Destinations, places, fresh air, and colonial buildings contrast and reveal a European city in the heart of Sri Lanka. What you will read next will fill your eyes, and surely your adventurous spirit will dominate you.
Choose to stroll the main lake or venture into the grand cascades. Visit the factory and taste the delicious teas of the house.
If you still it’s not enough, visit the museums, the Sita temple, the botanical garden, appreciate the charm and the perfect marriage between the European style and the Sinhalese way of living.
Come for another adventure in Nuwara Eliya. This city awaits you with the most incredible activities, experiences, and sensations.
- Essential information for a tourist in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
- Places to visit in Nuwara Eliya, an itinerary around the city
- Visit the Pedro Tea Factory
- Buy Tea at Mlesna Tea Castle Sr Claire
- Climb to the mountain of Pidurutalagala
- Boating on Gregory Lake
- Aberdeen Waterfall
- Savor the Lover’s Leap Waterfall
- Have fun at Devon Falls
- Listen to the sound of Bomburu Ella Waterfall
- Getting to know St. Clair’s Fall
- Have a tea at the Grand Hotel
- Stroll the streets and see the colonial houses
- Visit the post office
- Play on the golf course
- Relax at Victoria Park
- Reverence Amman Temple
- Fall in love with Hakgala Botanical Gardens
- Walking around Moon Plains
- Shopping in the winter market in Nuwara Eliya
- Eating strawberries in Adma Agro
- How to move around Nuwara Eliya?
- How to get in and out of Nuwara Eliya
- Best Nuwara Eliya Restaurants
- Places to stay in Nuwara Eliya
- The weather and the best time to visit Nuwara Eliya
- How many days to stay in Nuwara Eliya
Essential information for a tourist in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Nuwara Eliya is a mountainous city located on the highest points of Sri Lanka. It has 1 868 m of altitude. It is considered as the primary location to support the country’s most massive tea production.
Although it was and still is the preferred escape center for the English, Nuwara Eliya has about 27,000 Sinhalese inhabitants.
In each of the attractions, you will notice this in the smallest details and especially in the old buildings.
Also, it is also known as the city of light or town in the plain, for harboring several high points and staying between the unpredictable trip from Kandy to Ella.
Nuwara Eliya is cold, and its activities revolve around nature, the plantations and all it has to taste and warm the palate: exotic tea.
Places to visit in Nuwara Eliya, an itinerary around the city
The attractions of Nuwara Eliya are ideal for those in love with nature, such as walking among the flowers of the tea plantations, but that is not all. There are other places to visit in Nuwara Eliya such as the local museum, temples, the incredible waterfalls, relaxing in the lagoon among others.
Visit the Pedro Tea Factory
Pedro Tea Factory is the most well-known tea factory being one of the largest in Nuwara Eliya. It is located 4 km from the city center.
To visit the place, just pay 250 rupees and in the company of a guide, know the manufacturing process and, in the end, taste a delicious tea. But be careful: shooting or filming is expressly prohibited inside the factory.
However, hiring a guide to accompany you, there are those things there. Even without seeing the machines working, you will notice a noisy environment, and it will be difficult to understand the explanations of the guide.
It is worthwhile primarily for the tea and the visit to the fields where you will walk among the flowers. If you went to the factories in Kandy, then you already know what to expect in Nuwara Eliya, the difference is that the fields are even more extensive.
Existem outras fábricas de chás menos conhecidas em Nuwara Eliya, sem qualquer custo, compensa ir para provar os chás. Agora, uma coisa é certa, em todas elas vais provar um chá delicioso.
Buy Tea at Mlesna Tea Castle Sr Claire
Mlesna Tea Castle Sr Claire is the largest tea shop in the world. The place is near the A7 road on the same path that goes to Nuwara Eliya.
The building is a real castle, a relic between the mountains. When you look, you will see an infinite vision in which the flowers of the fields fit perfectly into each other.
Feel free to savor, feel all the sensations and know the local specialty: the aromatic teas.
Climb to the mountain of Pidurutalagala
The ascent to the top of the Pidurutalagala mountain (2524 meters) Pidurutalagala is also known as “Mount Peter” is the highest peak in Sri Lanka.
It is located near Nuwara Eliya, but do not think you can walk there …
To have incredible experiences and get lost in them for some time, it is only to go by car, van or jeep.
