Kandy is the second-largest city in Sri Lanka, famed for its fascinating history, rich culture, magnificent beauty, and old-world charm. It’s a dream destination for every passionate traveler, leaving lasting imprints on the mind and soul. But did you know that there are a plethora of intriguing things to do in Kandy that make this town even more pleasing? From meditating amidst the soothing charm of the city and hiking along the breathtaking mountain ranges to peaceful elephant riding and captivating village exploration, there is everything you need for an awe-inspiring vacation. Thus, gear up for a delightful retreat full of heartwarming experiences in Kandy.
Top Things to Do in Kandy: Embark on an Ultimate Excursion
Known as a pilgrimage site for the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Kandy is the perfect destination to explore, venture, and contemplate. The balmy atmosphere, peaceful meditation centers and fascinating trails offer several exciting things to do in Kandy. Surrounded by tea plantations and mountains from all over the place, this beautiful city will let you indulge in amusing activities for an exhilarating experience. The alluring hill station with colonial buildings and meandering Kandy Lake is a must-visit for every traveler. Hence, below we have curated a list of some interesting things you must try while you are on your trip to Kandy.
- Jeep safari
- Elephant ride
- Enjoying local food
- Nature exploration
- Village expedition
1. Jeep Safari: Discover a Different World
If you want to connect with nature and explore the wildlife in Kandy, then you must go on an enthralling jeep safari. It’s the best way to discover the extraordinary flora and fauna dominated by the population of elephants, deer, leopards, boars, and flamingos. It is one of the best things to do in Kandy Sri Lanka and will let you explore the untamed side of life. Also, the breathtaking views full of lush greenery will give you a humbling experience. It will be a lifetime adventure, with several instances when you will come face-to-face with the wild beasts.
Best time for jeep safari: During the rainy season (May to August) the early morning safari is better for leopards and bears and during dry season (December to March) the afternoon safari is best
Top attractions of jeep safari: Lush greenery, huge elephants, wild buffaloes, boars, spotted deer, sloth bears, leopards and crocodiles, and beautiful lakes
Famous place for jeep safari: Udawatta Kele Sanctuary
2. Meditation: Set the Stage for a Calmer Mind
Kandy is a peaceful place and is famous for its pleasant weather and a calm environment. It’s a perfect spot to meditate and get a sense of calm, peace, and balance. Meditation is one of the best things to do in Sri Lanka because it helps you increase self-awareness and cultivate well-being. There are numerous meditation centers in Karbi, providing a tranquil oasis dedicated to restoring balance and harmony. These centers are nestled amidst pristine nature, providing soothing sounds of flowing water and picturesque views. Here, you must visit to experience the healing power of nature.
Best meditation centers in Kandy: Vipassana Meditation Retreats, Monastery Retreats, Mindfulness Retreats, Shamanic Retreats, Ashram Retreats
Top attractions: Tranquil atmosphere, authentic Ayurvedic wellness, pure vegetarian food, natural treatments, trained teachers, positive vibes
3. Shopping: Seek, Find, Enjoy
Apart from its serene views and beautiful Buddhist shrines, Kandy is also popular for its shopping scene. Here you can find plenty of natural Ayurvedic products and artifacts, such as Raksha masks and Buddha statues. Also, if you are on your honeymoon in Sri Lanka, then shopping here for beautiful souvenirs is an exciting activity that you and your partner can enjoy together. The stores here have so much that you won't be able to decide where to start. Most famous are the handmade crafts with bright colors and strong contrasts that you must buy to save the memories of your trip.
Famous shops in Kandy: Main Market, Jayamali Batiks Studio, Earthbound Creations, LUV SL (ODEL), Selyn Fair Trade, Waruna Antiques, Laksala, Marks Bookshop
What to buy: Raksha Masks, Ceylon Tea, coconut shell products, elephant and Buddha items, jewelry, Ceylon tea, spices, Batik wear, porcelain tableware
4. Elephant Ride: Just Sit Back and Enjoy the Ride
If you are in Kandy, you must enjoy elephant rides, which are the most fun activity in the town. You can ride these beautiful creatures, feed them, play with them, and take a shower as they empty their trunks full of water. It is one of the best things to do in Kandy city which includes a short wander down to a river where elephants use their trunks to completely drench you with water. These elephants are well trained and will help you explore the wildlife and nearby villages, making your journey even more exciting.
Best time for elephant riding: Dry season from June to September
Top attractions of elephant riding: Exploring wildlife, taking pictures, having fun with the elephants, feeding them, discovering remotest and densest areas
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5. Hiking: Look Deep into Nature
Hiking is another adventure activity that one must try in Kandy. This city has a dominating presence of lofty landforms and mountain ranges, which makes hiking quite popular here. You can find a diverse range of the best hiking trails in Kandy to suit your needs. These beautiful mountain ranges with panoramic views are one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka offering enthralling experience. So, if you are a nature seeker who wants to admire Mother Earth while hiking in the beautiful mountains, then you must visit Kandy.
