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15 Best Things to Do in Kandy : Unforgettable Experiences

Things to do and places to see in Kandy Octagonal pavilion in The Sacred Tooth Relic Temple Dalada Maligawa

Nestled in the central hills of Sri Lanka, at an altitude of 500M above sea level, Kandy is a city steeped in history and culture. Known for its ornate temples, picturesque gardens, and bustling markets, Kandy has long been considered the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. But beyond Kandy’s attractions, lies a rich and fascinating history that dates back centuries. Check out our top 15 places to see and things to do in Kandy Sri Lanka, to make the most out of your time in this gorgeous city! It is divided into 3 sections; what to do and see in the Sacred City of Kandy and things to do in Kandy city and things to do in Kandy region.

Things to do in Kandy and places to visit in Kandy
A static part of the Mahaweli River.

You will discern quickly how Kandy is a fusion of two major cultures, The Sinhalese Buddhism and the South Indian Hinduism, over a period of couple of millennia.

7 Places to See and Best Things to do in the Sacred City of Kandy

Please click here for accommodation options in Kandy to suit all pockets

Sacred City of Kandy is one of the 8 UNESCO world heritage sites in Sri Lanka. We will start the journey here where, one of the important pilgrimage for Buddhism in Sri Lanka, is located. The Sacred City of Kandy is situated just at the foothills of Udawatta Kele Forest Reserve.

Marvel at the Old Royal Palace Complex of Kandy

The Royal Palace of Kandy, located right next to the Sacred Tooth Relic Temple, was the official residence of all the Kandyan kings till British colonized Sri Lanka in 1815.

The palace complex includes several buildings, courtyards, and gardens, all of which are adorned with intricate carvings and murals. The palace is also home to a museum that showcases artifacts and exhibits related to the history and culture of the Kandyan kingdom. The temple of the tooth relic, perhaps, is also part of the Royal Palace.

Today, the Royal Palace is a popular tourist attractions that offers visitors a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s rich royal heritage and architectural beauty.

Opening Times : 9:00AM to 4:00 PM on all days.
Entry Ticket : 1000 LKR
Time required: About 1 to 2 hours depending on your interest.

Visit Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Sri Dalada Maligawa

Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Tooth Relic Temple is the Sacred temple in which the tooth relic which was brought to Sri Lanka under mysterious and adventurous circumstances. It is said when Buddha attained samadhi or parinirvana, almost 2000 pieces of his skeleton were collected and later distributed to various Buddhist monasteries for worshiping. It is said that this particular tooth relic was in the safe-keeping of the successive Kalinga rulers until about 4th century CE. Kalinga was under siege and the tooth relic was secretly smuggled into Sri Lanka by the then princess, named Hemamala, who hid it in her hair during her difficult and risky passage from Odisha to Sri Lanka.

Please click here for accommodation options in Kandy near Tooth Relic Temple to suit all pockets

Things to do in Kandy and places to visit in Kandy Octagonal pavilion
Octagonal Pavilion, now hosting the library at Dalada Maligawa or The Sacred Tooth Relic Temple.

The relic then became the sign of monarchy. Whoever possessed it, was the king! The relic has had many viharas as its homes. First Anuradhapura, then Polonnaruwa, other places, and finally Kandy when it became the capital. The then king of Kandy built this famous temple, with a moat and an octagonal gallery and consecrated the tooth relic, kept in a golden casket, with great pomp and show.

Tooth relic room dalada maligawa
Tooth Relic Room at Dalada Maligawa. Look at the size of the tusks!

Thrice everyday, the casket is taken out for worshiping and, what a sight it was! The Kandyan drummers slowly start beating the Kandyan drum (hewisi horane wadana) and after some time increase the speed and soon it borders on frenetic crescendo. In fact our hearts beat at the same frequency! About that time the solid doors, which are framed by a pair of huge elephant tusks, are opened for the devotees with special permits for their darshan at close quarters, most of whom are wearing white. It is a sight to behold!

Hewisi drummers at Dalada Maligawa Things to do in Kandy and places to visit in Kandy
Kandyan temple drummers at the Tooth Relic Temple, Kandy

Once a year, the golden casket is taken out of the temple during Esala Perahera festival, and paraded around the temple complex on caparisoned temple elephant. It is also called Sri Dalada Perahara or the festival of the sacred tooth.

