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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 28, 2023
Headline for How to Get from Colombo to Kandy?
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How to Get from Colombo to Kandy?

Are you planning to escape to the cool hills of Kandy sometime during your holiday in Sri Lanka? This ancient city truly is a treasure trove for travellers. And, you can board a train or bus to travel to Kandy or look for a private transfer. In this article, lets discuss all the modes of transport towards Kandy.


How to arrange a private transfer to Kandy from Colombo?

Private transfers are comfortable, convenient and fast. This is probably the best option if you’re travelling directly to Kandy from the airport. Most Kandy hotels and organize your private transfer if you inform them ahead of time. Check with hotels like the Amaya Hills Kandy to book your private transfer, straight from the airport. There is a desk at the airport itself to arrange for private transfers. But, the rates are going to be much higher. And, travel time from the airport to Kandy is about three hours. If you’re travelling from Colombo, it’ll take about 2 and a half hours to get to your hotel.


How to get to Kandy via train from Colombo?

The Colombo – Kandy train route is scenic, and stress-free. Ideally, you should book your train ride in advance. Visit the Sri Lanka railway website, and make the booking online. The observation car in the intercity express is air conditioned and comfortable. If you manage to get the front seats, you’ll be in for a real treat. The observation car tickets cost about 9 to 16 USD. Second-class reserved seats are cheaper, but the cars are not air-conditioned. You’ll need to reserve your tickets at least three weeks ahead of time to be on the safe side. You can also buy your ticket (second or third) at the railway station itself. But, you do risk not getting a seat.


How to prepare for a train ride to Kandy from Colombo?

The train ride is not going to be long. Hence, you might not need a snack. But, you can pack something light in a bag. Remember to bring a bottle of water along. Wear sunscreen and have your sunglasses ready. Usually, tea, coffee, snacks and bottled water vendors pass through the train cars. You can buy something from them. There are toilets on board the trains. The toilets are basic but clean. But, remember to take your own toilet paper and sanitiser. Take your time to enjoy the vistas, sit back and enjoy the ride.


How to travel to Kandy from Colombo by bus?

Air-conditioned buses from Colombo to Kandy charge about 9 USD per head. Ticket prices for non-air-conditioned buses are much lower. Bus rides are not as comfortable as train rides, but they are not unbearable. Most travellers prefer air-conditioned buses, as these Make it a point to go to the Fort bus stop early and snag a window seat. The last leg of the bus ride might be a little bumpy as the vehicle enters the hilly terrain.


How to prepare for a bus ride to Kandy from Colombo?

You’ll need to wear sunscreen and a cap if you’re travelling during the daytime. There are no night buses to Kandy, but in the evening the sun's rays are not harsh. Take a bottle of water and a snack along with you. Buses usually stop somewhere along the way for a break. You can buy something to eat, stretch your legs and use a restroom. If you feel squeamish about using a public restroom, try to see if there is a supermarket nearby. Let the ticket collector know that you’re going to the supermarket and use the toilet there. But, make sure that you get back in time before the bus pulls away.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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