Ella to Kandy Train Sri Lanka – A Complete Guide

A trip to Sri Lanka wouldn’t be complete without pursuing the Ella to Kandy train journey. Voted the most beautiful train journey in the world, the Ella to Kandy train journey will leave you awe struck. 

We travelled Ella to Kandy as we travelled to Ella from the south coast. However, if you are travelling from Colombo, you will do the same Kandy to Ella train journey.

We also broke up our trip and made a 7 hour trip into two 3.5hr train journeys. We stopped over at Nuwara Eliya for a night.


We travelled early morning on both occasions, as it was quieter. It’s also amazing travelling through rural Sri Lanka and watching the world wake up as the sun rises over the vast green land.

There are three trains that travel from Ella to Kandy every day: 6:40AM, 9:24AM, 12:06AM.

If you want to travel Kandy to Ella train times are: 3.30am, 8.47am or 11.10am


3rd class – 150 rupees
2nd class – 250 rupees
1st class – 1000 rupees

You can reserve seats if you book in advance. We travelled our first journey second class (aircon) with a reserved seat where there were lots of other tourists. The second journey and on other occasions we travelled third class and it was much more fun! You also have the opportunity to meet the locals who are always so welcoming. 


To book trains for the Ella to Kandy train route, you can do this in three ways.

2nd and 3rd unreserved cannot be booked in advance. You can book your tickets at the station, but you must do this within 24 hours of your journey. You cannot book tickets in advance at the station.

You can buy reserved seats at 12goasia. These tickets can be purchased up to 30 days before your trip.

And lastly the insiders tip is booking your train tickets through Sri Lankan Mobile Phone Network Provider – Mobitel. You can call up the agents anytime and pay with your Mobitel balance (which can be loaded with funds at most local shops). Once you’ve booked the ticket you can then have it printed at the train station or in any Mobitel shop.

Ella to Kandy Train Sri Lanka


  • When travelling from Ella to Kandy on the train, ensure to sit on the right hand side for the best views. The start of the journey the left has the most beautiful scenery but after 45 minutes the right hand side is the best part of the train to be sat on.
  • Of course, if you are travelling from Kandy to Ella by train, ensure to sit on the left hand side.
  • Make sure to pack a small pack lunch or a few snacks. Alternatively there is on board food available as well; but if you have any food intolerance’s it’s best to bring a few snacks.
  • Grab a spot at the door early – remember the right hand side. For the best views on the Ella to Kandy train, the door spot is the place to be.
  • Travel third class for a richer experience. It is likely to be a little more cramped, but if you are travelling on the earlier train, this isn’t too much a problem. Furthermore, if you have a door spot, you won’t really need a chair for much of the journey.
  • Break up the Ella to Kandy train journey and stop somewhere along the way. We stopped at Nuwara Eliya also known as Little England famous for the abundance of lush green tea plantations.


We woke up super early after staying in a near by Guest House in Ella. Although we were staying only few minutes away we took a tuk tuk ride to the station.

The station was busy even at 6AM with tourists and locals eagerly waiting to board the Kandy Express. We walked to the end of the track and waited for the train to arrive. We could feel the morning dew as it rose up for another morning. The smell of burning leaves filled the air as the world woke up. 

For the first part of our trip, we booked second class aircon reserved, mainly due to the cheap cost. The carriages were very comfortable with lots of space. However, you couldn’t open the window, so we found a space near the door.

It was from this point, we were awestruck at the breathtaking views. As mentioned the Ella to Kandy train journey has been deemed the most beautiful train journey in the world and it was clear why. 

As we watched the sunrise, the lands turned golden and warmed to the morning sun. Farmers set about their daily routine. Peacocks majestically walk through the fields waking up the world with their morning call.

As the train journey continues, the views get better and better. The scenery is vast. Rolling hills full of green landscapes. As we slowly make our through the lands, we pass through an abundance of tea plantations. 

One thing we learned during our time in Ella, was that the government allow locals to pick tea leaves in government owned farms on their own accord, to enable them to make a living. A great initiative and way to give back to the community. 

Enjoy. Peace Out. x



Ella to Kandy Train Sri Lanka

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