Top Things to Do In Ella. Are you looking for the top things to do in Ella, Sri Lanka? Ella, deep in the tea country of Sri Lanka is quickly becoming one of the most visited places for tourists on their trips to this beautiful country.
The center of town is bustling with people wanting to check out the amazing countryside and explore what this town has to offer. So in this post, I hope to show you some of the amazing things you can do during your stay to maximise your time there.
Top Things to Do In Ella
1. Nine Arch Bridge
The 1st top thing to do in Ella is visit the Nine arch Bridge, also known as Demodara Nine Arch bridge is located between Ella Station and Demodara Station on the Kandy to Ella train line. The train ride by itself from Ella to Kandy is probably one of the most famous attractions in Sri Lanka, so why is this bridge famous as well?
Well, for one, the bridge is built out of rocks and bricks and doesn’t have any steel for support. As with the name, there are nine arches, and the bridge was constructed during the British period. It’s really an architectural wonder and a beauty to look at.
On top of that, most people come here to watch the trains go by. The trains come by 6 times a day, so that is when most people gather at the bridge to take pictures of the trains. The great thing is, with the various hills around the bridge, cafe’s have opened up that provide you with great views of the bridge to get the perfect shot with the train. At these cafe’s they post the train times usually or you can search online for the train times here. Do note though, that often times the trains are late, but still probably best to get there around the time its scheduled.
One of the best spots to view the oncoming trains is from Asanka Cafe. They have a great viewing platform that overlooks the tracks from up high and is great place to wait while sipping on a coffee or tea. If you go here though, please buy something from the cafe to support them. You can find their location in the map below.
As for getting to Nine Arch Bridge, the easiest way is to follow the train tracks out of Ella in the direction of Demodara until you get to the tunnel. Go through the tunnel and you will be at the bridge. Be careful though while walking the tracks.
Otherwise, you can ask a tuk-tuk driver to take you there, which isn’t too expensive and would be quicker.
Best time of day for taking photos is during sunrise, but if you want to watch the trains go through the tunnel and bridge, it’s better to come later in the day. However, around 10-2pm you will most definitely not have the bridge to yourself.
2. Little Adam’s Peak
The 2nd top thing to do in Ella is climb Little Adam’s Peak. This peak is named after the famous Adam’s Peak as it’s similar in shape, however, that is where the similarities end. This peak is only slightly over 1100m compared to Adam’s Peak further west which is over 2200m. Where as Adam’s Peak takes you 3-4 hours to climb, Little Adam’s peak is much quicker and can do the whole trip in under 2 hours.
For me, I did both the Nine Arch Bridge and Little Adam’s Peak in one day pretty simply. When you finish viewing Nine Arch Bridge, you can find a path out from the Asanka Cafe. Once you get out to the main Ella-Passara Road you should look for signs to 98 Acres Resort & Spa. It is from the resort that you can find the path up to Little Adam’s Peak. There is a white buddha statue and it is from here that you can find the path. If you struggle to find this statue, just ask the kind employees at the resort and they will kindly guide you to the path. Otherwise, look for the many other tourists who are doing this hike and they will be sure to help you as well.
The view from the top of the peak is stunning and the hike itself will take you past some beautiful tea fields. At the top, you can walk the ridge for a while, and you get some spectacular views across to Ella Rock as well.
3. Ella Rock
The 3rd top thing to do in Ella is climb Ella Rock. Compared to Little Adam’s Peak though, this hike is a bit more strenuous and also is a bit harder to find. Also, you will need to dedicate more of your day to this hike as it will take about 2-4 hours depending on your fitness.
With all this said though, it’s a beautiful hike and the views from the top are equally as impressive as Little Adam’s Peak. If you have only time to do one hike though, I’d still probably recommend Little Adam’s Peak because it’s much simpler to get to.
To get here, I’d recommend reading this blog here. They have done a fantastic job describing how to get there and I used these directions myself and they were flawless.
4. Lipton’s Seat
The 4th top thing to do in Ella is visit Lipton’s Seat. While technically not Ella, this was probably my favorite location during my time exploring this part of Sri Lanka. Lipton’s seat is a massive tea plantation and was where Sir Lipton first planted tea in Sri Lanka. It is still currently producing tea for Lipton and is an amazing place to visit.
I visited from Haputale by taking a tuk tuk from there, which took about an hour. However, there are many people who also take a tuk-tuk from Ella, although this is a slightly longer journey. There are ways to get there by bus as well, but I recommend the tuk-tuk as it allows you the most flexibility to explore the tea fields and the stunning views.
For sure, visit here in the morning. Best to leave around 7 or 8am to get there by 9 or 10am so you have plenty of time to explore before the clouds and fog roll in. Because this is hill country, most days fog will roll in with the afternoon and obscure the views. So if you want the best chances of having clear views, come in the morning.
I also recommend to ask the tuk-tuk to take you the whole way to the top of Liptons seat, but then to walk down the road from there to Dambatenne Tea Factory which in total is about 7km, however, it’s an easy roadway path. I say this, because the view of the tea fields are not to be missed from the road and you can’t experience this as well from the vehicle.
On certain days the factory is open for tours, so if you are there on the right day, I’d recommend to take the tour and learn how tea is produced. They were closed when I was there though.
There are so many things to do in Ella, that to mention all of them here would take too much time. I’d recommend giving yourself at least 2-3 days to explore. Many people that visit Ella extend their vacations there because they love it so much. For some though, they may find it too touristy. If you find that to be the case, I’d recommend to spend some time in Haputale or Nuwara Eliya which aren’t too far away but are less touristy and you would still have access to the attractions in Ella for a day trip.
Hotels in Ella
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If you are looking for a nice place to stay in Ella that isn’t right in the busy town center, I stayed at a beautiful place called Ella Dream Mount. It’s located in the countryside just outside of Ella. To get to town is about a 30 minute walk, but beautiful views along the way. The food they served was delicious and the views from the balconies at the lodge were spectacular. The owners as well were very accommodating and even offered rides into town at various times or would gladly call a tuk-tuk.
So would you like to visit Ella? Have any Questions? Let us know in the comments below!