Must-Experience Train Journeys in Sri Lanka

Must-Experience Train Journeys in Sri Lanka

Launch into a journey through Sri Lanka’s breathtaking landscapes aboard its iconic scenic train routes, cherished by travelers from around the globe. From rolling tea plantations to misty mountains and picturesque villages, these train rides offer a unique perspective of the island’s natural beauty. In this article, we’ll explore the top destinations to visit by train in Sri Lanka, unveiling the allure of each route and why it’s a must-experience for every traveler seeking adventure and enchantment in this tropical paradise.

1. Colombo to Kandy

The train journey from Colombo to Kandy is one of Sri Lanka’s most picturesque and popular rail routes, covering approximately 120 kilometers. The trip typically takes about 2.5 to 3 hours, winding through the lush landscapes of the island’s interior. As the train departs from Colombo, it travels through urban areas before entering the scenic highlands adorned with tea plantations and rural villages. Along the way, passengers are treated to views of iconic sites such as the Kadugannawa Pass, which cuts through a rocky outcrop, and the Mahaweli River, Sri Lanka’s longest river. This journey not only connects two of Sri Lanka’s key cities but also provides a captivating glimpse into the heart of the country’s stunning natural beauty and vibrant culture.

2. Kandy to Ella

The prepared travel from Kandy to Ella is one of the most beautiful and famous rides in Sri Lanka, advertising travelers breathtaking sees of rich tea ranches, dim mountains, and charming towns. Covering a remove of roughly 140 kilometers, this beautiful course winds its way through the heart of Sri Lanka’s slope nation, taking approximately 6 to 7 hours to total. Along the way, travelers are treated to impressions of notorious points of interest such as the Nine Curves Bridge, a dazzling colonial-era railroad bridge settled in the midst of verdant foliage. The prepare moreover passes through the beautiful towns of Nuwara Eliya and Haputale, each advertising its claim of one-of-a-kind charm and attractions. As they prepare chugs along the beautiful course, travelers can unwind and splash in the excellence of Sri Lanka’s captivating scenes, making the travel from Kandy to Ella an extraordinary encounter.

3. Colombo to Galle

The Colombo to Galle train journey is a delightful excursion that offers travelers a glimpse into the coastal beauty of Sri Lanka. Covering a distance of approximately 116 kilometers, this scenic route takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete. As the train departs from Colombo, passengers are treated to stunning views of the Indian Ocean on one side and lush greenery on the other. The train passes through charming coastal towns and villages, including Kalutara and Ambalangoda, offering glimpses of local life along the way. One of the highlights of the journey is passing by the historic city of Bentota, known for its pristine beaches and water sports activities. As the train continues its journey southward, passengers can catch glimpses of iconic landmarks such as the Hikkaduwa Beach and the iconic Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its scenic vistas and laid-back charm, the train journey from Colombo to Galle is a must-do experience for travelers exploring the southern coast of Sri Lanka..

4. Colombo to Jaffna

A fascinating ride that offers travelers a unique glimpse into the diverse landscapes and cultural heritage of Sri Lanka is the train journey from Jaffna to Colombo. Covering a distance of approximately 400 kilometers, this scenic route takes around 7 to 9 hours to complete, depending on the specific train service and any potential delays. Along the way, passengers are treated to stunning views of the northern coastlines, lush countryside, and bustling urban centers. Iconic landmarks such as the historic Jaffna Fort, the pristine beaches of Mannar, and the vibrant city of Anuradhapura are among the highlights of the journey. As the train winds its way southward towards Colombo, passengers can witness the gradual transition from the serene beauty of the north to the bustling energy of the capital city. Overall, the train journey from Jaffna to Colombo offers a memorable experience filled with scenic vistas and cultural insights.

Practical Tips for Train Travel in Sri Lanka

Train ticket booking procedures

  1. Train tickets can be booked online through the Sri Lanka Railways website or purchased at railway stations.

  2. It’s advisable to book tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure your preferred class and departure time.

Class options

  1. First class: Offers the most comfort with air conditioning and reserved seating.

  2. Second class: Provides comfortable seating with fans, ideal for budget travelers.

  3. Third class: Basic seating with open windows, offering a more authentic local experience.

Recommended times to travel

  1. Early morning or late afternoon departures offer cooler temperatures and clearer views.

  2. Avoid traveling during rush hours or on weekends to minimize crowds and enjoy a more relaxed journey.

Tips for securing window seats

  1. Arrive early at the station to queue for boarding and secure a window seat.

  2. Request a window seat when booking tickets online or at the ticket counter.

  3. Consider booking first or second class for guaranteed seating and better views.

Making the most of the journey

  1. Bring plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized during the journey.

  2. Pack a camera or smartphone to capture the stunning scenery along the way.

  3. Engage with fellow passengers and enjoy the unique cultural experience of train travel in Sri Lanka.

In conclusion, the scenic train journeys of Sri Lanka offer travelers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in the diverse landscapes and cultures of this enchanting island nation. From traversing lush tea plantations to winding through misty mountains and coastal vistas, each journey presents a unique perspective of Sri Lanka’s natural beauty and rich heritage. 

