Things to do in
Kandy

Enter your dates to find available activities

Top activities

Get free cancellation up to 24 hours before your activity starts for a full refund.


Our activities follow local health guidelines so you can focus on enjoying your experience.

Our most recommended things to do in Kandy

From Kandy: Sigiriya and Dambulla Private Day Tour

1. From Kandy: Sigiriya and Dambulla Private Day Tour

Take a full day excursion out to Sigiriya, where you'll visit two fascinating sites: the Golden Temple of Dambulla, a cave complex full of Buddhist imagery, and Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a massive column of rock turned into a fortress. After pickup at 7:00 AM from your hotel in Kandy, head out of the city towards the first site. On the way, admire Sri Lanka’s countryside and villages as you journey to this atmospheric cliff side cave complex packed with Buddhist imagery and frescoes.   Enter the historic caves of the Golden Temple of Dambulla, which dates back to the 1st century BC. View the ancient murals depicting the life story of Lord Guatama Buddha. Admire the hundreds of figurines of the Buddha and other deities scattered throughout the 5 main caves. Visit the Cave of the Divine King, the Cave of the Great King, and the Great New Monastery, as well as the giant golden Buddha statue just a little distance outside of the cave complex.   At noon, enjoy lunch at a restaurant of your choice before traveling approximately 45 minutes to visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Rising from the central plains, the iconic rocky outcrop of Sigirya is perhaps Sri Lanka’s single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization. Climb the 5th-century rock fortress and walk through the entrance framed by the paws of a lion (which give the fortress its name, “The Lion Rock”). View the beautiful unfaded murals that brought Sigiriya its fame, climb the steep staircase to the terraced gardens, and walk through the tunnels throughout the palace. You’ll get an eerie feeling of times long past.   Finish your tour at 5:00 PM, at which point you’ll head back to Kandy to be dropped off at around 8:00 PM. Stop en route to have dinner at a restaurant of your choice.

...
From Colombo: Full-Day Pinnawala and Kandy Tour

2. From Colombo: Full-Day Pinnawala and Kandy Tour

Start your journey at 0600 hrs from Colombo and proceed to Kandy, pausing at Pinnawala for a visit to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. This is the home for young elephants who have been displaced from their natural habitat at Pinnawala village in the Sabaragamuwa province of Sri Lanka. Now housing 70 elephants, Pinnawala is home to the largest group of captive elephants in the world. Next, visit Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya, renowned for its variety of ornamental, decorative & medicinal plants, more than 4000 species. This garden is best known for its collection of orchids, the largest in Asia. Thereafter, visit the Temple of the Tooth, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in the 16th century as the place of veneration and protection for Lord Buddha’s sacred tooth. Walk through the beautifully embellished passageways and elaborately painted halls. Lounge among delicately carved pillars and be amazed by the beautiful golden statues. Followed by a lunch break at a location of your choice. Cultural Dance Show - Be escorted to a performance of the traditional Kandyan dance, accompanied by tumultuous drumming. Dances include the cobra dance, mask dance, the Ginisisila, showing power over fire. This entire frenetic and colorful spectacle climaxes with the amazing fire-walking act. Finally, you will begin your journey back to your hotel in Colombo at approximately 1930 hrs. En-route, you will stop at Ambepussa (restaurant of your choice) and have dinner.

...
Colombo: Colombo Airport (CMB) and Kandy City Transfer

3. Colombo: Colombo Airport (CMB) and Kandy City Transfer

Enjoy a relaxing and comfortable private transfer between Sri Lanka's Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) and your hotel in Kandy. Your chauffeur will meet and greet you at the airport arrival lobby, holding a placard displaying your name for easier identification. From there, your chauffeur will proceed with escorting you and your luggage to your vehicle (Toyota Prius/Toyota Allion/Toyota Premio/Toyota KDH Mini/Toyota KDH/Honda Vezel/Honda Fit Shuttle). If you are unable to locate your chauffeur, a support team will be on hand which you can contact 24/7. The journey will take approximately 3-4 hours depending on the traffic and weather conditions, and covers a total distance of 226 kilometers. Your driver will take the safest and most comfortable route for the journey, using their expertise to limit the travel time. You can feel free to let you chauffeur know in case you need to stop for refreshments or emergencies, and at the conclusion of your tour, you will be assisted with your luggage before being bid farewell.

