15 Places to visit in Kandy

Tourist Places in Kandy

The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Royal Palace of Kandy, Udawattekele Sanctuary, Udawattekele Sanctuary, Millenium Elephant Foundation, Horton Plains National Park, Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue, International Buddhist Museum, British Garrison Cemetery, Kandy Lake, Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage and many more places.

Sitting ideal is not even an option and hence you will find several places to visit in Kandy. Overlooking the city of Kandy, you will find a big statue of Buddha on top of a hill. It is one of the first things that you will get reminded of when you think of this city. The city houses some beautiful temples which has one of the most beautiful shrines of Buddha. The Buddhist temple has the relic of the tooth of Buddha which is a popular tourist attraction.

For shopaholics, the city has its special Kandy City Centre which is the only shopping place in the city and you can definitely shop for some souvenirs too. The City Hall of Sri Lanka also showcases traditional and beautiful Kandyan dance which can be viewed by the visitors at a very minimal price range.

Must Places to Visit in Kandy

01

The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Image Credit : Hafiz Issadeen
Nestled close to the Udawattakele Sanctuary, The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is one of the most important shrines of Sri Lanka. Also named as Dalada Maligawa, this temple is based in the royal palace of the Kingdom of Kandy.

Housing the legendary Budda tooth, the temple is a World Heritage site though very little are the remnants of the original temple built around 1600. Amazing ornamentation with golden fence and extravagant Canadian architecture makes it a blissful sight for the visitors.

Dedicated monks unanimously chant the prayers of Malwatte and Aegirine, three times every day, during dawn, noontime and evening at the inner temple. Every Wednesday a holy symbolic bath of the Relic is done is fragrant water and that water is distributed among the visitors known to have healing powers.


Location: Royal Palace, Kandy

Price:
 Approximate price starts from 1000 LKR  to 2134 LKR

Timings:
 5:30 AM to 8:00 PM
02

Royal Palace of Kandy

Royal Palace of Kandy
The Royal palace of the Kandyan Kingdom is the last reminiscence of the reigning King of Kandayan, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. The palace dates back to the 14th century, yet witnessing the glory and glamour of the kingdom is stupendous. The Palace has seen scars from many wars and tremors of foreign invaders like the Portuguese.

The Royal court, another architectural capture has confronted many meetings formed by the king and it is here that the end of Kandyan Kingdom convention was signed.
The temple of Tooth contributes maximum attraction to the tourists. Even though, the original palace walls have been burnt and rebuilt, the interiors remain the same.

Highlights: Dalada Maligawa - Temple of Tooth (relic of Buddha’s Tooth), Royal Court (Magul Maduwa), Queen’s Bathing pavilion – Ulpange and the Royal gardens inside the Palace gates

Location: Sri Dalads Veediya

Entry Fee: 2483 LKR per head

Timings: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
03

Udawattekele Sanctuary

Udawattekele Sanctuary
The Udawattekele Sanctuary, also known as Royal Park Palace is located at the hilly terrains of the Temple of Tooth Relic. The sanctuary scatters around 257 acres and is deemed as the most important Bio Reserve of the country.

The sanctuary, centuries back was a kingdom named Kandyan and jungle area on the far side of the palace was known as the Uda Wasala Watta or the upper palace garden; hence the name.

The forest reserve was made into a sanctuary in 1938. Additionally, the forest’s catchment areas provide fresh water to the lake and the city avail its air purification supplies from this royal forest reserve.

Highlights: Quite a few Buddhist temples, water pond, Kodimale Peak, Senkanda Cave and Garrison Cemetery.


Entry Fee: Rs. 570 for foreigners and Rs. 30 for Srilankans

Location: Wevelpitiya Road, Kandy

 Timings: Everyday. But it is safe not to visit the sanctuary during rainy season
04

Commonwealth War Cemetery

Commonwealth War Cemetery
Image Credit : Stefan Krasowski - Flickr
This cemetery is maintained and served by the commonwealth war commission office. This graveyard is a humble reminder of those brave hearts of the country who sacrificed their lives protecting the nation’s honour during the World War II.

