Epic Train Ride from Kandy to Ella in Sri Lanka

Epic Train Ride from Kandy to Ella in Sri Lanka

Epic Train Ride from Kandy to Ella in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. The train from Kandy and Ella is a beautiful 7-hour ride through tea plantations, endless mountain views and running waving kids along the train track. Getting a train ticket as a tourist can be hard because next to the popularity among tourists, locals use the train to head back home or to their work.

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Sri Lanka Train from Kandy to Ella

The train ride from Kandy to Ella takes about 6 to 7 hours. That’s a long ride but a 100% worth the journey. A ticket from Kandy to Ella costs around $2,50 / 400 LKR. At each train station, the train cabins get filled with sellers of drinks, fresh fruit, and salty or spicy peanuts.

Tip: Take the morning train. You don’t want to be riding through those tea plantations when it’s dark outside.

 Find all: Hotels in Ella

Nuwara Eliya is in between the Kandy to Ella route and also a popular stop, it has the name Little England because of its cool and wet climate.

➳ Read more: Nuwara Eliya


Sri Lanka Train ticket classes

Buy your tickets in advance at the Kandy train station. The train ride is very popular and on the weekends it’s busier because of the locals traveling home. Try to buy a 3rd or 2nd class ticket if you would like to have the experience of hanging out the train’s door.

➳ Get Kandy Train Tickets here

First class: Air Conditioned cabin which means no open windows or doors where you can hang out to get that cool shot.

Second class: Fan cabin. Reserve seats between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya or Ella. You will probably end up spending most of the time with your feet dangling out of the door. Of course, this is not the most comfortable but from here you’ll have the most incredible view.

Third class: We don’t know much about the third class but it has been told us this is quite an experience. Not only people but also goods such as chickens and vegetables will be transported in the 3rd class.

beautiful train ride sri lanka kandy ella rails

Train ticket price

Train timetables and ticket prices can be found on the Sri Lanka Government Railway Information website. As we before, a ticket from Kandy to Ella will cost you around $2,50 / 400 LKR.

 Find all: Hotels in Ella

Buy Kandy to Ella Train Ticket in advance

If you want to buy a ticket in advance then head over to ExpoRail or contact a Sri Lanka tour company so they can arrange it for you.

Get Kandy Train Tickets here

beautiful train ride sri lanka kandy ella station

Kandy to Ella

Don’t miss any of the highlights on this Sri Lanka train ride. Make sure to get off at the right location.

  1. Visit the beautiful botanical gardens in Kandy.
  2. Walk over the 30-meter high Nine Arch bridge in Ella.
  3. See the impressive tea fields of Nuwara Eliya.

02/12/2018 https://www.saltinourhair.com/sri-lanka/sri-lanka-train-kandy-ella/
Blog comments (26)

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  • Hi, I´m traveling to sri lanka in december and must say that all your tips are amazing, thank you!
    I´we read that the train have reserved and unreserved seats, do you have any recomendations there? if I have a reserved seat can I hang out the door and take nice photos?

    Also, my plan is to travel by train fron nuwara eliya to ella. Do you think it is possible to book a ticket in Kandy (3 days in advance) or will it be sold out. I´ve read that the reservable seats are sold out fast on some other sites?

    • Salt in our Hair

      Hi Sara! The best carriage for the most authentic experience is third as you can hang out the doors here and open the windows. You can reserve 3rd class, 2nd class and 1st class seats but in high season (December) you should do this up to 30 days before as the reserved will sell out fast. Unreserved seats are uncapped. Hope that helps in some way! Have a beautiful trip ❤️

      • We travelled yesterday from Kandy to Hatton and today from Hatton to Ella, train was both times fully overbooked (2nd and 3rd class, although 1st and 2nd reserved seat were a little empty but they didn’t let us buy it…) I don’t think anyone got the nice picture of themselves hanging out. Now it’s holidays time and what you really want from this 4 hour juicy ride is a seat. I dreamt about this photo for the last year but not a chance. I really hope you do get one, just dont wish it too much. :)

        • Salt in our Hair

          Hi Karolina,

          Yes sadly, the unreserved seating can get full very quickly. Sorry to hear you didn’t get your dream picture. An excuse to go back to Sri Lanka again??

        • Is it difficult to get a photo because the trains are crowded. I am travelling today and really hoping to get a picture. Also due to lack of time I am wondering if I should travel from Kandy to Nanu oya instead of full journey to Ella. Any tips on that ?

          • Salt in our Hair

            Hi Naveen, sorry we didn’t get back to you in time but we hope the journey was okay!

  • Hi, great posts! we head to Sri Lanka in May and very excited. On the train journey, can you take your luggage with you? How did you manage your luggage on the stops? thanks

    • saltinourhair

      Hi Louise, thank you! Yes, you just keep your luggage with you. The stops are short so you can keep seated and stay with your luggage.

  • Stephanie Gagné

    Hi! I’m wondering if the train ride is as beautiful from Kandy to Ella than it is Ella to Kandy? Thanks!

    • Ya I have the same question, I plan to stay a few nights in Ella and visit Kandy taking this train ride, so Ella to Kandy, is it as good as taking Kandy to Ella?

  • Hi! I love your posts. Do you have any local tour companies in Sri Lanka you recommend who could organize for a group of 6 (transport and guides) around the country?

    • saltinourhair

      Hi Jessie,
      thank you. I’m sorry we haven’t done organized tours through the country. We worked with local tuk-tuk drivers in every area.

  • Unnavigated

    Great photos! I absolutely also loved the train ride from Kandy to Ella.

  • I always see so much about this train ride, I’m super excited to try it one day! Great info on the classes, thanks!

  • The Common Wanderer

    One of our favourite travel experiences was taking the trains through Sri Lanka! It’s just the best thing! Some great tips here guys!

    Mark and Mim x

  • Looks amazing… just wow! The landscape and scenery is gorgeous!

  • Claudia @Zeebalife

    Oh this seems wonderful! I have seen quite a few pictures of Sri Lanka lately and now I am dreaming about visiting. Will keep this train ride on my list

  • Wow the scenery looks amazing!

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