Opening Times : 5:30AM to 8:00 PM on all days.

Timings for Special prayers for casket : 5.30 AM, 9.30 AM and 6.30 PM.

Entry Ticket : 1500 LKR for Saarc citizens and 2000 LKR for other foreigners.

Time required: About 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on when you visit.

Visit Sri Kataragama Devalaya Temple (Kateragama Dewale)

Kataragama Temple along with Sri Maha Natha Temple, Sri Maha Paththini temple and Sri Vishnu temple form the guardian quartet deities who protect the city of Kandy. So it is normal for devotees to visit these temples also when they visit Sri Dalada Maligawa. Kataragama Dewale is located a bit further away in the commercial area, than the other 3, which are right opposite Dalada Malegawa.

The principle deity of this temple is Kartikeyan or Murugan as he is called in Tamil. The deity here has several head and hands and rides a peacock. This beautiful mix can only be seen in Kandy. Hindu gods are protecting the city of Kandy where, mostly Buddhism is being practiced.

Opening Times : Open 24 hours on all days (Phone: +94 812 232 440)

Entry Ticket : Free

Time required: About 15 minutes to 30 minutes depending on your interests.

Offer Prayers at the temple Sri Maha Natha Devalaya

Sri Maha Natha Dewale is located in the gated square in front of the Tooth Relic Temple. We were informed that this temple has been in existence since the 14th century, making it older than Tooth Relic Temple by a couple of centuries.

Things to do in Kandy and places to visit in Kandy Natha Devalaya nea dalada Maligawa
Sri Natha Dewale near Dalada Maligawa, Kandy

It is now believed that the presiding deity is a form of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. People pray here for health and curing of sickness. The Mandapa of Sri Natha Dewale is lined with many shiny carved stone pillars. It is also one of the four deities protecting the city from Mara, the mythical evil form opposing Buddhism.

Opening Times : Open 24 hours on all days however the sanctum sanctorum maybe closed at specific times, coinciding with prayer times of the Tooth Relic Temple.

Entry Ticket : Free

Time required: About 15 minutes to 30 minutes depending on your interests.

Visit Sri Maha Pattini Devalaya

The presiding deity of Sri Maha Pattini Devalaya, (temple of the Goddess of Chastity), is the third deity who is the protector of the Sacred City of Kandy. This temple is located in the same premises as Sri Maha Natha Devalaya.

The main deity of this temple is a deified common Tamil woman during the first few centuries of the Common Era. It is based on the Tamil literary masterpiece, Silappadikaram (the story of the anklet). It is a long story but the essence is the poor husband of this woman, Kannagi, was trying to sell one of the anklets of his wife at the market where he is accused of stealing the queen’s anklet and executed by the Pandyan King, without following the due process of justice.

Top Indian Couple Blog by Nisha Jha and Vasudevan R - 15 Best Things to Do in Kandy : Unforgettable Experiences
Statue of Kannagi at Marina Beach, Chennai.
Balamurugan Srinivasan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When Kannagi finds out about this mishap, she is furious beyond words, goes to the king, breaks the anklet and shows that it contained less precious stones, where as the Queen’s anklet had pearls. King realizes his mistake but nothing could be done. Kannagi then throws the anklet at the king cursing him that he will die soon and also curses the people of Madurai, the capital of Pandyan Kingdom, that their city will be destroyed.

Madurai starts to burn and the king contracts a dangerous disease and dies (alternately it is said he was so ashamed that he committed suicide). After this episode Kannagi goes to Chera Kingdom. Where the Gods above, who were observing all this, calms her down and escorts her to the heaven and people build a temple and start to worship her.

Pattini (paththini) means a wife or a chaste woman in Tamil (and many other Indian languages).

Opening Times : Open 24 hours on all days however the sanctum sanctorum maybe closed at specific times, coinciding with prayer times of the Tooth Relic Temple.

Entry Ticket : Free

Time required: About 15 minutes to 30 minutes depending on your interests.

Pray at Sri Maha Vishnu Devalaya

Maha Vishnu is the fourth deity who forms the quartet protecting the city of Kandy.

