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Batticaloa

On 21 April 2019, Sri Lanka was hit by a series of bomb attacks targetting hotels and Christian places of worship. Initial reports suggest this was a one-off attack linked to domestic and international extremist groups. A State of Emergency has been declared and security has been increased across the island. Flights are operating as normal from Colombo, but passengers are advised to check in early for enhanced security checks. A number of foreign governments are now warning against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka - check your government's travel advisory information for the latest advice.

Historic Batticaloa, Batti for short, enjoys a spectacular position surrounded by lagoons with palm-filtered sunlight glancing off the water. There's a mellow vibe to the town, and the compact center and its huge fortress and many churches are well worth a half-day's exploration on foot.

To the east of Batti's center, Kallady is a small town on a long, sandy isthmus. There are some great beaches out here and a growing number of places to stay. Exploring the entire region by bike is a delight.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Batticaloa.