Nuwara Eliya

Travel Guide Asia Sri Lanka Nuwara Eliya



Nuwara Eliya is a popular holiday destination for Sri Lankans, especially during the hot months of April - September. The district comprises of 5 divisional secretariat divisions: Nuwara Eliya, Kothmale, Hanguranketha, Ginigathhena and Walapone.



Sights and Activities

The town which was a popular holiday spot developed by the colonialists and has buildings and streets named by the English. Though a prime holiday destination in its heyday and continuing to draw holiday season crowds today, the place has begun to have a dilapidated look and many prefer to pass through Nuwara Eliya as part of their bigger travel plans and accommodation stays in other mountainous areas that are less touristy.

Some of the sights to see in the central town are:

  • Gregory Lake built by the English Governor in the 1870s. It is now quite polluted though continues to be a gathering spot for picnics, pony rides and boat rides.
  • Victoria Park, so named in 1897 to commemorate the 60th Jubilee coronation of Queen Victoria.
  • Glen Waterfalls.
  • Lovers leap - a waterfall which a local legend says comes from the suicide of a Prince and his lover, after his father refuses to allow their marriage. The waters from this fall is used to brew the Nuwara Eliya beer, the factory started originally by the English and now is a private company.
  • Golf Course - At the base of the highest mountain in Sri Lanka is the golf course built by the English and is the largest in Sri Lanka.
  • Mount Pidurutalagala - the highest mountain in Sri Lanka.

Close to the Nuwara Eliya town are several other places of interest:

  • Hakgala Botanical gardens.
  • Sita Eliya temple - the only temple in Sri Lanka dedicated to Sita, the wife of Indian Prince and later King Rama, who was imprisoned in Sri Lanka by the King Ravana, according to the epic Ramayana.



Getting There

By Train

There is a direct train from Colombo Fort and Kandy to Nanu Oya, from which a cab or three-wheeler can be hired to take you to your accommodation. The train takes about 9 -10 hours to reach Nanu Oya from Colombo.

By Car

Private transport is the best and fastest transport to Nuwara Eliya. It is a 7 hour drive from Colombo and therefore, private transport allows one to break the journey to pace it out.



Getting Around

By Car

It is easier to travel about with private transport.

By Public Transport

Buses and three-wheelers are available.




In the town centre, there are numerous hotels which have restaurants so there is no difficulty of finding places to eat though these can be pricier than elsewhere in the district. There are also small eateries where a simple take-away meal can be purchased.

There is a nice cafe opposite the Hakgala gardens which offers reasonably priced lunches and dinners (rice and curry, burgers, sandwiches etc) as well as special meals with a strawberry theme: strawberry pancakes and waffles, strawberries and cream etc. Nuwara Eliya is the only place in Sri Lanka where strawberries are grown so it is a treat for Sri Lankans to have them fresh from the farms.




There are three types of accommodation that are popular in the district: holiday bungalows are the most popular as many families usually go en masse to spend their holidays in this district; the hotels ranging from budget to upscale and the guesthouses/rooms in family homes for the backpacker and budget conscious.


  • Galway Forest Lodge is a reasonable accommodation and is part of the Galway properties which has a twin hotel in Anurdhapura - the Galway Miridiya Lodge.


  • The Tea Factory - a popular and expensive destination, where an actual tea factory has been converted to a four star hotel.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)



Keep Connected


Internet cafes are available in all the cities and these are cheap and easy to access. Most hotels have internet access as well but are relatively expensive. There are various internet service providers (Sri Lanka Telecom, Dialog, Mobitel etc.) providing different packages: ADSL broadband, dial-up, WiFi. Please contact a service provider to learn more about the packages and prices.


See also International Telephone Calls

The country code for Sri Lanka is 94. Remove the intercity prefix (0) before the area code when dialling internationally into the country (i.e., 0112 688 688 becomes +94 112 688 688) when dialling from abroad). The two next numbers after 94 represents the area code, they are different for every district.

The use of GSM cellphones is widespread and the coverage is good. Dialog and Mobitel are two operators that have sales offices at the airport inside the arrivals lounge. Dialog Mobile has the widest coverage in the country including rural areas and has the best quality GSM / 3G / HSPA +/4G network. Mobitel also has a 3G/HSPA+ network. All the mobile operators are having same call rates due to floor rate tariffs. Therefore it is advisable to go to the network which offers you the best quality. All Mobile Operators offers cheap IDD Call rates. If you want to surf internet, best way is to buy a HSPA dongle and a Mobile Broadband connection. Dialog Mobile, Mobitel, hutch, Etisalat and Airtel offers prepaid Mobile Broadband services which can be activated and used immediately. Dialog is the Vodafone Roaming Network in Sri Lanka and offers the best range of Value added services for Roamers and the rates are cheaper. Etisalat and Airtel also provide cheap roaming rates specially to India.


Sri Lankan Post is the national postal company. Each city/town has a main post office and the villages will have access to sub post offices, either at the village or nearby village. Local post, through normal mail, is cheap and fast. However, to ensure that the post has reached recipient, it is better to send by registered post which will allow you to have a reference number which you can later use to check with your post office that your mail has reached its destination. There are local courier services. Aramex and Pronto are some of the ones in Colombo and they deliver mail the same day or overnight. For better tracking and fast services companies like DHL, or TNT provide a good service but are more expensive.

Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 6.970759
  • Longitude: 80.783180

Accommodation in Nuwara Eliya

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This is version 9. Last edited at 3:29 on Aug 2, 17 by sleepBot. 1 article links to this page.

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