The temple building looks quite ordinary with a corridor around the building. We are told that the insides are quite ornate, much different than the unassuming structure. We could visit this for want of time.

Opening Times : Open 24 hours on all days however the sanctum sanctorum maybe closed at specific times, coinciding with prayer times of the Tooth Relic Temple.

Entry Ticket : Free

Time required: About 15 minutes to 30 minutes depending on your interests.

Explore the International Buddhist Museum or Museum of World Buddhism

This museum is located just next to the Sacred Sri Dalada Maligawa (Tooth Relic Palace).

International Buddhist Museum or Museum of World Buddhism is the first of its kind in the world, set up with the help 17 countries including Sri Lanka and India amongst others. In fact all the countries where Buddhism was being practiced in the ancient times.

The exhibits include rare manuscripts, Palm Leaf writings, Scrolls, other artefacts pertaining to Buddhism. It spans 20 rooms in two floors.

It is indeed quite interesting to any student of Buddhism,

Opening Times : 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Entry Ticket : LKR 1250

Time required: About 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on your interests.

5 Places to Visit and Unique Things to do in Kandy City

Kandyan Cultural Dane Kandy things to enjoy in Kandy
Kandyan Cultural Dance Performance near Kandy Lake

Listen to and Enjoy the Kandyan Cultural Performance

Kandyan cultural performance is a mix of Kandyan dance, different types of Instruments such as conches, drums performing acrobatics and dances sucah as Peacock dance, Demon dance, Tea plucking dance etc. The grand finale is walking on fire!

Kandyan Cultural Dane Kandy things to enjoy in Kandy. Acrobatics
Kandyan performers. One of them doing acrobatics

It is definitely worth a visit if you are interested in cultural shows. It is held at a few places everyday. We went for the one at the YMBA hall (Young Men’s Buddhist Association) at Rajapihilla Mawatha, Kandy, Sri Lanka which is near the lake.


Opening Times : 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM Phone: +94-81-2235258, +94-766122353, +94-776235271

Entry Ticket : LKR 2000 Book Here

Time required: 1 Hour show. One show daily.

Cool off at the Kandy Lake

Kandy lake is an artificial lake near the Tooth Relic temple built in the early 19th Century CE by the then King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. As per the guide, there used to be a paddy field with a pond in the middle named Kiri Muhuda meaning , Sea of Milk. The lake carries the same name even now.

There is a 3 KM promenade all around for people to walk and enjoy the cool breeze.

Opening Times : 24 Hours

Entry Ticket : Free

Time required: As much as you want 🙂

Take a Healthy Stroll in the Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya

The Royal Botanical Garden is surrounded by a winding Mahaweli river on 3 sides. In the early decades of the 19th Century a Botanical Garden was created which also was used for cultivating Cinnamon and Coffee.

The Royal Botanical Garden at Peradeniya now is home to 4000 + species plants such as including orchids, spices, medicinal plants, palms, and other tropical plants. It is spread over almost 150 Acres (60 Hectares). One can make use of an electric buggy for additional charge.

Things to do in Kandy and places to see in Kandy . Palm tree-lined avenues in the Royal Botanical Garden Peradeniya
Palm Tree Avenue at the Royal Botanical Garden Peradeniya Kandy

There are a few Palm Trees Lined avenues, which are very photogenic. They make a beautiful background for portraits 🙂 There is also an Orchid house in a temperature controlled enclosure with many varieties of Orchids.

This botanical garden is very popular with the local as well as foreign tourists. Peradeniya botanical garden also has a section with trees planted by world leaders.

Things to do in Kandy and places to visit in Kandy Botanical garden Peradeniya
Trees dedicated to world leaders. Here Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, one of the Presidents of India.
Things to do in Kandy and places to visit in Kandy Sometimes you see these snakes too!
Sometimes you see these reptiles too!

Another claim to fame is this Garden was used as one of the location for the epic movie The Bridge on the River Kwai.

Opening Times : 7:30 Am to 6:30 PM . Last entry is 5:00PM (phone : +94 81 238 8088)

Established in the year : 1821 CE

Entry Ticket : For Foreigners Adults LKR 2000 and Children LKR 1000.

