The most epic and scenic ride in, not only Sri Lanka, but I would say the world. Fields of green and people smiling and waving to you along the way. With 7 hours to spare, you can empty you mind, relax and enjoy the view.

The most amazing train ride

So let’s start our journey. The blue train, the one you want to catch, leaves the Kandy train station at 9 AM. Keep in mind that many locals and tourists board the train so there will be crowds. Locals use train to go to work and tourists will board it to go to Nuwara Eliya or Ella.

There are three train classes. 1st, 2nd and 3rd. In the first class you cannot open doors or windows. But you’ll have a reserved, air conditioned seat. 2nd and 3rd class have the most fun. You can reserve seats for 2nd class but you can also sit at the door with your legs hanging or maybe your head peeking through the window. Same goes for 3rd class, and you get to ride with locals. You’ll maybe see some chickens on the train as well.

You don’t have to stock up with food and water ’cause you can buy it on the train: water, fresh fruit, salty and spicy peanuts.

The train ride lasts for 6 to 7 hours and there are many stops on the way. The train doesn’t go fast so you can relax when taking those awesome shots at the door. You’ll get beautiful views from both sides of the train: waterfalls, fields of green, tea plantations.

Note that you will not cross the Nine Arch Bridge on this train ride. If you want to cross it on the train you will have to go one station further than Ella.

Where to get tickets?

So if you want to get 1st class and 2nd class tickets with reserved seats you’ll have to buy them online 30 days in advance. You could try buying them in person but we were told that isn’t quite possible because travel companies buy all of them. The prices vary and can get pretty high. You can buy online tickets here. For the 2nd class we paid 240 LKR (~ 1.15 €)

For all of you that plan as you go, 2nd and 3rd class tickets can be bought only on the day of the travel. If you want to catch the 9 AM train, be at the train station at least 2 hours before to secure your tickets. There will be a huge queue at the train station, you can’t miss it 😀

Made it to Ella?

Ella train station is only a 5 min walk from center so you can walk or hire a tuk tuk at the station. A little advice, agree on the price beforehand then sit in the tuk tuk.

And what to do in Ella? Check this out.