring History

Jaffna Fort is one of the city’s most important historical sites. It’s located on the shores of Jaffna Lagoon, next to Pannai Bridge – one of the main gateways to the islands.

Built by the Portuguese in 1618 and later expanded by the Dutch, this imposing structure has borne witness to the ebb and flow of power, from colonial rule to the strife of Sri Lanka’s awful civil war.

Today, the fort stands as a poignant symbol of Jaffna’s resilience. Rising from the ashes of war, its walls speak of a turbulent yet fascinating history.


Jaffna Fort is huge! It’s 250 metres across and takes the shape of a striking five-sided pentagon. Thick ramparts and a star-shaped moat protect the fort, and there are imposing bastions on each corner.

In contrast to Dutch fortifications in Galle and Colombo, which served as fortified towns, Jaffna Fort was designed mainly for military purposes.

Inside the fort lies a ruined church from 1706. The Queen’s House and the governor’s residence are other striking examples of colonial architecture, with their grand verandahs and distinctive aesthetics.


Unfortunately, many of these buildings were severely damaged in the 1980s during the Sri Lankan civil war.


Despite this, Jaffna Fort remains a poignant symbol. It’s a must-see for anyone looking to explore Jaffna’s rich history and the resilience it represents.

There’s a small onsite museum. I found this a little underwhelming, although it does house a few interesting artifacts and exhibits.


For me, the best thing about visiting Jaffna Fort is walking along the tops of the walls. As you explore its ramparts, you’re rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding lagoon and the cityscape.

I recommend spending at least an hour at the fort to give yourself enough time to explore it properly.


You may even see some newborn puppies!


Price: $4 USD for foreigners; 50 LKR for Sri Lankans

Opening times: 7 am–6 pm, Mon–Sun

Location: Fort Jaffna, Jaffna, Sri Lanka


2. Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil: A Spiritual Journey

Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil is the most important Hindu temple in Jaffna and one of the most sacred in all of Sri Lanka.

Located just outside the main city centre (close to the Jaffna Heritage Hotel, where I stayed), the temple is a major pilgrimage site for Hindus from all over Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu in southern India.

The origins of the temple date back to the 15th century, although the current building was reconstructed by King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe around 1734.

As you step into the temple grounds, the first thing that strikes you is the towering gopuram (entrance tower), ornately carved and painted in a riot of colours. It’s a mesmerising sight that sets the tone for the spiritual experience within.

The architecture of Nallur Kandaswamy is truly spectacular, with its intricate carvings and rich iconography that embody the grandeur of Tamil religious art.

The inner sanctum, with its statue of Lord Murugan, resonates with an aura of sacred energy, especially during puja (prayer) times when the air is thick with the scent of incense and the sound of bells and chanting.


I was fortunate to visit just in time for the evening puja and was welcomed to join in the rituals with open arms. Despite knowing very little about Hinduism, it was an extremely moving and mesmerizing experience.

Several people shared their food with me and smiled warmly as they showed and explained to me the significance of the rituals and prayers. It was very special and I’ll always remember it.

Nallur Temple is an amazing place to visit in Jaffna and I definitely recommend adding it to your list. It’s a place where faith, history, and culture intermingle, offering a profound sense of peace and community.

Give yourself plenty of time to absorb the temple’s unique and powerful atmosphere. You’ll need to wear something that covers your legs and take off your shoes before going inside. Men also need to take off their shirts.

Photos aren’t permitted inside the temple itself (which is why I don’t have any photos). It’s really spectacular though!

Also, try to coincide your visit with puja/prayers if you can. These are usually held at 5am, 10am, noon, 4.15pm, 5pm, and 6.45pm.

This historic temple is also famous for hosting the annual Nallur Festival in August/September. The festival lasts for 27 days, during which time the inner courtyards are lit with traditional lamps called Kuthuvilakku.

During this period, devotees pay homage to Lord Murugan, who appears on his chariot every night accompanied by music and dance performances.

During these festivities, the temple grounds become even more vibrant and showcase both old traditions and modern customs.

Price: Free

Opening times: 4:15–5:15 am & 7:30 am–12 pm & 3–6:15 pm, Sat–Thu; 4:15 am–12 pm & 3–6:15 pm, Fri

Location: Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, Jaffna, Sri Lanka


3. Jaffna Public Library: A Literary Haven

Jaffna Public Library is another must-see destination in Jaffna. It’s an emblem of the city’s intellectual heritage and the literary tradition of Sri Lanka’s Tamil people.