...
From Kandy: Nuwara Eliya by Train

4. From Kandy: Nuwara Eliya by Train

Start your tour at 7:30 AM from your hotel in Kandy, where you will be picked up by your chauffeur. You will be taken you to the Kandy or Peradeniya railway station at approximately 8:00 AM, depending on respective availability.  The train departs at approximately 8:30 AM. Enjoy a scenic ride of about 3 hours through some of the most beautiful highland countryside areas in Sri Lanka. See the vast green hills of the tea plantations and spot the picturesque villages with misty mountain backdrops. Enjoy the amazing sights of intimidating mountains, deep and dark woodlands, and magnificent waterfalls as they go by your window.  Arrive at Nanuoya at 12:15 PM where your guide will meet you at the station, which has been serving Nuwara Eliya for over a century. After you stretch your legs a little, your guide will take you to Nuwara Eliya. Enjoy the thrilling half-hour drive up the winding road. Enjoy walking through the streets with their pretty little cottages, quaint villas, and beautiful mansions. Thereafter at approximately 13:30 PM, enjoy lunch at a restaurant of your choice at your own expense. Afterwards, your guide will show you the most important sights of the town, including Lake Gregory. See the timeless post office and take the opportunity to buy a few as souvenirs. Begin the journey back to Kandy by approximately 3:00 PM. Whilst en-route, visit the picturesque Ramboda Falls and the Blue Field Tea Factory where you would see where the world-famous “Ceylon Tea” is manufactured. Learn more about the history of the factory, which was founded in 1824. After this, depart at 5:00 PM to finish the return journey to Kandy, where you will be dropped back at your hotel at approximately 19:30 PM.

...
Kandy: Day Trip from Colombo

5. Kandy: Day Trip from Colombo

Benefit from pickup at your hotel in Colombo, and then relax in air-conditioned comfort on the journey to Kandy. Visit the Temple of the Tooth on arrival to see the sacred tooth of Buddha, a symbol of status that proved the worthiness of the ancient kings of Sri Lanka. Admire the beautiful architecture of the palace and look at the golden figurines in the shrine. Then, explore some of the ancient crafts by traditional artisans, including gems, wood carving, and batik. Watch craft demonstrations and buy souvenir gifts before lunch at a local restaurant at your own expense. Continue to the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, and go for a stroll in the 147-acre grounds. See over 4,000 different species of plants, including an exclusive collection of orchids, spices, and medicinal plants. Learn the history of the 19th-century gardens, and see famous plants such as the cannonball tree, giant fig tree, and 40-meter tall Burma bamboo.

...
Sri Lanka: Five-day Multi-City Sightseeing Tour

6. Sri Lanka: Five-day Multi-City Sightseeing Tour

Explore the best of Sri Lanka with this tour to the Golden Temple of Dambulla, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, rolling tea tea plantations in Ella, the chance to see wild elephants in the Udawalawe National park. Have your hotels, dinners, and breakfasts arranged for you in this fantastic tour package. Day 1: Be welcomed by your guide at the Colombo International Airport where your guide will take you to your hotel in Negombo. Take a PCR-test on arrival in the hotel and enjoy a delicious dinner and a comfortable overnight stay while awaiting your test results. Day 2: Journey from Colombo to Sigiriya after getting your negative test results and eating a filling breakfast. Visit the Golden Temple of Dambulla, the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Relax before heading to the ancient rock fortress Sigiriya before having dinner and staying at a 4star hotel in Sigiriya. Day 3: Travel to Kandy after a hearty breakfast to visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic which holds the most important Buddhist relic in Sri Lanka. Take some time to unwind in your hotel before proceeding to see the amazing flora at the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens. Eat dinner and stay overnight at a four star hotel in Kandy. Day 4: Next, have a full breakfast before heading to Ella to walk among the lush tea plantations. Learn more about the colonial history of Sri Lanka and take in the stunning landscape views. Return to your hotel in Ella for dinner and to rest. Day 5: After breakfast, drive to Udawalawe National park where you can spot elephants in their natural habitat.

...
Kandy and Nuwara Eliya: 2-Day Tour from Colombo

7. Kandy and Nuwara Eliya: 2-Day Tour from Colombo

Travel inland from Colombo to Sri Lanka’s hill country on this 2-day tour that highlights the ancient capital of Kandy and the English colonial hill station of Newara Eliya. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Colombo – Kegalle – Kandy You’ll depart Colombo after breakfast and make a stop at a spice garden on the way to Kandy. See the trees and plants that produce the hundreds of spices grown in Sri Lanka.  Kandy was the last kingdom of ancient Sri Lanka, and is the most picturesque city on the island, nestled in the mountains and surrounded by tea plantations. Of Sri Lanka’s 3 botanical gardens, the gardens at Peradeniya are the largest, spread over 60 hectares and featuring more than 8,000 different species of trees and plants. After, visit the Temple of Tooth Relic in Kandy and enjoy dinner and a typical Sri Lankan Cultural Show of Drum Dancing music and fire walking. Overnight in Kandy. Day 2: Kandy – Nuwara Eliya – Colombo After a leisurely breakfast you’ll begin the journey back to Colombo via Nuwara Eliya. You’ll have a chance to appreciate the awe-inspiring scenery on the way to Nuwara Eliya, as you travel through valleys, into the mountains, and past beautiful patches of forest. Nuwara Eliya is the highest of Sri Lanka’s 3 hill stations, situated at over 6,000 feet above sea level. Known as Little England, it is where the British colonists built themselves a home away from home. Follow the winding road that leads to the hill country through tea plantations, beside the waterfalls that cascade down the hills, and into misty valleys. You’ll have the opportunity to visit a tea factory and sample a cup of unblended, fresh Ceylon tea, before continuing back to Colombo.

