17 Inspiring Things To Do in Kandy

Things to do in Kandy

Apart from its beautiful beaches, Sri Lanka is also known for its beautiful nature, religious sites, and spectacular train rides. And this is where Kandy comes into play on your Sri Lanka Route, as the starting point for one of the world’s most epic train journeys and host to a plethora of cultural exhibits. Kandy, Sri Lanka’s second-largest city, is three hours away from Colombo and is surrounded by mountain ranges and tea plantations. It is a popular destination for visitors who want to spend a day or two exploring its colonial buildings, celebrating nature, and immersing themselves in local culture. So, let’s check out what are the most favorite things to do in Kandy!

1. Take a Relaxing Stroll at Kandy Lake

Stroll around Kandy Lake.

Stroll around Kandy Lake, which is considered the heart and soul of the city due to its central location and undeniable beauty. A tiny island with a few palm trees in the middle of the lake is recognized as one of Kandy’s iconic scenes and has appeared on many postcards.

2. Visit Kandy’s Spice Garden

Ranweli Spice Gardens in Kandy.

Sri Lanka is known as Spice Island because it is home to three well-known spice gardens: Ranweli Spice Gardens in Kandy, Arunalu Spice Gardens in Matale, and the New Ranweli Spice Gardens in Kandy. The spices are grown using organic methods, and the trading is done in accordance with fair trade standards. The quality of these spices is what makes them famous and renowned.

When you visit the Spice Garden of Kandy, you will be shown the cultivation, harvesting, cleaning, and packaging of the 15 different varieties of spices grown here. They also tell you about the health benefits and applications of these spices and herbs.

3. Nilambe Buddhist Meditation Center 

Daily meditation at Nilambe Buddhist Meditation Center.

Nilambe Buddhist Meditation Center is located 13 kilometers south of Kandy and offers daily meditation classes to seekers and nature enthusiasts. The meditation center is ideal for anyone looking to make the most of their visit to the island nation. Nothing in Kandy can provide you with as much comfort as Nilambe Meditation Center, which is surrounded by lush greenery and Buddhist monks. Walk through the sprawling tea estates to energize yourself. This location has a lot to offer!

Check this link for complete guidelines and more information.

4. Explore The City Center of Kandy

Kandy's central streets.

Kandy’s central streets are lined with old colonial buildings and street vendors. Begin at the Temple of the Tooth and make your way through the old streets, stopping for a fresh coconut from one of the many colorful fruit stands.

5. Shopping at Kandy City Center and Main Market

Kandy City Center and Central Market, with their numerous shopping options, provide travelers with a plethora of exciting opportunities. Exploring the local market is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Kandy. The city center mall, known for its ultramodern features and unique architecture, caters to a large portion of visitors planning a trip to Kandy.

Aside from well-designed restaurants, supermarkets, and entertainment areas, the center also has a plethora of showrooms showcasing designer wear, handicraft stores, and accessory shops. Other popular shopping options in the city can also be found in close proximity to Kandy Lake.

6. Watch Kandyan Dance Show

Interacting with Sri Lanka’s ritual dances is one of the best things to do in Kandy. You will gain a thorough understanding of the country’s cultures and traditions as a result of this. The performances of the Indian dancers, who are decked out in heavy jewelry, mystic masks, and elegant tiaras, are mesmerizing. The thrilling national dance of Sri Lanka, the Kandyan Dance, follows.

The Kandyan Dance depicts Sri Lankan cultural traditions and rituals. Khomba Kapadiya, for example, is based on the movements of birds and animals, and how graceful and enthusiastic they are. This dance also contains a lot of information about the legends, and it will keep you gasping for more.

7. Get Blessed at Temple of Tooth Relic

Dalada Maligawa, most sacred places in Sri Lanka.

The Temple Of Tooth Relic, also known as the Dalada Maligawa, is one of the most sacred places in Sri Lanka and is at the top of every pilgrim’s list who visits this island nation. In fact, it is one of the most revered places of worship in the world, and it is an essential part of the Ramayana tour. This beautiful white temple complex, located inside the former Kingdom of Kandy’s royal palace complex, is known to house a relic of Buddha’s tooth wrapped in a golden casket. Visiting this renowned World Heritage Site at night is one of the most relaxing things to do in Kandy.

8. Wander Around the Beauty of the Royal Botanical Garden

Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden.

The Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden was founded in 1371. A tuk-tuk ride from the city center takes only about 20 minutes to get here. This lush paradise, which covers an area of 147 acres or more, attracts more than 2 million visitors each year due to its diverse collection of rare, exotic, medicinal, and herbal plants. It is known to have over 4,000 species of flora, including an incredible variety of orchids.

