12 Best Things to Do in Ella, Sri Lanka: Peaks, Tea, and Tranquility

by Jem
Best Things to Do in Ella Sri Lanka Featured Image
This post may have affiliate links, where I receive a commission if you purchase through them. Here's our Disclosure and Privacy Policy for more info.

Are you thinking of visiting Ella, Sri Lanka? From the majestic views from Ella Rock to the serene beauty of the Ravana Falls and the historic charm of the Dhowa Rock Temple, get ready to uncover the best attractions and things to do in Ella!

If you’re on the hunt for your next Asian adventure, let me tell you about Ella, Sri Lanka’s hidden gem. It’s a place packed with breathtaking views, thrilling hikes, and that unbeatable feeling of discovering something special.

I’m here to share the scoop on the coolest things to do in Ella. From scaling Ella Rock for those jaw-dropping vistas to chilling by the Ravana Falls, there’s a vibe here for every traveler. Imagine sipping on the finest Ceylon Tea right where it’s grown, or feeling the thrill of zip-lining through lush greenery. Ella is that rare blend of relaxation and adventure, wrapped up in a landscape that’s straight out of a postcard.

If you’re wondering where to go in Sri Lanka for an unforgettable mix of culture, nature, and flavor, Ella’s your answer. So, book that flight to Asia, and trust me, it’s the kind of place that turns travelers into storytellers.

The top places to visit in Ella, Sri Lanka right now

Best places to visit in Ella, Sri Lanka

Ready to explore the natural wonders of Ella? From the breathtaking views atop Ella Rock to the serene beauty of Little Adam’s Peak, there’s an abundance of exciting things to do in Ella.

Whether you’re walking along the iconic Nine Arch Bridge or soaking in the cool waters of Ravana Falls, every moment here promises an adventure. Here’s your ultimate guide to the best activities in Ella.

1. Hike to Ella Rock

Let me take you on a hike that feels like stepping into a secret world – the trek to Ella Rock. Picture this: you’re walking on railway tracks (yes, it’s totally safe and part of the charm), surrounded by tea fields that look like green velvet. It’s an experience that sets the tone for what’s to come: a mix of adventure and spectacular views.

The hike itself has got its ups and downs—part of the charm, honestly. It gets a bit challenging, but in a good way. But trust me, the payoff when you get to the top is huge. You’re met with views that’ll have you reaching for your camera – or just stopping to take it all in.

I recommend bringing plenty of water, snacks for energy, and wearing sturdy shoes. An early start not only beats the crowd but also positions you perfectly to witness the sunrise. It’s these little preparations that make the journey even more rewarding.

If you ask me, this hike is one of the most fun things to do in Ella. It’s that perfect mix of adventure and awe, wrapped up in a journey you’ll want to tell everyone about. Seriously, don’t skip this one.

Allow me to lead you on a hike that will take you to Ella Rock, which will seem like entering a secret universe.
Allow me to lead you on a hike that will take you to Ella Rock, which will seem like entering a secret universe.

2. Visit the Nine Arch Bridge

Next up, you’ve gotta check out the Nine Arch Bridge. This spot is pure magic and easily one of the best places to go in Ella. Imagine a massive bridge, curved gracefully over lush jungles, with trains chugging slowly across. It feels like stepping back in time or into a movie scene.

The walk to get there is pretty relaxed, winding through the jungle and local tea fields. It’s the kind of stroll that makes you want to take your time, soak up the sights, and snap lots of photos. When you see the bridge for the first time, it’s a real ‘wow’ moment.

Hanging out here is a lesson in taking it easy. You can watch the trains roll by, wave at the passengers, and just enjoy being in such a unique place. It’s also a fantastic spot for photographers aiming to capture that iconic shot of Ella.

A little tip: try to time your visit for when a train is due to pass. It adds to the whole experience, which makes it even more memorable. Just ask around or check the train schedule. Locals are super friendly and happy to help out.

Before you leave, take a moment to enjoy the peace. It’s a great spot for a quiet break, letting the beauty of Ella sink in. You’ll find it’s not just a visit but a whole experience.

One of the best things to do in Ella is surely Nine Arch Bridge, which is a magnificent spot.
One of the best things to do in Ella is surely Nine Arch Bridge, which is a magnificent spot.

3. Explore Little Adam’s Peak

If you thought Ella Rock was cool, wait until you hit up Little Adam’s Peak. It’s one of those places to see in Ella where you get big rewards for relatively little effort. The hike up is easy enough for most people. It’s a popular spot in for a reason. You’re looking at about an hour or so to reach the top, but what a view when you do!

The path itself is pretty straightforward, winding through tea plantations and open fields. You’ll likely bump into fellow travelers and locals, each with their own stories and smiles. It’s this shared journey that adds an extra layer of charm to the adventure.

