Kandy is the second-largest city in Sri Lanka; this city lies in the heart of the country and is the most symbolic, cultural, and religious center. There are many popular spots to visit in the city, but here are the top 5 places to visit in Kandy.
- Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
- Kandy lake
- Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue
- Udawattakele Forest Reserve
- Dalada Maligawa Museum
A day or two is good enough to cover all these places. If you can put the city in your travel itinerary, it will surely be worth it.
How to reach Kandy, Sri Lanka?
While I was traveling in Sri Lanka, I started my journey to Kandy from Dambulla as per my itinerary.
There are a couple of options to reach Kandy.
1 – By Car (Approx. 122Km, 3-4 hours)
You can opt for a private car for around 5000-6000 LKR which also depends on your luggage if you get fellow travelers to join you can split the cost per person. This would be cheaper and not a bad option.
2 – By Bus
You can also catch a bus from Colombo to Kandy, no idea about comfort but it takes around 3-4 hours for the journey. The bus fare will cost you around 150-400 LKR.
3 – By Train
The rail route is very scenic and takes around 2-3 hours to reach Kandy from Colombo railway station. Most travelers stay at Ella and travel to Kandy or vice versa. The cost depends on the class of travel, which ranges from 200-1500 LKR. You can check out my full blog on the world’s most scenic train ride in Sri Lanka – Read it here.
4 – By Tuk-tuk
You can rent and drive your tuk-tuk in Sri Lanka. It’s a lot of fun to drive around in Tuk-tuk. Most of the backpackers choose to travel by renting Tuk-tuk. The cost of the rental depends on the rental company, but the average rent would be around 3500-4000 LKR per day.
5 must-visit places in Kandy
Here is my list of top 5 places to visit in Kandy. note that this has not been put up in any chronological order.
1 – Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
The temple is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Kandy. The temple is located in the middle of the city.
The temple is also known as Sri Dalada Maligawa by the locals. it is said to be house Buddha’s tooth also known as sacred tooth relic.
The holy temple is located in a royal complex. Before entering the temple, it is recommended to remove the footwear and cover your body fully as it is considered disrespectful.
During the puja, the time of offerings or prayers, the people are allowed to see the tooth for themselves from a certain distance which is also guarded by the monks. You can offer candles and flowers also pray for your wishes
I recommend you visit it in the early mornings to avoid any crowd.
Entry Fee – 1500 LKR per person
Timings – 5:30 am to 8 pm
2 – Kandy Lake
The Kandy Lake was an artificial lake created by the last king of Sri Lanka, Wikrama Rajasinhe. The lake is one of the most highly visited sights in Kandy. Most of the locals visit the lake by night. A stroll by the lake in early mornings or by the night can be surprisingly peaceful
I shot this view of the Kandy Lake from the Kandy city Viewpoint.
The visit to the park is free of cost and open at all times.
3 – Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue
The giant statue of Buddha is located on a hill and is one of the city’s most notable religious monuments. The statue can be seen from most places throughout the city.
You can climb the top of the hill within an hour. It’s a steep walk and I recommend carrying water & sunscreen if you travel at noon.
At the top, you can enjoy the panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. I have also checked out many drone shots being taken at this location.
4 – Udawattakele Forest Reserve
The Udawattakele Forest was once served as pleasure gardens for the kings of the city. The wildlife sanctuary is home to many species of reptiles and mammals.
The park is particularly famous for bird watchers and educational field trips.
The forest reserve is an icon for the lush jungles of Sri Lanka and its tropical nature. Hence is one of the best reasons the get out of the hustle of the city.
It takes around 15 minutes from the city to reach the forest sanctuary.
The entry fee for tourists is 570 LKR.
Timing – 7 am to 6 pm
5 – Dalada Maligawa Museum
The Dalada maligawa museum is one of the most visited and unique museums in the country. The museum exhibits the collection of relics and stories which highlight the spread of Buddhism in Asia and throughout the world.
The museum also provides complete insights into the roots of the religion to its development. The relics dated back to the origins of India and then throughout other countries in Asia.
Hence making it in my list of top 5 must-visit places in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Entry fee – 600 LKR
These are my top picks from my one day venture in Kandy. You can also visit other places in the city if you add more days to your itinerary.
Here are some of the places to check out too.
- Kandy Viewpoint
- Royal Botanical Garden
- Giragama Tea Plantation
- Esala Perahara (Historical event in July or August)
- Kandy Muslim Hotel
- The Commonwealth Cemetery
- St. Pauls Church
- Hanthana Mountain Range
- Knuckles Mountain Range
Wondering where to stay in Kandy?
Visit Places to stay in Kandy.
Read my Full Blog Post on Best Places to Stay in Sri Lanka.
When is the best time to visit Kandy?
I visited Sri Lanka in January, where the weather was cooler at day & night but hotter in midday. September to November is usually the monsoon season and it might crush your plans.
So, the best time to visit Kandy is between December to Mid-April. The weather is mostly dry and pleasant this time of the year in Sri Lanka.
I hope this blog helps add value to your travel plans to Sri Lanka in the Future.
Check-out the complete Sri Lanka travel guide.
Read my full blog on 18 must-do things in Sri Lanka in one week.
Pin this image to read the blog later.