For wedding photography: Before 7:30AM – LKR 3000. from 7:30 AM t o 5:30 PM – LKR 2500

Electric Buggy (Golf Cart) – Small (seats 3) is LKR 1000 per hour and Large(Seats 6) is for LKR 2000 Per hour

Time required: 1 Hour to 2 Hours Depending on interests and if you have engaged a Golf Cart

Let your Eyes Twinkle at the Gems Museum and Jewellery Store

“I want you to understand that the island of Ceylon is, for its size, the finest island in the world, and from its streams comes rubies, sapphires, topazes, amethyst and garnet.”

—–Marco Polo—- after his halt at Ceylon in 1292 CE

The Gems Museum and Jewellery Store is a museum and retail outlet that showcases a wide variety of precious and semi-precious gems and minerals not only from the Kandy region but also from whole of Sri Lanka.

There are many Gems Museum and Jewellery Stores and we are given to understand that all follow a similar pattern of display, guides and stores. We visited the Handuni Gems and Jewellery Museum.

Not for nothing, Sri Lanka was (and probably still is) known as Ratna Dweepa meaning Island of Gems! It is said that about 25% of Sri Lanka is gems bearing land! Whew!

More gem stones Things to do in Kandy and places to visit
15 Best Things to Do in Kandy : Unforgettable Experiences 27

Arabs called the island of Sri Lanka as Serendib (Serendip), and recorded in 362 CE about the rubies and sapphires found there. In fact the English word Serendipity (unexpected fortunate discoveries), owes its existence to the Arab-Persian word Serendip!

From a documentary on the mining history and process to the craftsmen cutting the gems and making the final product, all aspects are covered. They end the tour at the store where the visitors may purchase jewellery . There is no obligation though.

Huge stones at the Gem Store Kandy . Things to do in Kandy and places to see in Kandy
15 Best Things to Do in Kandy : Unforgettable Experiences 28

Opening Times : 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Entry Ticket : Free. No obligation to buy anything at the store.

Time required: 30 to 60 minutes depending on your interest 🙂 (wink wink)

Shop till you Drop at Kandy

Shopping in Kandy is a real treat! With its wide selection of Gems, Jewelleries, tea, souvenirs and the enchanting aromas of local spices wafting through the air, it’s no wonder people come from far and wide to explore its offerings! Not to mention, the friendly locals make it a pleasure to bargain for a deal.

For authentic items, we suggest either the manufacturers store or Laksala, the only State owned Gift and Souvenir Shop established under the National Crafts Council. There are Laksala shops in all major cities.

Other places to shop as the locals do are the Central Market, Kandy City Centre and Cargill Food City.

3 Places to Visit and Best Things to do in Kandy Region

There are umpteen things to do in Kandy region. However we will stick to the most important ones.

Enjoy the Spice Garden

An invigorating bouquet of fragrances wafts across and greets you as you enter the spice garden. This is yet another must visit place.

Things to do and places to visit in Kandy Vanilla PLant in Spice Garden
Vanilla plant at the Spice Garden Kandy

The spice gardens have live plants and trees of Spices and medicinal plants like turmeric, vanilla, cocoa, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg trees, pepper etc. including, what is Sri Lanka well known for, the Cinnamon and tea. Kandy is famous for its lush greenery, tea plantations, and rich cultural heritage.

We visited Ranweli Spice Garden, a bit far from Kandy, however there are many spice gardens dotting the region. You can have your pick. The employees of any of the many spice gardens will be happy to show you around and let you taste some exotic varieties of tea and probably have a quick head massage! These knowledgeable guides provide interesting insights into the history of each spice, its medicinal properties, and its uses in traditional Sri Lankan cuisine.

Almost 12 inches long, Cocoa pod. Spice Garden Kandy
Almost 12 inches long, Cocoa pod. Spice Garden Kandy

There is also a spice store if you are interested in buying spices. I was surprised to see that they were accepting Indian Rupees too as a mode of payment in addition to the usual suspects. Over it was an excellent sensory experience!

Opening Times : 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Entry Ticket : Free. No obligation to buy anything at the store.

Time required: 30 minutes.

Take in the Aroma of Fresh Tea at a Tea Factory!

