Things to Do in Mirissa, Sri Lanka: A Travel Guide
A few weeks ago, we explored Mirissa with Hangover Hostels. Mirissa is a small village in Sri Lanka’s South Coast which became a hub for surfers and all sorts of tourists looking for some beach fun. We absolutely loved our time in Mirissa. There are a lot of fun things to do in and around Mirissa while you are based at Hangover Hostels. However, garbage and pollution seem to be a huge problem in Mirissa as a result of mass-tourism. So if you are heading there (or anywhere), please take back all your garbage. Put them in your hostel/hotel’s dustbin. Don’t litter the roads, the beach or the ocean, and follow this post on things to do in Mirissa (to have a fab time).
How to Reach Mirissa
By Train: Board the Colombo-Matara Train at Colombo Fort Railway Station (you can’t reserve your tickets in these coastal trains so you’ve got to turn up on the day and buy the tickets). Get down at Weligama Railway Station and take a bus to Mirissa. Trains can be extremely crowded at times but the journey gives you some of the beautiful views the island has to offer. We’ve taken the 7 am Colombo-Matara train twice which wasn’t that crowded and we truly enjoyed our journey.
By Bus: This time, we took the expressway bus from Pettah Bus Stand adjoining Floating Market. The bus takes about 1.30-2 hours to reach Matara depending on traffic. From Matara, take a normal bus to Mirissa. The journey is about 20 minutes from Matara by bus.
You could also take the normal bus to Mirissa from Colombo (Colombo-Matara bus). It obviously takes more time than the expressway bus and is a pretty uncomfortable journey. But of course, it works cheaper. And you get to see the amazing scenery along the coastline.
Things to do in Mirissa
Of course, when you think of things to do in Mirissa, surfing is what attracts all the tourists to this little beach town. Same applies to the nearby village, Weligama. So if you are a surfer, or decided to learn it in Sri Lanka, you are in one of the best places.
Whale watching is one of the most popular things to do in Mirissa. Whale watching season in Mirissa runs from November to April. Personally, we don’t encourage this as there are hundreds of overcrowded, noisy boats chasing the world’s largest mammal. It feels a bit unethical to us.
Have a Beach Day
Mirissa is home to a beautiful sandy beach to swim and relax on a sunbed reading a book. Or have a beer! Make sure you visit the famous parrot island, too. Don’t forget to explore the coast and you’ll come across all the lesser-known places including the Secret Beach of Mirissa.
Party All Night!
The South Coast of Sri Lanka has a fun-loving party theme throughout the year, particularly during the peak and high seasons.
Explore Nearby Weligama
Weligama is a small surfing village like Mirissa and is home to many cafes, sandy beaches and best surf spots on the island.
Relax on Hangover Rooftop
Do you know that Hangover Hostels Mirissa has a lovely rooftop overlooking the Indian ocean? At nights, it’s lightened up and looks magical than ever. The rooftop is a stress-free zone, a chilled-out place to lie down on a hammock and sip a beer as the waves crash on the pebbled shore.
Things to do around Mirissa
Visit Paravi Duwa Temple
Mirissa is only a tuk or a short bus drive away from Matara. Paravi Duwa Temple is situated on a small island. It’s right next to Matara Bus Stand. Foreigners are required to pay Rs.100 entrance fee.
Visit Dewinuwara Raja Maha Viharaya
Devinuwara/Dondra is a 20-30 minute bus ride away from Matara Bus Stand. Take any bus (preferably shorter distance ones such as the bus to Gandara or Dikwella) and get off the bus at Dondra. There’s a bus stop right in front of the temple.
Dondra Head Lighthouse
Dondra Head is the southernmost tip of Sri Lanka. The lighthouse, when we visited, was not open to the public. However, the walk to the lighthouse from the temple is quite pleasant. You walk past the village, the local life, small houses bordering flowery trees and unlimited views of palm trees.
Dondra Beach next to the lighthouse, although really small, is quite pretty. The water turns turquoise blue here. It was a public holiday when we visited and locals came in numbers to swim, play water games and take a dip here.
Places to eat in Mirissa
Have you tried Hangover Cafe’s suicide burger? This is a must-must-must do if you are in Mirissa.
No.1 Dewmini Roti Shop
This is undoubtedly the most popular place in Mirissa. The prices are quite affordable and the food is mouthwateringly delicious. They’ve introduced interesting additions to the typical Sri Lankan roti. There are both savory and sweet options. No.1 Dewmini Roti Shop also has kottu roti, rice and curry, juices and shakes. Try their banana chocolate milkshake. It’s literally the best. We also loved their chocolate and peanut butter roti.
We found this little gem on Instagram and tried them out for brekki. They literally have the best hummus ever. It’s a bit different to those you get in Mid East but the flavours are amazing. Try their coffee, too. It’s also a nice place to chill out.
Apart from these three places, Mirissa has many other places to dine in. We had koththu from a small kade-type restaurant. And there was an aunt who was selling orange juice next to Hangover Hostel Mirissa in a makeshift stall. We loved her orange juice so much that we found ourselves kept coming back to her stall until we left. It’s refreshing and the perfect drink to beat the tropical heat. (Also read: Street food in Sri Lanka you must try)
The best way to explore Mirissa, is, by walking. You’d come across walls covered with graffiti here and there, too. You could also hire bicycles or bikes to explore Mirissa and nearby areas.
Hangover Hostels Mirissa also has three sister hotels – in Colombo, Katunayake, and Ella.
(Also read: Things to do in Negombo)
Have you been to Mirissa? Did you like our guide to things to do in Mirissa? Comment below and let us know!
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