Jaffna Library stands proudly in the heart of the city, close to Jaffna Fort. With its majestic white walls and red-tiled roof, the structure is a sight to behold, reflecting a blend of classical and colonial design.

Founded in 1933, the library was once one of the largest and grandest in Asia. It housed a rich collection of over 97,000 books, manuscripts, magazines, and other rare documents from all over the world.


Tragically, the library and its contents were destroyed by a mob arson attack in 1981. This was one of the key events that led to Sri Lanka’s awful civil war.

However, it has since been meticulously restored and expanded. Today, it stands as a symbol of Jaffna’s resilience and optimism for the future.

It’s an important landmark in the city and a bastion of knowledge and culture.


Jaffna Public Library also provides a space for social gatherings where people can come together to share their love for literature and academic research.

When I visited, I was struck by the calm, thoughtful atmosphere throughout the library. There were people of all ages there, from old men reading the newspaper all the way to families with young children.

Price: Free

Opening times: 8:30 am–4:30 pm, Tues–Sun (closed Mondays)

Location: Clock Tower Road, South, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

4. Casuarina Beach: Serene Coastal Beauty

Casuarina Beach is one of Jaffna’s hidden gems and possibly the best beach near Jaffna.

It’s a tranquil retreat with soft white sand and clear waters, framed by the whispering casuarina trees that give the beach its name.

Casuarina Beach is located on Karainagar Island. This is the northernmost island in the Palk Strait (the stretch of sea separating India and Sri Lanka), to the west of Jaffna. It’s an ideal spot for a peaceful day out from the city.

The island itself is connected to the mainland by a causeway, making it an accessible escape for anyone looking to soak up the sun in a serene setting.

The drive to Casuarina Beach is as memorable as the destination itself, with scenic views of the lagoon and the Palk Strait.


Here you’ll find calm, warm waters that are usually safe for swimming. There are also a couple of snack vendors, but otherwise, the beach is wonderfully untouched.

Casuarina Beach also holds historical significance. In the past, it served as an essential port for the Jaffna Kingdom, a thriving Tamil kingdom that once ruled the region.

Exploring the surrounding area, you’ll discover remnants of ancient structures, including a Buddhist temple, evidence of the area’s rich cultural heritage.

Getting to Casuarina Beach from Jaffna is easy if you have your own transport (parking costs 300 LKR). If not, you can take the Karainagar bus from the central bus station, although these buses don’t run especially frequently.

Location: Casuarina Beach, Karainagar, Jaffna, Sri Lanka


5. Keerimalai Springs: Natural Healing Waters

Keerimalai Springs is a natural spring on the northern coast of Jaffna. The springs are famous for their mineral-rich waters and picturesque setting next to the sea.

This place has been celebrated for its healing powers since ancient times. According to local legends, the Hindu god Rama used these waters to heal his wounds following an epic battle with Ravana.

It’s said that the springs’ healing properties can cure many illnesses, including skin conditions, joint pains, and even kidney stones! These naturally warm mineral waters are also known for their rejuvenating effects.

Apart from its therapeutic value, exploring Keerimalai Springs also offers insight into northern Sri Lankan culture and mythology.

The area is home to several Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Vishnu that depict stories of their courage and sacrifices. You can learn more about these stories through guided tours organized by locals near the entrance to the springs.

Note: Men and women can’t bathe together. Only men are allowed to bathe in the main pool. There is a second (smaller) pool for women.

Price: Free

Opening times: 8 am–6 pm, Mon–Sun

Location: Kīrimalai Sacred Water Springs, Kankesanturai, Sri Lanka


6. Lavin’s Vegetarian Family Restaurant: My Favourite Restaurant in Jaffna

I found the food in Jaffna to be some of the most delicious in all of Sri Lanka. It’s rich, spicy, and full of unique flavours.

Lavin’s Vegetarian Family Restaurant is my personal favourite restaurant in Jaffna and one of the best places to sample authentic Jaffna cuisine. In fact, this place has some of the best food I ate during my 4 months in Sri Lanka!

This place is honestly so good. The first time I went, I tried their famous onion masala dosa (called thosai in this part of the world), the ghee roast, and their cashew curry. Everything was incredible.

