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How to Get From Ella to Colombo: Complete Guide

How to Get From Ella to Colombo: Complete Guide

Colombo is well known for being a must-see dream destination to visit when travelling around Sri Lanka. This tropical paradise is filled with gorgeous beaches, authentic experiences, incredible food and picturesque surroundings. Being the largest city within Sri Lanka there is something here for everyone to enjoy and you will definitely leave with life long memories. This is your guide to get from Ella to Colombo and how you can book your ticket online through 12Go.

Ella to Colombo

HOW TO GET FROM ELLA TO COLOMBO

Within this blog I am going to detail the different ways that you can get from Ella to Colombo, taking you through how you can make each commute as well as book your ticket online via 12Go. There are currently three options which you can choose from to get from Ella to Colombo which are by train, taxi or private transfer.

The journey can take between 4 and 11 hours depending on which form of transport you decide to take, with ticket prices starting at $20 per person and reaching up to $942 per vehicle. Booking your ticket online ahead of travelling is a great idea as it is going to ensure that you get the preferred trip of your choice and avoid any queues which may occur at departure stations.

Further down in this article I will touch base on key points to know ahead of booking your ticket online and travelling from Ella to Colombo, the ways you can commute to your departure station and how you can then get from your arrival location to final destination.

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Train from Ella to Colombo

BEST WAY TO BOOK A TICKET ONLINE FROM ELLA TO COLOMBO

You may not have the time right now to read through this whole article but are ready to start planning your trip. The best way to book your ticket online from Ella to Colombo is through 12Go. This is a great online booking platform that allows you to view all of the forms of transport available, the times of travel, commute lengths and ticket prices.

However, if you are interested in finding out more information without having to do all of the research yourself, alongside understanding the best time to visit Colombo, how long to stay there for and a handful of must-do activities that you will want to add to your travel bucket list, then I suggest you keep reading.

Taxi Ella - Colombo $ 101.06–627.02 4h 5m – 5h 30m
  •   Comfort 3pax
  •   Van 6pax
  •   Comfort 2pax
  •   SUV 3pax
  •   Van 8pax
Train Ella - Colombo $ 6.35–34.12 8h 47m – 10h 44m
  •   First Class Sleeper 18:56
  •   Second Class Seat 10:33, 18:56
  •   First Class 10:33
  •   1st Class Seat 06:39, 09:23, 21:19
  •   2nd Class Seat 06:39, 09:23, 21:19
  •   Third Class Reserved Seats 06:37, 06:39, 09:23, 09:40, 10:12, 10:33, 18:56
  •   Second Class 10:12
  •   First Class Seat 10:12
Train Badulla - Colombo $ 7.07–34.12 9h 30m – 11h 40m
  •   First Class Sleeper 18:00
  •   Second Class Seat 09:50, 18:00
  •   First Class 09:50
  •   1st Class Seat 08:30, 20:30
  •   2nd Class Seat 08:30, 20:30
  •   Third Class Reserved Seats 05:45, 08:30, 08:55, 09:15, 09:50, 18:00
  •   Second Class 09:15
  •   First Class Seat 09:15
  •   Third Class Sleeperetts 18:00
Colombo Train

3 OPTIONS OF TRAVEL TO GET FROM ELLA TO COLOMBO

There are currently 3 options for you to travel from Ella to Colombo. These are;

Option 1 – Train
There are over a handful of options  for taking a train to get from Ella to Colombo, operated by Sri Lanka Railways. Departure stations in Ella include their main Ella Railway Station and Badulla Railway Station, with the earliest train leaving at 6.39am and latest at 9.19pm. All trains arrive into Colombo Fort after a commute time of between 8 hours and 48 minutes to 11 hours and 40 minutes. There are options to choose either a third, second or first class seat, with tickets starting at $20 per person, reaching up to $50 per person, depending on where you would prefer to sit. You can book your ticket online through 12Go.

