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THE BEST TRAIN TRIPS IN SRI LANKA

For many reasons, Sri Lanka can easily claim to have some of the world's best train trips. First, there are immense landscapes and views on any of these trips. Then some offer amazing onboard style and convenience and unique off-train experiences. Finally, on journeys through remote parts of Sri Lanka's vast outback, like the overnight trip from Colombo to Jaffna or the day trips in Hill County, coastal line trains are mirrored on any other continent of our world.

train at kadugannawa
Colombo to Kandy

The one railing trip that features on practically every Sri Lankan tour itinerary, around a three-hour journey from Colombo to Kandy, make you out from the enormous metropolis sprawl to the sophisticated vegetation of Sri Lanka’s spiritual City, residence to the mythical Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, glorifying what’s sworn to be an actual tooth of Buddha.
On this route, you’ll clatter above rolling cliffs, paddy fields, dense perspectives of tropical jungle and small village train stations attendants standing to watch in clean liveries. But, then, you sense the attitude coolness as you exit the coastal baking grassland for the more delightful climate of the cliffs.

The Colombo to Kandy train line was the first important trail set by the Ceylon Government Railway in the 1860s, cutting through the forested cliffs inland from the capital to convey tea and coffee down to the coast to further the financial aims of the British era.

Presently tourists ride in the opposing direction on a trip that serves as the ideal opening to Sri Lankan train journey and delivers the most atmospheric and pleasant route to reach Kandy.

Kandy to Badulla

The train trip from Kandy to Badulla takes typically seven to eight hours. It carves through tea plantations that arise hollowed into the hilly green topography, while tea-pickers in Colourful saris complete dazzling sparkles of shades.
The conclusive area from Ella to Badulla is possibly the most scenic area of the voyage, with some stunning accomplishments of 19th-century engineering taking the train across valleys and canyons and around hills.

The Nine Arch Bridge in Demodara, Ella, where the stripe rings a hilltop and gives back underneath itself. Most visitors end the trip at Ella and walk to viewpoints near the bridge for one of Sri Lanka’s most famous photo possibilities.

Colombo to Matara

This 4-hour coastal down the western boundary of the isle from the capital of Colombo through the Portuguese-established city of Galle train goes to Matara. As you ride the line, tall buildings shrink to corrugated iron-roof shacks festooned with laundry, parting to reveal glimpses of the sandy beaches and clear blue sea. The tracks almost run parallel with the shore, so sit on the right-hand side for the best views of these unending seascapes, beachside towns and gaggles of wave-chasing surfers. As each minute passes, you’ll feel the stress of city life melting away.

Colombo to Jaffna

For the more instantaneous travel duration and adequate comfort levels, you will have to pay additionally, but when compared to the price of a ticket on a taxi, travelling by train is not significantly more costly and does depend on what class of ticket you decide to buy.
What we like best about travelling by train is that the journey from Colombo to Jaffna is faster and you get to see some beautiful scenery along the way.
On the way to Jaffna, you can reach UNESCO-listed Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka’s ancient capital, characterised by giant stupas and temples, and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. However, the route from there to Jaffna, in the lesser-visited Hindu north of the island, was severed during Sri Lanka’s 26-year-long civil war. As a result, rail travel reached a standstill, with this route only reopening in 2014. Travellers embarking on the 3.5-hour-long journey today will see flatter landscapes, salt pans and rattle through the Elephant Pass that controls entry to the Jaffna peninsula. The north boasts fewer visitors and some of Sri Lanka’s best-unspoilt beaches, making it a worthy escape.

Colombo to Trincomalee

Travelling by train from Colombo to Trincomalee seems comparable in price to take the bus, so the train is another good option. Prices vary by a few dollars depending on which class of ticket you want to buy but are assured that all classes are very affordable. For the cheapest and least comfortable class, pick a 3rd Class ticket, but we wouldn’t recommend this. Seats are essential, and as you’re going to be on the train for at least 3.5 hours, you want to sit somewhere that’s at least a little bit comfortable!
Buying a 2nd Class ticket may cost you just a dollar or so more, while 1st Class tickets are a few dollars more than that, so really, there’s so little in it that you almost might as well pay a few dollars more and get the most comfortable class on the train!. 
Trains are operated by Sri Lankan Railways, and there is a morning departure each day, leaving Fort Station in Colombo at 10:05 am and arriving at Trincomalee Station at 1:40 pm. There are other trains as well, but this is the most direct and fastest considering that other trains can take as long as 8 hours to get there. Remember to book your ticket early, as you can only reserve a class ticket when more than 30 days are left before the travel date.

Colombo to Batticaloa

There are daily trains between Colombo and Batticaloa. The journey takes 8 to 9 hours. The train stops in Valaichchenai, where you can get down to reach Passikudah and Kalkudah. On the way, you passed by major attraction cities like Habarana and Polonnaruwa.
From Colombo to Batticaloa: you can take either the morning train at 6.10 am or the night train at 7.15 pm.
From Batticaloa to Colombo: You can choose between the day train that starts at 7.15 am and the night train that leaves at 8.15 pm.
The tickets have to be bought directly at the train station. However, you can also book tickets online in advance from the railway's website of your departure to get a "sleeperette."

How does Online Train booking work in Sri Lanka?

The reservation system is open 30 days in advance. Therefore we advise you to make your booking more than 30 before the travel date; Of course, the earlier you book, the greater the chance of securing your seats. 

Make your way to the relevant train station at least 30 minutes before the train departure to collect your tickets.

Provide your reservation number and passport to the RAILWAY STATIONS (click to check stations ) ticket counter to obtain the ticket(s). 

Reservation must be made at least two days before your desired travel date(s). sending before this does not mean that tickets are guaranteed; 

Please click the above "BOOK NOW" button and follow the Sri Lanka Railways website.

1 comment

  1. Kandy to Badulla one of the best train trip 🙂

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