Discover the Best Things to Do in Ella: A Guide to Experiencing the Charm of Sri Lanka’s Hidden Gem

Are you in the mood for a unique adventure, but unsure where to go? Trust me, I’ve been there. After countless hours of research, I discovered Ella – an enchanting hidden gem tucked away in Sri Lanka that offers a rich blend of cultural experiences and outdoor adventures.

This blog is your comprehensive guide to making the most out of your visit; from breathtaking hikes like Little Adam’s Peak to tea plantation tours and delightful culinary experiences.

Get ready; Ella awaits!

Key Takeaways

  • Ella, Sri Lanka is a hidden gem that offers a rich blend of cultural experiences and outdoor adventures.
  • Popular attractions in Ella include the Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Rock, Little Adam’s Peak, Diyaluma Falls, and Lipton’s Seat.
  • Unique experiences in Ella include zip – lining through lush forests, taking Sri Lankan cooking classes, elephant spotting at Udawalawe National Park, and enjoying live music at 360 Ella Bar.
  • When it comes to dining and drinking in Ella, popular options include Chill Cafe, AK Ristoro for Italian cuisine, Matey Hut for authentic Sri Lankan rice and curry dishes.

Popular Attractions in Ella

Ella is home to several popular attractions that showcase the natural beauty and cultural charm of this hidden gem in Sri Lanka. From the iconic Nine Arch Bridge to the breathtaking Diyaluma Falls, there are plenty of sights to explore and discover in Ella.

Hiking enthusiasts can tackle the challenging Ella Rock or opt for a more leisurely trek up Little Adam’s Peak, while tea lovers can indulge in tea factory tours and enjoy panoramic views from Lipton’s Seat.

Nine Arch Bridge

The Nine Arch Bridge is a sight to see in Ella. Built with rocks and cement, it stands tall without any steel. The green tea fields around it make for great pics! You can hike or take a tuk-tuk to get there.

Look out for the blue train that crosses the bridge several times a day. It’s a real show-stopper!

Ella Rock

Ella Rock is one of the popular attractions in Ella, Sri Lanka, offering adventure travelers a thrilling hike and breathtaking views. This challenging trek takes you through lush forests and scenic landscapes, rewarding you with panoramic vistas from the summit.

The trail can be steep at times but is well worth the effort. Along the way, you’ll encounter tea plantations, waterfalls, and small villages that showcase the natural beauty of Ella.

At the top of Ella Rock, you’ll be greeted with sweeping views of rolling hills, distant mountains, and picturesque valleys below. It’s an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts alike.

Little Adam’s Peak

Little Adam’s Peak is a must-visit attraction in Ella, Sri Lanka. It offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and is perfect for adventure travelers seeking outdoor adventures.

The hike to the peak is not too challenging, making it suitable for all fitness levels. As you climb to the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of tea plantations, valleys, and mountains.

Don’t forget your camera because the scenery here is picture-perfect! Whether you’re an avid hiker or just looking to enjoy nature’s beauty, a visit to Little Adam’s Peak is definitely worth it during your trip to Ella.

Diyaluma Falls

Diyaluma Falls is a must-visit attraction in Ella, Sri Lanka. It is one of the highest waterfalls in the country, and its magnificent cascades create a breathtaking sight. The falls are surrounded by lush greenery, creating a picturesque backdrop for your adventure.

You can hike to the top of Diyaluma Falls and take a refreshing dip in its natural pools or simply admire the beauty from below. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture this stunning natural wonder!

Lipton’s Seat

When you’re in Ella, a visit to Lipton’s Seat is a must. This viewpoint offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding tea plantations and rolling hills. It’s named after Sir Thomas Lipton, a Scottish tea magnate who used to frequent this spot to enjoy the stunning scenery.

To reach Lipton’s Seat, you can take a scenic hike through the lush greenery or opt for a tuk-tuk ride if you prefer a shorter journey. Once you arrive, find yourself a comfortable spot and soak in the beauty of nature stretching out before your eyes.

It’s an experience that will leave you feeling awe-inspired and connected with the natural wonders of Sri Lanka. Don’t forget your camera!

