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the best train journeys in Sri Lanka

There are train rides, then there are Sri Lankan train rides.

Get on board

Discover the best of this teardrop island while riding some of the world’s most thrilling rail journeys.

Are they steam trains?

The steam trains that once transported tea and spices have been replaced by charming and colourful diesel locos.


Make sure you book tickets (in advance!) for any of the following four epic train journeys around Sri Lanka.

Head up country to Kandy

A rail journey that features on almost every Sri Lankan itinerary, the three-hour trip from Colombo to Kandy. It's iconic and the best way to reach the Hill Country from Colombo.

Must visit in kandy region

Climbing the Ambuluwawa tower in Kandy, Sri Lanka will take your breath away in more ways than one. Are you brave enough?

next Ride the Main Line from kandy to Badulla

It takes 7 to 8 hours, and carves through Sri Lanka’s tea country, passing swirling, curling plantations that appear hollowed into the hilly green landscape.

make the most of the scenery

To make the most of the views, stake out a vantage point in one of the open train doorways, with your feet dangling above the track.

Breathe in the sea air on the coast line to Galle

The Indian Ocean washes almost up to the rail tracks on the ride south from Colombo to the Portuguese-founded city of Galle

then Leave the tourist crowds behind on the Northern Line

it's about to get colorful

Multi-hued kovils (temples) start to color the countryside as you steam into Sri Lanka’s Hindu north.

discover jaffna and beyond

Waiting at the end is Jaffna itself, a vibrant Hindu city with a colonial heart – an easy leaping-off point for some of Sri Lanka’s most idyllic, unspoiled islands and beaches.