Option 2 – Taxi
If you would like to go by taxi from Ella to Colombo, you can choose between the travel operators Stef Lanka Tours or Ceylon Roots. You are able to decide the pick up location in Ella and drop off point in Colombo, as well as which time you would prefer to depart. There are taxis available to seat 2, 3, 6 or 8 people per vehicle, with prices being between $151 to $941 depending on which capacity you choose to travel in. Commute times for travelling from Ella to Colombo can take from 4 hours and 5 minutes up to 5 hours and 30 minutes. Find out more information and book your vehicle via 12Go.

Option 3 – Private transfer Private City Transfers between Ella and Kandy, Mirissa, Colombo, or Galle, Ella, Sri Lanka – Klook
Taking a private transfer from Ella to Colombo will take you directly from your location in Ella to the requested destination in Colombo. There are options to travel by car with up to 3 people, or by van with up to 4 people. Depending on your departure and arrival location will depend on how long the commute will take, however, it can take approximately 4 hours. The cost for this form of transport is between $291 to $248 per vehicle.

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Train from Ella to Colombo

KEY POINTS

These are great points to know ahead of booking your ticket online and travelling from Ella to Colombo, helping you to find the best commute that suits your plans…

Most affordable way to travel from Ella to Colombo
The cheapest way to get from Ella to Colombo is by taking the 8.30am train from Ella Budulla which arrives into Colombo Fort at 6.57pm after a 10 hour and 27 minutes commute. This journey is operated by Sri Lanka Railways and costs $20 per person when you book a third class reserved seat.

Quickest way to travel from Ella to Colombo
The fastest way that you can travel from Ella to Colombo is with a taxi operated by Ceylon Roots which can host either 2 or 6 people per vehicle. This journey takes only 4 hours and 5 minutes in travel time, with you being able to choose your preferred pick up time alongside the location.

Arrival and check in times when travelling from Ella to Colombo
When travelling from Ella to Colombo, there are no stated times for arrival times or check ins with each form of transport. Considering this, you will want to make sure that you are not late as this could result in you missing your pre-booked trip or additional fees being added on. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, arriving 30 minutes prior to the departure time stated on your ticket is a great idea. You will also be able to check that you have everything you need ahead of your journey.

Luggage allowance for each form of transport from Ella to Colombo
If you have booked to travel from Ella to Colombo by train there is no stated luggage allowance, however, as this is public transport you will need to consider the fact that other people are travelling and there may not be a lot of room for luggage. I would recommend only packing what you will definitely need on your trip.

If you have booked to travel from Ella to Colombo by taxi there is no stated luggage allowance, however, you will need to consider the amount of people travelling in your pre-booked vehicle and understand that there may not be a lot of space for luggage. Packing only what you will definitely need on your trip would be the best idea.

If you have booked to travel from Ella to Colombo by private transfer you are allowed to take 1 piece of luggage with the dimensions of 56cm x 36cm x 23cm per person.

Additional information when travelling by train from Ella to Colombo
To board your pre-booked train, you will need to have a paper ticket which needs to be collected before arriving at the train station. You can have this delivered to your accommodation in Ella, which will need to be organised seven days prior to the journey, or you can visit Stef Lanka Tours’ Colombo Office to pick it up.

Taxi from Ella to Colombo

HOW TO BOOK A TICKET ONLINE FROM ELLA TO COLOMBO

The most convenient way to book your ticket online from Ella to Colombo is through 12Go. This online booking platform offers a reliable service where you can discover all of the travel options available to you. You will be able to compare each trip’s form of transport, travel times, commute distance and ticket prices. Alongside this, you will also have a point of contact should anything change with your travel plans, or if there are any changes made to the commute that you have pre-booked online. They also host all of the important information you will need to know ahead of booking your ticket online and making the journey.

Taxi from Ella to Colombo

HOW TO GET TO YOUR DEPARTURE STATION IN ELLA

Before travelling from Ella to Colombo, you will need to begin your journey by commuting to your departure station. Ella is very accessible by foot, so walking may be your most affordable and best option. If this doesn’t appeal to you, you can also hop on a tuk-tuk which is a great way to finalise your time here, or it is possible to get a local bus. There are also taxi services available to use.

