Let’s dive into the fantastic places to visit during your Kandy tour! Get ready for an adventure packed with fascinating sights! As the capital of the central province and the former kingdom of Sri Lanka, Kandy has an intriguing history and breathtaking beauty. Make sure to visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic, a significant pilgrimage site for Buddhists. And don’t forget to explore the mesmerizing Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. Get ready to immerse yourself in the wonders of Kandy and create unforgettable memories.
Sri Lanka, fondly known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, also happens to be a land of people with smiling faces. The citizens of the country take hospitality to a different level. As an island, Sri Lanka is surrounded by a beautiful ocean and has an abundance of fantastic beaches where tourists can enjoy the refreshing sea breeze. A tour in Kandy will give you views of the incredible scenery you’ve never witnessed.
Moving from the coastal regions towards the central highlands, you can expect the climate to get cooler due to the region being surrounded by misty mountains. Everything from magnificent waterfalls to colossal mountains is what you can expect on a trip to the central province.
A visit to the central highlands, especially Peradeniya and Kandy town, is a must-do while tripping in Sri Lanka.
Colombo is well-connected to many of the major airports around the world. Therefore, you should have no issues reaching Colombo via the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) from anywhere in the world, including Asia, Europe, Africa, and the U.S. Carriers such as Sri Lankan Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Etihad, Air China, Aeroflot, and Indigo, all have regular flights to Colombo.
Emirates is highly recommended due to its large carriers that provide the utmost comfort and the best service, even in economy class. It is mainly the best choice if you have long-haul flights.
Once you reach Colombo, you can easily travel to the hill capital, Kandy, which is 122.4 km away. Some prefer to stay overnight in a hotel in Colombo and then move on to Kandy the next day. If so, you can book a cab or Uber to your hotel or Airbnb, which will cost you between $19 and $22.
From Colombo, you can travel by train or bus to Kandy. Our first stop in this Kandy tour itinerary would be Peradeniya. You can catch a train to Peradeniya from The Fort Railway Station in Colombo. Express and intercity trains travel back and forth between the two cities during the weekdays and weekends. A train ticket would cost approximately $1.2 per person. You can also travel by bus to Peradeniya, expecting to pay approximately $1.5 for a ticket.
One of the most famous trains between Colombo and Badulla is the ‘Udarata Manike’. It is a passenger train that stops in Peradeniya along the way.
Like many parts of Sri Lanka, Peradeniya, and the Kandy district is a highly-developed region with many different transportation modes, including trains, buses, tuk-tuks, and cabs.
The train is the best way to travel between towns in the hill country. It’s ideal if you want to go from Kandy to Nanu Oya, Ella, etc. These train rides are scenic and would leave you with views of picturesque landscapes throughout the journey. Expect to pay close to $1 to travel from Peradeniya to Nanu Oya.
The bus is one of the most affordable and accessible transportation modes when traveling in Kandy. It’s ideal for solo travelers and backpackers, and you can travel anywhere within the central province or even go to other districts and provinces. The minimum bus fare is $0.1.
In Sri Lanka, you should take advantage of the opportunity to travel in a tuk-tuk. It’s not an experience that you find anywhere in the world. Tuk-tuks charge a reasonable price and are perfect for families and those traveling with a lot of baggage. The minimum fare starts at $0.5 and rises from $0.2 for every km traveled. Ensure to bargain the price with tuk-tuk drivers as they usually ask for a higher amount.
Cab services in Kandy provide the highest level of comfort but cost $5 for a 5 km trip. If you choose comfort above everything else, this mode of travel is the best. It’s ideal if you are traveling with very young children.
Many of the popular attractions in Peradeniya and Kandy town are close to each other. Therefore, you can easily walk between them while enjoying the beautiful hilltop views of the region.
Accommodation in Peradeniya
The beautiful city of Kandy has many accommodation suites with brilliant views where you can savor the mesmerizing beauty of the mountains. You can choose between luxury and budget accommodation options based on the amount you can dedicate to lodging. The distance from the accommodation suite to the BIA is given in brackets.
Luxury accommodation recommendation for the Kandy tour
Luxury accommodation options in Kandy come with a bed & breakfast. Wake up to scenic mountainside views while sipping a cup of hot coffee.
Amaya Hills Kandy: $86 (116 km)
Amaya Hills is a 4-star hotel located in Herrassagala, Kandy. The hotel is close to many of the top attractions in Kandy and Peradeniya.
Hanthana Boutique Villa by Amaya: $129 (114 km)
Hanthana Boutique Villa is a spacious villa ideal for the entire family. Spend your vacation in your family’s privacy with all the necessary amenities provided to you.
Earl’s Regent Hotel: $76 (109 km)
Earl’s Regent Hotel is a renowned 4-star hotel located in a central area of Kandy Town. Its proximity to popular attractions in Kandy makes it one of the first choices people make when searching for luxury accommodation options.
Budget accommodation recommendation for the Kandy tour
If you are traveling on a budget, there are so many budget-friendly options like air bnb that you could choose for your accommodation.
Suki Villa: $11 (115 km)
Suki Villa is a private villa for 2 guests with a bedroom and a private bath. It is centrally down Keerthi Sri Rajasingha Mawatha, providing easy access to major attraction sites in Kandy.
Square Peg – Loft by Dinesh: $50 (112 km)
Square Peg is a small hotel halfway up Bahirawakanda Hill, a popular tourist attraction in Kandy. It can accommodate 4 guests and includes 2 bedrooms and 1 bath.
