The first thing we did in Sri Lanka? Get the train straight from Colombo to Mirissa. In a few hours, you go from city to paradise. Let us show you how!
- The train is the best option – Book Here
- Getting a taxi is the most comfortable but most expensive option – Use the Pick Me App
- Hiring a car is the most convenient for the rest of the trip but requires some admin – Book Here
- A hotel shuttle bus is the easiest but requires this service with your accommodation – See our recommended accommodation option for a shuttle bus here.
- The #1 activity that you simply must do in Mirissa is whale watching – Book Here
- Colombo To Mirissa
- Colombo To Mirissa By Train
- Colombo To Mirissa By Taxi
- Colombo To Mirissa By Tuk Tuk
- Colombo To Mirissa By Hire Car
- Colombo To Mirissa By Hotel Shuttle
- Colombo To Mirissa By Bus
- Things To Do In Mirissa
- Where To Stay In Mirissa
- What To Take To Mirissa
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Packing List Essentials
Colombo To Mirissa
There are 6 main options to make your way down from Colombo to Mirissa; train, bus, tuk-tuk, taxi, hire car, and hotel shuttle. Even though we think the train is the best option it might not be for you!
Mirissa is the jewel of the south coast, in our opinion, and you simply must spend a couple of days down here during your trip to Sri Lanka. Remember to check out our top things to do in Mirissa after the transport options!
Colombo To Mirissa By Train
There are two destination train stations to choose from when traveling from Colombo to Mirissa by train, Weligama or Mirissa. There are more trains to Weligama and the platform is bigger so you won’t have to make sure that you are on the correct carriage to get off.
Also, both stations will still require you to get a taxi or tuk-tuk to your hotel as neither is actually in Mirissa town center so going to Weligama is not that much more inconvenient. Below is the current train timetable from Colombo to Mirissa and Colombo to Weligama.
|6:50 am||10:30 am||3 hr 40||2/3|
|2:40 pm||5:41 pm||3hr 1||1/2/3|
|6:17 pm||9:40 om||3hr 23||2/3|
|6:50 am||10:22 am||3hr 32||2/3|
|8:35 am||11:45 am||3 hr 10||2/3|
|10:30 am||1:31 pm||3 hr 1||2/3|
|2:40 pm||5:33 pm||2hr 53||1/2/3|
|3:50 pm||6:07 pm||2hr 17||2/3|
|4:46 pm||7:25 pm||2hr 39||2/3|
|6:17 pm||9:32 pm||3hr 15||2/3|
It’s totally up to you which train you get but if you can get the 6:50 am train DO IT! Get out of bed and make the most of a beach day in Mirissa.
Read More: An Amazing 7-Day Sri Lanka Itinerary
Class To Choose
Train travel in Sri Lanka is pretty affordable so if you really want then grab a 1st class ticket. 1st class is a bit more comfortable and has A/C so this is something you may want to consider.
However, if you opt for 1st class then you are limited to the 2:40 pm train, which I think is one of the worst trains as it is right bang in the middle of the day which basically wastes a day.
We traveled around Sri Lanka for a month and never bought a 1st class ticket (mostly 2nd class and a few 3rd) and both 2nd and 3rd class were just fine.
3rd Class is very basic so if you really struggle with lack of comfort and experiencing things a little out of your zone then I would opt for at least 2nd. We loved our 3rd class experience though. Watching the glorious west coast zoom by out of the wide-open carriage doors was cool.
All of the classes have large racks above the seats so you will have space for big bags and luggage. We had two big suitcases and a couple of rucksacks and even had plenty of space overhead in 3rd class.
Read More: The Best Elephant Safaris In Sri Lanka
When You Get There
As I said before, you will need to get transport from the train station of your choice to your hotel. I recommend grabbing a tuk-tuk on the Pick Me app (apple/android). We used Pick Me all over Sri Lanka and it is fantastic.
The app doesn’t have coverage everywhere in Sri Lanka but you can still put in your journey and it will still give you the market rates for that journey so you can use it as a guide even when there are no drivers. This will help you avoid getting ripped off.
If you want to use the App then you will need a local sim card. Make sure you pick one of those up at the airport if you haven’t already flown in. We used Airtel because no one was queuing there when we arrived at the airport and it did us very well.
If you don’t have the Pick Me app then there will be people waiting at the station, just make sure they don’t charge you crazy money.
If you choose to travel to Mirissa station, make sure you are in the front two carriages when you pull into the station. We didn’t know this and off we went to the next station because we couldn’t get off… DOH!
Read More: The Ultimate Guide To Yala Safaris
Colombo To Mirissa By Taxi
There are plenty of opportunities to grab a taxi from Colombo to Mirissa. The best way to do this, BY FAR, is to use the Pick Me App. Tourists can expect to pay a premium of up to triple the cost of the market rate if they decide to grab a taxi from the street or get their hotel to organize it for them.
