How to travel with Sri Lanka's most scenic train ride & where to hop off

One of the must do's in Sri Lanka is to take the famous scenic train from Kandy to Ella (or the other way around). However, you do not have to take all seven hours in one take. Here's a few tips I've learned from my ride and a few pretty decent stops along the way.

The train ride lasts for 7 hours, which is a long time if you want to do it in one take. However, it is a beautiful scenery so make sure to do it when the sun is up or you'll miss out! If you do choose to take the 7 hours continuously, then remember to bring food, water and toilet paper for the bathrooms.

Book your ticket at the train station. Most of the places you can just go and book it on the day, however, in Kandy or Ella you should try to do it a few days in advance. I asked my hostel in Kandy and they booked a second class ticket for me the day before.

First class: You'll have your own seat but you won't be able to open windows.

Second class: You have the liberty to choose between second and third class and choose the least crowded , however, in tourist season they are both pretty crowded and you'll might have to stand up a lot.

Third class: The seats are not as nice as second class, but otherwise they look the same.

The best seats are in the doorways. The doors are open and you'll be able to sit with your legs dangling out. It's quite a view from here. The second best seat is a window seat - and the most comfortable. My hostel gave me the advice to have my backpack ready in my arms. When the train arrives, I should be ready to throw my backback through a window onto an empty seat, which would save the seat for me. The locals respect that. I tried it, however, of course the windows were closed! Now the tip is for you guys.


Station: Kandy

What to see in Kandy:

  • Kandy Lake

  • The Temple of The Tooth

  • The Royal Botanical Gardens

  • Day trip to Sigiriya and Dambulla (read about it here)

Read more about what to see and do in Kandy here.


Station: Talawakelle Station

This picture is taken from the train, which means you don't have to actually stop here. But the view is pretty nice, which is why I included it!


Station: Hatton Station

What to see in Hatton:

  • Wake up really early!

  • Climb Adam's Peak!

  • See the sunrise from the top of a beautiful mountain!

  • Climb down!

Read more about Adam's Peak here.


Station: Nanuoya Station

What to see in Nuwara Eliya:

  • Blue Field Tea Factory and Plantation

  • Strawberry fields

  • Old English buildings

  • Lover's Leap Waterfall

  • Ramboda Falls and many more!

Read more about Nuwara Eliya here.


Station: Ella

What to see in Ella:

  • Little Adam's Peak

  • Ella's Rock

  • Nine Arch Bridge

  • Rawana Falls & Rawana Cave

  • Lipton tea plantations

Read more about Ella here.



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