The cemetery is beautifully kept and has over 190 tombs. Apparently, this place was initially known as Pitakande Military Cemetery and was owned by the Military authorities until it was taken over by the war Commission.

It is also noted that Army Graves from over 10 burial grounds have been transferred to this cemetery till 1958.  There are 6 commonwealth war cemeteries in Sri Lanka, but the Kandy War Cemetery is considered the best amongst all because of its stunning landscape and well kept land.

Highlights
: The Kandy Botanical garden Location: Deveni Rajasinghe, Kandy

Price: No entry fee; the place is run by donation

Timings: 10 am to noon and 1 pm to 6 pm
05

Millenium Elephant Foundation

Millenium Elephant Foundation
MEF is an estate as vast as 15 acres and is dwelling to countless of majestic elephants. The name of the estate, Samragiri has been inherited from the Samarasinghe family who have lived here for many generations. It is the only foundation where visitors are allowed to ride elephants bare back and interact with them with safety measures in the form of a educational tour. The foundation also provides a special Elephant Walk where you would be taken a 30 minute walk along with the animal. MEF has charity trusts for the welfare of these humble animals.

Location
: Randeniya, Hiriwadunna, Kegalle 

Highlights:
One hour educational walk and a tour of the museum, personally bathing the elephants, exotic walk on the grounds of the estate with an elephant, entry to Maximus Dung Paper factory.

Price
: 2000LKR for foreigners and 100 LKR

Timings
: 8:30 am to 4 pm, all days
06

Horton Plains National Park

Horton Plains National Park
Image Credit : gωen - Flickr
Horton National Park is a ‘food for the soul’ kind of mesmerizing locale. The park is perched in the shadows of the country’s 2nd and 3rd highest mountains, Kirigalpota and Totapola. The place is also termed as world’s end due to its undaunting mysterious views of waterfalls, misted lakes and earthy species of flora and fauna. The national park is actually a plateau and is 2000m high. It is better to start early in the morning to witness this heavenly place.

Location
: 11 kms approx from Ohiya.

Highlights:
 An array of wildlife such as Samba deers, leopards, wild boars, purple faced langoor; an ideal site for birdwatchers as you may encounter a variety of flying wonders such as bulbul,                                Ceylon blackbird, Ceylon white eyed arrenga, mountain hawk etc; the epic walk to world’s end(4kms) and Farr Inn hunting lodge.

Price: Adult
– 1895 Child: 1011.

Timings
: 6 am to 6 pm
07

Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue

Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue
Image Credit : Andy Nobes - Flickr
This place showcases a breathtaking view of the entire Kandy town. The 88ft high statue of Buddha is something one should not miss while in Kandy. The white statue can be seen from any part of the Peradeniya city as it is strategically located on top of the Bahirava Kanda (devil’s) hill.

You can either climb the steps to reach the viewpoint or else hire a tuk-tuk to do so. The beauty of the statue doubles during the night when it is lit by lamps. Best hour to visit this place is early morning or after sunset. This place should be definitely there on your list of places to visit in Sri Lanka.

Highlights:
Panoramic view of the city down, including a view of the lake, tea factory, and football stadium; gallery that has artefacts based on the life of Buddha; a souvenir shop which has lovely goodies at a much friendlier price

Location: Peradeniya, Kandy.

Price: Approximate price starts from 200 LKR.

Timings: Open 24 hours a day.
08

International Buddhist Museum

International Buddhist Museum
Located close to the Temple of the Tooth, inside the royal palace complex, The International Buddhist Museum is a complete knowledge base and a showcase of the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia. It is one of the famous religious places to visit in Sri Lanka.

There are separate rooms dedicated to different countries illustrating Buddhism in that location. There are photographs, models and gigantic statues which portray the spread and influence of Buddhism on people in various places.

Location
: Close to Temple of Tooth, Kandy

Highlights: 
To get a better knowledge about the spread of Buddhism displayed here one can opt for a free audio guide which is available at the ticket counter or can opt for a tourist guide at 1070LKR who explains the whole location. Do wear covered clothes from shoulder to toe and remove the shoes. There’s an elevator in the Museum which allows disabled visitors to access the Museum. 