If you have a lot of luggage then do not get the cheapest option as they tend to be VERY small cars and might not actually be able to fit in the bags that you have.
Also, it is a relatively long journey by car, around 3 hours, so you might want to get a more premium car so you are not completely uncomfortable the whole journey.
If you are staying in Colombo, you can also ask your hotel for help arranging transport but only agree to a price that you are genuinely happy with.
Pick Me is also a safer alternative as the app tracks where you are and has emergency buttons built in for quick response. This is another thing to consider when organizing a taxi from Colombo to Mirissa.
Read More: How To Get From Galle To Mirissa
Colombo To Mirissa By Tuk Tuk
Whilst having a look on Pick Me, you may have noticed that it is possible to get a tuk-tuk all the way down. You may also have noticed that it is the cheapest option on Pick Me. Please don’t do this. The train is cheaper and much more comfortable.
Imagine sitting in a tuk-tuk for 4-5 hours. I love a tuk-tuk ride but that sounds like it would get old very quickly. You would also be paying more money for a slower more comfortable ride than the train. 1/10 would not recommend.
A really cool thing to do in Sri Lanka is to hire a tuk-tuk. As much as I do not recommend going from Colombo to Mirissa in a tuk-tuk, hiring one for zooming around Mirissa is great fun. Check out our guide here.
Colombo To Mirissa By Hire Car
A hire vehicle is always a great idea if you want to maximize your travel flexibility. In Sri Lanka, you can get a compact hire vehicle for as little as $35 a day. This is, of course, more than getting public transport but if you have a large group of you or you are a family then the convenience may start to outweigh the additional cost quite quickly.
Traveling from Colombo to Mirissa by hire car is pretty straightforward but they do drive on the left. If you are coming from a left country (like us) then this is pretty easy, but if you drive on the right normally then this may take a few minutes to acclimatize.
I recently drove on the right in Iceland and it is much easier to do than it sounds. After 1 minute, I didn’t even think about it for the rest of the trip.
You will need to have your license validated by the Automotive Association of Sri Lanka before you can drive here which your hire company can assist with. Jade got this done so we could hire a tuk-tuk and it was very simple. Just make sure you do it before you arrive in Sri Lanka as it can take several days.
Read More: Colombo To Hikkaduwa – See The Turtles!
Colombo To Mirissa By Hotel Shuttle
This is the easiest option to travel from Colombo to Mirissa. You book yourself into a hotel that offers airport pickup and simply look for your name on a sign, jump into the car/minibus and off you go to the doors of your hotel.
Sounds simple right? Well, it is but you have to book a hotel that actually offers this and they are the more premium accommodation options.
If you are on a tight budget then your accommodation will probably not offer this. If you want a luxury experience once you get down to Mirissa then here is my top recommendation for a hotel that offers an airport/Colombo shuttle.
Your own private Villa near the beach with grounds, pool, and chef? You would think that this is going to absolutely smash the bank account. I swear to you that you will be blown away by how affordable Siri Wedamadura is. Plus they have an airport shuttle!
Read More: The Best Guest Houses In Mirissa
Colombo To Mirissa By Bus
Getting public buses in Sri Lanka is one hell of an experience. A positive one? I’m not sure. If you want to get a bus from Colombo to Mirissa then head on over to the Fort Station and jump on any bus that is heading for Matara.
This journey is going to take up to 3 hours and be the cheapest option in this list. The buses have no real timetable but if you head over to the station, there will be signs or people to help you find the right bus.
If you have a lot of luggage (or simply just 1 big suitcase) then the public buses might not be the best option. They are already cramped to begin with and you may not actually have any space for your bags.
I recommend trying out the bus if you have a small rucksack and you want a true Sri Lanka backpacker experience. You can’t book public buses so head on over to Fort Station (map below) and good luck!
Read More: The 8 Best Things To Do In Mirissa
Things To Do In Mirissa
Mirissa is the best place in the whole world to see blue whales. If you come to Mirissa and don’t go on a whale-watching tour then you have missed out on a huge opportunity. We have been to Mirissa twice and have gone both times, it’s so good. Check out the video of our experience below, see the full article to whale watching in Mirissa here or book the same tour as we went on here.
Coconut Tree Hill
This little hill near the main Mirissa beach is where everyone goes to get that super cool Instagram shot. We have written a guide to this photogenic hill which you can see here or in the video below! It’s not something that you should spend too long doing but the photos you can get are excellent.
Secret beach is well worth a visit after your trip from Colombo to Mirissa. If you manage to get the early train, this could be a great option for your first day. All of the details on how to get to Secret beach and what to do there can be found in our guide here.
Mirissa Beach is the main beach in Mirissa and it is spectacular. I have never seen more people than the beach can handle and you will always be able to get a spot on the sand whenever you venture down. If you want a sunbed, you may have to venture down a bit earlier (around 8-9 am).