On my second visit (yes, I went back), I had their mushroom paneer butter masala and a paper roast dosa with naan bread and pooris. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

Lavin’s also does the best fresh mango juice I’ve ever tasted.

Everything is very reasonable price-wise. The owners are friendly, and the atmosphere is great. It’s a popular spot with locals of all ages.


Seriously, come here – you won’t regret it!

Price: $5–10 USD per person (depending on what you order)

Opening times: 7 am–10:30 pm, Mon–Sun

Location: 43 Adiyapatham Rd, Jaffna, Sri Lanka


7. Jaffna Market: A Gastronomic Delight

Jaffna Market is the bustling epicentre of daily life in Jaffna. It’s a cacophony of sights, sounds, and smells.

Food is deeply intertwined with history, identity, and culture in Sri Lanka. It’s something that you’ll see clearly in Jaffna Market.

As you wander through the stalls, the air is rich with the aroma of fresh produce, from fiery chilies to sweet, ripe mangoes.


The market offers a kaleidoscope of tropical fruits, vegetables, and exotic spices that are intrinsic to Tamil cuisine.

Vendors call out their wares, while locals haggle over prices, providing a slice of Northern Sri Lankan life that’s as authentic as it gets.

If you’re looking for something sweet, check out the stands selling traditional desserts like Koolumasam or Pittu. The fresh fruit here is amazing too!


As well as food and groceries, you’ll find a range of handicrafts, vibrant textiles, and jewellery on sale here. Plus a lot of random stuff, from clothes to furniture and homeware.

Diving into Jaffna Market is a real adventure. It’s a chance to taste local specialties, engage with friendly stallholders, and observe the hustle and bustle of daily life in Jaffna.


It’s a great place to pick up some fresh produce, taste local delicacies, and experience the city’s vibrant heart.


This market has been a local tradition for centuries and continues to be a major part of daily life in Jaffna.


Opening times: 8 am–9 pm, Mon–Sat (closed Sundays)

Location: 160 Hospital Rd, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

8. Delft Island (Neduntheevu): A Tranquil Escape

There are several islands in the Palk Strait, between the Jaffna peninsula and the tip of southern India. Delft Island, also known as Neduntheevu, is one of the more famous ones.

Accessible via a short ferry ride from the mainland, this remote island isn’t actually that far from Jaffna but feels like a world apart.

It’s a land where wild horses roam free and the crumbling ruins of a bygone civilisation dot the landscape.

The journey to Delft itself is part of the fun. First, you need to make your way to the Kurikkaduwan Jetty. This is the same place that the ferry to Nainativu Island departs from (see below).


You can either take the number 776 bus from the centre of Jaffna, or drive yourself there. It takes about an hour.

From Kurikkaduwan, you take a ferry to Delft. When I visited Jaffna, there was only one return ferry service per day to Delft, departing Kurikkaduwan at 9 am and returning at 2:30 pm.

(Check with your hotel or guesthouse whether these ferry times are still accurate. Also, if you do make the journey, please let me know either way in the comments so I can keep this page up to date.)


Upon landing, you’ll spot the remnants of Delft’s Dutch colonial past, including the ancient fort and stables.

These stables once housed the island’s horses, which are descended from those brought over by the Portuguese. It’s a surreal backdrop to the island’s windswept grasslands and sandy beaches.

Delft’s terrain is stark yet striking, featuring coral walls and limestone shoals that whisper tales of the island’s geological past.

Other places of note on the island include the Pigeon House, a rare baobab tree, and the mysterious footprints at the Queen’s Tower. Exploring these mystical sights feels like stepping straight into the pages of a storybook.


9. Point Pedro: Northernmost Tip of Sri Lanka

Point Pedro, the northernmost tip of Sri Lanka, is a geographical milestone that’s as symbolic as it is scenic – the country’s final edge.

Known locally as “Pedro Point”, this attractive coastal town is surrounded by pristine beaches and azure waters. The journey to Point Pedro is a scenic adventure, revealing the diverse landscapes of the Jaffna Peninsula.

Once you arrive, the lighthouse stands as a sentinel, offering panoramic sea views. The town’s harbour buzzes with activity as local fishermen haul in their daily catch, which you can enjoy fresh from the sea at various local eateries.

The town’s main street, lined with shops and stalls, comes alive with the vibrant commerce and local colour of the region. You can also explore the historic market area that was established by the Dutch.

Intricately carved Hindu temples and old Portuguese churches dot the landscape.


