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Sri Lanka

Kandy Holidays

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Kandy? Piece of cake.

Go on holiday to Kandy and discover a lakeside city where colonial mansions mingle with historic temples, and mighty Buddhas gaze down from the hills. 

Kandy is a small city with a big reputation. As well as being a World Heritage Site, Kandy is Sri Lanka’s cultural capital. Its crowning jewel is the Temple of the Tooth – a sacred temple which houses the country’s most significant Buddhist relic, a tooth of Buddha. Kandy holidays are also popular for the week-long Maha Nuwara Esala Dalada Perahera festival, which takes place in July or August. Slightly less famous is the city’s romantic Bogambara Lake, which might look as natural as the surrounding hills and rainforests, but was actually manmade in the early 19th century.   

Once you’ve toured the temples and palaces, make sure you see a performance of traditional Kandyan dance and powerful local drummers. Then catch the best view of historic local architecture on a boat trip down the lake, or visit Sri Dalada Maligawa Museum for the remarkable collection of Buddhist antiquities. Visit the Central Market in the city centre, where you can buy Kandyan art and crafts made by local artisans, and sold at a fair price. And don’t miss Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, if you want to explore Kandy’s past through the history of its precious spices.    

Kandy holidays can be pretty action-packed. The city centre’s always bustling with tuk-tuks, tourists, pilgrims, Buddhist monks and busy locals. But if you need to take a breath, just find a calm – and often very quaint - tearoom. They’re scattered all over the city centre, along with fragrant bakeries and tempting shops packed to the rafters with every imaginable type of tea to take home. Looking for even more tea? Head to the hills and take a tour of one of the local plantations. Make sure you hop on the blue train from Kandy to Ella, too. Winding through the lush hills, this is one of the most scenic rail journeys in the whole world.

Best time to go

Things to do

Days out

Food

Best time to go to Kandy

Sri Lanka has two monsoon seasons. There’s Yala in the southwest from May until August, and Maha in the northeast from October to January. As Kandy is in centre of the country, though, it misses the worst of the rain. Any showers that do come tend to be light and brief, and the city generally stays fresher and cooler than coastal areas. Temperatures hover around 23°C all year round.  

January to April is the best time to go on holiday to Kandy if you want dry weather, clear skies and plenty of sun. It’s a good time to go hiking on well-marked trails round Kandy or take the blue train from Kandy to Ella – one of the world’s loveliest rail journeys. 

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May to September is wetter, but it’s still pleasantly warm when the sun’s out, and you can expect rain showers rather than storms. That changes from October to December, though, when the Maha monsoon season hits. Kandy’s rainfall is heavier and skies are often overcast, although temperatures remain at 23°C most days. 

Show More
Show Less

Things to do in Kandy

Top of everyone’s must-do list in Kandy is the Temple  of the Tooth. Part of the impressive royal complex, this gold-roofed temple is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in all of Sri Lanka. It’s beautiful, always busy, and unmissable. Don’t miss the Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha, either. This enormous statue watched over Kandy from its hillside perch, and looks magnificent floodlit in the evening. If you want to get closer, it’s about an hour’s walk from the city centre. 

Show More
Show Less

For a gentler walk, go for a stroll through the peaceful Udawattakele Forest in the east of Kandy. Once a royal garden, it’s now a nature reserve and place of meditation for pilgrims. Visit Sri Dalada Maligawa Museum to see one of Asia’s most important collections of Buddhist artifacts and relics. And don’t leave Kandy without sailing on Bogambara Lake – the best city view is from the water and the lake itself is lovely.   

Show More
Show Less

Days out in Kandy

The hills round Kandy are too good to ignore, so head into them and visit Geragama Tea Plantation. Less than an hour’s drive west of the city, it’s set in gorgeous scenery, has a Tea Museum and lets you in on the secrets of refining green and black tea from plant to pot. Naturally, tasting is a big part of the experience, too. 

Show More
Show Less

Making even historic tea plantations look young, Sri Lanka’s spice trade spans more than 2,000 years. Tracing that heritage is reason enough to visit Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden on Kandy’s outskirts. The gardens are famous for their spice tours as well as avenues of gigantic palms, rare orchids, medicinal herbs and more than 4,000 plant species. Vast and beautifully calm, they deserve as many hours as you can spare. And a trip to the workshops at Kalapura craft village in Nattaranpotha is another easy day out on your Kandy holiday.