...
Kandy: All Inclusive City Tour

8. Kandy: All Inclusive City Tour

Be picked up from your accommodation at 8:00 AM. Your first stop will be the Giragama Tea Factory. Here, you will see the sorting, grinding, and drying tools and then the packaging machines. Learn how tea is processed from shiny green leaves to the contents of your tea bag. After enjoying a cup of high grown processed tea, set out to explore the plantation.  Continue your tour and head to the Botanical Garden of Peradeniya, which is renowned for bundles of varieties of plants including orchids, spices, medicinal plants, and palm trees. Then, visit the Bahirawakanda Buddha statue known as big Buddha, which is one of the most scenic places in the city. At 1:00 PM, take a break to enjoy lunch at Oak Ray restaurant. After Lunch, visit the wood carving factory and gem lapidary. Then, be driven to Kandy Lake, which was built by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1807. It is one of the major highlights in the city and the drive is a scenic and memorable ride.  At 4:00 PM, witness a cultural show in one of the many theaters available in the Kandy city. Then, visit the Temple of the Tooth. To the Buddhists of Sri Lanka and around the world, Kandy is one of the most sacred sites as it is the home of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. You will be returned to your hotel for 7:00 PM.

...
Kandy: Temples, Gardens & Cultural Show City Highlights Tour

9. Kandy: Temples, Gardens & Cultural Show City Highlights Tour

Enjoy a full day of Kandyan culture that takes you from gardens to temples to a cultural show. Start your day with hotel pickup at 9:00 AM in Kandy and head to your first stop, the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya. These gardens have a long history dating back to the British Era, and were used during WWII as Allied Forces Headquarters for the Asian Region. Now, the garden houses thousands of beautiful plant species, so you’ll want to spend the full 2 hours allocated here wandering the gardens.   Afterwards, continue on to visit the Sri Maha Bodhi Vihara in Bahiravakanda. This monastery on a hill is used as a meeting center for National and International Buddhist Relations, and boasts a giant Buddha statue that can be seen from all over Kandy. Climb up to reach a viewpoint that gives you the ultimate panoramic views of Kandy and take some photos.   Return to Kandy for lunch, where you’ll be given approximately an hour of free time. In the afternoon, visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Temple of the Tooth. This temple has a burgeoning history spanning several centuries and is the home of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha. Formerly a palace complex for Kandyan kings, these beautiful buildings show their royal roots through their architecture.  At 4:30, enjoy a spectacular Kandy Cultural Show, which will give you the opportunity to watch various traditional Kandyan dances and acts, such as the demon dance, the fire dance, and much more. Once the show is over, you’ll be returned to your hotel at around 5:30, completing this full day.

...
Sri Lanka Heritage Sites: 6-Day Private Guided Tour

10. Sri Lanka Heritage Sites: 6-Day Private Guided Tour

Day 1: Colombo/Sigiriya You will be greeted by your personal chauffeur guide at the Bandaranaike International Colombo Airport and transferred to Sigiriya. Day 2 : Polonnaruwa/Sigiriya Visit the UNESCO world Heritage city of Polonnaruwa, the well-preserved city with ancient dagobas, moonstones, beautiful parks, massive buildings and stunningly beautiful statues. In the afternoon, explore the 5th-century rock fortress of Sigiriya. Day 3: Sigiriya/Kandy Visit the impressive cave temple of Dambulla, also a UNESCO world heritage site, a batik factory and a spice garden. In the afternoon, peruse Kandy with a visit to the temple of the sacred tooth relic, the upper lake drive, market square, gem lapidary and more. Day 4: Kandy/Nuwara Eliya Visit the Peradeniya Botanical Garden and then drive to Nuwara Eliya. En route, visit a tea plantation and factory where the best tea in the world is produced. Day 5: Nuwara Eliya/Colombo Enjoy a city tour of Nuwara Eliya in the morning. A favorite retreat of the British during colonial times, the town is dotted with English country-style houses and half-timbered bungalows. After the city tour, you will be driven to Colombo and on the way you can visit Devon and St. Claire's waterfalls. Day 6: Colombo/Airport Arruve at  the airport.

...

Frequently asked questions about Kandy

What top attractions are a must-see in Kandy?

What are the top things to do in Kandy this week?

Which tours in Kandy are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

These experiences in Kandy are taking additional COVID-19 precautions:

See all Kandy tours on GetYourGuide

Other Sightseeing Options in Kandy

Want to discover all there is to do in Kandy? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Kandy

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 43 reviews

Excellent experience. Suitable with time during the train journey and during the remaining trip. Experienced a lot of old English history. The pick-up from the hotel also worked perfectly. Our guide Dushan Munasighe was absolutely excellent perfect English o also expert. Took us to all the places listed in the tour and more. Top guy

Thoroughly enjoyed this day trip to Kandy! CJ was an excellent guide, fantastic driver, and extremely knowledgeable. He went out of the way to make the day the most plesant and timeworthly experience possible. I highly recommend taking this trip.

great day, had a very knowledgable driver, great food and learned a lot about the people and the country.

Very pleasant sunny day, with superb explanations. Lunch in a great spot, perfect day, thank you!

Great guide, comfortable car for a long trip, an interesting tour. Recommend.