One Room Villa in Greenly Hills: $31 (114 km)
This entire villa hosted by Trouvaille can accommodate 2 guests as it has a single bedroom and bath. This accommodation suite is close to Richmond Hill, Kandy, and provides easy access to the top tourist attractions in and around Kandy town.
Weather and packing considerations for a trip to Peradeniya
The climate in the central highlands differs significantly from that of other parts of the country. Therefore, expect a cooler climate going uphill towards central Sri Lanka. The towns of Peradeniya and Kandy see quite a lot of sunshine annually, but the sun is not as harsh as in Colombo, Galle, etc. However, since you are going uphill, chances are that the sun’s harmful U.V. rays could reach your skin much faster than when on sea level. Therefore, remember to pack your sunscreen and sun hat.
The nights could get chilly, so remember to bring a jersey and warm clothes to help you feel comfortable. Also, hiking shoes or boots will be handy, especially if you plan to go on such adventures. Pack extra pairs of socks to keep your feet warm at night.
Regarding weather, the best time to tour Kandy and its suburbs is from December to April. It is when the weather is dry, and you enjoy your trip. From May to November, Kandy experiences the monsoon, which may dampen your tour experience.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya (Morning)
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Peradeniya is one of the most beautiful places in the entire Kandy district. The garden is just 6 km from Kandy City and is home to a wide range of plants. The gardens are known to have been frequented by many of the historical kings and queens of Kandy, including the famed King Keerthy Sri Rajasingha.
As the most extensive botanical garden in the country, it covers an area of approximately 146 acres. The garden attracts about 2 million visitors annually. It is open daily from 8 am to 7 pm. The best time to visit the garden is in the morning hours. So, plan to be there by 8 and finish by lunch.
Breakfast / Lunch
The Royal Garden Cafeteria in Peradeniya serves an extensive menu suitable for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. Hela Bojun, located on High-Level Road, Peradeniya, is ideal if you crave traditional Sri Lankan lunch.
Hindagala Buddhist Temple (Evening)
After lunch, you can head to the Hindagala Buddhist Temple, situated on a rock adjacent to the University of Peradeniya. It is a historical cave shrine and monastery with rock inscriptions dating back to the 6th century. The hill on which the temple is located gives picturesque views of the sacred site of Sri Pada, also known as Adam’s Peak.
Once you complete a historical tour of the Hindagala Buddhist Temple, you can head off for dinner at the Fire Plate Restaurant on Galaha Road, Peradeniya. The restaurant serves excellent food till 10 pm. Aloy Restaurant is also a family-friendly dine-in restaurant located in Getambe, Peradeniya. It serves multi-cuisine meals and has an extensive menu.
The Temple of the Tooth (Morning)
The Temple of the Tooth, also known as the Sri Dalada Maligawa, is a world-renowned place of worship and one of the holiest pilgrimage sites for Sri Lankan Buddhists. Named a UNESCO world heritage site in 1988, the temple carries immense value and religious significance to Buddhists worldwide. Therefore, the temple attracts many local and foreign devotees annually. The Temple of the Tooth is built adjacent to several other notable sites, including the Royal Palace, ‘Udawaththa Kelaya forest reserve, ‘Kiri Muhuhda’, and ‘Natha and Paththini Devala’.
Cafe Secret Alley is the perfect place to catch up for breakfast or brunch. It is located close to the Temple of the Tooth in E.L. Senanayake Veediya. Buwana Food Court, situated in Kotugodella Veediya, is an excellent eatery where you can select a range of cuisines.
Kandy Lake and View Point (Evening)
After visiting the temple, it is now time to relax after a tiring day. The Kandy View Point in Rajapihilla Mawatha is an excellent spot for an aerial view of Kandy City, overlooking the lake. It is a 1 km uphill climb worth a visit because of the breathtaking views surrounding it. You can also take a tuk-tuk up to the point if you find walking hard. Soak in the beauty of Kandy town during sunset at Kandy View Point.
Hideout Lounge is a restaurant situated in Sangaraja Mawatha, Kandy. It is an excellent place to have a delicious dinner with family. If you are a vegetarian, head to Balaji Dosai, which serves an array of South Indian meals, including dosa, vada, chapati, and more.
Kandy is a city with a unique vibe. Its proud history is renowned as the country’s last kingdom. Here are a few collectibles you can take back home from your trip to the hill capital.
Batik Clothing & Fabrics (Jayamali Batiks Studio)
Jayamali Batik Studio consists of a unique collection of batik clothing and fabrics. Visitors also get a detailed guide on the intricate process of creating batik clothing and fabrics.
T-shirts, mugs, and miscellaneous items (Luv SL Kandy)
Luv SL Kandy is the best place to buy many different souvenirs like t-shirts, mugs, key chains, sarongs, scarves, and other miscellaneous items. Luv SL is conveniently located down Sri Dalada Veediya in Kandy.
Gem & Jewellery
Isini Gems & Jewellers is a jewellry store in Rajapihilla Mawatha in Kandy. It is well-known for its unique jewelry collection, including gold, white gold, and gem-studded designs.
Peradeniya and Kandy are must-visit towns when on tour in Sri Lanka. It’s mild climate and beautiful scenery will mesmerize your Kandy tour.
Let us know your thoughts on our itinerary for Kandy and if you would like to add anything else. We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.