Tea Factory Tours

Exploring the tea factory tours in Ella is a must-do activity for adventure travelers. These tours offer a fantastic opportunity to learn about Sri Lanka’s famous tea production and get a taste of different varieties.

You can witness the entire process, from plucking the tea leaves to their transformation into flavorful cups of tea. The knowledgeable guides will take you through each step, explaining the history, cultivation techniques, and even letting you try your hand at picking tea leaves.

It’s an educational and interactive experience that allows you to appreciate the hard work behind every cup of delicious Ceylon tea. Don’t forget to bring home some freshly packed teas as souvenirs!

Unique Experiences in Ella

Experience the adrenaline rush of zip-lining through the lush forests and breathtaking landscapes of Ella.


If you’re an adventure traveler looking for some excitement in Ella, zip-lining is a must-try activity. Get ready to soar through the treetops and experience an adrenaline rush like no other.

The lush greenery and stunning views of Ella make it the perfect backdrop for this thrilling adventure. Zip-lining allows you to fly through the air on a series of cables, taking in panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

It’s an exhilarating way to explore the natural beauty of this hidden gem in Sri Lanka. So gear up, embrace your inner daredevil, and get ready for an unforgettable zip-lining experience in Ella!

Sri Lankan cooking classes

One of the unique experiences you can have in Ella is taking Sri Lankan cooking classes. You’ll get a chance to learn how to prepare traditional dishes using local ingredients and techniques.

It’s a hands-on activity that allows you to immerse yourself in the flavors and aromas of Sri Lankan cuisine. The Ella Spice Garden offers these classes, where knowledgeable instructors will guide you through the process of making delicious curries, rice, and other authentic dishes.

It’s a fun and educational way to explore the local culture and take some new cooking skills home with you.

Elephant spotting in Udawalawe National Park

One of the most exciting experiences in Ella is elephant spotting at Udawalawe National Park. This park is home to a large number of elephants, making it an ideal place for wildlife enthusiasts.

You can go on a safari tour and have the chance to see these gentle giants up close in their natural habitat. The park offers both jeep safaris and walking tours, giving you different perspectives and opportunities to spot elephants.

It’s truly an unforgettable experience that will allow you to connect with nature and witness the beauty of Sri Lanka’s wildlife.

Live music at 360 Ella Bar

At 360 Ella Bar, you can enjoy live music while soaking in the vibrant atmosphere of Ella. This popular bar is a great place to relax and unwind after a day of exploring. Sit back with a drink in hand and listen to talented local musicians performing a variety of genres.

The lively ambiance and energetic beats will surely get you on your feet, dancing the night away. So, if you’re looking for some entertainment during your visit to Ella, don’t miss out on the live music at 360 Ella Bar.

It’s an experience that will add even more fun to your adventure in this hidden gem of Sri Lanka!

Where to Eat and Drink in Ella

There are several fantastic options for dining and drinking in Ella, offering a range of culinary delights and local flavors.

Chill Cafe

Chill Cafe is a popular spot to eat and relax in Ella. The cafe has a laid-back atmosphere, perfect for adventure travelers looking to unwind after exploring the sights. They offer a variety of tasty food options, including sandwiches, burgers, salads, and local dishes like rice and curry.

The cafe also serves refreshing drinks such as smoothies and freshly brewed coffee. With its cozy seating area and friendly staff, Chill Cafe is the ideal place to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a peaceful moment while taking in the beauty of Ella.

AK Ristoro

AK Ristoro is a popular restaurant in Ella that offers delicious food and a cozy atmosphere. It specializes in Italian cuisine, so you can expect mouthwatering pizzas, pastas, and other Italian dishes.

The ingredients are fresh, and the flavors are authentic. The staff at AK Ristoro is friendly and welcoming, making your dining experience enjoyable. Whether it’s for lunch or dinner, this restaurant is a great choice to satisfy your cravings after a day of exploring Ella.

So don’t miss the chance to indulge in some tasty Italian food at AK Ristoro during your visit to Ella!

Rice & Curry at Matey Hut

Matey Hut is a fantastic place in Ella to experience authentic Sri Lankan cuisine. They are famous for their delicious rice and curry, which is a staple dish in Sri Lanka. The restaurant offers a variety of curries to choose from, including vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

Each curry is made with fresh ingredients and traditional Sri Lankan spices, giving it an incredible flavor. The portion sizes are generous, ensuring that you leave feeling satisfied.

