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12 Best Tourist Attractions in Kandy, Sri Lanka

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Sits as a pearl in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka shines bright as a tourist destination. Surrounded by endless ocean, this coastal country is a vacation destination like no other. Besides dazzling views, Sri Lanka offers a perfect blend of natural wonders, rich cultural heritage, and warmest hospitality. Among its wonders, the city of Kandy emerges as a clear winner for having the best tourist places. It is Sri Lanka’s last royal capital, which the British Empire captured in the early 1800s and ended over 2000-year-old Sinhalese sovereign rule. Today, Kandy is as free as a bird, as welcoming as nature, and as interesting as an open book.

Nestled beautifully at the heart of the country, Kandy is surrounded by mountain ranges, thus also known as Sri Lanka’s hill capital. When most of the world today is torn between different beliefs, Kandy presents a cultural cocktail of diverse religions, traditions, and faiths thriving together. Mosques and Churches sit closely with Buddhist temples. A call to prayer and the ring of the Church bell blend with the chanting of monks, creating a symphony of accepting love the world needs. And food, another thing that makes life delicious, is the best in Kandy and a tourist attraction. From Tamil delicacies to Sinhalese specialties and other local savouries, the street stalls and modern restaurants in Kandy offer them all. There are enough reasons to add Kandy to your itinerary when booking one of Veena World’s Sri Lanka Tour Packages from Bangalore.

Without further ado, let’s look at the best tourist places and attractions in Kandy.

Top 12 Places to Visit in Kandy, Sri Lanka

  • Kandy Lake
  • Tea Factories and Museum
  • Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic
  • Kandy Local Market and City Centre Mall
  • Ambuluwawa Tower
  • Knuckles Mountain Range
  • Royal Botanical Garden
  • Commonwealth War Cemetery
  • Kayaking, Canoeing, Scuba Diving
  • 3 Bonus Places
    • Rail Trail Kandy to Ella
    • Sigiriya Rock
    • Annual Festival of Perahara

Immerse Yourself in the History and Culture of Kandy

Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic

Kandy houses one of the most revered Buddhist sites in the world – The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Not only it is Kandy’s tourist attraction from a spiritual viewpoint, but also an awe-inspiring architectural marvel. And the captivating everyday rituals and traditions inside the temple only add to its charm. This UNESCO World Heritage Site remains one of the most visited sightseeing places in Kandy.

Royal Botanical Gardens

This green oasis is set up on a whopping 147 acres, housing over 4000 varieties of flowers, several glasshouses, a large exhibition garden, and many flower beds. Take a stroll through neatly designed alleyways, guarded by huge palm trees on both sides, admire the vibrant and colourful exotic flora, and lose yourself in the mesmerising beauty of themed gardens. It is one of the best tourist places to visit in Kandy for posers and photo enthusiasts as there are numerous beautiful backdrops for your Instagram shots!

Commonwealth War Cemetery

Introspection comes naturally to travellers and tourists visiting new places. For long, Sri Lanka remained a war-torn country. Despite its tumultuous past, it is a traveller’s haven. While at Kandy, keep some time to pay your respects at Commonwealth War Cemetery to the soldiers of different countries and ethnicities who sacrificed their lives in World War I & II. This well-maintained memorial commemorates their courage. Paying a visit to this special place in Kandy will allow you to introspect on the sacrifices, selfless services, and servitude of men to honour their country.

Witness the Natural Wonders in Kandy

Kandy Lake

Kandy Lake is one of the first tourist places people prefer to visit in Kandy. The serene atmosphere of this lake takes away any traveller’s jet lag. While the entire country is surrounded by endless ocean, Kandy, at the centre of the country, has its man-made lake. Take a stroll along its banks or embark on a romantic boat ride; you will enjoy the picturesque scenery and the gentle breeze caressing you.

Knuckles Mountain Range

These hilly terrains are another fascinating tourist attraction in Kandy, Sri Lanka. If you are visiting Kandy with your partner on a honeymoon, this call of the wild at the Knuckles Mountain Range, located in the heart of the city, is what you should follow to give a romantic background to your visit. Explore lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and diverse flora and fauna. Take a challenging trek with your partner or bask in the natural settings of the forest, this unspoiled paradise is one of the most gorgeous tourist places in Kandy that you must encounter. So, make sure you include the Knuckles Mountain Range in your itinerary when booking Sri Lanka Honeymoon Packages.

