Nuwara Eliya to Ella

Discover the scenic route from Nuwara Eliya to Ella with various transportation options. Enjoy breathtaking landscapes and tea plantations on this unforgettable journey through Sri Lanka's hill country.

Nuwara Eliya to Ella

Discover the scenic journey from Nuwara Eliya to Ella, a picturesque route through Sri Lanka’s breathtaking landscapes. In this blog, we’ll explore the beauty of this journey, along with other travel options to reach Ella. From tea plantations to misty mountains, join us on an unforgettable adventure through the heart of Sri Lanka

What to expect on Ella

In Ella, you can expect stunning scenery and plenty of outdoor adventures. Hike to Ella Rock for amazing views, cool off at Ravana Falls, and marvel at the Nine Arch Bridge. If you’re up for it, try zip-lining or mountain biking. Afterward, relax with a cup of tea or watch a beautiful sunset. Ella is all about nature and relaxation, offering something memorable for everyone.

nuwara eliya to ella train

Get ready for an unforgettable adventure from Nuwara Eliya to Ella! This scenic train ride through Sri Lanka’s hill country is like something out of a dream. As you board the train at Nuwara Eliya Train Station, prepare to be amazed by misty mountains, endless tea plantations, and charming villages passing by outside your window. Join us as we immerse ourselves in the sights, sounds, and flavors of local life on this must-do journey in Sri Lanka.

Book your tickets in advance here for hassle free train journey

Please note: For a detailed overview of the journey, don’t forget to check out the step-by-step guide below.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: .Arrive at Nuwara Eliya Train Station: Head to Nuwara Eliya Train Station, situated amidst Sri Lanka’s stunning hill country landscapes.

Step 2: Find a comfy seat and hop aboard the train. Get ready for a scenic ride through misty mountains and tea plantations.

Step 3: Marvel at the breathtaking scenery outside your window as the train chugs along. Don’t forget to snap some photos of waterfalls and charming villages along the way.

Step 4: Take in the sights and sounds of local culture as you journey through the countryside. Engage with vendors selling snacks and watch children playing along the tracks.

Step 5: As the train pulls into Ella, you’ll be greeted by dramatic cliffs and lush forests, signaling the end of your picturesque adventure.

Step 6:  Take a moment to soak in the beauty of the landscapes and the warmth of the local culture you’ve experienced along the way.

Step 7: Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride through some of the most breathtaking scenery Sri Lanka has to offer. Let the rhythm of the train and the beauty of the surroundings transport you to a state of pure relaxation and wonder.

Take Note : 
The train station is roughly 9 kilometers from the city center, so you’ll need to organize transportation before your train journey. Your hotel can arrange a Tuk-Tuk for about 1000 rupees ($12), or you can use the PickMe app to book one. PickMe is a trusted app that travellers often relied on during travels in Sri Lanka.

nuwara eliya to ella train time

The train ride from Nuwara Eliya to Ella typically lasts between 3.5 to 4 hours, while a car journey takes about 1.5 hours. The longer train duration is due to traversing multiple mountain ranges. However, this leisurely pace offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the serene surroundings and savor the experience of slow travel. 

To avoid any inconvenience, consider booking your tickets online. BOOK HERE

Book Early: Some trains fill up so book early

nuwara eliya to ella distance

The distance from Nuwara Eliya to Ella is approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) by road. However, if you’re taking the train, the railway track between Nuwara Eliya and Ella is about 56 kilometers (35 miles) long. Keep in mind that train travel may take longer due to stops, speed limits, and the scenic nature of the journey.

How much is the train ride from Nuwara Eliya to Ella?

The train journey from Nuwara Eliya to Ella offers a scenic escape at affordable prices

Ticket Prices:

First Class Coach: Approximately $11, providing air-conditioned comfort and spacious seating.
Second Class Tickets: Around $6, offering a comfortable ride.
Third Class Tickets: Budget-friendly at about $4, available for purchase at the station.

Train Timings from Nuwara Eliya (Nanu Oya) to Ella:

09:30 AM
12:45 PM
03:00 PM
03:55 PM

Book your tickets in advance here in advance

How to Book Your Nuwara Eliya to Ella Train Journey

Booking Options:
In-Person Booking:

You can personally book your train tickets at a booking office located at the train station. Unreserved tickets are available for purchase on the day of travel.

Reserved Tickets:
Reserved tickets can be bought up to 30 days in advance.
You can opt for reserved seats for a more comfortable journey.