When the sunsets, all of the hotels and restaurants on the beach put out tables and candles at the water’s edge. This is the best spot in town for a brilliant romantic meal.
Where To Stay In Mirissa
There are plenty of incredible accommodation options in Mirissa. We even wrote an entire article about the best Villas in the whole town which should check out, they are sick. However, below are my top 3 favourites for different budgets. After I have included a map that can show you all of the options available on your selected dates!
We stayed here for an entire month and it was pretty darn good for the price. The owners are very helpful and the rooms are pretty decent. The Point is a great option for a tight budget.
As stated before, Siri Wedamadura is an absolutely affordable Villa that has its own private grounds, pool, and housekeeping. Just check it out to see if it is in your price point, you may be surprised.
Sri Sharavi has everything. Spa, bar, restaurant, incredible rooms, biggest pool on the south coast, yoga area, wine cellar, and a chess room… Plus more. This villa complex is incredible and it is a fantastic option if you want the most incredible Mirissa holiday ever.
Read More: Top 10 Boutique Hotels In Mirissa
What To Take To Mirissa
Here is a list of all the most important things you need to take on your Colombo to Mirissa journey and for your stay in Mirissa. Everything is updated regularly. I have also included a list of essentials that I think every traveler needs.
If you need some sunglasses then take a look at our recommended pair right here. Kev has just done 7 months without a pair because he couldn’t find any he liked on the trip and it was just a lot of complaining about the sun. Don’t be a Kev… Find out the price of not being a Kev right here.
If you haven’t already got a swimming costume then what the hell are you doing?! Have a look at this gorgeous high waist bikini and get a swimsuit before you leave. I absolutely love the dual colour option but there are loads of colour options available. Take a look here.
Travelling with hundreds of books isn’t feasible, so packing a Kindle is a no-brainer! The latest Paperwhite has a 6.8″ display so it’s much better than reading on your phone. There’s also a warm backlight and an incredible 10 weeks of battery life! This version is even waterproof so you can relax by the pool with peace of mind. I’ve had my Kindle for 10 years and it’s still perfect – this is a purchase that will last you a lifetime! Check out the full specs here.
If you’re planning on relaxing on the beach with some music or a good audiobook then you’re going to need some decent headphones. We currently recommend the JBL Vibe in-ear pods as they produce brilliant sound and do not cost hundreds of dollars like the flagship brands. Check out current deals here.
If you’re looking for a snorkel kit then check out this Greatever mask and snorkel. We have been on so many snorkel and boat tours where the snorkel hire was dreadful and it ruins the experience. If you have room then definitely take your own set. Take a look at our recommended kit here.
Whether you’re climbing mountains and need a fresh cold drink, or catching an early morning flight desperate for hot coffee, you should be travelling with a Thermoflask! It is incredibly insulated and keeps liquids cold for 24 hours, or hot for 12. It also comes with two lids so you can choose whether you need a straw or just a mouthpiece. These stainless steel bottles are BPA-free and come in some beautiful colours too! Check the options out here.
Don’t even think about stepping out in the sun without protection! This factor 50 sun cream from Sunbum is vegan, reef-safe and smells like summer, as well as being dermatologist approved! It’s non-greasy, easy to apply and doesn’t leave a white cast so you can quickly rub it in and get on with your adventures! Take a look on Amazon here.
If you’re stuck on what kind of towel to take with you then take a look at this microfibre poncho. We absolutely love ours and it is insanely helpful when you need to change on the beach. They dry fast and pack down super small so you’ll be able to fit one in your day pack easily enough. Check out the price here.
If you’re planning on going to the beach then make sure you have some flip-flops in the bag. There is nothing worse than getting sand in your shoes or socks and there is nothing better than feeling the sand on your feet. We recommend an affordable pair like these Old Navy casual flip-flops. They will get the job done and shouldn’t break almost immediately as other brands might. Check them out in more detail here.
Packing List Essentials
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Way To Travel From Colombo To Mirissa?
The train. The train is relatively quick, comfortable, and cheap. There are cheaper alternatives (the bus) and more comfortable alternatives (taxi) but the train is the best of all worlds.
Should I Travel From Colombo To Mirissa?
I think Mirissa is the gem of the south coast so you should definitely travel from Colombo to Mirissa.
Is Mirissa Worth It?
Mirissa has some fantastic opportunities to go whale watching and relax on the beach. Anyone traveling to Sri Lanka should spend at least 2-3 days down here.
What Is The Cheapest Option To Travel From Colombo To Mirissa?
The cheapest option is the bus. It is not a lot cheaper than the train and the train is a better option if you have a lot/big bags.
What Should I Do After Travelling From Colombo To Mirissa?
If you manage to get the earliest train then I think you should check out Secret beach.
That’s our entire guide to traveling from Colombo to Mirissa. Let us know if this was helpful or if there is anything we can add to our guide in the comments section below!