At the summit, the panorama is spectacular, offering a 360-degree view that makes you feel on top of the world. It’s quieter than Ella Rock, so you can really take your time to enjoy the scenery, snap some photos, and maybe have a little picnic.

Try to catch the sunrise or sunset up there. The way the light plays on the hills and valleys is something you won’t forget anytime soon. Plus, it’s cooler and less crowded.

As one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka, Little Adam’s Peak truly showcases Ella’s natural beauty. It’s perfectly suited for a leisurely morning or afternoon hike. It’s fun, it’s accessible, and it’s a snapshot of what makes Ella so special. Definitely a must-do for that mix of adventure and stunning views.

Just go to Little Adam's Peak if you thought Ella Rock was awesome.
Just go to Little Adam’s Peak if you thought Ella Rock was awesome.

4. Relax at Ravana Falls

After all that hiking, you deserve a break, and Ravana Falls is the perfect spot for it. It’s one of those free things to do in Ella that feels like a hidden gem, even though it’s pretty well known. The waterfall cascades beautifully down the mountainside, creating a refreshing mist that’s especially welcome on a hot day.

Getting there is easy, and the sound of the water gets you excited long before you see it. There’s something about being near water that just soothes the soul, right? You can dip your toes in, splash around a bit, or just sit back and enjoy the view. The falls are surrounded by lush greenery, which makes it a picturesque spot for a lazy afternoon.

Don’t forget to bring your camera, because this place is Instagram gold. But more than that, bring a snack, maybe a book, and let yourself just be for a while. It’s a great way to recharge, especially if you’ve been on your feet exploring Ella.

A little word of advice: be respectful of nature. Keep it clean so everyone can enjoy its beauty. And if you’re feeling adventurous, there are spots to explore around the falls, but always be safe.

Ravana Falls is all about kicking back and taking in the natural beauty of Ella. Whether it’s the cool water, the scenic views, or just the peace and quiet, it’s a reminder of the simple joys that travel brings.

You deserve a rest after all that hiking, and Ravana Falls is the ideal place to have one.
You deserve a rest after all that hiking, and Ravana Falls is the ideal place to have one.

5. Discover the Dhowa Rock Temple

Tucked away in the serene hills of Ella, the Dhowa Rock Temple is a slice of history you won’t want to miss. This place is all about the awe-inspiring blend of spirituality and art. It’s easily one of the most fascinating places to visit in Ella.

As soon as you step into the temple grounds, you feel a sense of calm. The main attraction here is the massive Buddha statue carved right into the rock. Believe me, it’s as impressive as it sounds.

What I love about the Dhowa Rock Temple is its understated beauty. It’s peaceful, it’s rich in history, and it offers a glimpse into the spiritual heart of Ella. Plus, it’s a bit off the typical tourist trail, so you can really soak in the atmosphere without the crowds.

Remember to dress respectfully when you visit, and take your time to explore the surroundings. The temple is nestled in a picturesque area that deserves its own moment. And if you’re lucky, you might just have a chat with the friendly monks who call this place home.

Visiting the Dhowa Rock Temple is a chance to connect with Ella’s spiritual side. It’s a unique blend of history, art, and tranquility that you’ll find yourself reflecting on long after you’ve left. If you’re compiling an Ella things to do list, make sure to add Dhowa Rock Temple.

You won't want to miss this piece of history at the Dhowa Rock Temple.
You won’t want to miss this piece of history at the Dhowa Rock Temple.

6. Enjoy the Views from Lipton’s Seat

If you’re up for an early start, heading to Lipton’s Seat is one of the most amazing things to do in Ella, Sri Lanka. It’s where Sir Thomas Lipton used to sit and ponder his tea empire, and once you get there, you’ll understand why. The panoramic views are out of this world, stretching over rolling hills and tea plantations as far as the eye can see.

The journey there is part of the adventure. Whether you decide to hike or take a tuk-tuk, you’ll pass through some of the most beautiful scenery Ella has to offer. Early mornings are magical here, with the mist hanging over the hills and the sunrise painting everything in soft light.

Don’t just snap photos and leave, though. Take your time. Breathe in the fresh air, sip on a cup of local tea, and really let the magnitude of the view sink in. It’s a moment to reflect, to appreciate the beauty of nature, and to understand a bit of the history that shaped this region.

Here’s a little insider advice: bring a snack and enjoy a picnic with one of the most stunning backdrops you could ask for. Also, chatting with the locals you meet can enrich your visit with stories and insights you won’t find in any guidebook.

So, if you’re wondering where to go in Ella, I highly recommend visiting Lipton’s Seat. It’s a place to marvel at the beauty that stretches before you, offering a perfect blend of natural wonder and historical charm.