9. See Largest Buddha Statue and Panoramic View of Kandy 

Largest Buddha Statue and Panoramic View of Kandy.

The Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue is Sri Lanka’s largest Buddha statue. This 88-foot-tall statue is hidden among the hills above Kandy, in the shadow of the Knuckles mountain range. The top is easily accessible by car or motorcycle, and a short climb up the stairs will reward you with a panoramic view of the city.

10. Forest Walk at Udawatta Kele Sanctuary

Forest walk at Udawattakele.

Udawattakele is a massive forest reserve located on top of a hill-ridge in the city, covering an area of over 257 acres. It is well-known among nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts for its diverse avifauna and curvy roads suitable for thrilling bike rides. It also has a diverse range of plant species, including giant lianas, shrubs, and small trees. Indeed, many nature lovers and botany enthusiasts visit this park to see these massive lianas that are rarely seen elsewhere in Sri Lanka. The park also contains many endemic Sri Lankan small and medium-sized mammals, as well as three Buddhist meditation hermitages and stunning rock shelter dwellings for Lanka’s Buddhist monk hermits.

11. Do a Day Trip to Sigiriya

Sigiriya is one of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sigiriya is a beautiful area about three hours away from Kandy. It is home to Lion Rock, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a must-see in Sri Lanka. Lion Rock is a massive 200-meter-square-shaped rock that towers over the entire region.

12. Ride The Scenic Kandy to Ella Train Route

Train ride from Kandy.

Kandy is the starting point for one of the world’s most beautiful train routes, a stunning 4-7 hour journey through the tea plantation hills that is a must-do on any Sri Lanka travel itinerary. Feel the wind blow through your hair and across your skin as you dangle your feet outside the open train door- an exhilarating experience that allows you to see nature in a completely different way!

13. Visit Tea Plantation

Tea plantation in Kandy.

Sri Lanka is still one of the world’s most important tea producers, with numerous large tea plantations. A visit to one of the many tea factories is worthwhile in order to inspect the process up close and marvel at the beauty of the tea plants, which are typically planted over hilly terrain and provide truly dazzling scenery. Giragama Tea Plantation, located just outside of town, offers an insight into the refinement of delicious teas ranging from green to Earl Grey. It is approximately 613 meters above sea level and also houses a tea museum. Visitors will not only be able to expand their knowledge through a tour, but they will also be able to sample the finished products.

14. Hike to Alagalla Mountain Range

Beautiful Alagalla Mountain Range in Sri Lanka, West Kandy.
Credit: mawanella_camping_gears on Instagram

The Alagalla Mountain Range is located deep within Sri Lanka, to the west of Kandy. Hikers are eager to scale this 3,744-foot (1,440-meter) peak, which provides a stunning panoramic view of the country and mountain ranges. This is without a doubt one of the most thrilling and breathtaking adventurous activities available in Kandy.

15. Book a Massage Appointment at Ayurveda Wedagedara

Relax yourself in having some treatments at a wellness centre.

Nothing beats the professionalism and organization of Ayurveda Wedagedara when it comes to Ayurvedic treatment and Massage therapies. To assist visitors with various ailments and chronic health problems, the center has efficient Ayurvedic consultants, experienced massage therapists, qualified doctors, and skilled nurse practitioners.

The center offers both wellness treatments and Ayurvedic training. With a prior appointment, you can choose from a variety of packages and multiple message treatments. The atmosphere is pleasant, and it is a must-see location for both relaxation and healing.

16. Shop and Lunch at Sthree Craft Shop and Cafe

Shopping around at locals market.

Put your tourist dollars to good use and visit this charming little shop for delicious food and shop handcrafted items made by locals. Sthree Craft Shop and Cafe is an initiative that helps disabled youth gain hospitality experience and mistreated women who have been subjected to violence and abuse. As you might expect, this is one of the most unusual things to do in Kandy.

The craft shop is brimming with genuine Sri Lankan items. To name a few, there are batik tablecloths, dresses, coconut wood kitchen utensils, and beaded jewelry. If you’re big on making your travel meaningful, this is a fantastic way you can do to help the Sri Lankan local economy!

17. Take a Short Trip to Hulu River Waterfall

Hulu river waterfall 30km from the city of Kandy.
Credit: shane.sri on Instagram

If you’re in Kandy for a few days and have some free time, we recommend a visit to the Hulu River Waterfall. It’s only 30 kilometers from the city, but the mystical beauty of its waterfall will transport you to another world.

Locals refer to it as Huluganga Falls, and they often regard it as an important part of their heritage. For lack of a better word, this 75-meter waterfall cascades down in majesty that is truly ethereal!

This location is also popular due to the lush scenery that surrounds the falls; a magnificent landscape in its own right.

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