Visiting the Nine Arch Bridge is one of the awesome things to do in Ella Sri Lanka. With its beautiful setting in between the tea fields and with the dense jungle in the background, the Nine Arch Bridge is a very picturesque spot. It has become one of the main tourist hotspots of Sri Lanka and it is largely due to the epic scenery and hikes in the region of Ella Rock and Little Adams Peak that tourists decide to stay for some days in Ella. The ultimate Sri Lanka train experience is the journey from Kandy to Ella, or Nuwara Eliya. This beautiful train ride is a must do during your Sri Lanka adventure. Read in this travel blog everything you need to know about the Sri Lanka Nine Arch Bridge. From its history, how to get to the bridge and the beautiful viewpoint which you can’t miss while visiting the Nine Arch Bridge!
How to get to the Nine Arch Bridge Ella
There are multiple options and ways to get to the Nine Arch train bridge. The bridge is actually quite close to the main street of Ella town so you can decide if you want to walk or get a tuk tuk for 200 rupees who can take you to the entrance. If you are confident with the motorbike you can also get there yourself.
The one way walk though the Sri Lankan jungle is about 20 minutes. You have to follow the road towards Little Adam’s Peak and turn left at the small colored temple. Then follow Lake Front Cottage on Google Maps.
But for a more quiet walk in between the jungle, turn left into the jungle at the parking spots after Art Cafe Umbrella. From there you have to follow the path for about 10 minutes until you reach the bridge which is a beautiful experience. You will have a unique view over the bridge which is why we highly recommend you to take this path.
Nine Arch Bridge History
The Nine Arch Bridge has an interesting history. Built during the British Colonial period, the story goes that not long after the bridge had been commissioned by the British, World War I broke out between Europe’s Empires. The steel and metal materials destined to be used in the bridge were reassigned to be used for military purposes. As solution, the materials were then gathered in the form of rocks, bricks, and cement to make sure the bridge construction still went ahead. Nowadays Nine Arches Bridge spans 91 meters at a height of 24m and links Ella to Demodara station. It is one of the best examples of colonial-era construction and an incredible architectural feat. The Demodara Nine Arch Bridge gained more popularity and even became very famous for its architectural ingenuity and similarity with the bridge towards Hogwarts in Harry Potter movies.
Best time to visit the Nine Arch Bridge
Sunrise or sunset is the best time to visit and take your pictures. The light is soft and warm, and you avoid the crowds. By 9 AM and during the rest of the day, it is busier with tourists paying a visit to this famous spot. We went two times, one time with sunrise and one time with sunset and we can say at both times it is not busy! But we found sunrise better than sunset for the perfect picture because the light is coming from a better angle.
Train times at the Nine Arch Bridge
The trains pass the bridge about 6 times a day. The exact times change all the time because the trains are quiet often delayed in Sri Lanka. But usually there should be one every hour. You can check the train schedule here. Don’t worry that you have to wait long because it’s a great place to photograph and there are small local cafes where you can buy drinks and food.
Nine Arch Bridge viewpoint
The viewpoint of Nine Arch Bridge is also really worth a visit. There are actually three points where you have to check the bridge and take photos. From below in the tea fields, walking on the rails of the bridge and from the viewpoint. If you follow the path from the parking lot as showed on the picture below, you will see the sign to the viewpoint, it is at Asanka Cafe. There you will get to a small local cafe where you can order a drink and food. There is a small bench from where you can admire the bridge or wait for the train to pass. If you want to continue to walk down to the bridge, just follow the path and sign.
If you are in Ella and you want to hike to Little Adam’s Peak but also climb Ella Rock and visit the Nine Arch Bridge, there is a great day-tour that goes to all of these three. It’s good value considering you can tick off all three attractions in just one day for about $70. It is called the Ella Three Icons Day Tour.
More Sri Lanka travel inspiration
We hope we convinced you to put a visit to the Nine Arch Bridge on your Sri Lanka itinerary. For more travel tips about Sri Lanka, click HERE to find all the travel guides! If you have any questions, let us know! And share the blogs on Social Media with your friends to inspire them to explore this beautiful country as well!