The Nine Arch Bridge, also known as The Bridge In The Sky, is a man-made masterpiece ideally located in the ‘hill country’ of Ella in Sri Lanka.
Over the past couple of years, Ella has become a tourist hotspot due to its profuse green scenery, hiking trails, epic waterfalls, historical caves, and of course, the 9 Arch Bridge!
I originally intended to stay in Ella for 2 days but I ended up staying 4 days. Believe me, once you arrive you won’t want to leave this cute hillside village as it has a very peaceful and welcoming vibe about it.
I have put together this complete guide to Nine Arches Bridge including how to get there, the best time to visit, and what to expect when you arrive.
WHERE IS THE NINE ARCH BRIDGE?
The Nine Arch Bridge is very close to the town of Ella. From the main street of Ella, it will take you about 30 minutes on foot, or alternatively, you can take a tuk-tuk directly to the bridge.
I recommend hiking down to the Nine Arches Bridge as you will pass through some tea plantations and it’s more of an adventure to get there rather than sitting in the back of a tuk-tuk.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
If you want to get some great shots of the bridge and jungle surroundings, be sure to get up nice and early for a sunrise exploration.
Chances are, you will be the only person around at this time… and walking along the tracks and across the bridge is an unforgettable experience in itself.
If you have the time to visit more than once, definitely get back down there for when a train is scheduled to pass over the bridge.
I was there around 10:30 am and a train came through at 11 am. It’s a lot busier at this time but you can still manage to get some great photos.
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Again, if you are looking for something to do one afternoon in Ella, head down to the bridge a little before sunset to experience those soothing warm colors lighting up the bridge and tea plantations in the valley below.
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WHAT TO EXPECT
Once you have had your fun exploring on top of the bridge, hike down the dirt track that leads underneath the bridge and into the tea plantation below.
The dirt track is located on the side opposite the tunnel.
I promise that you will get an amazing perspective of how tall and magnificent the Nine Arch Bridge actually is when you are standing under one of the 9 arches.
If you carefully walk through the tea plantation you can also get some great angles of the bridge from here.
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HISTORY OF THE NINE ARCH BRIDGE ELLA
In the history books, it’s said that when construction work commenced on the bridge, World War I began between the empires of Europe, and the steel assigned for the bridge was reallocated to Britain’s War-related projects.
As a result, the work came to a standstill, leading the locals to build the bridge with the only materials at hand being stone bricks and cement, but without steel. Human ingenuity I might add!
Understanding the rich history behind this monument definitely made me appreciate the experience even more… this is always something to keep in mind while traveling!
All in all, visiting the Nine Arch Bridge is one of the best things to do in Sri Lanka!
WHERE TO STAY IN ELLA
Ella has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Nine Skies
Nine Skies is one of only a few 5-star properties on Ella, featuring a swimming pool, a restaurant and bar, beautiful gardens, and a sun terrace.
The rooms are luxurious and spacious and come with free wifi, an en-suite bathroom, a terrace, and spectacular mountain views.
The perfect place to stay for couples or families.
Mid Range: Tea Cabins
Tea Cabins is one of the most relaxing places to stay in Ella and is centrally located in the town and close to all the tourist spots.
Features include a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, free wifi, and mountain views in all directions, and you have the option of booking a One-Bedroom Chalet or a Villa with Private Pool.
Perfect for couples, small families, or friends visiting Ella.
Budget: Hangover Hostel Ella
Hangover Hostel Ella is a modern, comfortable, and safe place to stay in Ella on a budget.
Choose from a standard twin room with a private en-suite, or book a bed in a mixed dorm or female-only dorm.
There is free wifi for all guests, and the town center is just a few minutes walk from the hostel.
FOR MORE OPTIONS IN ELLA, SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
BEST TOURS IN SRI LANKA
WHAT TO PACK FOR ELLA
When visiting Ella, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you:
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FINAL THOUGHTS – NINE ARCH BRIDGE ELLA
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions about Nine Arch Bridge Ella please leave me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
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THANKS FOR READING
Hey friend, thanks for reading this guide!
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