Time
: 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Price: Approximate price starts from 1070 LKR per adult
09

British Garrison Cemetery

British Garrison Cemetery
This striking European style graveyard has many stories to tell of the young souls who died during the British Colonisation of SriLanka.  The most heartfelt part of this beautiful old churchyard is the 163 graves of young men, women, and children that take us back to time immemorial. Most of the tombs have inscriptions written on the lives of these good souls (few brave soldiers, many infants, and land owners).The cemetery was established in 1817 and today is being nurtured by a Caretaker, Charles Carmichael.

Location
: Few meters uphill from the National Museum, Kandy.

Highlights:
Shadowed by trees and overlooking a gorgeous lake, this place is completely sound free. Charles, who also acts as a guide, tours you through the entire cemetery and narrates each life of the rested bodies quite fascinatingly.

Timings
: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day
10

Kandy Lake

Kandy Lake
Image Credit : Iris Liu - Flickr
One of the greatest attraction and a must do for the visitors of the hill country, Kandy, is to take a walking tour around Kandy Lake which dominates the heavenly location with its cascading beauty. A silent stroll especially during the sunset time, enjoying the sounds of nature is a splendid way of coming close to Mother Earth and devouring the blissfulness.

Being based next to Temple of the Tooth this is an artificial lake built in 1807 by the Royal King of Sri Lanka. The whole walk is around 2.1 mile and consists of enchanting scenic splendor covered with several rest zones where one can sit and enjoy the harmony and serene beauty of the Temple and the lake. In the midst of the lake there is a small island with palm trees making the lake look more eye arresting.

Location
: Heart of the city, Kandy
11

Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage
Peradeniya Gardens is a spacious 147 acre of natural extravaganza consisting of more than 4000 species of plants, and 10,000 varied kinds of trees, incidentally serves as the largest garden in Sri Lanka and is one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka. 

The unique and rarest collection in these gardens is the Giant Bamboo of Burma which grows 12 inches each day to a height of 40 meters. Apart from this other amazing collections include Javan fig tree, Cannonball tree, Double Coconut Palm and about 200 other varieties of palm trees and versatile collection of flora. 

Highlight:  
One can pack some food to enjoy an open-air picnic here or can relish the cafeteria inside serving local and western cuisine. The Peradeniya Botanical Garden is one prime tourist attraction of hill country and remains quite flooded with tourists every weekend. 

Entry Fee
: Approximate price starts from 2353 LKR for adults and 1177LKR for child

Timings
: Opened daily from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM
12

Perandeniya Botanical Gardens

Perandeniya Botanical Gardens
Image Credit : Koshyk
Peradeniya Gardens is a spacious 147 acre of natural extravaganza consisting of more than 4000 species of plants, and 10,000 varied kinds of trees, incidentally serves as the largest garden of Sri Lanka.

The unique and rarest collection in these gardens is the Giant Bamboo of Burma which grows 12 inches each day to a height of 40 meters. Apart from this other amazing collections include Javan fig tree, Cannonball tree, Double Coconut Palm and about 200 other varieties of palm trees and versatile collection of flora.

The Peradeniya Botanical Garden is one prime tourist attraction of hill country and remains quite flooded with tourists every weekend. One can pack some food to enjoy an open air picnic here or can relish the cafeteria inside serving local and western cuisine.

Location: 5.5km from Kandy

Price
: 2353LKR for adults and 1177LKR for child.(approx)

Best Time
: 7:30am to 5:00pm 
13

Ceylon Tea Museum

Ceylon Tea Museum
Image Credit : Dave Lonsdale
Located at Hantane, the 1925 vintage Ceylon Tea Museum is one of the important attractions of the hill country, Kandy in Sri Lanka. The Tea Museum is a building of four floors where from ground floor to second floor it’s all old machineries, library and auditorium.

For purchasing lip smacking variety and flavors of Sri Lankan tea one must visit the third floor which is sales unit. The fourth floor comprises of a magnificent restaurant where one can enjoy a free cup and the captivating and breathtaking surrounding view of the hill country from the top.

