How to get from Negombo to Kandy?
Kandy is the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. Nestled on a plateau surrounded by lush and misty hills, you will find here the sacred Temple of the Tooth. Get a glimpse of the town’s history through its impressive Kandyan architecture and enjoy a leisurely afternoon strolling around Kandy Lake.
You have 3 options when travelling the 100km distance from Negombo to Kandy. You can take the train for 3.5 hours, the bus for 4 hours, or a taxi for 3 hours. Rates range between 345 Rs ($1.90) to 8,000 Rs ($44).
Train, Bus or Taxi?
|Train||3.5 hours||1,280 ($7)||Read article for info|
|Bus||4 hours||345 Rs ($1.90)||Read article for info|
|Taxi||3 hours||8,000 Rs ($44)||Read article for info|
The train is an affordable and comfortable way to travel from Negombo to Kandy. However, there are no direct trains operating this route. You will first have to take a taxi or tuk-tuk to Gampaha Railway Station, where you can take a train bound for Kandy. Total fare starts at 1,280 Rs ($7) and travel time is 3.5 hours.
The bus is the most affordable option at 345 Rs ($1.90). However, local buses in Sri Lanka can be very uncomfortable. If you really have to, we recommend that you take an aircon bus for a little more comfort. You can expect to reach Kandy in 4 hours.
For a direct and comfortable transfer, you can get a taxi starting at 8,000 Rs ($44). If you split the cost among 4 persons, it wouldn’t be much more expensive than taking the train.
There is also an option to take a flight, but we don’t recommend it. There are no direct flights from Negombo to Kandy, so you will have to fly from Diyawanna Oya. If you include the taxi transfers to and from the airports, you won’t be able to save much time compared to taking the much cheaper land options.
Negombo to Kandy by Train
Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 1,280 Rs ($7)
Because there are no direct trains from Negombo to Kandy, you will first have to take a taxi or tuk-tuk to Gampaha Railway Station. From here, you can take a train to Kandy.
Step 1: Negombo to Gampaha Railway Station by Taxi/Tuk-Tuk
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 1,100 Rs ($6)
The easiest way to reach Gampaha Railway Station from Negombo is by taxi. You can hail one from the street, but it would be easier to book via Uber or Pickme. Fares start at 1,410 Rs ($8) and travel time is approximately 1 hour.
Tuk-tuks are also available for about half that price, although they are a bit slower.
Step 2: Gampaha to Kandy by Train
Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 180 Rs ($1)
The earliest train bound for Kandy leaves Gampaha Railway Station at 06:36 daily. A 2nd class unreserved ticket costs 180 Rs ($1) and travel time is more or less 2.5 hours.
See here the full train schedule:
|#1005||06:36-08:56||2h 20m||180 Rs ($1)|
|#1009||07:38-09:38||2h||180 Rs ($1)|
|#1015||09:02-11:03||2h 01m||180 Rs ($1)|
|2h 42m||180 Rs ($1)|
(Fridays & Saturdays only)
|2h 47m||180 Rs ($1)|
|2h 09m||180 Rs ($1)|
|#1039||18:19-20:55||2h 36m||180 Rs ($1)|
If you want to get reserved train tickets, it is best to book them at least a month prior to your trip. For this route, you can do that through a local travel agency or you can buy at any train station if you are already in Sri Lanka.
With reserved tickets, you will not have to worry about crowded trains and the risk of not getting a seat. Check out our guide on how to book train tickets in Sri Lanka for more info.
Negombo to Kandy by Bus
Duration: 4 hours
Cost: 345 Rs ($1.90)
From Negombo Bus Terminal, take bus #1 or #245 bound for Kandy. A ticket for an air-conditioned bus costs 345 Rs ($1.90) and the journey takes about 4 hours, depending on traffic.
Although normal buses are also available for 170 Rs ($0.90), we don’t recommend them as they are very uncomfortable, especially for long journeys like this. They also make more stops than aircon buses, and so they take longer to reach Kandy.
Negombo to Kandy by Taxi
Duration: 3hr 40min
Cost: 8,000 Rs ($44)
PRO-TIP: Use the code “hpam1ue” or this link to order your first ride with Uber for free!
More routes to Kandy
More routes from Negombo
Most popular routes in Sri Lanka
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