Exit Search

Sri Lanka’s iconic train

January 26, 2023

The perfect way to experience Sri Lanka’s unmatched natural beauty

Chugging through Sri Lanka’s picturesque green centre, the Nuwara Eliya to Kandy tea country train journey, which is just one section of the country’s expansive train network, is said to be one of the most beautiful in the world. 

This island nation’s most famous train ride encapsulates central Sri Lanka’s scenic charm: rolling green hills, lush tea plantations and misty mountain peaks.

Rolling green hills, lush tea plantations and stunning mountain views: this rail journey is postcard-perfect.
Rolling green hills, lush tea plantations and stunning mountain views: this rail journey is postcard-perfect.

Famous for its open doors and windows, passengers can move between the cabins freely and chat to fellow travellers as they soak in the beautiful green scenery. Painted a distinctive blue, the old-fashioned carriages typically chug along at a fairly leisurely pace, making settling in and taking in the sweeping natural vistas and quaint villages an absolute joy. The train often stops at small towns along the way, giving hawkers the opportunity to hop on board and sell delicious local snacks. 

Staff travels: Inspiring Vacations team member James snapped this picture on the famed train journey when he visited Sri Lanka in 2019.
Staff travels: Inspiring Vacations team member James snapped this picture on the famed train journey when he visited Sri Lanka in 2019.

"Possibly the most enjoyable local train I've ever experienced — there's no better way to travel through regional Sri Lanka's rolling hills and endless tea plantations." – James, Head of Operations, Inspiring Vacations  

Originally built in the mid-19th century during colonial rule, the country’s train network was initially used to transport tea and coffee from plantations to the capital of Colombo. The journey has since become a popular route for tourists and locals alike, with many Sri Lankans also using the train to move between cities.

The journey from the charming hill country town of Nuwara Eliya to Kandy takes about four hours in total. For the best possible views, it’s recommended to sit on the left side of the train, although both sides are sure to offer some breathtaking scenery. Sit in air-conditioned first class or squeeze into a bustling third-class carriage with open doors and windows; passengers love hanging out of the train! 

Take in sweeping, verdant vistas as you traverse the rolling countryside of central Sri Lanka.
Take in sweeping, verdant vistas as you traverse the rolling countryside of central Sri Lanka.

 

RELATED TOURS
Travel from:May 2024
Travel until:Dec 2025
Sri Lanka
Moderate Pace
Small Group

Small Group

From
$1,299 pp twin share
CAD
Travel from:May 2024
Travel until:Dec 2025
Sri Lanka
Moderate Pace
Small Group
Fully Escorted
From
$1,299 CAD
pp twin share
Travel from:Aug 2024
Travel until:Dec 2025
Sri Lanka
Fully Escorted
Leisurely Pace
From
$2,899 pp twin share
CAD
Travel from:Aug 2024
Travel until:Dec 2025
Sri Lanka
Fully Escorted
Leisurely Pace
5 Star
From
$2,899 CAD
pp twin share
Travel from:Jun 2024
Travel until:Dec 2024
Sri Lanka
Fully Escorted
Leisurely Pace
From
$1,499 pp twin share
CAD
Travel from:Jun 2024
Travel until:Dec 2024
Sri Lanka
Fully Escorted
Leisurely Pace
Small Group
From
$1,499 CAD
pp twin share
Travel from:May 2024
Travel until:Dec 2025
Sri Lanka
Fully Escorted
Moderate Pace
From
$3,099 pp twin share
CAD
Travel from:May 2024
Travel until:Dec 2025
Sri Lanka
Fully Escorted
Moderate Pace
Small Group
From
$3,099 CAD
pp twin share
Travel from:May 2024
Travel until:Dec 2025
Sri Lanka
Fully Escorted
Moderate Pace
From
$2,399 pp twin share
CAD
Travel from:May 2024
Travel until:Dec 2025
Sri Lanka
Fully Escorted
Moderate Pace
Private Tour
From
$2,399 CAD
pp twin share
Travel from:May 2024
Travel until:Dec 2025
Sri Lanka
5 Star
Fully Escorted
From
$2,499 pp twin share
CAD
Travel from:May 2024
Travel until:Dec 2025
Sri Lanka
5 Star
Fully Escorted
Small Group
From
$2,499 CAD
pp twin share
Travel from:Sep 2024
Travel until:Nov 2025
Sri Lanka
$99pp deposit
Fully Escorted
Moderate Pace
From
$7,799 pp twin share
CAD
Travel from:Sep 2024
Travel until:Nov 2025
Sri Lanka
$99pp deposit
Fully Escorted
Moderate Pace
Small Group
From
$7,799 CAD
pp twin share
Travel from:Jun 2024
Travel until:Dec 2025
Sri Lanka
$99pp deposit
Partially Escorted
Moderate Pace
From
$4,799 pp twin share
CAD
Travel from:Jun 2024
Travel until:Dec 2025
Sri Lanka
$99pp deposit
Partially Escorted
Moderate Pace
7 Days
From
$4,799 CAD
pp twin share
Travel from:Jul 2024
Travel until:Dec 2025
Sri Lanka
Moderate Pace
Small Group

Small Group

From
$2,999 pp twin share
CAD
Travel from:Jul 2024
Travel until:Dec 2025
Sri Lanka
Moderate Pace
Small Group
Fully Escorted
From
$2,999 CAD
pp twin share
Travel from:Jul 2024
Travel until:Jan 2025
Sri Lanka
$99pp deposit
Moderate Pace
Partially Escorted
From
$4,299 pp twin share
CAD
Travel from:Jul 2024
Travel until:Jan 2025
Sri Lanka
$99pp deposit
Moderate Pace
Partially Escorted
Small Group
From
$4,299 CAD
pp twin share
Processing...