Means of travel within the country

What possibilities are there to travel the country?

Public transportation: train, bus

Privately, with a driver: taxi, tuktuk

Rent, drive yourself: scooter, car, tuktuk

Train

Sri Lanka’s rail network of around 1,500 km offers a slow but very scenic and inexpensive way to travel. We particularly recommend the journey from Kandy to Ella through endless tea plantations with impressive panoramic views.

The normal passenger train from Colombo to Kandy takes about 4 hours at 120 km distance. There is also an Intercity Express, which takes 2.5 hours for the route.

Currently, only in the North there is no rail network available, which is why you cannot travel there by train yet (Jaffna and Mannar).

Bus

In addition to the train and city busses, there are also express busses covering long distances. While they offer a cheap way of getting around, they are often overcrowded and travel at excessive speed and in a risky manner. Especially overnight drives should be avoided, as accidents often occur due to the speeding.

Therefore, you should choose traveling by train over busses in terms of safety and comfort.

City busses, on the other hand, are quite harmless and comfortable. However, within cities and for shorter distances, it is still more pleasant to take the small, agile tuktuks due to the heavy traffic, as you will reach your destination faster.

Taxi

For round trips you can also rent a limousine or minibus incl. driver. These cost a lot more than travelling by public transportation but compared to Germany, the costs are still rather low (approx. 50 Euros per day). You can travel very comfortably, especially since it is common that the driver is also available during the stopovers to take you to the sights near the respective locations.

TukTuk

The small “Three Wheels” are probably the best means of transportation in Sri Lanka for city trips and day trips, as they are cheap. They also allow you to make progress relatively fast, because even with high traffic volume you can wriggle through standing busses and cars.

Rent a car

You can rent a car, scooter or tuktuk to drive around Sri Lanka yourself, if you have an international driving license. However, this is not to be underestimated due to the unfamiliar left-hand traffic and especially due to the – in our eyes – “crazy” driving habits of the locals.

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