Kandy To Ella Train
Kandy To Ella Train
3.5
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Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • WillyDoug
    122 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not this time
    We had 2 nd class reservations but had to cancel as the train was 3 hrs late which is normal Plan a full day with long waits in a dirty station. Overnite in the trains final stop. Train cars looked beat up and grungy but some people love the look. Tickets are not fairly distributed lots of gouging by second tier sellers
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 3 February 2024
  • Cristina E
    11 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    We recommend this tour as long as you buy RESERVED seats. Make sure to buy these tickets in advance. Otherwise, you will trave
    We loved this trip although it was long. The landscape is amazing and you can see the country all along the trip. We were scared reading the reviews the night before that said it was crowded... It is crowded. However, the difference is that we had reserved seats in third class. That makes ALL the difference. As it is not very well indicated in the trip station at Kandy, we jumped into the "regular" 3rd class. It was scary, too crowded and couldn't make it into the wagon farer than the door. Until some local told us we were not in the correct wagon. We got down and jumped into the Third Class Reserved wagon... wooow! Good difference! Our seats were there clearly indicated and it was not even full. Mainly tourist were there. It was a pleasant long trip and we enjoyed the views. No air conditioning and the windows were opened, good for the photos.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 24 February 2024
  • JR_Essex
    Chelmsford, United Kingdom569 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great train ride
    We only to the train from Kandy as far as Nuwara Eliya, but it was well worth the experience. Our tour company had reserved seats in the Observation Carriage at the rear of the train and whilst some had said you don't get the full Sri Lankan train experience, we found it just fine. The advantage is the carriage has big windows so you get really good views as you climb through the hills and tea plantations, the disadvantage is all the seats face to the back of the train. Amazing to see so many people walking on the train tracks after the train has passed.The journey was about 3 and 1/2 hours. The train stops at about 6 stations and there are some refreshments available at the stations, although most people take their own.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 11 March 2024
  • Graham
    3 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Book online early!
    It's easy to book tickets online from Sri Lanka Railways website but they sell extremely quickly. However a notice displayed currently at Kandy station reads, 'For the Convenience of Passengers' 'We kindly inform that starting from March 14, 2024 seat release to the reservation system will occur daily at 07.00 pm instead of the previous time of 10.00 am, 30 days prior to the date of train schedule.' Once in receipt of your travel document online my advice is to print it. Produce this document and your passport at the ticket office for the actual tickets!
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 5 May 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles99 reviews
Excellent
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Very good
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Terrible
16

Peter S
London, UK261 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2024 • Couples
This is a very picturesque train journey but going at 30kmph for 6 hrs is just too much for some.

If you love trains, if you love endless views of tea plantations and if you love going at a snails pace then this trip is for you!!!!

I don’t want to sound miserable but for 1.5 hrs you see nothing and then for the next 5 hours you see virtually the same thing hour after hour.

We actually got off the train at Nuna Oya which on reflection was a mistake as it’s still a 2 hr cab ride from there despite drivers saying it’s only 1 hour. We actually ended up at the Grand hotel for lunch at Nuwara Elyia just to regroup which was lovely. We then got a taxi from there to Ella costing 17000 LKR to reach our hotel.
Written 13 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Graham
3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
It's easy to book tickets online from Sri Lanka Railways website but they sell extremely quickly. However a notice displayed currently at Kandy station reads,

'For the Convenience of Passengers'
'We kindly inform that starting from March 14, 2024 seat release to the reservation system will occur daily at 07.00 pm instead of the previous time of 10.00 am, 30 days prior to the date of train schedule.'

Once in receipt of your travel document online my advice is to print it. Produce this document and your passport at the ticket office for the actual tickets!
Written 5 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maksim B
London, UK3,476 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
The most important tips:

1. Book long (a month at least) in advance 1st or 2nd class, or ask your guide to do it for you. Pay premium if you have to.
2. Get a reserved seat.

If you do that , you will have an amazing experience… if you don’t the chance of being in an overcrowded carriage, with no space and totally hating it for 3-4-5hours is huge.

As a train trip this is nothing crazy, just cruising at a slow speed through the beautiful mountains and enjoying the view. The added value is obviously the fact that the trip is super instagramable and really the pictures are beautiful. If you get point 1 & 2 right, this will be one of the highlights of your Sri Lankan trip.

In conclusion, it is impressive how a simple train ride has been turned into a famous tourist attraction.
Written 4 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jenn3777
126 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
For those people desperate to get the “Instagram shot” hanging out of the train, double check your ticket and consider doing a shorter section of this train journey.

Beware…

Firstly, it’s not worth the time it takes. Yes there are some nice views, but you can get nice views many places, and this train takes over 6 hours and most of the scenery is just OK - a lot of tea plantations.