10. Jaffna Clock Tower: A Landmark of Time

Jaffna Clock Tower is an iconic landmark steeped in both history and utility, marking the passage of time for the residents of Jaffna.

Erected in 1905, this tower is a focal point of municipal pride. It’s withstood the test of time and turmoil, including the decades-long civil conflict that scarred the region.

The whitewashed tower has an elegant colonial design, while the four-sided clock has seen Jaffna’s transformation from a colonial outpost to a contemporary city.

The clock itself, a poignant reminder of the city’s endurance, continues to tick away, as life in Jaffna buzzes around its base.

A visit to the Jaffna Clock Tower offers a moment to reflect on the city’s turbulent journey through time.

Location: Mahathma Gandhi Rd, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

11. Manthiri Manai: Royal Residence

Tucked away just off the Jaffna–Point Pedro road, Manthiri Manai (or Mantri Manai) is one of Jaffna’s most intriguing historical buildings.

Parts of the building were erected during the colonial era in the 1700s by the Dutch East India Company and served as administrative offices and barracks.

However, other sections of the structure are thought to be much older. In fact, it’s believed to have originally been part of the royal court of the Jaffna Kingdom, dating back to the 13th century.

The name translates as “Minister’s Residence”. Yet, much of the exact history of this place remains a mystery.

The structure’s ruins whisper tales of political gatherings and royal affairs, echoing a time when the kingdom thrived with culture and commerce.

The intricate, crumbling ruins, though relatively humble today, still carry the grandeur of their prime.

Architecturally, it’s an interesting blend of traditional Dravidian and Dutch Colonial styles. Parts of it look a bit like an ancient mystical cathedral.

Although the site isn’t anywhere near as celebrated as other historical landmarks in Sri Lanka, it offers an intimate glimpse into a bygone era.

Sadly though, today the building is in a very poor state of repair. I thought it looked quite neglected and like it was on the brink of falling down. It probably will one day.

There’s also a lot of graffiti in certain areas, which is a real shame. Please be careful and respectful of this place if you do come here.

Don’t overlook this hidden gem – it’s a poignant piece in the puzzle of Jaffna’s ancient story.

Price: Free

Opening times: Open 24/7

Location: Mantri Manai, Jaffna, Sri Lanka


12. Jaffna Archaeological Museum: Unveiling the Past

For anyone keen to learn more about the history of Jaffna, a visit to the Jaffna Archaeological Museum is a must.

The museum is located a short distance from the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil temple. Although fairly small, it’s a treasure trove of artifacts spanning most of the peninsula’s past, from the prehistoric to the colonial era.

The collection includes ancient pottery, semiprecious stones, statues, and remnants of Hindu and Buddhist temples, all curated to tell the story of the Northern Province’s unique heritage.

The coins and inscriptions, in particular, offer a fascinating insight into the trade and daily life of the ancient Tamil people who once thrived in this area.

There are various other relics that paint a picture of Jaffna’s cultural, religious, and social evolution.

Note that you aren’t supposed to take photos inside the museum.

Price: Free

Opening times: 9 am–4 pm, Wed–Mon (closed Tuesdays)

Location: Navalar Rd, Jaffna, Sri Lanka


13. Kadurugoda Viharaya: Mystical Ruins

Kadurugoda Viharaya, set in the sleepy suburb of Kandarodai, just north of Jaffna, is one of the most significant Buddhist archaeological sites in the Jaffna Peninsula.

The site has a distinctive cluster of almost 60 miniature domed stupas that are more than 2,000 years old.

These stupas are the remnants of a larger complex that once stood on this ground, believed to have been established during the Anuradhapura period.

Excavations have unearthed various artifacts, including Buddha statues, coins, and inscriptions, confirming the site’s historical and religious significance.

This site is also evidence of the diverse tapestry of religious history and pluralism in Northern Sri Lanka.

It’s a peaceful and thought-provoking place to visit. The calm and meditative atmosphere is ideal for anyone seeking a moment of solitude or spiritual connection.

Price: Free

Opening times: 8:30 am–5 pm, Mon–Sun

Location: Puttur-Kantarodai Rd, Sri Lanka

14. Jaffna Cultural Centre: Celebrating Heritage and Arts

The Jaffna Cultural Centre is a new addition to the city’s vibrant cultural scene.

Opened in February 2023, this modern facility stands out with its sleek, contemporary architecture that incorporates elements of the region’s historic aesthetic.

