Many travelers visit Sri Lanka for the white-sand beaches and epic surf; but right at the island’s mountainous emerald-swathed heart lies a spiritual, charming area full of tea plantations, misty hills, and those famous blue train carriages. Kandy is one of the largest cities in Sri Lanka. With a population of 115,000 in a relatively small area, it is very busy. The city is centrally located on the island and can be reached in three hours from Colombo. Surrounded by hills (the Kandy plateau) with rice fields and tea plantations, the surroundings of Kandy are beautiful! Kandy is known as the starting (or ending) point of the famous train ride to Ella.
The gateway to all of this hill-country action (and the greatest train journey in the world!) is Kandy; the City of Kings, Sri Lanka’s second city and the island’s undisputed historical and cultural capital.
Today, that cultural preservation lives on in the city’s many significant cultural and historic sites, forming the basis for all the very best things to do in Kandy. The best-known of these is the Temple of the Tooth relic; Buddhism’s most important religious shrine and said to be the location of a portion of Buddha’s tooth.
But Kandy is also so much more than its number one attraction; it’s a city of delightful chaos, with its bustling streets, ancient temples, colonial architecture, aristocratic gardens, and the glorious Kandy lake forming the backdrop to a perfect few days amongst Sri Lanka’s lush green hills.
There are so many great things to see and do in Kandy, and we highly recommend spending a day or two in the city to take it all in.
Here are the unbelievable places to visit in Kandy in a couple of days!
1. Visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth
2. Ride the Kandy to Ella Train
3. Royal Botanic Gardens of Peradeniya
4. Explore the historic Three Temple Loop
5. Walk Kandy Lake
6. Take in the Kandy Markets
7. Sample Kandy’s delicious food