We encourage travelers to embark on their own train adventures and discover the magic of Sri Lanka’s railways firsthand. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural exploration, these train journeys promise unforgettable memories and a deeper appreciation for the beauty of the island. So, pack your bags, hop aboard, and let the rhythm of the rails guide you through the wonders of Sri Lanka.

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Memorable and enjoyable 15 days in Sri Lanka with Green Holidays The green holidays organised our whole trip to Sri Lanka according to our suggestions and requirements. We had a perfect, peaceful and enjoyable 15 days holiday. Pradeep and Rashmi booked the accommodation, vehicle for travel and the the driver/guide within a very short time. They were very prompt in responding to our messages and accommodating our last minute changes. The hotels they booked were comfortable, check in was so smooth and the service was good. We were able to do much more than we anticipated because of their coordination. Our guide/driver Romesh was very polite, trustworthy and punctual. We travelled with Romesh from Colombo to Batticaloa, Jaffna, Kandy and Galle in his car without any incidents and reached safely at the airport on time for our return flight. We thank Pradeep, Jay, Rashmi and Romesh for making our trip a pleasant and an enjoyable one.
Emmanuel P
Emmanuel P
Travel in peace and with Personal contact of Green Holidays We used the services of Green Holiday for our stay in Sri Lanka. They arranged the complete tour picking us up at the Bandaranayaka Airport and taking us to Jaffna, Batticaloa, Bentota, Colombo and Kandy including Ella. Green Holiday provided us with a Chauffeur/ tour guide ( Upul) who knew so much about SriLanka and its History and personally took care of our safety and was with us to ensure our check in at the hotels was flawless. Upul is a honest trustworthy person to rely on and was very caring. Thanks to Green Holidays for providing a knowledgeable person to be with us throughout the trip. We had the pleasure of dealing with Pradeep who planned out our trip to our liking with several changes requested by us and was available on the phone anytime 24/7 to discuss and review options. Rashmi from Green Holidays was our local contact in case of any emergency or for information once we were in in Sri Lanka. We were glad to have the assurance of a personal contact while on vacation. Green Holidays has earned our trust to make our vacation relaxing and trouble free. We recommend Green Holidays as a reliable trustworthy company to book your vacation packages. Their team worked vigorously to ensure our vacation is pleasant, memorable and safe.
Koushik S
Koushik S
We had such an amazing trip and we are back with lots of lovely memories. Thanks to Green Holiday for arranging a wonde We had been to Srilanka for 5 days and we did have such a fantastic trip. The whole place was very clean and the natural look was just fantastic
Sam B
Sam B
Great driver, great Organisation My boyfriend and i took a two week holiday on sri lanka. One week on road, one week beach holiday. Apart from a little mishap at the start when our arrival time was wrongly put at 09.30 instead of 05.30. However all it took was a quick phone to Dilan our driver who rushed to pick us up immediately. Due to delays on the way here and a little visa issue (always double check your passport numbers twice people) we arrived in the arrival hall at 07.30…once we had called the adventure began at 08.15. Dilan was an absolute godsend. Kept us entertained with facts about the areas we were visiting, made good conversation during our long journeys and got us there safe and sound every time. Dilan would also help us plan out our day and was honest enough when something was either gonna be a rushjob or whenever he felt we weren’t gonna get the best bang for our buck at a certain attraction. which we really appreciated, since we had completely missjudged the traffic and the distances on this journey. He also helped us handle check-ins and check-out and as we later found out when we made excursions of our own, he also kept pesky scammers away whenever we went to visit a place on foot. As for the rest of the trip everything went incredibly smoothly. Hotel staff were super friendly with us and safaris and other tour providers were informed well in advance so that we would literaly rock up, get into another car or jeep or were handed over to a local guide and be on our way right away. So long story short, we would like to thank Green Holiday and Dilan for making our trip the adventure of a lifetime and wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone traveling in sri lanka.
Robert P
Robert P
Skvělá zkušenost Naše zkušenost s touto společnosti byla skvělá. Náš pruvodce Upul byl velmi ochotný,trpělivý a vzdělaný. O historii Srí Lanky jsme se od nej dozvěděli snad úplně vše . Ten člověk znal odpověď úplně na vše opravdu úžasný průvodce a skvělý řidič. Mohu jen doporučit
Hana K
Hana K
Absolutely reliable company with best guides. First of all, this company we used for arranging our whole vacation in Sri Lanka worked just perfect. We had no issue whatsoever. For travelling around the island for several days we had a guide Upul. He just was the best! Not only he was driving us around safe, he also knew about history, gave us all the explanations in a very interesting way. He took us in many great, beautiful and even fun places, always stood by our side, guiding us through crowds to the most interesting points and telling us all the information - about history, religions, politics, traditions, nature, you name it. Upul was truly able to answer any question we had. On top of that, he was always smiling, in a good mood, treated us with dignity and patiency. We truly appreciated it and thanks to him and a perfect organization we had the best time in Sri Lanka. I also want to say, that the company manager got in touch with us on the second day, asking how satisfied we were with Upul, checking if everything was ok. It was a nice thing to do. Overall, I truly recommend this company if you want to spend your vacatin with no hassle and great guiding.
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