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Kandy Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Best Time: December to April Read More

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"Cultural Capital of Sri Lanka"

Kandy Tourism

Settled on a plateau encircled by lush mountains, Kandy is a large city in central Sri Lanka with biodiverse rainforests and tea plantations. Around 4 hours by road from Colombo, the city is famed for the Temple of the Tooth Relic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most sacred Buddhist places in the world. Kandy is bountiful in nature with national parks like Udawattekele Sanctuary, and mystical cloud-laden peaks like Hanthana Mountain Range. Truly, the city is an epicentre of cultural, historical, spiritual and nature tourism.

Overlooked by Kandy Viewpoint, Bogambara Lake is the city’s heart. Since 1807, the scenic lake has a flurry of historical sites and snazzy waterfront eateries. Kandy is a paradise for families and adventure lovers, featuring amazing activities to enjoy in Horton Plains National Park, Millennium Elephant Foundation, and Royal Botanical Garden. Hiking in the Knuckles Mountains brings you to grasslands and jagged peaks, while Riverton Gap’s trekking trails offer waterfalls like Huluganga Waterfall. To see Kandy’s famed tea estates, Giragama Plantations and Ranweli Spice Garden are the top destinations.

Learn more about Lankan history at tourist hotspots like Ceylon Tea Museum, Commonwealth War Cemetery or the Royal Palace Of Kandy. Then, seek blessings at Lankatilaka and Degaldoruwa Temples. For a perfect finishing touch to your Kandy tour, take home beautiful handmade gems, antiques, Ceylon tea and Buddhist handicrafts from Main Market, Kandy City Centre and Buddhist Publication Society.

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Must Know Before You Travel to Kandy

  • Ella Kandy Train Ride: It is one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. Because of its popularity, it is suggested to book it much in advance. There are 2 trains from Ella to Kandy daily at 6:40 AM and 9:24 AM. 2nd class is the best option.
  • Where to Stay: Central Kandy for restaurants and tourist attractions nearby. Anniewatta for a more peaceful area with stunning city views.
  • Getting Around: Kandy is a small city and not very difficult to get around on foot. However, since it is a hill country, a lot of walking uphill and downhill is involved. You can get around by tuk-tuk, which costs around LKR 50 for the first km, then around LKR 40 for every subsequent km. You can also hire a taxi.

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Shopping in Kandy

Kandy has a popular shopping mall called the Kandy city centre which has some renowned international stores, some stores selling local products and boutiques. Some renowned local garment stores are Odel, Abstract.
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Nightlife in Kandy

Kandy is not very known for its nightlife, but some places to hang out at are the bars - Pub Royale which has an English feel and Le Garage. The nearest disco in Kandy is located here. However the disco is only open on Saturdays in the evening.

History of Kandy

Kandy, formerly known as Senkadagalapura, was established in the 15th century by King Vikramabahu III of Gampola. The kingdom gained prominence during the 16th century after King Vimaladharmasuriya I ascended to the throne; he defeated the Portuguese twice in battle and built the Temple of The Sacred Tooth Relic. The kingdom later developed rocky relations with the Dutch, which lasted for several decades. Eventually, Kandy was captured by the British forces in 1815, making it the last ancient capital of Sri Lanka.

Festivals in Kandy

Every year, Kandy plays host to the ten-day Kandy Esala Perahera, perhaps the most impressive Buddhist festival in Sri Lanka. Its origins date back to the 4th century. With numerous processions comprising elephants bedecked with garments and carrying a replica of the Sacred Tooth Relic, fire breathers, dancers, acrobats, whip crackers and musicians, the festival is simply spectacular.

Best Time to Visit Kandy

Kandy Photos

Kandy, Sri-Lanka
Scenic View of Kandy City and Lake, Sri Lanka

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FAQs on Kandy

What is the local food in Kandy?

For authentic local food try the Kandy Muslim hotel which is very popular among locals and tourists alike. Helga's Folly, The White House and Kandy House are also popular choices. Soya Centre is a popular choice as well and moreover, it is a completely vegetarian place.

The restaurants at Kandy mainly consist of options for everyday casual dining and fine dining. Restaurants such as The Empire Café, Mlesna Tea Centre and Buono are ideal for a light meal; excellent dining options include Villa Rosa Restaurant, Theva Cuisine and Sala Thai. Visit Sharon Inn for a taste of authentic Sri Lankan delicacies; the restaurant is known for its rice and curry buffet, which typically starts at 7:30 PM.

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What are the places near Kandy?

The top places near to Kandy are Nuwara eliya which is 41 km from Kandy, Colombo which is located 94 km from Kandy, Sigiriya which is located 75 km from Kandy, Galle which is located 144 km from Kandy, Anuradhapura which is located 116 km from Kandy

What are the things to do in Kandy?

The top things to do in Kandy are Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Giragama Tea Plantations, Temple of the Tooth, Big Buddha - Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue, Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya, Spice Gardens. You can see all the places to visit in Kandy here

What are the top hotels in Kandy?

There are 1019 in Kandy which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Kandy are Stone House, Kandy, Country House Hillside, Springhill Homestay, Riverine Cascade, Bungalow116 Lanka, The Cat House. You can see all the hotels in Kandy here

What is the best way to reach Kandy?

Kandy is accessible through airways, land transport.
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What is the best time to visit Kandy?

The best time to visit Kandy is from January to March as these are the driest months of the year, which facilitates a better sightseeing experience. Incidentally, this also coincides with the peak season for touring Sri Lanka so that one might incur higher expenses for travel and accommodation. However, if you are planning to witness the festivities of the Kandy Esala Perahera, visit the city during July and August; fortunately, the rainfall is relatively low at this time of the year.

The months of October and November are generally considered as the off-season for visiting Kandy, since this is the time of the monsoon, and the weather can play havoc with sightseeing plans.
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