Once you pass the checkpoint, they will ask for your documents (passport) to release your entry. After that, another 6 km until reaching the peak and soon you will see several radars and telecommunications antennas.
The guards up there will be able to accompany you and explain how it works, but it’s not interesting. The best thing is to be dazzled by the scenery of the place, after all, it is the highest mountain in Sri Lanka.
Boating on Gregory Lake
The boat trip on Gregory Lake is one of the activities you should choose to do in Nuwara Eliya. The lake is located in the center and visible from anywhere in the city.
The good thing about the trip is that you can do it by boat or if it is something more romantic, rent a swan and stroll around: choose to admire the vegetation, ride a jet ski and still stroll and feel the cold air that comes from the mountains enveloping your face.
The Aberdeen Waterfall is a cascade of 98m of simply enchanting height.
It is close to Ginigathena in the town of Nuwara Eliya and is named after the largest city in Scotland.
The waters of this waterfall flow down the steep rocks into a reserve with crystalline waters slightly blue.
Savor the Lover’s Leap Waterfall
Lover’s Leap Waterfall is a stunning waterfall in which the hot waters fall on the rocks giving the feeling of total freedom.
To reach this waterfall, head to the tea factory and you will arrive at a dirt road. Follow the signs, and you will arrive at Shiva Shrine. Continue the course that you will see the waterfalls.
According to local legend, he says that a certain prince of the city and a girl fell in love, but were prevented from living that love.
Then they decided to throw themselves on the cliff of this stunning waterfall. Whether it is true or not, the fact is that it is worth visiting this place in Nuwara Eliya.
Have fun at Devon Falls
Within a few minutes, you will have another breathtaking waterfall: Devon Falls. The 97-meter-high waterfall is located 6 km west of Talawakele on the A7 road of Nuwara Eliya.
This waterfall is a little further away than the others, but the contrast with the tea plantations makes it unique and incredible!
Listen to the sound of Bomburu Ella Waterfall
Bomburu Ella Waterfall is the largest waterfall in the country. If you were impressed with Hortons Plains and the park’s magnificent waterfalls, you will be even more amazed by the surprises of Bomburu Ella’s fall.
You can see that Nuwara Ella’s fort is the cascades, but you can not imagine what awaits you further. Just keep reading …
Other than that, this main waterfall is made up of the smaller ones and hearing the waters falling on the rocks is really an experience of losing the voice you need to live in Nuwara Eliya.
Getting to know St. Clair’s Fall
The ST. Clair’s Fall is a cascade that resembles a creek similar to the American / Canadian Niagara Falls in the central hills. Called Little Niagara, it is located near the Mlesna Tea Castle Tea Shop and has a spectacular view.
This vision is the result of the composition of two smaller waterfalls: Mala Ella – The Greater Fall and Kuda – The Lesser Fall. They drain and form this perfect and relaxing setting.
One tip is to enjoy the place and admire the landscape by eating something you can take or buy at the local restaurant.
Have a tea at the Grand Hotel
Drinking tea at the Grand Hotel is an experience you need to live. The place is the meeting point to savor the specialty of the house.
Exactly between 3:00 pm and 6:00 p.m., you will enjoy some snacks and delicious tea for only 550 rupees.
If you’re lucky, you can find a professional to guide you through the hotel. You will notice that the place still possesses a British colonial architecture without much change, even more evident when it walks and hears the sound of the floor and other noises.
Stroll the streets and see the colonial houses
Getting to know the colonial houses and strolling the streets are activities that you will feel like you are really in Europe, but no, it is still in Sri Lanka.
Even after the colonial era, it also proves why Nuwara Eliya is the main escape from the British. The buildings are nothing modern, every detail is millimeterly English, but even so, they are no longer charming.
In the background the mountain of Pidurutalagala, in front, those huge colonial houses and to decorate, the simple gardens that together give the special touch to the streets of Nuwara Eliya.
Visit the post office
The post office at Nuwara Eliya is a charming place that is worth visiting while you are in the city. It is one of the first post offices in the country and is close to the bus station. He passes to send a letter, enters the place and contemplates the beauty of the building.
Play on the golf course
If you are a golf fan, you can not miss one of the few golf courses in Sri Lanka. It is situated in the heart of Nuwara Eliya, on the way to the Grand Hotel.
Also, the price is totally different from what you are accustomed to seeing elsewhere. In Nuwara Eliya, you pay about 8400 rupees including equipment and permission to play in one of the oldest fields in Asia.
You will see a field with 14 holes, trees around and near the small cultivation field.
Go outside or talk to the security guards to let him in. It is important to know that access to the golf course is restricted and only allowed to members or who can afford it. In fact, compared to other golf courses, neither is it ever expensive.
Relax at Victoria Park
Victoria Park is a retreat in the center of Nuwara Eliya. It is a place to stroll, feel the cold breeze of the city while cycling pedals and relax to the sound of the birds of the park.
Also, the park also houses the Victoria Park Museum in which tells the story of how was life in the city on British rule. It shows the details of the old railway. The tour is around 300 rupees, being one more option for you to visit in Nuwara Eliya.
Reverence Amman Temple
The Amman Temple is a Sita time of the Hindu religion one of the few religious places you will see in Nuwara Eliya.
The temple is located at the exit of Nuwara Eliya towards Ella. And by the way, further down we’ll explain everything to make this script and save on your trip to Sri Lanka.
Returning to the temple, the place is surrounded by statues of the local gods. According to religion, the site is dedicated to Hanuman, the monkey-god who rescued Sita from Lanka.
Fall in love with Hakgala Botanical Gardens
The Hakgala Botanical Gardens is the botanical garden preserved and filled with species of exotic animals.
It is located only 1 km from Seetha Amman time being another attraction to meet in your passage through Nuwara Eliya.
In this garden, you can appreciate the design, colors, and joy of 10,000 species of rare and fragrant flowers. It is a passionate place that is worth knowing.
Walking around Moon Plains
The Moon Plains or lunar plains is that place with a vast area of fields, plantations, trails and winding mountains for you to stroll and take beautiful photos.
Shopping in the winter market in Nuwara Eliya
The winter market is to meet the needs of the place. You can tell that Nuwara Eliya is a cold place, is not it? And for that, nothing better than to spend in the Winter Market to buy warm clothes before going to the mountains.
Eating strawberries in Adma Agro
With cold weather during the year, the perfect setting for strawberries to survive and savor them in every way.
You need to visit the farm Adma Agro and see a menu with the strawberry base. The place is known for serving strawberries in the fields, in drinks, and with that irresistible condensed milk!
How to move around Nuwara Eliya?
As you’ve noticed, the main attractions of Nuwara are scattered and far from the city, so you’ll need to use the transport. Please check the following suggestions:
- rent a motorcycle: it’s excellent even more when traveling in company, besides the cost is low. However, to fly the bike, you will need a letter with an international driving license;
- rent tuk-tuk with a driver: compensates because you plot a ride itinerary and save time on the trip. The downside is that if it rains, you will need attention, so the tuk-tuk does not slip on dirt roads;
- Rent a car with the driver: just talk to the place where you are staying and book in advance. It compensates because you do not run the risk of being surprised by the rains and direct your trip to other destinations more quickly;
- Rent a Bike: As some places are flat and close together, getting a bike can be a saving in so much on your trip. On the other hand, riding a bicycle can be tiring.
Overall, for comfort rent a car with the driver and for the economy rent a tuk-tuk to take you everywhere in Nuwara Eliya. In all cases, check out the article on transportation in Sri Lanka that we have prepared and suggested the main negotiation strategies to save on your trip around the country.
How to get in and out of Nuwara Eliya
As said, Nuwara Eliya lies between two cities: Ella and Kandy. Plus it’s the way to visit Horton Plains.
So when you leave Kandy, head to the Nanu Oya train station, 8km from the city and then take a bus for 30 rupees or a tuk-tuk for 450 rupees to Nuwara Eliya. Choose the most economical way to do this course.
If you are leaving Nuwara Eliya and want to wander around, make the way to Horton Plains and save time on your trip. Just rent a chauffeur with the jeep that will take you to Horton Plains and then Ella.
On the other hand, if you just want to visit Nuwara Eliya and then go to Kandy or any other direction, just take a bus at Nuwara Eliya station and the trip will last a maximum of 2h 30 minutes.
Near Kandy train station, there is a bus station in which they often depart to other destinations. If temperatures are higher than expected, consider renting an air-conditioned minivan (located to the right of the bus terminal).
Any questions, ask the drivers’ helpers to guide you about the air-conditioned minivans.