Online Booking:

Booking your tickets online is a convenient option, especially with platforms like They offer the flexibility to purchase tickets earlier than the standard 30-day window. You can make your reservation here 

Sri Lankan Railways also have an official website where you can book tickets.

Booking Procedure:
1.Fill out passenger information, including travel document details.
2.Make online payments securely using your card.
Tips for a Smooth Booking Experience:

3. Plan ahead and book your tickets early, especially during peak travel seasons.
Double-check your travel dates and details before making the booking.
Ensure your payment method is secure when booking online.

Nuwara Eliya to Ella VIa taxi

Getting a taxi in Sri Lanka, especially between popular destinations like Nuwara Eliya and Ella, is easy. You can book one in advance here, or you can ask your hotel to arrange it, or order through the PickMe app. The drive covers around 55km and typically takes under two hours by car.

If you have lots of luggage, ensure your hotel or select a spacious car on the app. PickMe, similar to Uber and other apps but also one of the other options is  Tuk-Tuk, it’s user-friendly and helps avoid overcharging. Pre-booking prevents any potential ‘tourist tax’ you might encounter. 

Nuwara Eliya to Ella VIa bus

The bus journey from Ella to Nuwara Eliya typically takes around 3 hours and offers two options: local buses and tourist buses.

Local Bus from Ella to Nuwara Eliya:
Local buses are the most economical option, with wooden seats and open windows (no A/C). They make frequent stops, and timetables vary by season. You can’t prebook a seat, but they are very affordable, costing around 70–100 LKR.($1.40 to $2.00)  Check with your hotel for departure times.

Tourist Bus from Ella to Nuwara Eliya:
For a more comfortable ride, there’s a tourist bus available. It operates only three days a week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday). The bus journey takes just under 3 hours and runs once on each of these three days.

Things to do in ella

Welcome to Ella, a cozy town surrounded by green hills in Sri Lanka’s central highlands. Known for its beauty and relaxed vibe, Ella has plenty to offer.

Here are the top things to do:

1.Enjoy scenic hikes.
2.Visit the famous Demodara Nine Arch Bridge.
3.Explore Ravana Cave and Falls.
4.Learn about tea on a plantation tour.
5.Taste local Sri Lankan cuisine.
6.Relax with a massage at Rawana Ella Spa.
7.Watch stunning sunsets.
8.Join a cooking class.
9.Take a scenic train ride.
10.Shop for local goods at Ella Market

Suggested Things To Do

Where To Stay In Ella

Great for meeting other travellers.


To wrap up, getting from Nuwara Eliya to Ella gives you three choices: train, bus, or taxi. The train treats you to stunning views of tea plantations and mountains, but it’s a bit slow. Buses are cheaper and come often, but they don’t offer much in terms of scenery. Taxis are the quickest and most convenient, but they’re pricier. It all depends on what matters most to you: saving money, enjoying the view, or getting there fast. No matter which you pick, you’ll still get a taste of Sri Lanka’s beautiful countryside on your way to Ella.


The train ride from Nuwara Eliya to Ella typically takes around 3.5 to 4 hours.

Your choice between Nuwara Eliya and Ella depends on your interests and the length of your itinerary. If you’re a nature enthusiast seeking scenic hikes, Ella is the ideal destination. However, if you prefer less touristy spots, cooler climates, and have an affinity for golf or tea, Nuwara Eliya is a must-visit stopover.

Renowned as one of the most picturesque train routes globally, the journey from Kandy to Ella is an unforgettable experience. Departing from Nuwara Eliya, our train ride lasted three hours before arriving in Ella.

Start Planning Your Sri Lanka Trip Now!

Book Your Flight:

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flights. A travellers favorite way to book flights, as it searches websites and airlines around the world with one click.

Book Your Bus or Transportation Within Sri Lanka:

There are two ways to book your transporation, ask your hotel or hostel, go to the local bus terminal, or book online, for a less stressful trip using CheckMyBus or

Book Your Accomodation: 

Find the best hotels or hostels at HostelWorld,, Perks include with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out and Free cancellations.

Dont Forget Your Travel Insurance:

Two popular choices are SafetyWing and WorldsNomads. A traveler should buy traveler’s insurance to protect themselves against unexpected events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, and lost or stolen baggage. It provides peace of mind and financial protection in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Useful Apps

Pick me- Local Transportation

Airbnb & Booking – Accomodation

PickMe Food – Food Delivery


Want More Information On Sri Lanka?

Be sure to check out my nomad travel guide on the Sri Lanka for even more tips

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

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