Visiting Lipton's Seat is one of the best things to do in Ella, if you don't mind getting up early.
As far as the eye can see, the expansive vistas span rolling hills and tea plantations, offering breathtaking panoramas.

7. Sample Ceylon Tea at Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory

When you’re deciding what to do in Ella, putting the Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory on your list is a no-brainer. This plantation offers a deep dive into the world of Ceylon tea, right in the heart of where it’s made. You’ll get to see the tea-making process from start to finish, and trust me, it’s more fascinating than you might think.

Walking through the factory is like stepping into a live documentary. The sights, the sounds, and oh, the smell of fresh tea leaves—it’s all here. You’ll learn about the different stages of tea production, from drying to rolling, and how each step affects the flavor of your morning cuppa.

But the real highlight? Tasting the tea. This is where you get to sample some of the finest tea Sri Lanka has to offer, with views of the plantation that are just as rich and inviting as the tea itself. It’s easily one of the coolest things to do in Sri Lanka.

Make sure to grab some tea before you leave. Each cup you brew at home will be a little flashback to Ella. Those memories of lush green fields and cool mountain air will be a part of your daily routine.

Visiting the Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory shows you a side of Ella that’s steeped in tradition and flavor. It’s a unique blend of education, sensory pleasure, and natural beauty that you won’t find anywhere else.

It makes sense to include a visit to the Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory on your list of things to do in Ella.
Right in the center of the Ceylon tea industry, this estate offers an in-depth look at the tea’s world.

8. Experience the Ella Spice Garden

For a taste of local life and flavors, the Ella Spice Garden is where you want to be. It’s one of those fun places to visit in Ella where you can get your hands dirty (in the best way possible) and learn something new. A visit here offers a deep dive into what makes Sri Lankan food and culture so special.

The moment you step into the spice garden, you’re greeted with the rich aromas of cinnamon, cardamom, and all things spicy. But it’s the cooking class that’s the real game-changer. Imagine grinding your own curry powder and then using it to whip up a traditional Sri Lankan dish under the guidance of friendly, knowledgeable locals. It’s interactive, it’s flavorful, and it’s a whole lot of fun.

In these cooking classes, you’re not just sticking to a recipe. You’re swapping stories, picking up new cooking hacks, and sharing a laugh when things don’t go quite as planned. And the best part? You walk away not only full but equipped with recipes to whip up back home, sprinkling a bit of Ella flavor into your meals.

Make sure to roam the garden, too. Seeing the spices grow, learning about their uses, and understanding their journey from soil to plate adds layers to the experience. It makes you appreciate every bite a little more.

The Ella Spice Garden is the place to go if you want a taste of local cuisine and way of life.
The Ella Spice Garden is the place to go if you want a taste of local cuisine and way of life.

9. Walk through the Ella Gap

Taking a stroll through the Ella Gap is like walking into a living postcard. It’s one of those “wow” moments where you get why everyone talks about Ella. The view stretches for miles, with mountains, valleys, and sometimes a glimpse of the sea in the distance on a clear day.

This isn’t just any walk. It’s a journey through one of Asia’s most stunning landscapes. You’ll find spots along the way that are perfect for taking a breather, snapping that perfect shot, or just soaking in the vastness. The cool breeze here has a way of clearing your mind. Trust me, it’s a perfect escape from the buzz of everyday life.

I recommend bringing your camera, but also a sense of adventure. Sometimes, it’s the unplanned detours or the little roadside stalls that serve the best tea that make this walk memorable. And those panoramic views? They’re even better when you find a quiet spot to just sit and take it all in.

Walking through the Ella Gap is more than just taking in the views. It makes you feel a part of something bigger, surrounded by all that natural beauty. It’s a nudge to go out and see what else is out there. Exploring this spot is a real highlight when looking for the best attractions in Ella, showing you just how amazing the world can be.

Wandering around the Ella Gap is similar to stepping into a real-life postcard.
Wandering around the Ella Gap is similar to stepping into a real-life postcard. | Image Credit: attractionsinsrilanka

10. Zip-lining at Flying Ravana Mega Zip Line

Want to add some excitement to your Ella trip? The Flying Ravana Mega Zip Line is something you’ll want to check out. Stretching over half a kilometer, you’ll slide at speeds up to 80km/h, with the beautiful hills of the island unfolding beneath you.

The journey begins at Mini Adam’s Peak, where you’ll strap in and take off over iconic tea estates and the lush scenery that Ella is celebrated for. As you glide over the famous Ella Gap, the view is nothing short of spectacular – it’s a bird’s-eye perspective that you won’t get anywhere else.

What makes Flying Ravana stand out? Besides the thrill and the views, it’s the care they take for your safety. The ziplines and instructors are certified by the European Rope Course Association (ERCA), so you know you’re in good hands. It’s that peace of mind that lets you fully embrace the excitement of flying through the air.