Like the Spice gardens, there are many tea manufacturers. We went to Geragama Tea Factory.

There is an enriching guided tour where they explain the various types of tea, from Gold, silver to other cheaper varieties. Also when and how to pluck the leaves, sort them, dry , curl and how the enzymatic oxidation takes place.

Raw materials fresh tea leaves kandy
From here, fresh tea leaves ……….
End product , tea powder Kandy
… here…the end product, Tea

The mix of aroma from the shop floor and the packing area can leave you wanting to taste them now 🙂

Yes you can do that too on the top floor. The hostesses will courteously serve you small quanitities of various teas. If tea is your thing then there is a shop counter where you can order from the wide choices available.

Tea Store at Tea Manufacturing factory at Kandy Things to do and places to see in Kandy
Tea Store at the Tea Factory in Kandy

If you have never been to a tea factory and tea tasting in Sri Lanka, then this is not to be missed.

Opening Times : 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days.

Entry Ticket : Free. No obligation to buy anything at the store.

Time required: 30 to 60 minutes depending on your interest

Explore the three temple circuit at Kandy Sri Lanka

The following three temple located a bit away from the city and lies almost in a straight are more examples of how Buddhism and Hindu thrives here together.

Embekke Devalaya Temple, Kandy

Embekke Devalaya of Kandy is located about 18 KM North of the Sacred City of Kandy. The presiding deity is again Karthikeya, similar to Kataragama Devalaya.

Embekke Devalaya. Kartikeya , the presiding deity.
15 Best Things to Do in Kandy : Unforgettable Experiences 29

Embekke temple was built by King Vikramabahu III sometime in the latter half of 14th century CE. The temple is divided into 3 parts. The sanctum sanctorum, the Digge or the dancing hall and hewisi drummers hall. The temple looks very ordinary till you enter it.

The temple is made of wood and carries some most intricate carvings on its pillars. As per our guide UNESCO has deemed the cravings on the wooden pillars at Embekke Devale as the finest piece of wood carvings to be found anywhere in the world.

When we went, the sculpture of the god was hidden behind a curtain with an image of Karthikeya as Shanmugam (meaning, one having 6 faces).

This is truly one of the best hidden places of Kandy.

Opening Times : 24 Hours. However sanctum is opened only when the priest arrives.

Entry Ticket : Free.

Time required: 30 minutes

Carvings at Embekke devalaya kandy
Several such carvings on the pillars of Embekke Devalaya, Kandy This is interesting. Looks like a westerner on a horse!

Gadaladeniya Raja Maha Viharaya

Gadaladeniya Raja Maha Viharaya (Temple of the King of Gadaladeniya), as the name suggests, is a Buddhist temple built in the first half of 14th century CE. It has a few features from South Indain Hindu temples and Polonnaruwa style.

The sanctum has a sculpture of Seated Buddha in Dyana Mudra and is about 8 Feet tall.

Sri Lankathilake Raja Maha Viharaya

Sri Lankathilake Raja Maha Viharaya (Temple of the King of Lankathilaka), is also the same period as Gadaladeniya temple and is also a Buddhist Vihara or temple.

This was originally a 4 storeyed building, as per the inscriptions found here. Walls and ceilings have paintings, probably from Kandyan era.

In addition to Buddha, there are 6 hindu shrines around dedicated to Ganesha, Karthikeya, Vibhishana amongst others.

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Useful Information on Things to do in Kandy Sri Lanka

Tips for Travelling to Kandy

  • After reaching Colombo, proceed to Kandy or Dambulla for the next part of your Sri Lanka vacation.
  • Being the centre of Sri Lanka, you may plan several excursions from here.
  • Take a train ride: Kandy to Ella train ride is considered one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. Book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Stay hydrated: Kandy can get hot and humid, so make sure to drink plenty of water and carry a water bottle with you at all times and cover your head.
  • Dress appropriately: Sri Lanka is a conservative country, so it’s essential to dress modestly. Keep your shoulders and knees covered when visiting temples and other religious sites.

