There are two easy ways to book train tickets in Sri Lanka. You can book direct at a train station, or you can book via an online reseller if you’re outside of Sri Lanka.
How to book train tickets at a train station in Sri Lanka
The cheapest way to book a train ticket is to book it yourself at a train station in Sri Lanka.
I’ll show you exactly how to book at the Fort station in Colombo.
The best thing about booking at Fort station is that there’s a great tourist information centre. We went there, and the man explained the entire process and helped us plan our trip – all for free.
Trains can sell out quickly in Sri Lanka, so make sure to book 7-30 days in advance.
Booking a train ticket is really simple, you go to Room 17: Reservation Office. Enter the AC’d room, request a booking form, fill it in, take it to the correct counter and they’ll issue you a ticket.
If you’re not in Sri Lanka or want to book in advance, you can use an online reseller.
How to book Sri Lankan train tickets in advance online
I booked my train ticket for Colombo to Jaffna when I was in Nepal. I did some research and booked with 12Go.
Unfortunately, the Sri Lankan Railways don’t have a direct online booking system. So you have to pay a middle man to go down to the station and buy your ticket for you at an inflated price.
The original price of my train ticket was Rs. 1700, but 12Go charged me USD $33.57, or Rs. 6,800 for the ticket delivered to my hotel. Exactly 4 times as much as buying directly from the train station!
The benefit is I didn’t have to go down to the station, it can be busy. And I was able to book in advance, so I didn’t miss out on a ticket.
Please leave a comment if this post has helped you.