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Jaffna is the cool place which clasps you to many magnificent memories. This place never disappoints people of any age or interests. Explore the adventurous as well historical places in this northern part of Sri Lanka. When it comes to things to do in Jaffna, the list goes enthralling as well as endless. You will witness cultural, geographical and thrilling places of interest, especially in Jaffna. Jaffna is the best place to observe lagoons, serene ocean, and royal legacy of ancient cultures.

15 Best Things To Do In Jaffna

If Sri Lanka is in your travel diaries, then you must spend an extra couple of days to visit the most glorious Jaffna. This comes into the northern part of Sri Lanka and is very much different from its central and south parts of Sri Lanka.

1. Visit Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil
2. Enjoy the Coastal Stretch and Beach
3. Visit Nainativu island
4. Visit the Local Market
5. Public Library and Clock Tower
6. Dutch Fort
7. Churches in Beach Side
8. Ruins of the Civil War
9. Enjoy Famous Jaffna Mangoes
10. Elephant Pass War Memorial11. Jaffna Fish Market
12. Jaffna Fort
13. Rolex Restaurant
14. Rio Ice Cream Parlour

1. Visit Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil

Visit Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil

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Even though this place is far from the other tourist destinations, there are many best things to do in Jaffna for at least a day or two. The northern part of Sri Lanka has many people of Indian origin and you find magnificent ancient culture and marvels. The Nallur Kandaswamy temple is famous for its architecture and built around 948 AD. While you wish to cover all the top things to do in Jaffna, you must visit this famous place where the temple is open from morning 5 am.

Must Read: 15 Things To Do In Ella To Take Your Sri Lanka Trip To The Next Level

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2. Enjoy the Coastal Stretch and Beach

Enjoy the Coastal Stretch and Beach

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It doesnt cost you much to roam and relax in this coastal stretch. Even though Jaffna is the busiest place, you will find yourself lost in the Kankesanthurai beach. You will get into peace terms with the crystalline clear blue waters. There is also a special Keerimalai pond famous for this place. It resembles your modern swimming pool, but a natural pond of ages old with clear and clean water.

3. Visit Nainativu island

Visit Nainativu island

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The best things to do in Jaffna Srilanka will never end if you miss visiting places like Nainativu island. Enjoy the double pleasure of being on the island as well completing a boat trip while you visit this place. Carry some food as well with you when you visit the most popular Delft island. There are few wild horses and an ancient Portuguese fort to welcome you here.

Suggested Read: Viharamahadevi Park: A Handy Guide To Explore This Nature’s Paradise In Sri Lanka!

4. Visit the Local Market

Visit the Local Market

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If you are going to this place, for the first time you will surely enjoy the people and the local market as well. There are many famous restaurants which you must try. Their cuisine resembles Indian food and has their own specific and interesting dishes worth trying. This is a not-to-be-missed thing to do in Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Suggested Read: Sri Lanka In January: Best Places To Visit & Stay

6. Public Library and Clock Tower

Public Library and Clock Tower

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There are even more amazing sightseeing places like the public library. This attractive architecture likes in the center of the city. There is also a resplendent clock tower which is built by the British and still stand as an epitome. Besides the ancient architecture, there are even jungle vines and piles of rubble that grabs your attention.

7. Dutch Fort

Dutch Fort

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This stunning Dutch fort is very near the public library. Everyone thoroughly enjoys watching the sunset from this star-shaped fort. Even though it is built around 1618 by Portuguese, it still attracts many tourists.

Suggested Read: 7 Most Haunted Places In Sri Lanka To Make You Face Your Darkest Fears

8. Churches in Beach Side

Churches in Beach Side

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Even though Jaffna is popular for many temples, there are even few Catholic churches in the beachside. Make a list to visit the St. Johns and Our Lady of Refuge Church and St. Marys and John the Baptist church. The Catholic graveyard of Jaffna which is a reminder of the war that waged order to bring peace to the valley. This is located off the beach road.

9. Ruins of the Civil War

Ruins of the Civil War

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You can observe many ruins of Jaffna while you stroll around the town. There are many bombed out battles because of the Sri Lankan civil war. Have a delicious Jaffna style meal from the famous Rolex restaurant. The bustling scenes of the exciting market are just a feast to the eyes and perfect for shopping freaks.