Best time for hiking in Kandy: December to April
Top attractions of hiking in Kandy: Alluring wilderness, panoramic views, tea plantations
6. Enjoying Local Food: Wake up Your Taste Buds
Kandy is famous for its traditional dishes, including hot dosas, rice curry, kottu, and appam. The mouthwatering food is meticulously intertwined with the nutritional value, health benefits, and therapeutic reasoning of the ingredients. This is the reason why the restaurants in Kandy are one of the top tourist attractions. These restaurants are a complete paradise for all the food lovers who always want to try something new. Here, you can try both international and traditional cuisines for the best culinary experiences. So, get ready to enjoy the best of Kandy’s culinary delights, full of diverse flavors and traditions.
Top restaurants in Kandy: Restaurant Imagination, Food Plaza, Food Hyngama, Sonar Kella Cafe and Restaurant
Dishes you must try: Dosa, Kottu, rice curry, Appam, Pol Sambola
7. Nature Exploration: Admire the Colors of Nature
Are you a green panther who loves to delve into the spectacular beauty of nature? If yes, then you must visit Kandy, which is a complete heaven full of vibrant tropical plants, majestic scenery of cloud forest, waterfalls, wild grass fields, and tea estates. Exploring Mother Nature is one of the best things to do in Kandy. You can also go for a beautiful train ride from Kandy to discover the spectacular scenery of rolling tea estates. Stroll around the stunning botanical gardens and picturesque Kandy Lake for a tranquil experience. Connect with nature to generate positive emotions such as calmness, joy, and creativity.
Best time for nature exploration: December to April
Top attractions: Hills & mountains, stunning botanical gardens, picturesque Kandy Lake, vibrant tropical plants, majestic scenery of cloud forest, waterfalls, wild grass fields, and tea estates
8. Village Expedition: Explore the Hidden Treasures
Another interesting activity you must try in Kandy is exploring the serene villages here. These remote villages are located at the foothills of the Knuckles Mountains, where you can get the real, authentic sights of a village untouched by mass tourism. The beautiful pine forests, tea estates, gushing streams, waterfalls, jungle patches, and terraced rice fields here will give you a delightful experience. Exploring these villages is one of the best things to do in Kandy Sri Lanka. The cheerful, compassionate people brimming with warm gestures here will give you a rewarding experience.
Villages you must visit: Narampanawa, Pussellawa, Meemure, Hantana, Nelligala, Yatihalagala
Top attractions: Beautiful pine forests, tea estates, gushing streams, waterfalls, jungle patches and terraced rice fields and cheerful compassionate people
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Hence, in summary, if you are a thrill seeker searching for a venturesome experience, then you must go for numerous things to do in Kandy. From exploring the exotic flora and fauna and discovering vibrant street markets to hiking on the mountain ranges and riding elephants, Kandy provides a diverse selection of activities. Avail yourself of the Kandy tour packages and get ready to delve into this sacred city famous for its beautiful views, rich history, alluring temples, colonial architecture, and lush green hills. This is a popular tourist destination that you must visit to have a great time with your family and friends.
Best Things to Do in Kandy FAQs
There are numerous exciting activities to enjoy in Kandy. Some of those are hiking in the mountains, shopping for beautiful souvenirs, exploring beautiful landscapes, trying delicious local food, elephant riding, enthralling jeep safari, discovering local villages and finding peace while meditating.
One can practice meditation in various meditation centers located amidst the serene nature of Kandy. These meditation centers will let you identify, propagate and develop the good spiritual qualities and abilities within you. If you want to spiritually connect with yourself then you must visit these centers in Kandy.
The best time to visit Kandy is during the months of January to March. During these months the weather here is pleasant and is perfect for all the outdoor activities. Also, this is the perfect season for sightseeing in Kandy and visiting the famous temples.
If you want to relish an authentic shopping experience in Sri Lanka, then you must visit Pettah Market, Liberty Plaza, Galle Face Green Fair, Kandy Market, Ella Village Shopping Center, Dutch Gallery, Mlesna Tea Centre, Crescat Boulevard, Orchid House and Ratnapura.
There are various amazing restaurants in Kandy where you can enjoy the delicious local food. Some of those restaurants are Devon Restaurant, Theva Cuisine, Kandyan King Seafood Restaurant, Balaji Dosai, White House Restaurants, Kandy House, and Villa Rosa Restaurant.
Kandy is a religious city and is also the capital of the Central Province. The temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world is in Kandy. Also, it’s a perfect place for a rejuvenating holiday amidst its serene natural landscape.
Kandy has various amazing national parks where one can enjoy safari and exploring the hidden gems. Some of those famous parks are Udawatta Kele Sanctuary, and Dunumadalawa Forest Reserve. These parks will let you spend some time amidst nature and discovering the alluring wildlife.
You must not miss watching the sunrise over Little Adam’s Peak, birdwatching at Bundala National Park, climbing Pidurangala to see the sunrise over the jungle, going kitesurfing on the remote Kalpitiya Peninsula and camping in Haputale Mountains.