Once you’re done and back on the ground, you’ll be buzzing with energy. It’s the kind of thing that leaves you grinning and ready for more adventures in Ella. Plus, it’s a story you’ll want to share.

Flying Ravana is a chance to see Ella from an unforgettable vantage point. It’s thrilling, safe, and showcases the natural beauty of the area in an unparalleled way. If you’re looking for unique things to do in Ella, this experience is a must.

Experience the exhilarating, secure, and unmatched natural beauty of the region with Flying Ravana.
Experience the exhilarating, secure, and unmatched natural beauty of the region with Flying Ravana.

11. Savor Local Flavors at Café Chill

When in Ella, Café Chill is the spot to kick back and soak in the vibe of the town. Here’s where you can dive into some delicious local flavors, with dishes that bring a modern twist to traditional Sri Lankan cuisine.

The atmosphere is perfect for anyone looking to unwind after a day of exploring. With its laid-back setting and friendly staff, it feels like you’ve just walked into a friend’s backyard party. Whether you’re here for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, there’s something about the food and the ambiance that just feels right.

Don’t skip their signature dishes. Whether it’s a spicy curry that warms you up from the inside or a refreshing smoothie bowl, each bite is a taste of Ella’s vibrant flavors. And if you’re in the mood for something familiar, they’ve got a range of international dishes that hit the spot too.

Café Chill is one of those places to visit in Ella where you can really take your time. Sip on a cup of locally sourced coffee, catch up on some reading, or just people-watch. It’s all about enjoying the moment.

The place to relax and take in the atmosphere of the town is Café Chill.
The place to relax and take in the atmosphere of the town is Café Chill.

12. Embark on the Ella to Kandy Scenic Train Journey

If there’s one experience in Ella that you absolutely can’t miss, it’s the train ride to Kandy. This isn’t just any train journey. It’s a voyage through one of Kandy’s most stunning landscapes you’ll ever see. Picture yourself winding through rolling hills, lush tea plantations, and misty forests, all from the comfort of your train seat.

This journey is famous for a reason. The views are unmatched, offering a window into the heart of Sri Lanka’s natural beauty. It’s a leisurely way to travel, letting you soak in every moment, from the vibrant greens of the countryside to the charming small stations along the way.

I recommend grabbing a window seat and keeping your camera ready. You’ll want to capture the changing scenery, the local life glimpsed along the route, and the sheer beauty of the journey. Don’t forget to try some local snacks from the vendors who hop on and off the train.

Taking the train from Ella to Kandy is a must-do, not just for the ride but for the incredible sights and vibes of Sri Lanka it packs in. It’s all about soaking in the views, meeting folks along the way, and collecting those unforgettable memories.

Definitely carve out time for this train trip. It’s a chill, beautiful journey that lets you see Sri Lanka’s true colors, with moments you’ll hold onto after the trip ends.

The train travel to Kandy is one Ella experience that you simply must not miss.
Traveling through some of the most breathtaking scenery is what Kandy is all about.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the best things to do in Ella, Sri Lanka:

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Ella? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to one of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful places.

Is Ella, Sri Lanka, worth visiting?

Absolutely, Ella is worth visiting. It’s a gem in Sri Lanka with breathtaking views, hikes that lead you through stunning landscapes, and a vibe that’s both relaxing and adventurous. Whether you’re into nature, food, or culture, Ella has something special for you.

How long should I spend in Ella, Sri Lanka?

I’d recommend spending at least two to three days in Ella. This gives you enough time to explore the main attractions, like Ella Rock and the Nine Arch Bridge, without rushing. Plus, you can enjoy some downtime in this serene spot.

Ella is that uncommon combination of adventure and relaxation, all wrapped up in picture-perfect surroundings.
Ella is that uncommon combination of adventure and relaxation, all wrapped up in picture-perfect surroundings.

Which is better: Nuwara Eliya or Ella?

Choosing between Nuwara Eliya and Ella depends on what you’re looking for. Nuwara Eliya has a colonial charm and cooler climate, perfect for tea plantation visits and walks. Ella, on the other hand, offers more dramatic landscapes and is a hiker’s paradise. Both are beautiful, but I’d lean towards Ella for its breathtaking views and outdoor activities.

How long is the train from Ella to Kandy?

The train journey from Ella to Kandy takes about 6 to 7 hours, but trust me, it flies by. It’s one of the most scenic train rides in the world, with stunning views of hills, tea plantations, and local villages. Make sure to grab a window seat!

The top things to do in Ella, Sri Lanka for all types of travelers
Enjoyed reading about the top things to do in Ella, Sri Lanka? Pin it!

You may also like

Leave a Comment