Mirissa, is a small coastal town that is gaining popularity as the new party town in the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Located in Matara District in Southern Province, Sri Lanka, Mirissa is popular for its pristine beaches, whale watching, surf waves, and nightlife. Here is your mini guide to Mirissa, Sri Lanka.
How To Get To Mirissa
Approximately 150km south of Colombo, you can reach Mirissa by a cab, or public transport; train or bus. Booking a cab would be way too expensive, but it would be the best choice if you prefer the luxury of a vehicle to yourself.
- Duration: 2.5 hours
- Price Range: $$$
If you would rather have the comfort of a vehicle of your own, you can book a cab to Mirissa. This way, you can reach Mirissa by a mere 2.5 hours without any hassle. You can either ask your hotel to book a cab for you, or you can book one yourself through a local taxi services like Uber and PickMe. Both Uber and PickMe offer Intercity cabs at a fixed price. Mind you, this option might burn a hole through your wallet.
- Duration: 3.5 – 4 hours
- Price Range: $
If you would rather take the local way, you can get to Mirissa by train or bus. Hop on a bus to Matara, Tangalle, Or Hambantota from the Central Bus Station in Colombo, and ask to get off from Mirissa. The ticket will cost no more than Rs 400/= (a little over USD 2). Mirissa is approximately 3.5 – 4 hours away, depending on the traffic conditions.
- Duration: 3.5 hours
- Price Range: $
There are daily trains that run along the southern coastal line, and you can easily take one to reach Mirissa. The best way to catch a train to Mirissa would be from Fort Railway Station, Colombo. Hop on a train heading to Beliaththa and get down from Mirissa. A 3rd Class ticket would cost Rs 120/= ( < USD 1) and a 2nd Class ticket costs Rs 220 (a little over USD 1).
You can check the train schedule here.
Getting Around Mirissa
Almost all popular places in Mirisa are clustered in close proximity so you can get where you want on foot. But if you are not a fan of walking some distance out in the sun, you can rent a bicycle or a scooter to get around Mirissa. Locals are usually friendly and helpful in these services, but it is better to keep an eye out for the prices and exchange rates in case anyone tries to rip you off.
Or else you can easily get a tuk tuk to get you around town. Check out our guide to Tuk-ing in Sri Lanka!
Note: Always, always have cash on you. Most places in Mirissa are still on the rural side of things; run by locals and do not have access to card payments yet. We recommend having some rupees with you at all times.
Things To Do In Mirissa
Secret Beach, Mirissa
Aptly named, this secluded strip of beach is hidden away with a steep rocky road. Although it is a little harder to reach, once you get there the view will be worth the effort. Ask your hotel, or a local (but be aware of scammers), to show you the way to the Secret Beach.
- Entrance: Free
- Things to Do: Snorkel, Chill, Secret Beach Bar
- Note: There is a bar on Secret Beach where you can buy food and drinks, conveniently named as Secret Beach Bar. Be aware that the prices here could be higher than the regular prices. Snorkeling equipment are also available to rent at Secret Beach Bar.
Mirissa Coconut Tree Hill
Coconut Tree Hill, or Palm Tree Hill (Palm Tree Hill Mirissa), in Mirissa is a small hilltop with an abundance of coconut trees, looking over the ocean. This is a popular spot among tourists as well as locals for its stunning views of the sea and sunset. Again, you can ask your hotel or a local for directions to the Coconut Tree Hill; it is fairly easy to find, but there is a little uphill trek to get to the spot.
- Entrance: Free
- Things to Do: Chill, Watch Sunset
Parrot Rock, Mirissa
Parrot Rock Mirissa is a rocky boulder that sticks up from Mirissa Beach. This is a great spot for a drone shot of the Mirissa Beach. You have to wade across the water to get on top of Parrot Rock, so be mindful not to do so in high tide.
- Entrance: Free
- Things to Do: Chill, Drone Shots
Surfing in Mirissa
Mirissa has several popular spots for surfing, recommended mostly for beginners. There are a few great surfing schools around Mirissa where you can get surfing lessons and even get a photograph of you surfing for the first time:
For more surfing spots, check out our Surfer’s Guide To Sri Lanka.
Whale Watching in Mirissa
Mirissa is a very popular spot for whale watching. You would not want to miss the rare opportunity to see these giant aquatic creatures parading in all their glory while coming up for air. Just brace yourself for a little bit of a bumpy ride.
Read our Whale Watching Guide for here.
- Fee: $$
- Best Time to Spot Whales: November to March
There are a few whale watching services provided in and around Mirissa:
Partying / Nightlife in Mirissa
Mirissa is slowly gaining on the reputation of Hikkaduwa as the Sri Lankan southern coast’s party capital. Famous for nightlife with woodfire-oven pizza and surprisingly cheap cocktails, beach bars in Mirissa become live and kicking into the wee hours of the night.
Best places to Party around Mirissa:
You will also find Mirissa as one of the most Instagrammed locations in Sri Lanka. Check out our post on 15 Insta-worthy places in Sri Lanka!
Where To Eat In Mirissa
You will never run out of food while you are in Mirissa; there are restaurants and street food vendors at every nook and cranny of the area, with a variety of local, as well as western, cuisine. From local staple rice and curry to wood-oven pizza and pasta, from roti to sushi, and smoothies to cocktails, Mirissa is a haven for food lovers.
- Little Tuna ($$) – For the sushi connoisseurs.
- Dewmini Roti Shop ($) – Try some of their famous roti, sweet OR savoury.
- Shady Lane ($$) – Craving for an acai bowl or an organic smoothie bowls? This is your place.
- Central Beach Inn ($$) – Famous for their delicious dishes of seafood.
- Petti Petti Mirissa ($$) – A newly opened convertainer restaurant that has quickly become popular for its decadent pastas and burgers.
Where To Stay In Mirissa
Looking for a place to stay in Mirissa? Booking hotels in Mirissa is a breeze since almost all the places have their own websites and are available on Booking.com, Agoda, or TripAdvisor. Pick a hotel or a hostel that suits your budget out of the hundreds of places to stay in Mirissa, with magnificent views of the Mirissa beach. Listed below are some of our top choices: