Tuk-tuks in Colombo traffic. Photo by @sofizampa

The perks of traveling by Tuk-Tuk in Sri Lanka

How hasn´t dreamt of riding a tuk-tuk at least once? To feel like a kid again, feel the wind in the face and move around like a local?

Sri Lanka’s tuk-tuks are well known for the crazy riding and the avid drivers that sometimes overcharge distracted tourists a little bit ;).

But they are also known for its many super friendly motorists ready to point you in the right direction, give you good local advise and drop you in the best secret spots.

The three-wheeler is definitely a fun, convenient and cheap transport alternative when travelling through Sri Lanka.

Tuk-Tuks in Sri Lanka come in the most varied colours, and take the place of taxis. Dressed up with bumper stickers from all sorts of shops in the island as well as from world travellers that leave them souvenirs, the three-wheeler is definitely a fun, convenient and cheap transport alternative when travelling through Sri Lanka. This is especially convenient along the south coast, to go from one beach to another, finding Sri Lanka best beaches without unwanted detours, as there is only one road along the coast.

In some cities you could rent your own tuk-tuk as well, although it is not a widely spread practice and you will probably need a Sri Lankan driving licence.

Red and green tuk-tuks in Negombo. Photo by @sofizampa


Driving a tuk-tuk requires special skills as changing of gear is not like a regular car, let alone the fact that it has 3 wheels so it is not like a motorbike, and keeping balance does come into play.

You will find tuk-tuks of all sorts and colours. The more modern ones will have radio and speakers, and a cool driver will play some good music to light up your trip to town.

One thing is for sure, if you are of an adventurous spirit, we definitely recommend you ride a tuk-tuk at least once. If you travel by tuk-tuk you will avoid waiting for buses that sometimes don’t stop and pass by, you will feel the freedom of stopping whenever you want and wherever you want, and you will definitely get the local experience, while dodging annoying traffic jams!

Feel the freedom of stopping whenever you want and wherever you want

Whether you are staying at one of the 5 stars hotels in Sri Lanka or in a backpacking budget hotel, either way you should not miss out on this experience!

Sri Lanka’s tuk-tuks
Tuk-tuk ride through Matara Road. Photo captured by @un_fold_ed


The things that we love about riding tuk-tuk are:

  • The quirky styling each tuk-tuk has, from surf stickers to Simpsons characters or even Che Guevara photos
  • The fancy leather seats
  • Feeling the wind in your face as you ride at full speed
  • Riding like a local and getting the city insights first hand, it’s like having a personal Sri Lanka guide
  • Stopping whenever you want, wherever you want
  • The adrenaline of riding next to the waves
  • The nosy drivers that ask you lots of questions like what you had for breakfast (it’s hilarious!)
  • The fact that you never need to look for one, the tuk-tuk drivers will always find you first (even when you are not looking for one!)

You will get the local experience and the adrenaline of riding next to the waves

… and the things that we like the least:

  • Bargaining the price of the trip is sometimes uncomfortable, but ask your hotel for advise they will tell you how much you should pay for your trip
  • Some fearless drivers that make the tuk-tuk ride feel like a rollercoaster
  • The fact that we can´t take the tuk-tuk back home (but aren´t they adorable?!)


A tuk-tuk from Owl and the Pussycat Hotel to Galle fort is approximately $4 (one-way) and takes around 20 minutes. There are so many beautiful places in Sri Lanka you can visit by tuk-tuk! Don´t wait, check our Sri Lanka hotel deals  and book your trip now!


Have you ever ride a tuk-tuk yourself? Share with us what you like the most and the least about them! Leave us a comment below!



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