Suggested Read: The Ultimate Guide To Sri Lanka’s Dambulla Cave Temple

10. Enjoy Famous Jaffna Mangoes

Enjoy Famous Jaffna Mangoes

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Sri Lanka is famous for its extensive supply of yummy mangoes. Spend some time to relish these kings of fruits and purchase them to your near and dear ones. In any part of Colombo and Sri Lanka, you will come across the world-famous Jaffna mangoes.

11. Elephant Pass War Memorial

Elephant Pass War Memorial

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Elephant Pass is nothing but a strip of land which connects the mainland with the Jaffna peninsula. To enter the town of Jaffna the tourists have to enter through this and pass across the Elephant Pass War Memorial. This historic place boasts a great big tank which reflects the story of the civil war which will be quite fascinating for the history buffs.

Location: A9, Pachchilapalli, Sri Lanka
Timings: Open 24 hours

12. Jaffna Fish Market

Jaffna Fish Market

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See and explore the fish market in Jaffna which is quite a fascinating place to discover at this Sri Lankan town. There are many small fish markets around Jaffna but the one located at the beach road is worth a visit. Bustling with busy fishermen bringing up variety of sea fish which you can look around and buy.

13. Jaffna Fort

Jaffna Fort

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Built by the Portuguese, this iconic fort situated in this vibrant town of Sri Lanka is a must visit to discover the history of this magnificent architecture. Later this fort was overtaken by the Dutch who turned Jaffna town as a trading centre. This ancient fort has witnessed many battles throughout the time and now it has been restored in an archeological site. For the people who want to relive the past of this town can visit this fort.

Location: Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Timings: 8AM – 6PM

14. Rolex Restaurant

Hotel Rolex

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While all the other places around Jaffna will be great to explore and learn about the history and culture of the town, but it’s incomplete without tasting the local food. Rolex Restaurant is one of the oldest and finest places to dine-in and enjoy the authentic Sri Lankan food. This is the perfect place to sit and enjoy delicious delicacies at a very cheap price.

Cost For Two: $1 or $2 per person
Location: No.340 Hospital Rd, Jaffna 40000, Sri Lanka
Timings: 6AM – 10:30PM

15. Rio Ice Cream Parlour

Ice Cream

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Relish the taste of sweet and creamy ice cream on at Rios which is one of the best parlours to satiate the craving for sweet. The special sundaes and other sweet treats will be a perfect dessert on a heating day where the sun is scorching over the head. The Rio stands for Rathinam Industrial Organization.

Location: 4A Wellawatte Station Rd, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Timings: 10AM-11:30PM (Open Daily)

Further Read: The Definitive Guide To National Museum Of Colombo In Sri Lanka

All these are the top 10 things to do in Jaffna and every trip completed only by having the sumptuous local meal. Enjoy roaming around Jaffna in a cool auto-rickshaw enjoying the beach view. All the visitors enter Jaffna through elephant pass war memorial and you get many interesting insights about the civil war history here. Thus, Jaffna can make your trip to Sri Lanka a raving success.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Jaffna

What is Jaffna known for?

Jaffna is known for being home to the famous Jaffna Library and Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil which happens to be the most significant Hindu Temple in Jaffna. Both of these are the places that you must visit on a trip to Jaffna.

What can I do in Jaffna?

There are many interesting things to do in Jaffna which will make your trip a happening experience. Checking out the beautiful churches on the beachside, visiting the local side, and checking out the famous Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil will make your experience worthwhile.

Where does the name ‘Jaffna’ come from?

The name ‘Jaffna’ comes from the Portuguese. Jaffna was under Portuguese rule in 1619 and the name Jaffna is a Tamil word’s Portuguese adaptation which means “Port of the lyre”.

Is Jaffna a safe place to visit?

Yes, Jaffna is a safe place to visit. It is safer to explore and move around the city in broad daylight and gets slightly unsafe during the night.

What can I eat in Jaffna?

Mutton Poriyal, Fiery Jaffna Crab Curry, Brinjal & Murunga, Kool Seafood Soup, and Bone Rasam are some of the many things that you can eat in Jaffna. Fiery Jaffna Crab Curry is definitely worth a try and a specialty.

What is the best time to visit Jaffna?

The best time to visit Jaffna is February to April and June to August as the temperature and humidity during that time are on the low making it comfortable for the traveler to explore the place.

What should I wear in Jaffna?

It’s better if you dress modestly when in Jaffna as the people tend to be slightly conservative. It is better to keep yourself covered. Jeans, t-shirts, tops, and pants are some of the clothes that you should ideally wear in Jaffna.

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Category: Sri Lanka, Things To Do

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