Kandy is Sri Lanka’s second largest city and is also called the city of kings. For most, it is the starting point or ending point of the world-famous train journey. Kandy may not win the beauty prize, but you do find a lot of culture and history.
If we are completely honest we did not find Kandy the best travel destination, but for a night it is a greatstopover. Moreover, you have wonderful accommodations just outside the city that are surrounded by jungle making it easy to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
In this article
- To do
- Travel time
- Practical information
- The nicest accommodations
- How do I get there?
- Our opinion
What to do in Kandy
Say Kandy, you say temple of tooth relic! Still, this is not our number uno when it comes to to do’s in Kandy. That is, after all, a food tour of the city! This really is the perfect way to get to know the city.
Food tour of Kandy
We found a food tour of the city with Buddhima through Withlocals and it was truly FANTASTIC. First of all, because Buddhima is an incredibly nice person. Second, because a food tour is always the best way to get to know a city and culture. You get to eat like a local and in Sri Lanka that is horrifically delicious. In all, we walked for 4 hours and tasted about 10 typical dishes. We did not love Kandy, but the food tour made it one of the most enjoyable destinations during our trip.
Really be in KANDY book the food tour of Buddhima. Book here >>
Sri Dalada Maligawa, Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Sri Dalada Maligawa also called the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is one of the most sacred places of Buddhists in the world. In fact, this is where Buddha’s tooth is kept. It is a beautiful temple and one of the main attractions of Kandy.
Important! Both men and women must have their knees and shoulders covered. You can buy another sarong near the temple if necessary.
Walking through the botanical gardens
In the south of Kandy you will find the beautiful botanical gardens. It may sound a little dull to some people, but it is a lovely park where you can go for a nice walk and enjoy nature. Admission costs about 10 euros.
Climb the Ambu Luwawa tower
Unfortunately, we ran out of time for this, but this is still one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Sri Lanka. It is about 23 kilometers from Kandy. You’ll find a strange almost futuristic tower here. Not only is the ascent very special, but the view is absolutely stunning. Climbing the tower costs about 2 euros.
- Bahiravokanda Vihara, a 26-meter Buddha statue and fantastic views of the city
- Take a walk around the lake
- Book a FOOD workshop
Book your activities here with local guides
Hotspots & food in
Kandy may be a little less modern and hip than the town of Ella or the south coast of Sri Lanka, but that doesn’t mean the food isn’t great. You will find various cuisines here, because of the diversity in culture in this city. Check out our favorite places to eat in Kandy:
- Nagalingam’s Bhavan – Pure Vegetarian (Jain) Indian Restaurant: it has a bit of a crazy setting, but the food is delicious
- Royal Bar & Hotel: an absolute must-visit. Slightly more expensive, but a wonderful place to visit with great food and drink.
- Vito Wood Fired Pizza: if you fancy a pizza with a view
- Kandyan Muslim Hotel (Pvt) Ltd: forget about the google reviews. We ended our food tour here and it was truly divine. You come here for the Paratha. Don’t expect luxury, it’s simple but the Paratha is very tasty.
- Tip for a small snack! Buy peanuts and nuts in the small shops along the road.
Best time to travel to Kandy
Due to Kandy’s convenient location, this place has a cooler climate than other parts of the country. The best time to visit Kandy is from January to April. This is when dry days are most likely and temperatures are pleasant.
Which budget do i need in Kandy?
The sights in Kandy are not very cheap compared to the rest of the costs in Sri Lanka. Still, you can get by just fine here on a small budget. In total we spent 130 euros in 3 days, This is a daily budget of 43 euros per day for 2 people.
|Sri Lankan rupee||Price February 2022||Price January 2023|
|Restaurant||9600||€ 43,29||€ 24,26|
|Transportation||300||€ 1,35||€ 0,76|
|Accommodation||10000||€ 45,11||€ 25,27|
|Food Tour||10000||€ 40,31||€ 25,27|
|Total||29900||€ 130,06||€ 75,56|
|Per day||9966,67||€ 43,35||€ 25,19|
Practical information about Kandy
- Train tickets and bus tickets can be arranged on site. This does not necessarily have to be done in advance and certainly not online. If you go by bus, you don’t pay until you get on.
- Negotiating the price is very common in Sri Lanka!
- For a Tuktuk ride, you pay about 100 – 300 rupees. This is for a ride of about 5 – 15 minutes.
- They drive LEFT in Sri Lanka. Don’t forget.
- At most restaurants, you pay an additional 10% service charge. It is then still customary to tip 5 – 10% (depending on the food and services). Sounds a lot for some but on average a dinner with drinks costs less than 10 euros incl. service charges. So that one euro you can well spare ;p
- Want to visit a temple? Then keep your clothes in mind. VOor both men and women, legs and shoulders covered. Buy a nice sarong somewhere and make sure you always have it with you.
What are nice places to stay in Kandy?
From luxury accommodations to charming homestays. In Kandy, you have it all. The options in Kandy are endless. We booked all accommodations a day in advance and that went really well.
By the way, you don’t have to worry if your accommodation is a bit further from the town. There are tuktuks everywhere and even a handy sort of uber app for tuktuks. This way you will always have found a ride to Kandy quickly and spotlessly cheap.
- € = under 20 euros per night
- €€ = 20 – 30 euros per night
- €€€ = 30 – 50 euros per night
- €€€€ = 50 euros and more per night
How to get to Kandy?Kandy?
From Ella to Kandy
The train journey from Ella to Kandy is one of the most extraordinary journeys in Sri Lanka and therefore world famous! In fact, you will go right through the beautiful green nature of Sri Lanka. It’s actually a must-do when in Sri Lanka. The trip takes about 8 hours, so a seat is desirable. Therefore, book train tickets at least a day in advance. You can easily do this at the train station in Ella. You can also stop at Nuwara Eliya on the way, so you won’t be on the road all day.
From Colombo to Kandy
If you come from Colombo then it is best to take the train to Kandy, This train ride takes about 3 hours. If you would like a seat on the train, book a ticket at least a day in advance.
From Sigiriya to Kandy
Although public transportation in Sri Lanka is incredibly good, we recommend that you arrange a tuktuk or your own transportation from Kandy to Sigiriya or vice versa. Indeed, along the way you can stop at several temples, including the Dambulla temple.