Tidbits about Kandy

  • Kandy is often called as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka.
  • Kandy is a city located in the central province of Sri Lanka and is the second-largest city after Colombo.
  • Kandy is considered one of the most sacred cities in Sri Lanka, and it is home to the famous Temple of the Tooth, which is one of the 8 UNESCO World Heritage site of Sri Lanka.
  • Kandy was the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka before Britain took over and made Colombo the capital. It played a crucial role in the country’s history.
  • The city is surrounded by lush green hills and tea plantations, making it a popular destination for nature lovers.
  • Kandy Esala Perahera is an annual cultural procession held in the city during July or August, attracting thousands of visitors from around the world.
  • The Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue is a 26-meter tall statue of Buddha located on a hill overlooking Kandy. This is also another “Thing-to-do” in Kandy of you have time.

How to reach Kandy, Sri Lanka?

By Road: Kandy is about 113 KM from Colombo Airport, CMB (Bandaranaike International Airport ) and can take about 2.5 to 3 Hours. This, as per us, is the most convenient form of transport but is expensive. it could cost about USD 60 or so (LKR 22000).

By Bus: Bus takes about 4 hours and costs LKR 1200 or so. It may require change of buses.

By Train: You are in luck! There are many trains which may take between 2.5 hours to 3.5 hours. The scenic Kandy to Ella, train route actually starts from Colombo Fort Station. The cost ranges between LKR 240 to LKR 1000 (USD 5 only) depending on the train and class of travel. This makes it the cheapest option. You would need to provide for time to reach the station and waiting for the train etc. However I know of people who swear by train travel!

Where to stay in Kandy, Sri Lanka?

Being the second largest city of Sri Lanka there are innumerable stay options. Right from homestays to 5 star hotels and everything in between.

Please click here for accommodation options to suit all pockets

We stayed at the luxurious “Mahaweli Reach” hotel right in the city about 7 KM from the Tooth Relic Temple. It had an old charm about it but it was total modern from inside. The highlight is that it is right on the banks of Mahaweli river.

Mahaweli Reach Hotel Kandy Things to do and places to see in Kandy
Mahaweli Reach Hotel with its own Lily-lotus ponds!

On the second night we stayed at a Bungalow probably used by Lord Mountbatten on the hills over looking Kandy. It is aptly named the Mountbatten Bungalow. You are literally in the midst of the nature when you stay here. There are a few cottages too a bit away from the main building.

Mountbatten bungalow in the hills surrounding Kandy
Early Morning at the Mountbatten Bungalow, Kandy

FAQ on Things to do in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Is Kandy worth Visiting?

Kandy is steeped in Sri Lanka’s Political and religious history. The Buddhist temples are much more ornate and different than those found in other parts of Sri Lanka. It has better weather owing to the hills around. Keep about 3 to 4 days for Kandy. Dambulla , another major tourist region, is just 70 odd KM from Kandy.

Is one day enough for Kandy

Short answer is no! However if you have only one day then best would be to visit Dalada Maligawa and a few temples nearby, the botanical garden and either the tea factory or the Spice garden or both.

What is Kandy famous for?

Kandy is famous for its Tooth Relic Temple, hilly terrain, weather, abundance of nature apart from the so many things to do in Kandy.

What to eat in Kandy?

The city has a rich culinary culture, and traditional Sri Lankan dishes like Kandyan chicken curry, Polos curry, and Kiri Bath are some of the must-try delicacies and also Kottu and String Hoppers.

What is the best time to visit Kandy?

Best time to visit Kandy would be November to April. After that monsoon takes over. While the whole country looks beautiful during monsoon, it may pose some challenges in travelling .

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P.S.- This article, 15 best Places to visit in Kandy and Things to do in Kandy, Sri Lanka, belongs to Le Monde, the Poetic Travels, one of the top Indian Travel Blogs, published by the traveling couple bloggers, Nisha & Vasudevan. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. If you are viewing this on another website other than the RSS feed reader or itself, then that website is guilty of stealing our content. Kindly do us a favour by letting us know via Contact Us. Thank you.