The casual ambiance of Matey Hut adds to the overall dining experience, making it a must-try spot for food lovers visiting Ella.

Ella 360

One of the must-visit places to eat and drink in Ella is Ella 360. This bar offers live music, creating a lively and enjoyable atmosphere for visitors. It’s a great spot to relax after a day of exploring Ella’s attractions.

So, make sure to stop by Ella 360 for some good food, drinks, and live entertainment during your time in this charming Sri Lankan destination.

Transportation and Travel Tips for Ella

Getting to Ella is easy with options of taking a train or driving, and the recommended length of stay allows for exploring nearby destinations. Discover more about transportation and travel tips for making the most of your trip to this charming hidden gem in Sri Lanka!

Getting to Ella by train or car

Traveling to Ella is easy and convenient. Here are the options for getting there:

  1. By train: Take a scenic train ride to Ella from Colombo or Kandy. The train journey offers breathtaking views of the countryside and tea plantations.
  2. By car: If you prefer a more private mode of transportation, you can hire a car or taxi to drive to Ella. The roads are well-maintained and offer beautiful views along the way.
  3. Travel time: The train journey takes around 6-8 hours, depending on your starting point. If you choose to drive, it will take approximately 4-5 hours from Colombo and 3-4 hours from Kandy.
  4. Recommended length of stay: To fully experience all that Ella has to offer, it is recommended to stay for at least 2-3 days.

Recommended length of stay

I recommend staying in Ella for at least three to four days to fully experience all that this charming destination has to offer. In this time, you can explore popular attractions like the Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Rock, and Little Adam’s Peak.

Take a dip in the refreshing Diyaluma Falls or visit Lipton’s Seat for stunning panoramic views. Don’t miss out on a tea factory tour to learn about Sri Lanka’s famous tea production.

If you’re up for some adventure, try zip-lining or go elephant spotting in Udawalawe National Park. Enjoy live music at 360 Ella Bar and indulge in delicious meals at local eateries like Chill Cafe and AK Ristoro.

Nearby destinations to visit

If you’re an adventure traveler visiting Ella, there are some great nearby destinations to explore. Here are a few options:

  1. Udawalawe National Park: Go on a safari and spot elephants, crocodiles, and various bird species.
  2. Horton Plains National Park: Take a hike through this scenic park and witness the stunning views from World’s End.
  3. Ravana Falls: Visit this beautiful waterfall and enjoy a refreshing swim in its natural pool.
  4. Nuwara Eliya: Head to this charming town known as “Little England” for its cool climate and picturesque landscapes.
  5. Yala National Park: Embark on a wildlife safari in one of Sri Lanka’s most popular national parks, home to leopards, elephants, and other wildlife.


Ella is a hidden gem in Sri Lanka that offers plenty of charm and adventure for travelers. From breathtaking views at Ella Rock and Little Adam’s Peak to exploring the tea plantations, there is something for everyone in this beautiful city.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor activities, cultural experiences, or delicious food, Ella has it all. Don’t miss the chance to visit this enchanting destination and create memories that will last a lifetime.


1. What are the best things to do in Ella?

Some of the best things to do in Ella include hiking to Little Adam’s Peak, visiting the Nine Arch Bridge, exploring Ravana Falls, and taking a scenic train ride through tea plantations.

2. How can I experience the charm of Ella in Sri Lanka?

To experience the charm of Ella, you can immerse yourself in nature by going on hikes, enjoying breathtaking views at various viewpoints, visiting waterfalls and tea estates, or simply relaxing amidst the serene surroundings.

3. Are there any hidden gems in Ella that should not be missed?

Yes! Some must-see hidden gems in Ella include Rawana Cave Temple with its fascinating history and stories, as well as picturesque spots like Demodara Loop for stunning panoramic views.

4. How can I get around Ella to explore these attractions?

In order to explore all these attractions and get around Ella easily, you can hire a tuk-tuk (a three-wheeled vehicle), rent a scooter or bicycle if you’re comfortable riding one, or take advantage of tour services offered by local guides who know the area well.

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