The route lasts about 4 hours without considering the descents and ascents of the bus. Once you get to Dambulla, call the tuk-tuk and ask the driver to drop you off at the temple of the city (be more time consuming).
Best Nuwara Eliya Restaurants
The restaurants of Nuwara Eliya will remind you that you are in Sri Lanka and not on the European continent. It is here that the Sinhalese flavor gains strength and this is reflected in the palates of travelers.
See the best restaurant suggestions for the best Sri Lankan food in a European town in the heart of Sri Lanka.
Milano Restaurant is one of the best places to dine. The menu includes chicken, steak, seafood with several accompaniments available.
If you prefer spicy food, try Devilled chicken, biff or seafood, served with fried rice and noodles. It’s delicious!
Grand Hotel Restaurant
If you stay at the Grand Hotel, you will have the privilege of enjoying the local food with a lot of class. The menu includes snacks, cakes, fondues and wood-fired pizzas for both lunch and dinner.
Grand Indian Restaurant
The Grand Indian Restaurant is on the same road just before the Grand Hotel and serves typical Asian foods such as roti, fresh baked goods that accompany Indian delicacies and more. They serve lunch and dinner there.
Places to stay in Nuwara Eliya
Choose to stay hidden high in the mountains or in the luxurious accommodations overlooking these landscapes. The decision is yours whether you want to feel the breeze coming from the fields or if you prefer to just relax in the luxurious colonial hotels in Nuwara Eliya.
Check out these hotels suggestions to stay in Nuwara Eliya.
Hotel Uyou is a great place to stay in Nuwara Eliya. It is located behind the Grand Hotel and boasts a panoramic view of the high mountains and forests.
It is a well-centralized place with service delivery, quality and impressive price.
The hotel accommodations are spacious with an area to relax and see the lush landscapes behind the Grand Hotel. Inside the place, breakfast is served to travelers.
Of course, the Grand Hotel could not be left out with its comfortable and luxurious colonial English style accommodations. In the luxury category, for example, the rooms are lit with electric fireplaces.
The place is marked by the charm, and the sophistication extends to the furniture, in the rooms. The advantage of staying here is that butlers serve guests with various types of teas courtesy of the house.
The Alpine Hotel is a colonial house transformed into a hotel and is distinguished by its low price and strategic location. Also, it pays to stay and meet other travelers.
It is located near the main attractions in Nuwara Eliya such as Victoria Park, Post Office, Gregory Lake. Mount View Hotel.
The Mound View Hotel enchants by the even closer location with nature and the simple and comfortable facilities.
Here the simple looks luxurious near the breathtaking view coming from the mountains covered by mist. Just be careful with the main road that leads you to the hotel as it is steep and dangerous.
The rooms have modest facilities and optional services like laundry, breakfast among others.
The Glendower Hotel is a reasonable place for the price and convenience it offers, especially the beautiful views of the tea fields and the modest rooms.
If you have little resources, pay for the low price without luxury surprises, but without being comfortable and well located in Nuwara Eliya.
The weather and the best time to visit Nuwara Eliya
As we have seen, the climate of Nuwara Eliya is cold, and the constant rains are to preserve the verdant fields of the city. Because it is located in the highlands of the country, do not expect that unbearable heat of Colombo, but the fresh breeze of Ella.
Therefore, the best time to visit Nuwara Eliya is between the end of February and the beginning of June. But that will not stop them from being surprised by the sporadic rains of the region.
Now avoid traveling between monsoon months: June and September, at that time the ravages are visible accompanied by wind and flood.
We recommend you read our full article about the best time to visit Sri Lanka. Take advantage, get all your doubts about the monsoons and plan your trip better.
How many days to stay in Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya is a fantastic city with paradisiacal and distant destinations such as waterfalls, vast fields of flowers and tea plantations, not to mention the delicious desserts, meals, and drinks, is a minimum of 2 days in Nuwara Eliya.
Nuwara Eliya is a city to visit whenever you step on the lands of the enchanted island. Whether through the air, the fields, the incredible and mysterious waterfalls or the history of a city that has the European characteristics.
However, Nuwara Eliya has not lost the Sinhalese touch of being, noticeable in the palates, in the accommodations and in the strength of the villagers who derive the resources to survive.
Take advantage of the fact that you are in Nuwara Eliya and embark to the high point of the hills following the same weather, but with other incredible experiences, Horton Plains – Sri Lanka: A Trip to the End of the World.