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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for Great Things to Do in Kandy – Sri Lankan City of Heritage
Joanna James Joanna James
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Great Things to Do in Kandy – Sri Lankan City of Heritage

The last kingdom of Sri Lanka, Kandy is a city of tradition and culture. Travellers to the island end up in Kandy to learn about heritage, visit cultural sites, and enjoy the environs, which make Kandy an attraction for nature lovers too. Here is a list of great things to do in Kandy!


Wander Around the Narrow Roads of Kandy

The city of Kandy comprises narrow streets that wind up and down hilly neighbourhoods. Although one of Sri Lanka's busiest cities, there is still a vintage and laidback ambience to Kandy. Maybe it's the narrow streets, lined with colonial buildings, reminiscent of the island's past as a colonial stronghold. As you explore the city on a walking tour, stop for a refresher and try a king coconut drink sold by vendors along the pavements. Map out your tour to end at the iconic Kandy Lake, which sits in the centre of town.


Wander Around the Kandy Lake

The Kandy Lake is an iconic attraction because it sits right in the centre of the city across from the temple of the tooth relic, the Dalada Maligawa. The manmade lake was made by a past king and considered sacred. Hence no fishing is allowed. And so, the lake is teeming with fish, often fed popcorn by visitors who buy the bites from sellers located along the lake. You can take a boat ride to the small islet located in the centre of the lake, or you can choose to enjoy a stroll along the serene banks with that special someone. Either way, Kandy Lake is where you should be spending your evenings, observing local culture and relaxing mind, body and soul. If you are already making plans to travel to Kandy, discover more about each iconic attraction, at Kandy Escapes or other similar informative sites.


Lower the Pace at the Kandy Botanical Gardens

The Kandy Botanical Gardens, located in Peradeniya, was established by the British colonists. It is a thriving parkland famous for its many exotic foliage and sublime environs. The huge expanse is perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city for a few hours of nature therapy. You will love not only the burst of colour from the flowering shrubs there but also a respite under the shade of huge palms and meandering along the lovely footpaths.


Visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic

The Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Tooth Relic is a must-visit to understand why Kandy is an important link to Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The temple, occupying part of the old Royal Palace, is home to a sacred tooth relic of the Buddha. Pilgrims from all corners of the island, and overseas, visit the shrine to pay homage to the cherished relic. There you can observe traditional rituals taking place, watch how the devoted pray and let the peaceful ambience overpower your senses.


Climb to the Top of Bahiravakanda

Bahiravakanda is a famous lookout spot in Kandy, home to the equally iconic Bahiravakanda Viharaya (a Buddhist temple). There, you can not only enjoy the gorgeous surroundings but also bird's-eye views of the entire city below.