It’s located near the Jaffna Public Library and the fort, standing in stark contrast to the ancient, crumbling monuments that dot the city.

The Jaffna Cultural Centre was established to preserve and showcase the rich tapestry of Northern Sri Lanka’s heritage. It’s a dynamic hub for the arts, community, and education for all ages.

The centre offers a diverse range of experiences, from art exhibitions to traditional performances and workshops.

Here, the mesmerizing rhythms of traditional drums and classical dancers breathe life into the tales of Jaffna’s past.

Inside, the galleries display a rotating selection of works by local artists, vividly capturing the spirit and vibrancy of Tamil culture.

The centre also plays host to a range of cultural events, literary discussions, and academic symposiums, making it a hub for intellectual and creative dialogue.

It’s an excellent cornerstone for the preservation of Jaffna’s unique cultural identity.

Whether you’re an art aficionado or just a curious traveller, a visit to the Jaffna Cultural Centre is a great way to gain a deeper appreciation of the region’s cultural wealth.

Price: Free

Location: Esplanade Rd, Jaffna, Sri Lanka


15. Nainativu: History, Religion, and Natural Beauty

Nainativu (also known as Nagadeepa) is another small island in the Palk Strait, to the west of the Jaffna Peninsula.

Despite its size (only about 4 square kilometres), Nainativu is one of the most culturally significant places in the whole country.

The island’s history dates back to ancient times. There are references to Nainativu in Tamil literature from the 6th century, and even accounts by the Greco-Roman geographer Ptolemy from the 1st century CE!


The Naga people once inhabited Nainativu and are associated with serpent mythology. That’s why you’ll see images of snakes, including statues and murals, all over the island.


This serene islet is an important pilgrimage place for both Hindus and Buddhists. It’s particularly known for its sacred temples, including the ancient Hindu Nagapooshani Amman Kovil and the Buddhist Nagadeepa Purana Vihara.

From the second I stepped off the boat onto the island, I was struck by the island’s totally unique atmosphere. It’s hard to describe it in words, but it’s unlike any other place I’ve ever been before.


People walk around barefoot in silent reverence. The sound of temple bells and crows drifts on the wind. It’s quite extraordinary.


The Nagapooshani Amman Temple, adorned with a vibrant gopuram tower is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Parvati.

This temple is referred to in several ancient chronicles as one of 64 Shakti Peethas (significant shrines to female deities).

All around the edge of the temple, you’ll see colourful statues depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. These are full of symbolism.

Some are quite violent!


You enter the main area through a beautifully carved doorway that leads into a central courtyard filled with small shrines dedicated to various deities. (No photos allowed inside).

The temple was supposed to be closed when I was there. However, a priest saw me and invited me to take a look inside. It’s really beautiful and worth seeing.


Closer to the dock where the ferry lands, Nagadeepa Purana Vihara is one of Sri Lanka’s most sacred Buddhist sites.

Buddhists believe that the Lord Buddha himself set foot on the island and settled a dispute between two Naga kings.

The temple here has several distinctive features, including a shiny silver pagoda, giant stylised “footprints” of Buddha, and lots of snake statues and other imagery.


Overall, Nainativu is a fascinating place to explore and I’d highly recommend a visit while you’re in Jaffna.

When my partner and I visited Nainativu, we didn’t see a single other tourist all day – only locals and pilgrims.


To get to Nainativu Island, first head to the Kurikkaduwan Jetty. This is the same place where you catch the ferry to Delft (see above). Either take the number 776 bus from the centre of Jaffna, or drive yourself.

From Kurikkaduwan, there are frequent ferries to Nainativu. The schedule doesn’t seem to be very fixed. As far as I could gather, you just need to turn up and wait for the next one.

The ferry takes about 20 minutes and costs 160 LKR per person round trip.

Read more: my detailed guide to visiting Nainativu Island.


How to Get to Jaffna

Despite being very off the beaten track, it’s actually quite easy to get to Jaffna from other parts of Sri Lanka.

There’s a direct train to Jaffna from Colombo, via Anuradhapura. I love taking the train in Sri Lanka – it’s the most comfortable form of public transport and is a great way to take in all the natural sights along the way.

A family of elephants on the road from Trincomalee to Jaffna.

Public buses also link Jaffna with Colombo and most other major towns and cities in the north, including Trincomalee and Anuradhapura.