One can visualize Matale Range and Kunckles Range through a telescope positioned here. From the top it’s an encircling view of green landscape comprising tea plantations of myriad types.

Location: Hantane Road, Kandy

Price
: 1070LKR for adults and 428LKR for child.(approx)

Best Time
: Tuesday – Sunday, 8:30am to 4: 30pm 
14

Spice Garden

Spice Garden
Spice Gardens forms a key attraction of Sri Lanka. The country is famous across the globe for its rare collection of herbs and spices. The key attraction of this location is to explore the popular as well as the rarest herbs being sown and processed in the most exquisite manner.

Herbs those are common in a household like Turmeric, Pepper Corns, Cloves, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Aloe Vera, etc are being processed here. The best part of visiting the Spice Garden in Kandy is to gather knowledge about the herbs, their growth process, their benefits and usefulness in Human life.

The natural environment and serene beauty of the Garden is one of the mesmerizing experiences for every traveller. Away from the hustle of city life, this is a complete contrast of environment.

Located: Located at the Hill capital, Kandy this is close to Botanical Garden

15

Kandy View Point

Kandy View Point
The mesmerizing view point is located on the Rajapihilla Mawatha and is ranked 5th out of 105 tourist attractions in Kandy. The place is located near the Kandy Lake and is enclosed in breathtaking landscapes of mountains and meadows. From the city, you have to take the Rajapihilla Mawatha Route, after which a 1 km steep climb will guide you to the view point.

You can also hire a tuk-tuk to reach the top.The panoramic view that you would get to see is worth the pain of the ascent. The entire Kandy town lies ahead of your eye, and from the top, you can also spot the Kandy lake and Dalada Maligawa.

Highlights
: Panoramic view of the city, souvenir shops, art galleries

Location: Rajapihilla Mawatha, Kandy

Timings: Anytime during the day.

Other Places to Visit in Kandy

Wales Park
For that perfect fun time along with your family and friends Wales Park is the best option for you while you are visiting Sri Lanka. For your bucket list this is another best places to visit in Sri Lanka. Situated at the top of a small hill this park overlooks the Kandy Lake, this park is known for its majestic view. This park is also known as The Royal Palace Park.

Highlights: There is one Japanese field gun in the park which was captured by the British 14th Army in Burma during World War II and presented to the city of Kandy by Lord Mountbatten.

Location: The Wales Park is located at Rajapihilla Mawatha, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka

Price: The approximate price for the entry is 219 LKR.
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17

Arthur's Seat

Arthur’s Seat is situated in the heart of the Kandy city at 1790 ft above sea level. The seat serves as a spot for spectacular panoramic views of the city, Kandy Lake, former Palace of the Royal Family and Temple of the Tooth.

The mind-blowing views of the city and the lush green tea gardens surrounding Arthur’s Seat also make it a famous photography spot amongst tourists and one of the best places to visit in Kandy. 

Location:
20000, Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe Mawatha, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka

Highlight:
Spectacular panoramic views of the city
18

Natha Devale

Natha Devale is the oldest extant structure in Kandy city. The structure was built in the 14th century by King Vikramabahu III. Today, it stands firmly on the terrace opposite the Palace Complex of Kandy. It also has jakatas, pavilions and stunning room drums around the structure that make this place all the more beautiful.

The delicate architecture and the religious importance that this place holds for the locals and Buddhists make this place one of the best tourist places in Kandy. Make sure you respect their rules as you visit the temple.

Location:
Temple Square, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka

Highlight:
Oldest extant structure in Kandy

Entry Fee:
$22

Timings: 
Open 24 hours
19

Kandy Clock Tower

The clock tower is built in the center of the city and serves as a landmark. This beautiful, paperwhite clock tower was designed in 1950 by Shirley de Alwis who was one of the best architects of Sri Lanka.

The clock tower was built by Haji Mohamed Ismail in the memory of his son Mohamed Zacky Ismail. The Kandyan style architecture and the integrated elements of the Palace of King of Kandy and Temple of the Tooth are an absolute treat to the eyes and make this tower one of the most popular tourist places in Kandy.    

