Eliya has its share of good hotels, both in and
around the main town.
A short glance on
Nuwara Eliya is located in the heart of Sri Lankan
hill country. Home of the famous Ceylon tea and
the rolling mountains are carpeted of velvety
green tea plantations, interspersed with gushing
streams and tumbling waterfalls. The cellubrious
climate, misty glens and similar to the British
climate, make the place a must to include in your
travel itinerary. Located at the height of 1890
meters above sea level. Temperatures are 140C-210C
(Jan- April) 160C-180C (May-Aug) 150C- 180C (Sept-Dec).
Discovered by a hunting party led by Dr. John
Davy in 1818 and was established as a summer retreat
in 1828 by Sir Edward Barnes, the Governor of
Ceylon. Today, with its neat old gable roofed
houses with front gardens, tree lined avenues
and buildings like the Post Office and the War
Memorial give the impression of an old world flavour,
retaining its status as a popular summer resort.
Roads to Nuwara Eliya -
From Colombo, there are two main routes to get
to Nuwara Eliya - via Kandy or via Hatton. Both
roads are narrow, bumpy and winding but both have
incredible views. If you're coming by car or van,
I would recommend the Hatton way. The road itself
is a bit better, it's less busy and the climb
is not quite as steep. Plus, you get to see the
spectacular view from the St. Clair's Tea Centre
in Talawakalee. The Kandy road is neat too - the
switch-backs at Ramboda are enough experience.
From Colombo, a rented van will cost Rs 2000-3000.
From Kandy Rs 1000-2000.
there and away - Most buses
from Colombo go via Kandy. For a trip that long,
to go by Inter-city bus, will land you at and
leave from the Private Bus Stand. The Public bus
stand, where all the big yellow buses go is a
bit closer to town. An air-conditioned intercity
bus from Colombo costs about Rs. 100 and from
Kandy about Rs. 50.
in the train - The train
from Colombo goes through Kandy as well but actually
takes longer time than the bus. Even if you get
travelsick, I recommend the train since it doesn't
have to do all the winding along the bumpy roads.
A second class train ticket from Colombo is about
Rs 150. The only problem is that the train doesn't
proceed go all the way to Nuwara Eliya. You'll
have to get off at Nanu Oya and get a taxi (about
Rs125) or bus (about Rs15).
around the town - Nuwara
Eliya is a small town and everything is within
walking distance. However, three-wheelers are
available near the Post Office and at Cargill's.
A ride anywhere within town should cost Rs 30-50.
Trips - You can go by bus
to just about anywhere or you can rent a van.
Most of the taxis are available "downtown"
- if you come up from the bus stand, you'll find
a row of them on the left side of the street,
from the temple to the market area.
Roads to Nuwara Eliya -
From Colombo, there are two main routes
to get to Nuwara Eliya - via Kandy or via Hatton.
Both roads are narrow, bumpy and windy but both
have incredible views. If you're coming by car
or van, I would recommend the Hatton way. The
road itself is a bit better, it's less busy and
the climb is not quite as steep. Plus, you get
to see the spectacular view from the St. Clair's
Tea Center in Talawakalee. The Kandy road is neat
too - the switch-backs at Ramboda are quite the
experience. From Colombo, a rented van will cost
Rs2000-3000. From Kandy Rs1000-2000.
The Grand Hotel -
This is the main hotel in Nuwara Eliya
and also the best. It's an old British colonial-style
place. It has a pub (with billiards), two restaurants,
several tourist shops and a beautiful lawn. The
rooms in the new wing are much nicer. See this
- This spot is just down
the road from the Grand - expensive but small
and cute (hosts the King Prawn restaurant - see
Andrew's - This is owned
by Jetwing Hotels (a big hotel chain in Sri Lanka).
It's the second-largest hotel and it is currently
Hotel - This middle-range
place, is in the centre of town.
Hill Club and Golf Club
- These are very posh places
(especially the Hill Club!) but usually for members-only.
The Hill Club has the only tennis courts in town.
Along Badulla Rd, south of the town, there are
many small places to stay that are quite cheap.
I recommend the Ceybank Rest house.
Laksala Gifts -
This is the best place for tourist items.
Good variety and cheap prices.
Grand - The Grand has lots
of tourist shops (silk, batiks, tea, masks, figurines...)
but everything will be over-priced.
In April, dozens of temporary shops opened up
between the bus stand and the racecourse. This
is the best place to barter good deals on just
- This is a good store
to buy saris, sarongs or other textiles. It also
sells a variety of local music tapes. There are
several shops nearby too, that are very similar.
- This is the main grocery
chain in Sri Lanka. The one in Nuwara Eliya is
small with a limited selection but it's still
the best place to go for Western-style groceries,
alcohol or pharmaceutical items. There are also
loads of small grocery shops throughout town where
you can buy soft drinks or ice cream.
If you want the real taste of an Asian outdoor
market, check out the Sunday fair, held behind