Aside from that - what happened to us was a horrible experience. At Kandy station, the guards checked our tickets 3 times - so we boarded the train and set off.

The train guard then re checked the ticket about 20 mins into the journey and pointed out it was actually for the next train. He then said we had to get off the train (which was by then in the middle of nowhere).
We asked if we could pay for a different seat, or stand up for the journey - as there was a lot of empty seats.
He replied to this question by saying they would call the police and take our passports away!

It was a complete overreaction (they could have easily said no, the train is full, it clearly wasn't, by anyhow) - instead we had threatening behaviour, 3 men came up at the next station to “force us” off the train. Quite unnecessary as we only asked if we could buy another ticket.

Perhaps they just don’t want tourists, or resent tourists? Certainly felt that way.

It made me think twice about Sri Lanka as a tourist destination, and I would never recommend anyone to travel here for a relaxing holiday after this experience.

In the end we waited 2.5hrs to get on the next train.
Even if we didn’t have the issues we experienced - I would not recommend the train as in the end, our experience was that it was very slow and over hyped.
Written 18 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

janell
Portland, OR6 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
I ended up taking the train from Kandy to Haputale - 2nd class unreserved - which was a scene of epic chaos, a mashup of human bodies and luggage shoved into every crevice and square inch of space in the carriage. I stood for the first 2 hours, tightly pressed up against humans and steel, then (most mercifully) was offered a piece of seat occupied by 2 Australian women. The scenery was incredible as promised but the experience was truly miserable. At Nuwara Elia some embarking passengers couldn't even get on because there was no room, so they went to 3rd class. Honesty, how could 3rd class be worse? I was informed that all the lst class/reserved seats were sold out one month in advance.
Written 15 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JR_Essex
Chelmsford, UK569 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
We only to the train from Kandy as far as Nuwara Eliya, but it was well worth the experience. Our tour company had reserved seats in the Observation Carriage at the rear of the train and whilst some had said you don't get the full Sri Lankan train experience, we found it just fine. The advantage is the carriage has big windows so you get really good views as you climb through the hills and tea plantations, the disadvantage is all the seats face to the back of the train. Amazing to see so many people walking on the train tracks after the train has passed.The journey was about 3 and 1/2 hours. The train stops at about 6 stations and there are some refreshments available at the stations, although most people take their own.
Written 11 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cristina E
11 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
We loved this trip although it was long. The landscape is amazing and you can see the country all along the trip.
We were scared reading the reviews the night before that said it was crowded...
It is crowded.
However, the difference is that we had reserved seats in third class. That makes ALL the difference.
As it is not very well indicated in the trip station at Kandy, we jumped into the "regular" 3rd class. It was scary, too crowded and couldn't make it into the wagon farer than the door.
Until some local told us we were not in the correct wagon.
We got down and jumped into the Third Class Reserved wagon... wooow! Good difference! Our seats were there clearly indicated and it was not even full. Mainly tourist were there.
It was a pleasant long trip and we enjoyed the views. No air conditioning and the windows were opened, good for the photos.
Written 24 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

brian r
Tacoma, WA16 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
The train was 2 hours late, which apparently is not unusual. Worse is that scalpers buy all the tickets each day so you are forced to pay more than the face value if you can even find the sellers among the crowd (even our tour guide had great difficulty). Dirty station throughout. The restrooms are totally inadequate with long lines and a 50 rupee charge.
Written 4 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WillyDoug
Kelowna BC Canada122 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
We had 2 nd class reservations but had to cancel as the train was 3 hrs late which is normal Plan a full day with long waits in a dirty station. Overnite in the trains final stop. Train cars looked beat up and grungy but some people love the look. Tickets are not fairly distributed lots of gouging by second tier sellers
Written 3 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Camarcolin
Sao Paulo, SP356 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
the worst train experience I have ever had in my life! STOP ROMANTICIZE this train trip! I got the second class and I felt inside a can of sardines. Can’t even breathe well and vendors come and go all the time with all kinds of foods. Smelly as sardine can as well but add thousands of sardine cans inside. It should take 4 hours but it took at least 8, feels like never ending bad trip. Local people traveling to get to their places and thousands of tourists trying to make videos of the trip, that is not even nice, just lots of no cured new trees growing with edera taking their lives away. Avoid it. Taking a trip with a bus, car or moto from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya is much nicer, with beautiful views and the bus will cost much less. TOTTALY WAIST OF TIME.
Look for other nicer train trips around the word, this is not the best one at all!!!!!
The one I loved- Morretes (Paraná) Brazil
Written 16 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Kandy To Ella Train - All You MUST Know Before You Go (2024)

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