Things to do near Kandy Province or Day trips from Kandy

Some of the top day trips from Kandy are as follows:

Vasu's imagination of how the sigiriya rock would have looked in its heydays.
Awe-inspiring Sigiriya. Don’t forget to see Lemonicks’ impression of how it might have looked like!
Another view of Ridi Viharaya
Ridi Viharaya Silver Cave Temple, Dambulla
Jethavanaramaya Anuradhapura UNESCO world heritage site Sri Lanka
Anuradhapura, UNESCO World Heritage Sites

35 thoughts on “15 Best Things to Do in Kandy : Unforgettable Experiences”

  1. It was great reading the blog. Thank you for providing information in such a simple manner. The photos look great. Worth visiting place.

  2. Your article on the top places to visit and things to do in Kandy, Sri Lanka is absolutely fantastic! I especially appreciate the personal anecdotes and insider tips that make the destinations come alive.

  3. It seems one day tour is not enough to visit and explore the ancient city of Kandy. But If I have to choose one, I would go over the Giragama Tea Plantation and enjoy the lush green hills and tea plantation. A tailor-made tour to experience the whole process of ‘tea culture’ would be amazing!

    1. Glenn, No way. One day certainly is not enough unless you are total constrained by available time. The employees double up as guides and are quite knowledgeable.

  4. Your writing beautifully captured the essence of Kandy’s rich cultural and historical significance, and your top 15 places to see and things to do in Kandy Sri Lanka were incredibly helpful in planning my trip. I especially appreciated your detailed description of the Sacred City of Kandy, which is one of the 8 UNESCO world heritage sites in Sri Lanka. Your article provided me with an insight into the city’s fusion of Sinhalese Buddhism and South Indian Hinduism, which is a fascinating aspect of Kandy’s history and culture.

    1. Thank you so much! The South Indian and Sinhalese are inextricably intertwined (in a positive way) for much the Island’s history. But still when you visit Sri Lanka it has its own vibes

  5. Wow Kandy has a lot of great sights to see. The Tooth Relic Temple is stunning and the architecture is so unique. I can smell the aroma of those tea leaves, I bet it’s more intense in person! I’ve never been to Sri Lanka but it looks like an incredible country to see. Kandy is now on the list!

    1. You bet! The aroma is is certainly a bit thick and also in the spice garden store. Wish you good luck to visit Sri Lanka soon.

  6. This post has given me new goals. I wasn’t aware that Buddha’s skeleton pieces were kept in different monasteries. Would certainly like to see the tooth relic. I would certainly like to walk down the palm trees avenue. And you actually saw a snake.

    1. These relics are leftovers after the cremation. The relic itself cannot be seen as they are in a casket within casket. I have seen a tooth relic on live TV feed in Singapore Buddhist temple where the relic televised 24 hours.

  7. This is one solid post on Kandy where you have literally covered all the major spots. For me, the biggest highlight of Kandy has been the temple of tooth. It has been ages since I have been there but I do recall the golden shrine here. I haven’t really visited the other temples – seems like there are a lot of Hindu ones here. The Botanical park is also, quite refreshing. I remember there was a tree with a huge trunk (as in the girth) .

  8. I have been to Kandy back in 2019, when I first visited Sri Lanka. I would have loved to see the interior of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic but my visit there was at the same time as the annual Perehera so I didn’t get a chance to go inside, only to see it from the outside. I remember visiting a spice garden, as well as the botanical garden which was such a nice oasis in the middle of the buzzing city. The Gems Museum was pretty insightful as well, especially the reproduction of the mine inside it.

  9. I can see why people would visit Kanda in Sri Lanka. We would certainly want to enjoy all the things to see and do in the Sacred City, Kandy city and in the region. The tusks really are amazing in the Tooth Relic Room at Dalada Maligawa. We would certainly plan to attend a cultural performance. Good to know there are different places to see this. Great to include a visit to the Botanical Gardens to relax and take a break. I can see why Kandy is considered the cultural capital of Sri Lanka.

  10. Just reading this post demonstrates how valuable it is to visit Kandy. The locations on the list, particularly the temples, seem fascinating. I’d like to see some of their traditional dances as well. I’m grateful you shared this wonderful list. Experiencing them all soon is something I’m looking forward to.

  11. I like that tourists in Kandy can go to worship at the temples, too. I think it’s part of the attraction in the city. Palm Tree Avenue in the Botanical Garden is very beautiful. Everyone must see it. And I think a visit to Tea Factory is a must too. I can imagine the sweet smell of tea inside the factory.

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