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Kandy

Practical information on Kandy

  • Viewpoint
  • Park and garden
  • Mountain
  • Lake
  • Culture (paddy field, coffee, tea ...)
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Festivals
  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Unesco World Heritage
  • Essential
4 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
4 hour train journey from Colombo
When to go
From January to September
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Kandy

Romain Beuvart Seasoned Traveller
89 written opinions

As an old colonial city (Portuguese, Dutch, then British), this city in the mountains was awarded UNESCO world heritage status in 1988.

My suggestion:
Travel by foot or by tuk-tuk towards the white Buddha in the Bahiravokanda Vihara temple. It is impressive enough as it is, but also offers a spectacular view of the whole city and the lake.
My review
Kandy is the religious capital of Sri Lanka for followers of Theravada Buddhism. Therefore, for somebody like me who lives in a Buddhist country, it was a necessary destination. The main attraction is the Temple of the Tooth, nestled on the banks of an artificial lake. It is interesting to watch the many believers come here every day to pray.

I really enjoyed the pleasant walk around the lake and, as a nature lover, I was happy to observe the many birds, and even bats, perched in the trees. The city of Kandy is easily navigable on foot, as it is a very lively city with many people walking its streets. Don't leave without seeing a traditional dance show with its spectacular ending - perfect for a family holiday.

Normally 2 or 3 days are enough to see all you need to see here, and my only regret is not being able to visit the botanical garden 2km outside the city.
Paul Engel Seasoned Traveller
36 written opinions

Temples, an old colonial city, a royal garden and a lake - all nestled in the mountains. There are so many reasons to visit that you cannot avoid a stop in Kandy during your trip to Sri Lanka.

My suggestion:
Choose accommodation in the heights of the city, in the Hantana quarter, for example. You will feel calmer and will enjoy an unbeatable view of Kandy and the surrounding valleys.
My review
I particularly like the cities full of history as they always exude a particular atmosphere. As the previous capital of the Kingdom of Kandy, the nerve centre of Sri Lanka and hotspot of Buddhism in South Asia, there are so many things to do in Kandy that one opinion cannot possibly completely describe it. As always in Sri Lanka, the suburbs of the cities are so chaotic, meaning you will get off the bus in a total scramble. But once you escape the station quarter you will discover a charming city with urbanisation inherited from the colonials. I had planned to go to the Temple of the Tooth, on the banks of the Bogambara lake. You should visit it just before night falls, during the evening puja, in order to share the experience with the pilgrims. If you go the boutiques in the centre of the city, be wary of the merchants who will accost you in the street and try and convince you to buy their wares. I fell victim to a scam by a young man who spoke perfect French. The surroundings of Kandy offer innumerable possibilities for hiking - ask the advice of a local guide to set one up.
David Debrincat Seasoned Traveller
459 written opinions

116km from Colombo, Kandy is the main city in the centre of the island. Curled around its artificial lake and surrounded by beautiful mountains, its charm in undeniable.

My suggestion:
Whilst you're walking around the lake, don't neglect to follow the little monks who will invite you to come and explore their school. If you leave a donation, don't give it to the children, but instead to the teachers.
My review

Coming to Kandy during my trip to Sri Lanka, I found a lot of fresh air and a refreshing climate. At an altitude of 500m, its climate and bearable temperatures, in comparison with the rest of the island, attract a lot of visitors.

As a UNESCO world heritage site, Kandy has other advantages than its climate. As well as walking around the lake and visiting the markets, I advise you organise visits to the Kandy National Museum, Mangul Maduwa and above all the Temple of the Tooth. With the latter, security was increased after the attacks in 1998 and correct attire is obligatory.

To sum up, Kandy is a relaxing place to be. You will find a thousand reasons to come here, whether that be for its pleasant climate, its easy way of life or its cultural attractions.

Tours and travel ideas Kandy

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