Location:
Kandy City Centre, intersections of Sri Dalada Veediya, S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike Mawatha and Hiragedara Mawatha

Highlight:
Beautiful paperwhite structure at the heart of the city
20

E. L. Senanayake Children's Park

E. L. Senanayake Children's Park
Image Credit : https://burst.shopify.com/photos/kids-playing-at-park?q=kandy+children+park
E.L Senanayake Children’s park is named after one of the most respected politicians and the former mayor of Kandy city- E.L Senanayake. The park is one of the oldest parks in the city and the first children’s park in Kandy.

It is full of fun slides and rides for kids of all ages which are also very safe. If you’re travelling to Sri Lanka with your family, this place is one of the best places to visit in Kandy for you.    

Location:
Sanagaraja Mawatha, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Highlight:
Oldest park in Kandy

Entry Fee:
None

Timings:
7 am to 7 pm (closed on Mondays)
21

Canbuy Gem Museum

Canbuy Gem Museum
The Canbuy Gem Museum is one of the best places for tourists in Kandy. The museum showcases the history of gems, precious stones, rare minerals and fossils from not just Sri Lanka, but all over the world.

The museum also houses a shop on one of its upper floors where you can shop for some sparkling and original, government-approved gems, precious and semi-precious stones which you will not find anywhere else in the world.

Location:
530, Colombo Road, Kandy 20442 Sri Lanka

Highlight:
Exotic gems and precious stones 

Entry Fee:
Not Available

Timings:
8:30 am to 5:30 pm 
22

Adahanamaluwa Gedige Vihara

Adahana Maluwa Gedige Vihara is one of the most religiously important monasteries of Buddhists. The temple serves as the headquarters of the Asgiriya Chapter of Siyam Nikaya. It was founded by commander Siriwardhana.

The temple is made of three different sections- the old, middle and new temple. The temple’s designs and the serene surrounding of Kandy Lake makes this temple one of the finest places to see in Kandy

Location:
Road A9, Near President’s House, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Highlight:
Intricate Kandian architecture 

Entry Fee:
None

Timings:
11 am to 8 pm
23

Knuckles Mountain Range

Knuckles Mountain Range
The name of this mountain range comes from its resemblance to human knuckles. The mountain range consists of 34 mountains in total which range from 900 to 2000 meters and is one of the best places to hike and explore the hidden biodiversity of Sri Lanka.

For the same reason, the mountain ranges are also designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can explore many hidden trails, waterfalls and rare varieties of plants here. So if you’re a hiking  enthusiast, this is one of the best places to visit in Kandy for you.

Location:
Matale and Kandy Districts, Sri Lanka

Highlight:
UNESCO World Heritage Site
24

Lankatilaka Vihara Temple

Lankatilaka Vihara Temple
The Lankatilaka Temple or Lankatilaka Vihara is one of the most ancient Buddhist temples. It’s unique architecture is known across the world. What makes this temple famous is the fact that it is built on a base of a natural rock called the Panhalgala Rock and stands stable even today.

There are two different sides of the temple- the East and the West- both showcase the intricate designs and delicate Sinhalese sculptures. You will also find some breathtaking paintings and sculptures of the Kandyan era in this temple.

The surrounding panoramic views of the paddy fields and mountains and the quiet surroundings make this temple all the more serene and peaceful and one of the most popular places to see in Kandy.

Location:
Koilkonda, Sri Lanka

Highlight:
Sinhalese sculptures, paintings, and art
25

National Museum of Kandy

National Museum of Kandy
The building that houses the National Museum of Kandy was earlier known as the Palle Vahala and was home to the royals. The building’s architecture is pure Kandian and it stores about 5000 artifacts from the Kandian era including weapons, utensils, jewelry, etc. This is the best place to learn about the history of Kandy, the hidden gems and resources of Sri Lanka. 

