An Essential Guide to Ella, Sri Lanka

Ella is one of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful towns. A laid back place surrounded by bright green tea plantations high up a mountain. It is the perfect place to spend a couple of days relaxing and slow travelling. Enjoying the atmosphere, the friendly locals, the delicious cuisines and the amazing views everywhere you turn.

How to get there:

The most popular route is to take the blue train from Kandy to Ella. Branded as one of the most scenic train routes in the world. This is one not to be missed. It does take around 6 hours as it is slow but it is so worth it as the train goes around the mountains and tea fields. Wave at the locals and the school children walking to school from their rural villages. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Ella to Kandy Train

If you are arriving from the Southern beaches, the easiest way to get to Ella is to take a bus. From Tangalle you will have to change in Matara. The bus is as crazy as any public bus in Sri Lanka and can sometimes put you at the edge of your seat as you are going a long the edge of a mountain road but the views are stunning and worth the ride. 

Ella bus route

Things to do:

Little Adams Peak- A lovely walk around the tea plantations, an easy walk up hill with fabulous views of the surrounding valleys.

little adams peak

9- Arch Bridge- The Instagram famous bridge is probably the main reason why most people visit Ella these days, but it’s amazing. It’s located just outside Ella on the same path as ‘Little Adams Peak’

Lipton’s Seat- Visit the place where the famous Lipton Tea was first grew in 1890. It is a short ride away from Ella but easily accessible by train to Haputale. The view is amazing with luscious green plants stretched for miles along the valley.

little adams peak

Take a cooking class- Learn how to cook some delicious Sri Lankan dishes to take home and how your loved ones. Try Sri Lanka cooking school, Ella. It’s around $80 for the whole day starting from 9 pm until 4 pm. You will have personal lessons, get to go and buy your ingredients at the local markets with expert advice when it comes to selecting the best ingredients. Throughout the day you will be taught how to make, breakfast, snack, a main meal, dessert and soup at your own kitchen set-up.

Rawand Fall- Ella is home to some amazing waterfalls. Cool off in the afternoon by taking a dip in Rawand Falls. You can easily reach this beauty in ten minutes by tuk-tuk. 

Ella Rock- It is advised to go with a guide for this challenge. A 3-4 hour trek where will be met with some astonishing views. This is one of the most popular treks to do when visiting Ella.

ella rock

Where to Eat

Cafe Chill- This popular place is super relaxing. They serve lots of different types of foods to please everybody.

cafe chill ella

Garden View Restaurant- A cheap eat with hippy vibes high up in the tree. The staff are as hospitable as they come and will go above and beyond for their customers.

Where to Stay

Home stays are super popular in Ella.

The Rockface

The Rockface Homestay Ella

A friendly local family that offers comfortable rooms with hot water as well as Sri Lanken and Western food. The house is a walk up a small steep hill but there are fantastic views and the sunset from the terrace is amazing. 

This is a great place if you are a burger traveller.


Have you been to Ella before? How beautiful is it?

Ella sri Lanka pin

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