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Air

Cinnamon Air Runs scheduled flights once or twice daily to and from Colombo and a daily direct flight (US$199 one-way) to Weerawila airport (for southern Sri Lanka, including Yala National Park).

SriLankan Airlines Ticket reservations can be made here.

Bus

Kandy has one main bus station (the manic Goods Shed) and a series of bus stops near the clock tower. The Goods Shed bus station has long-distance buses, while regular local buses, such as those to Peradeniya (Rs 20), Ampitiya (Rs 18), Matale (Rs 48) and Kegalle (Rs 65), leave from near the clock tower. However, some private intercity express buses – to Negombo and Colombo, for example – leave from Station Rd between the clock tower and the train station. If you’re not sure where to go, ask someone to point you the right way.

For Sigiriya, you must change in Polonnaruwa and for Dalhousie you normally have to go to Hatton and change there. Heading to Ella, you'll have to change in Badulla.

Buses from Kandy

Anuradhapura

Bus Station

Goods Shed

Fare (Rs) Luxury

372

Fare (Rs) Normal

206

Duration (Hr)

Frequency

every 30min

Badulla

Bus Station

Goods Shed

Fare (Rs) Luxury

215

Fare (Rs) Normal

160

Duration (Hr)

3

Frequency

every 45min

Colombo

Bus Station

Station Rd

Fare (Rs) Luxury

240

Fare (Rs) Normal

155

Duration (Hr)

3-4

Frequency

every 15min

Negombo

Bus Station

Station Rd

Fare (Rs) Luxury

248

Fare (Rs) Normal

162

Duration (Hr)

3-4

Frequency

hourly

Nuwara Eliya

Bus Station

Goods Shed

Fare (Rs) Luxury

250

Fare (Rs) Normal

180

Duration (Hr)

Frequency

every 30min

Polonnaruwa

Bus Station

Goods Shed

Fare (Rs) Luxury

272

Fare (Rs) Normal

180

Duration (Hr)

Frequency

every 30min

Ratnapura

Bus Station

Goods Shed

Fare (Rs) Luxury

Fare (Rs) Normal

173

Duration (Hr)

Frequency

hourly

Trincomalee

Bus Station

Goods Shed

Fare (Rs) Luxury

Fare (Rs) Normal

232

Duration (Hr)

5

Frequency

4 daily

Taxi

Cars can generally be hired, with a driver and petrol, for approximately Rs 6000 per day. Many long-distance taxi drivers hang around the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, or ask at your guesthouse or hotel.

Some guesthouses advertise day trips to all three cultural triangle destinations (Sigiriya, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa), but this is an exhausting itinerary for both driver and passengers, and one that encourages manic driving. An overnight stay in Anuradhapura, Sigiriya or Polonnaruwa is a saner and safer option.

Blue Haven Tours & Travels One recommended car hire company, charging around US$50 per day.

Nishantha Maldeniya Offers fair rates for local and long-distance trips.

Train

Kandy is a major railway station, and trains to and from here are very popular with visitors. Posh privately run ExpoRail and Rajadhani Express air-conditioned carriages are attached to several trains to and from Kandy. Seats are also very popular in the 1st-class observation saloon on the Badulla-bound train. This train originates in Colombo and after Kandy stops in Hatton (near Adam’s Peak), Nanu Oya (for Nuwara Eliya), Haputale, Ella and a number of other Hill Country stations. Observation-class tickets cost a set Rs 1000 for anywhere between Kandy and Nanu Oya and Rs 1250 for any of the stations east of there. Note that delays are common on the line to Hatton.

If you are unable to reserve a seat at the ticket window, enquire with the stationmaster, who can sometimes release further seating for tourists.

Trains run to the following (prices are for unreserved tickets):

Badulla

Fare (Rs 2nd/3rd Class)

270/145

Duration (Hr)

7-8

Frequency (Daily)

5

Colombo

Fare (Rs 2nd/3rd Class)

190/105

Duration (Hr)

2½-3½

Frequency (Daily)

7-9

Ella

Fare (Rs 2nd/3rd Class)

240/130

Duration (Hr)

6-7

Frequency (Daily)

5

Haputale

Fare (Rs 2nd/3rd Class)

210/115

Duration (Hr)

5-6

Frequency (Daily)

5

Hatton

Fare (Rs 2nd/3rd Class)

110/65

Duration (Hr)

2½-3

Frequency (Daily)

5

Nanu Oya (for Nuwara Eliya)

Fare (Rs 2nd/3rd Class)

160/90

Duration (Hr)

3½-4

Frequency (Daily)

5