Buses are generally more frequent than trains, although they’re often quite cramped and less comfortable overall.


If you don’t mind spending more, you could always hire a taxi to take you to Jaffna. From both Anuradhapura and Trincomalee, the drive to Jaffna takes about 3–4 hours.

Alternatively, you could take a guided tour that includes Jaffna.


Or, my personal favourite way of getting around Sri Lanka: hire your own tuk-tuk and drive yourself there!

Where to Stay in Jaffna

In my experience, there aren’t as many places to stay in Jaffna as in other major cities in Sri Lanka.


Overall, accommodation tends to be a little pricier here compared with other destinations in the country. However, it’s still relatively affordable.

And, you’ll probably end up spending much less money on food and other activities here too. So, it all kind of works out.

I stayed at the (mid-range) Jaffna Heritage Hotel during my stay in the city and would highly recommend it. They have a pool, a nice garden, comfortable rooms with AC, and really friendly, helpful staff.


Their breakfast is also one of the best I had in my whole time in Sri Lanka – so many dishes, super spicy, and delicious! (They also do a Western breakfast if you prefer.)


Other highly-rated hotels in Jaffna that I’d recommend include:


FAQs About Visiting Jaffna

Here are some frequently asked questions about the best things to do in Jaffna.

Is it worth going to Jaffna?

Jaffna is a great place to visit if you’re interested in experiencing Sri Lankan Tamil culture and exploring an area of the country that’s still relatively untouched by tourism. While the city is still rebuilding from the civil war, there are still many interesting places to discover.

What is Jaffna known for?

Jaffna is known for its rich Tamil heritage, delicious cuisine, offshore islands, and significant historical and cultural sites like the Jaffna Fort and Nallur Kandaswamy Temple.

What are the special places in Jaffna?

Some of my favourite places to visit in Jaffna include Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil, Jaffna Fort, Jaffna Public Library, and the islands.

Which well is famous in Jaffna?

Nilavarai Well is the most famous “bottomless” well in Jaffna. This well has water in it all year round, even when there are droughts and other wells have dried up.

Nobody knows how deep it is, and scientific attempts to measure its depth have failed so far. Maybe it is bottomless…?

What language do they speak in Jaffna?

Virtually everyone in Jaffna speaks Tamil, although lots of people also speak English as a second language. In addition, many people in the city understand Sinhala, although you won’t hear it spoken much, if at all.

What is Jaffna spice?

Jaffna Spice is a unique blend of spices, originating from Jaffna. It generally includes coriander, cumin, fenugreek, mustard seeds, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, curry leaves, and chili powder.

Jaffna Spice is also often used in South Indian cuisine.

Is Jaffna safe to visit?

Overall, Jaffna is a very safe place to visit as a tourist. Crimes against foreigners are rare. However, as with anywhere, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your belongings and remain aware of your surroundings at all times.


Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience in Sri Lanka, it’s definitely worth exploring Jaffna. Despite the lack of tourism infrastructure, the city has a lot to offer.

I hope this guide to visiting Jaffna has been helpful. Enjoy your time there, and let me know what you think below!


IMPORTANT: Never travel without travel insurance!

Here are three companies that I’ve used, and thoroughly recommend:

  • HeyMondo – the best value travel insurance provider on the market. They cover virtually every country in the world, they have an easy-to-use app, and their policies are straightforward and upfront, with minimal (often no) deductibles and excesses.
  • SafetyWing – if you’re a digital nomad like me, it’s essential that you have suitable insurance. It’s super flexible and affordable, you can sign up for as little or as long as you want, and can activate and deactivate it whenever you need to.
  • World Nomads – for adventurous travellers, covers 200+ activities that many other insurers won’t, such as skydiving, heli-skiing, rock climbing, rafting, scuba diving, cliff jumping, and kiteboarding (not available for residents of every country – check here).

Want to start your own blog?

I believe in transparency: Please note that some links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something through them, I might earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. (For example, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through some of these links.) However, I only link to products and companies that I trust and honestly recommend. See my disclosures page for more information. The income goes towards keeping this site up and running. Thanks for your support.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Who Am I?


  • I’m Alex Tiffany.  Former corporate city robot; lifelong travel addict.


  • I’m on a mission to make adventurous travel accessible to all.


  • I created this site to inspire, encourage and enable as many people to get outside and explore as much of our beautiful world as possible.