The Most Beautiful Train Journey In The World? – Kandy To Ella

The Most Beautiful Train Journey In The World? – Kandy To Ella

Supposedly one of the most scenic train journeys on the planet. A trip to Sri Lanka would not be complete without taking the seven hour train from Kandy through to Ella. So here’s everything you need to know in preparation, plus our personal experience of the awesome Kandy to Ella Train Journey…

The Most Beautiful Train Journey In The World? – Kandy To Ella

Getting Tickets

You cannot book tickets in advance at the station! So the only options are to try and pre-book online, which we couldn’t seem to do. Or just turn up on the day an hour before departure, which worked perfectly for us.

You’ll be greeted by a queue of people doing the same. Although there doesn’t seem to be a limit on the amount of tickets sold so don’t let that be a worry.

Train Times

There are 3 trains that depart from Kandy towards Ella everyday. The options for travel being 3.30am (not sure why you’d take this one), 8.47am or 11.10am.

We heard that the 8.47am train is the best to catch because naturally, fewer people want to get up early. Plus it’s good to hit the road (well tracks) before the mid morning fog sets in.

Also keep hold of your ticket until you arrive! The ticket inspector WILL ask you for it when you get off in Ella.

Prices

Prices vary from around 150 rupees (3rd class) to 250 (second class) and up to 1000 for first class. Air con being the big difference.

If you can get a guaranteed seat then that’s a bonus. Chances are you’ll be fighting everyone on the platform just to get on the train, let alone sit down, so don’t worry too much.

Our Experience

So we were up nice and early. Just in time to have our poached eggs on toast, before catching a tuk tuk to the station.

We’d heard it was a struggle to make the train, purely because of the sheer amount of people that flock to the now tourist attraction. Well sure enough the queue was out of the door when we arrived at 7.50am.

Wanderers & Warriors - Kandy To Ella Train Journey, Sri LankaWanderers & Warriors - Kandy To Ella Train Journey, Sri Lanka

It soon died down though, and before we knew it all 6 of us were piling through the turnstiles, ready and waiting on the platform for the incredible views to begin.

Wanderers & Warriors - Kandy To Ella Train Journey, Sri Lanka

After a lot of debating as to which side to wait on, and how we were ever going to make it onto the train with all these people, we decided to pull up a pew and chill for half an hour to prep ourselves for the mad rush.

Wanderers & Warriors - Charlie & Lauren - Kandy To Ella Train Journey, Sri Lanka

The train eventually arrived, full of locals from its departing station in Colombo, and on we jumped. It was cramped, hot and smelly but we were on! Next stop Ella! But not before some breathtaking scenery…

Wanderers & Warriors - Kandy To Ella Train Journey, Sri Lanka

So here comes the real honest part, the first 4 hours were a nightmare. Maybe it was because we happened to travel on a weekend or maybe it was just always that full, but we were up and down like a pogo stick looking for spots to try and snatch a glimpse of the view. Luckily enough the first few hours were nothing special and in the end we took a locals advice that after Nuwara Eliya most passengers would disembark and space would be created. So we held on for a while and snacked on some veggie samosas to see us through.

Wanderers & Warriors - Charlie & Lauren - Kandy To Ella Train Journey, Sri Lanka

Eventually, around 3 and a half hours in, the crowd did in fact die down and we managed to get some awesome seats next to the window between a French family. So the six of us spread out between the coach seats and the doorways and enjoyed the main part of the show.

The Views

The trees and mountain views were definitely worth waiting for! We guess being on a train you don’t realise how much you’re ascending but suddenly we pulled out into views from such height that were so green and clean…beautiful would be an understatement.

Wanderers & Warriors - Kandy To Ella Train Journey, Sri Lanka

We chilled and took it all in, and to be honest nothing we write in this blog will do it justice. But if you decide to skip the train journey from Kandy to Ella then don’t say we didn’t warn you! It’s certainly an experience!

Wanderers & Warriors - Charlie & Lauren - Kandy To Ella Train Journey, Sri Lanka

Tips

We heard so many different things before getting on the train but we can now speak from experience. Sit on the LEFT when heading into Ella for the best views!

Grab a spot near the doorways early and hold it. One of the girls we were with squeezed through to the doorway and sat for the entire journey. If you can hold down a spot and master when to let people past to exit without losing it then you’re onto a winner!

Where To Stay

Kandy – Kandy City Hostel – if you’re looking for cheap and cheerful we have to shout out City Hostel. You can read about our stay with the guys here.

Ella – Hangover Hostels Ella – again, great place to base yourself in Ella and super chilled amongst the mountains.

You can also check out the prices of other places to stay in Kandy here & Ella here.

For more things to do in Sri Lanka and which route to take, make sure to check out our break down – The Best Of Sri Lanka – A Route & Trip Guide

If you liked this post, share it!

6 Comments

  1. October 18, 2017 / 6:18 pm

    Visited Sri Lanka 🇱🇰 but only did south. Look forward to doing handy and central. Helpful tips though. Thanks for the information. Happy travelling ✈️

    • October 20, 2017 / 3:30 am

      Thanks so much! Yes Kandy is beautiful and Ella the mountain country. Such an amazing country 🙌🏼🇱🇰

  2. Sandra
    October 19, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    Oh wow I’ve been mentioned here yaay! 😀 really nice writing, safe travels guys <3

Leave a Reply