Many visitors to Sri Lanka have of course heard about the famous Kandy-Ella train trip. Some would even consider it the most beautiful train ride in the world. However a lot of people skip out on Nuwara Eliya, which is about halfway between Kandy and Ella. Getting from Kandy To Nuwara Eliya is super easy, and this charming town, known as Little England, should definitely be a stop on your trip.
In this article I’m going to show you three ways to make this journey. You can choose the one right for you based on your budget and required comfort.
This is the cheapest option, coming in at only 250 Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR). You can get the bus at the Kandy central bus station, and it will drop you off at the Nuwara Eliya central bus station.
The bus can be crowded and uncomfortable, but for less than $1.50 USD it is definitely a money saving choice. The journey takes around 4 hours, dependent on traffic.
This is the best method in my opinion, and the most convenient. It also allows you to do the first half of the beautiful Kandy-Ella train journey. Tickets vary in price depending on the class you are in, but first class for example was 2000 LKR or about $11 USD. Different trains will have different prices, and the train we took was only first class.
This gives you a guaranteed seat in an air conditioned car. Trains leave multiple times a day and the journey takes about 3.5 hours.
The best thing about this journey is the beautiful scenery you can see as the train winds up hill country. Nuwara Eliya is the highest town in Sri Lanka, so the views can be quite breathtaking.
You can buy tickets day of at the train station, or buy tickets at the train station in advance. I think it’s smarter to buy reserved tickets, but if you don’t mind standing all or part of the way then buying tickets day of can save you money.
It seems strange to hire a taxi for a 4 hour trip, but that isn’t so uncommon in Sri Lanka. Many travelers (especially large families) would not enjoy the crowds of train or bus travel. In this way, a private car can be the smart decision.
This is also the most expensive option and we were quoted 9000 rupees by a few different drivers. This is reasonable of course because they have to make their way back home after dropping you off.
However you are able to arrange the start time to your liking, and if you have large luggage then this way may be smarter.
You can find plenty of drivers around the center of the city who are willing to do the trip, just make sure to agree on a price beforehand.
Whichever way you take to get from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, I do think it is a city worth a visit. There are some great things to do in Nuwara Eliya, like seeing the tea hills and factories, waterfalls, or maybe an excursion to The End Of The World (at Horton Plains National Park).
Read my article What To Do In Nuwara Eliya for more information, or continue your journey into Ella with How To Get To Ella From Nuwara Eliya.
If you have any questions about this trip, don’t hesitate to leave a comment down below and I’ll try to get back to you with an answer ASAP.