Ambuluwawa Tower

Ambuluwawa Tower is an honourable mention for all the adrenaline junkies visiting Kandy. It is located at an hour's drive from Kandy. Take an auto-rickshaw that will drop you to the foothill of this towering structure. Climb the winding stairs to a dizzying height and prepare to be awestruck by the 360-degree panoramic view of Kandy and its surroundings, which makes this tower one of the best sightseeing places in Kandy. But hey, this place is not for the faint-hearted!

Adventure Activities in Kandy

Tea Factories and Museum

For long, Sri Lanka has been a tea exporter to the world. Kandy, at the centre of tea activities, offers in and out of the tea business. From gorgeous tea plantations to plucking the tender leaves to the final aromatic brew and sipping the unique flavours of Sri Lanka’s Ceylon tea – a world-famous; it makes sense for any tea lover to visit such places in Kandy and take home an experience that will always reflect whenever and wherever you will be sipping your cup of tea.

Kayaking, Canoeing, and Scuba Diving

Contrary to popular belief, Kandy is not just another beach city in Sri Lanka; it offers different vistas and is a place to visit for everyone. However, we cannot miss the waterways of Kandy too! Whether you are a scuba diving or snorkelling enthusiast or want to take up canoeing or kayaking, Kandy has many options to discover marine and aqua life. Mahaweli River is one such place to visit across Sri Lanka to explore these water activities in Kandy. You can take up these activities as early as 7 in the morning, till 4 Pm every day.

Experience the Local Charm and Modern Side of Kandy

Kandy’s Local Market and City Centre Mall

The city of Kandy never disappoints shopaholics and foodies. Whether you prefer to explore Kandy's local market, selling handicrafts, clothing, spices, and fresh produce, or indulge in the modern side of the city by visiting the City Centre Mall, offering a premium experience with high-class restaurants, cafes, shops, and multiplex cinema. Immerse yourself in Kandy’s vibrant energy, which makes it a truly cosmopolitan destination.

Bonus Adventures in and around Kandy

Rail Trip from Kandy to Ella

This one takes the cake and can be a highlight of your Kandy and Sri Lanka tour. It is in itself a tourist attraction in Kandy and Ella. The 7-hour long, mesmerising ride will take you through hilly terrain and tea plantations, leaving you awestruck with splendid views of the outside. However, booking tickets can be in contrast to the experience this rail promises. As the tickets sell out quickly despite being made available 30 days in advance, it needs proper planning to get the first-class tickets. When you book a Sri Lanka tour package with Veena World and prefer this rail ride, simply reach out to our travel expert who will ensure your tickets in advance.

Sigiriya Rock

Sigiriya Rock

This tourist place in Kandy is another fascinating point to up your Sri Lankan experience. Although 2 hours away from Kandy, this tourist attraction can be a one-day road affair. Imagine a majestic 5th-century rock fortress, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Climb its ancient stairs and reach the top to experience breathtaking views of the landscapes that have made this an iconic tourist attraction in Sri Lanka.

Annual Festival of Perahera

Perahera is not a tourist place to visit in Kandy; it is the name of the oldest and most popular festival – Esala Perahera. Perahera in Sinhalese means “parade” or “procession”. If you plan to visit Sri Lanka in July-August, experience this 10-day Buddhist veneration of the Buddha’s Tooth Relic, wherein processions take on the streets at night, filled with pomp and show. Witness well-dressed elephants and tuskers taking the designated route, with many musicians, dancers, drummers, and other performers venerating the sacred relic. So, don’t miss adding Esala Perahera to your Kandy itinerary for one of the most amazing experiences in Sri Lanka.

Kandy is a jewel in the crown of Sri Lanka tourism. It is a thrilling journey that unfolds rich history, culture and stunning natural beauty. From serene lakes to majestic rocks and mountains to vibrant festivals, ancient temples, and overwhelming markets, Kandy offers an unforgettable experience for every visitor.

However, if you also wonder what lies beyond Kandy, here are the top 10 things to do in Sri Lanka.

June 16, 2024


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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