HOW TO GET TO YOUR FINAL DESTINATION IN COLOMBO

Getting to your final destination in Colombo after arriving from Ella is made easy by forms of transport such as tuk-tuks, Ubers and buses. Before travelling from Ella to Colombo I would suggest checking the distance that you then need to commute, as this will be a deciding factor as to which form of transport you will choose to take. It is also possible to get around Colombo by foot if you don’t need to go too far.

The public transport system of buses is the most affordable way to get around, however if that doesn’t suit where you need to go, the next cheapest form of transport is an Uber. If you are looking for a fun and authentic way to start your trip in Colombo, then getting a tuk-tuk is definitely what you will want to do.

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Taxi from Ella to Colombo

BEST TIME TO VISIT COLOMBO

The best time to visit Colombo is during the dry season which runs from December through to and including March. Within this time period temperatures are pleasant with nearly no rainfall, which means it is great weather conditions to explore around the city, relax along the beaches and enjoy the beautiful surroundings in glorious sunshine. During January you can check out the brilliant Duruthu Perahera Festival and the month of March hosts the Buddhist festival of Vesak Poya on its full moon.

An aerial view of a city with tall buildings and trees.

HOW LONG TO SPEND IN COLOMBO

If you are wanting to check out the best attractions, enjoy some downtime on the stunning beaches and take time to soak up what this beautiful city has to offer, then you will want to spend at least 7 days in Colombo. However, it is a popular destination for people to extend their trip to between 10 and 14 days, as there is so much to do and see. You will not want to miss out on the beauty of this tropical paradise, and you will not be disappointed by staying longer.

Colombo

MUST-DO ACTIVITIES IN COLOMBO

These are a few bucket list things that you will want to check out during your time in Colombo…

Catch a sunset
You will definitely want to enjoy a sunset whilst in Colombo, and the best place to do this is at the Lotus Tower. This building was inspired by the famous Opera House in Sydney and iconic Burj Khalifa in Dubai, making it a memorable attraction to see. You will get to witness the sun setting over the city, whilst soaking up a breathtaking view overlooking the land.

Visit Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya Temple
It wouldn’t be a trip to Colombo if you didn’t visit one of the temples. This stunning temple dates back over 2,500 years and holds a lot of historic stories. The interior is filled with beautiful paintings and murals, with a Bodhi tree sitting outside being the perfect place to stop for a moment to reflect or pray.

Check out the Pettah Markets
This will allow you to experience the authentic culture of the city. Boasting an array of stalls selling local produce, handcrafted items and unique collections, you will be amazed by the gems that you find here. There are several parts to the markets that you can wander through along the narrow streets that connect them all together.

Go to the National Museum
For those who love history, spending some time at the museum is definitely going to be a must-do activity. Go back in time with the ancient stories of the city and learn all about its culture, whilst being able to view incredible exhibits of historic artefacts.

Relax at the Beira Lake
Located in the heart of the city is the Beira Lake which connects with the other lakes running throughout the area, leading to the Indian ocean. There are gorgeous Buddha statues situated around, and a handful of wildlife to see. You can wander around the water, take a moment to sit down in peace or rent one of their paddle boat swans for some fun.

Sri lanka's cityscape with a lake and tall buildings.

MORE SRI LANKA BLOGS

Below you can find some great articles about exploring more destinations around Sri Lanka. These include some of the best accommodations to stay at, amazing things you will want to check out and tips on what you should take with you to travel…

20 BEST HOTELS IN SRI LANKA WITH PRIVATE POOLS

20 BEST ECO LODGES & ECO RESORTS IN SRI LANKA

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THE SRI LANKA PACKING LIST: WHAT TO PACK AND WHY 

KANDY TO ELLA TRAIN IN SRI LANKA: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

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