Show More
Show Less

Eating out in Kandy

Kandy’s restaurants are handily spread around the city, bagging prime locations and brilliant views. For sheer heritage, book a table at Helga’s Folly and try fish of the day poached in tea – a Kandy classic. Or discover even more history at restaurants tucked into 18th-century colonial mansions, serving contemporary takes on traditional Sri Lankan curry. 

Show More
Show Less

Naturally, spice plays a big role here, so you can look forward to delicacies like cumin soup or local tea laced with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom or cloves. And sultry city evenings are the time to go to a waterfront restaurant. Most have pretty terraces, but the best come with rooftop gardens and views of the lake and hills. And no Kandy holiday would be complete without at least one picnic lunch from the iconic Bake House. Think rice, curry, vegetables, chutney and dosa, all neatly packed in its own perfect package – similar to a bento box, only better. 

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to go to Kandy

Sri Lanka has two monsoon seasons. There’s Yala in the southwest from May until August, and Maha in the northeast from October to January. As Kandy is in centre of the country, though, it misses the worst of the rain. Any showers that do come tend to be light and brief, and the city generally stays fresher and cooler than coastal areas. Temperatures hover around 23°C all year round.  

January to April is the best time to go on holiday to Kandy if you want dry weather, clear skies and plenty of sun. It’s a good time to go hiking on well-marked trails round Kandy or take the blue train from Kandy to Ella – one of the world’s loveliest rail journeys. 

Show More
Show Less

May to September is wetter, but it’s still pleasantly warm when the sun’s out, and you can expect rain showers rather than storms. That changes from October to December, though, when the Maha monsoon season hits. Kandy’s rainfall is heavier and skies are often overcast, although temperatures remain at 23°C most days. 

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in Kandy

Top of everyone’s must-do list in Kandy is the Temple  of the Tooth. Part of the impressive royal complex, this gold-roofed temple is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in all of Sri Lanka. It’s beautiful, always busy, and unmissable. Don’t miss the Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha, either. This enormous statue watched over Kandy from its hillside perch, and looks magnificent floodlit in the evening. If you want to get closer, it’s about an hour’s walk from the city centre. 

Show More
Show Less

For a gentler walk, go for a stroll through the peaceful Udawattakele Forest in the east of Kandy. Once a royal garden, it’s now a nature reserve and place of meditation for pilgrims. Visit Sri Dalada Maligawa Museum to see one of Asia’s most important collections of Buddhist artifacts and relics. And don’t leave Kandy without sailing on Bogambara Lake – the best city view is from the water and the lake itself is lovely.   

Show More
Show Less

Days out

Days out in Kandy

The hills round Kandy are too good to ignore, so head into them and visit Geragama Tea Plantation. Less than an hour’s drive west of the city, it’s set in gorgeous scenery, has a Tea Museum and lets you in on the secrets of refining green and black tea from plant to pot. Naturally, tasting is a big part of the experience, too. 

Show More
Show Less

Making even historic tea plantations look young, Sri Lanka’s spice trade spans more than 2,000 years. Tracing that heritage is reason enough to visit Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden on Kandy’s outskirts. The gardens are famous for their spice tours as well as avenues of gigantic palms, rare orchids, medicinal herbs and more than 4,000 plant species. Vast and beautifully calm, they deserve as many hours as you can spare. And a trip to the workshops at Kalapura craft village in Nattaranpotha is another easy day out on your Kandy holiday.

Show More
Show Less

Food

Eating out in Kandy

Kandy’s restaurants are handily spread around the city, bagging prime locations and brilliant views. For sheer heritage, book a table at Helga’s Folly and try fish of the day poached in tea – a Kandy classic. Or discover even more history at restaurants tucked into 18th-century colonial mansions, serving contemporary takes on traditional Sri Lankan curry. 

Show More
Show Less

Naturally, spice plays a big role here, so you can look forward to delicacies like cumin soup or local tea laced with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom or cloves. And sultry city evenings are the time to go to a waterfront restaurant. Most have pretty terraces, but the best come with rooftop gardens and views of the lake and hills. And no Kandy holiday would be complete without at least one picnic lunch from the iconic Bake House. Think rice, curry, vegetables, chutney and dosa, all neatly packed in its own perfect package – similar to a bento box, only better. 

Show More
Show Less

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Ease

Our tailor made packages make it easy for you to discover more of the world.

Value

Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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