Train Travel Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is one of our all-time favourite destinations, not least because the country is home to some of the finest railway journeys in Asia. Train travel in Sri Lanka is all about sitting back and watching this beautiful country slide by the windows, and given road transfers in the country are notoriously convoluted, in most cases you’ll get where you’re going by train just as quickly as by car.

Depending on your requirements, our expert Asia team can tailor-make a train travel Sri Lanka trip where we weave some of the best railway journeys into your itinerary, or where you only travel by train. We know the country incredibly well, and can curate a trip that includes your perfect combination or adventure, wildlife watching, cultural curiosities and R&R, and you will also enjoy our exclusive additional services, from fast-track check-in and security at the airport, and lounge access even if you're flying economy. In situ in Sri Lanka, you will also have unfettered access to our clued-up local Concierge, who is on hand to make last minute tweaks or additions to your itinerary, and generally make your holidays in Sri Lanka even more enjoyable.

So, what are Sri Lanka's best rail journeys? The gold standard train travel experience in Sri Lanka is the journey between the cultural capital Kandy and Badulla, passing through the beautiful Hill Country, coated with contour-hugging tea plantations. At one point the train passes over the eminently instagrammable nine arches viaduct. You can extend your train travel Sri Lanka trip by also doing the leg from the capital Colombo to Kandy by train.

Also leaving from the capital is a new favourite Sri Lanka train route of ours: the train from Colombo to Jaffna, which also stops in Anuradhapura, one of the highlights of the Cultural Triangle. Meeting Tamils from the north of the country on board this service is an excellent opportunity to learn about life for this minority Hindu people in a predominantly Buddhist country as Jaffna opens up to tourism.

Finally, the train line from Colombo to Trincomalee takes in Habarana (the staging post for the wonderful rock-citadel of Sigirya) and Polonnaruwa in the Cultural Triangle, before forging towards the East Coast and so-called Trinco, from where it's easy to reach a number of wonderful beachfront properties for a dose of sun and sea immersion after all that cultural immersion.

Actually, there is one more train travel Sri Lanka experience we love: the Colombo to Galle route along the south coast, which hugs the beach and chugs along at a sedate rate with sea views the entire way. The new highway is far faster, but if you're looking for a slow travel classic, this is it.

Read more
Show less

Itinerary Ideas

Where to Go

Related Collections

Start creating your tailored trip today

Frances is our 'Train Travel Sri Lanka' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on 1-866-205-8369