Location:
Next to temple of Sacred Tooth Relic, Kandy, Sri Lanka 

Highlight:
Historical treasures and artifacts

Entry Fee:
30 LKR for localites)
                  600 LKR (for foreigners)

Timings:
9 am to 5 pm
Newly Added Kandy Experience

Kandy Top Attractions

Places To Visit In Kandy
I think booking the scooter Tour was the best choice for my Kandy trip. It was really convenient!
This was the most recommended thing to do in kandy amazing dance performances and stunts
The journey was mindblowing , we were free to visit any place we wanted in Kandy.
Excellent
Car was in a perfectly good condition and i explored each and every corner of Kandy.
On the way to Kandy from Colombo take a visit to see the Elephants. If your timing is right you see them having a bath in the river then cross the road back to the orphanage where they are feed and roam the grounds They appear well cared for and are checked for illness and treated.
Everything was well managed. We have covered all the places mentioned in the iternary and enjoyed adventurous water activities.
All were exceptionally good. Driver was punctual and trustworthy Best memories as far as your services are concerned
Amazing Tour! I don't think we have missed any architecture, spiritual and fun sites of Sri Lanka.
Beautiful Experience at the marvel of nature, Kandy along trekking and camping. Campsite was the best thing about the package
Witnessed the glorious Knuckles Mountain Range at it's best. Views were simply breathtaking!

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People Also Ask About Kandy

  1. What is special in Kandy?

    Kandy is known for its beautiful Temples, Gardens and National Reserves. Some of the most popular temples in Kandy are The Temple of The Tooth, and the Lankatilaka Temple. The city also has some amazing museums like The Kandy National Museum and Natural Gems and Gemological Museum.
  2. What are the best places to visit in Kandy with friends?

    1. Huluganga Falls: At a staggering height of 75 meters, Huluganga Falls is a marvelous sight, surrounded by ethereal nature around. 

    2. Knuckles Mountain Range: Resemblance of the mountain peaks to the knuckles of a hand has gained this mountain range its name. It is an untouched beauty of nature and offers a panoramic beauty all around. 

    3. World Buddhist Museum: A unique museum that covers the extensive history and teachings of Buddhism through the preservation of scrolls and artifacts collected from across the globe. The structure exudes royalty like no other. 

    4. Ranweli Spice Garden: One of the popular spice gardens in all of Sri Lanka. The natural organic farming of trees and the smell of the rare spices permeate the air.  

    5. Maduru Oya National Park: Asian elephants, Buddhist ruins, and the Vedda tribe are the most intriguing aspects of this national park. The diversification and tranquility of the landscape are worth exploring.
  3. What are the best places to visit in Kandy at night?

    1. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic: Famous for housing Buddha’s tooth, this holy shrine is considered to be the most scared one across the globe. It offers a breathtaking view when night falls. 

    2. Kandy Lake: An artificial Lake around the Kandy Royal Palace, this lake is affectionately labeled as Kiri Muhuda by the locals. Strolling around the lake at night, with the diversified natural fauna in view, is an amazing experience.  

    3. Big Buddha: Overlooking the city, this iconic statue of Buddha is an unforgettable sight at night when it is lit for the people below to see. Climbing the enormous stairs at night with the enthralling surroundings is a fun experience.

    4. Kandy Viewpoint: The sheer beauty that can be viewed from atop Kandy Viewpoint is enough compensation for the steep climb on Rajapihilla Mawatha. Both Dalada Maligawa and the Kandy Lake offer a resplendent sight, especially in the dark. 
  4. How many days do you need in Kandy?

    Most of the popular places in Kandy can be visited in a single day. Although, as the city is more than just museums and temples, spending 2-3 days to discover the local markets and food is advisable. You can also spend an extra day exploring the neighboring mountain ranges and go for an exciting trek.
  5. How far is Kandy from Colombo?

    The distance between Kandy and Colombo is about 96 km. If you’re travelling by bus, this will take you about 3 hours and if you’re travelling by train, the same journey will take you 2 hours 45 mins approx. You can also hire a taxi or rent a car and drive in about 2 hours from Colombo to Kandy or back.
  6. Is Kandy worth visiting?

    Kandy is a small city in Sri Lanka known for the sacred Tooth relic of Buddha. It is also very famous for its Botanical Gardens that houses some of the rarest species and varieties of plants. The city hosts Esala Peraha- one of the most popular festivals in the entire country.