Kandy is located at the center of Sri Lanka and is generally recognized as the island nation's cultural capital. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Kandy is Sri Lanka's second largest city located in the mountainous center of the island. It is considered by some as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, and was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988. A cooler climate and smaller size make it much more pleasant and accessible than Colombo.
The city has a compact downtown area surrounded by a beautiful tropical rain forest hill country on all sides with exotic animals such as monkeys running around in the wild. The downtown area is really crowded and polluted by day, and filled with some of the world's most aggressive touts by night, but it is also a major shopping destination where all kinds of goods imaginable can be purchased at surprisingly low prices. There are also numerous bakeries, offering delicious local treats all over downtown. Overall Kandy is a great place to experience Sri Lankan culture and cuisine surrounded by a beautiful natural environment.
Public transit terminals in Sri Lanka are intensely watched and patrolled by very large gangs. Criminals in Kandy are astonishingly bold and numerous.
- Buses serve almost all destinations. From Bandaranaike International Airport 1.2 km to the bus terminal. You can simply wait on the side of the road for the Kandy bus, but because the bus leaves the terminal when it's full, likely standing room only. From Colombo public buses start from the CBT or private ones from the bus terminal opposite the CBT (3 h, about LKR130). From Negombo bus terminal by direct public buses over CBT for LKR150 (June 2017).
Bus number 245 comes straight past the airport. stand on the main road, on the other side of the fence.. bus will come from town, from the right.. 140rupees only. very frequent... . at 6am, just takes 3 hours.
From Colombo, the bus number 1 goes between Colombo and Kandy. Also, the bus route number 17 goes from Panadura to Kandy, and you can catch that bus from the Nugegoda area for a faster travel time.
- Intercity air-conditioned bus (from Colombo) is the next best option to the hired taxis. If you are female and traveling alone it is best to either sit next to another female or try to sit as close to the conductor as possible (i.e. up front) to avoid any unnecessary surprise. Private A/C bus from the private bus stand in Pettah bus stand. A/C buses cost LKR 285 (Nov 2016).
From Kandy, Colombo A/C buses depart from its own small bus stand. The bus stand is to your left as you walk towards the Kandy railway station from the Clock tower.
If you do not find a bus, there are some long distance buses that go past Kandy (Colombo - Walasmulla, Colombo-Matale). The Colombo-Matale bus skips the Kandy town at Peradeniya. If you happen to get a Colombo-Matale bus, get off at Peradeniya, and it should be LKR 300-500 by Tuk Tuk to go to the Kandy center, or about LKR 15 by bus (take any bus that has the "Kandy" sign in it). They are just regular service buses without air-conditioning, or guaranteed seats. This can be, however, quite helpful if you arrive Colombo at the mid night and want to go to Kandy instead of spending the night in Kandy; just do not expect to sleep with the loud "music" in the bus and 70 other passengers looking for some space to sit.
- Train (from Colombo or Badula) - Intercity express train are hassle free and scenic. Reservation are needed for these trains, it can be done just before the departure depending on the period but is best done in advance especially if you are traveling on a weekend or holiday. There is a decent observation saloon (1st class) in this particular train. Normal trains are slower and 3rd/2nd class unreserved tends to be crowded. The trip from Colombo to Kandy costs LKR220 in second class, reservation however will set you back another LKR600, but apparently the first class is just LKR750 wherever you get off (Kandy, Badula, Ella, etc.).
- Taxi. If you're just arriving in Sri Lanka, heading for Kandy, you can hire a taxi from one of the stalls in the arrivals hall at Colombo airport for about LKR6,000. The journey takes about 3 hours. This saves the hassle of going into Colombo, and is a lot quicker.
- Hired mini-vans with a driver are available from Colombo through travel agencies and hotel concierges, e.g. . The road to Kandy is astonishingly chaotic and frightening even for seasoned travelers. Be prepared for a long slow slog in traffic, or, if your driver decides to make the journey at a more practical speed, a hair-raising adventure replete with passing around blind corners and games of chicken with the ubiquitous intercity buses. A day trip from Mt. Lavinia (Colombo) to Kandy, including seeing the sights in Kandy, costs around LKR10,000 [May 2011].
- Air Taxi  (from Colombo) is the latest option to travel to Kandy. The De Havilland Twin Otter float planes operated by Sri Lankan Airlines leave Colombo at 9 am (currently from Kelani River) and touch down at Mahaweli River in Polgolla, Kandy at 9:30 am. The travel time between Colombo and Kandy is just 30 minutes. It costs LKR4,900 for a one-way fare and LKR9,800 for a return fare. Update May 12, 2016 - One way fare Colombo to Kandy is LKR 25,000.
- Cinnamon Air  operates daily scheduled flights that depart from Colombo (Bandaranaike International Airport) which reaches Polgolla Reservoir, Kandy in an hour and from Colombo City (Waters Edge) which reaches the destination in 30 minutes. One-way fare per person is listed as USD 153 (without tax).
Walking is recommended as the center is not that large. It is a good way of seeing temples, shops, shopping area and other sights around the lake.
Local busses can be used to visit nearby places (< 10 km). There are three bus stands, with only one of them with sign boards. All three bus stands accommodate both government-run buses and private ones. Private buses outnumber the government buses by quantity by far.
The first and largest bus stand is called "Good shed", and is right next to the Railway station. All long distance buses depart from here, and now have signs indicating the destination. Even the locals have hard time finding which platform has which buses, and is quite difficult to explain in this article. Almost every bus in here are long distance buses, but you can hop on and get off at your destination. If you get on to a long-distance bus, try offer the seat to someone going all the way.
Secondly, there is a bus station near the Clock tower. Bus routes 654, 621 and 620 (among others) start from here. Most notably, Digana is in bus route 654, Polgolla is in route 621. Matale is bus route 8, but note that if you want to visit Sigiriya, it is still a long way from Matale. Other bus routes include 603, 604, 606, 607, 609, and 613.
Third, there is a bus station near the market and Torrington park. This is where you will find most of the buses to the interesting destinations. For the botanical garden, take any bus that goes through Peradeniya: Kandy - Panideniya 652, Kandy - Pilimathalawa 724 and 644, Kandy - Mahakanda 633.
Buses cost from LKR9-20 for most of the nearby places. The conductors themselves will not speak good English, but Kandyans are quite helpful and will not hesitate to help you anytime.
Note that these buses can be quite crowded in rush hours because most of the offices and schools are located in these roads. It is best to avoid 6AM-9AM, and 4PM-7PM if possible.
Self-Drive Tuk-Tuk Hire
Arguably, the most authentic way to experience Sri Lanka is by hiring and driving your own Tuk-Tuk. Some travellers report that they have been able to strike a deal directly with local owners for the use of their vehicle. This is not recommended, however, due to licensing and insurance concerns. Since December 2016, Tuk Tuk Rental Sri Lanka has been providing socially responsible, self drive Tuk Tuk hire for tourists and travellers visiting Sri Lanka. Tuk Tuks can be collected from Mount Lavinia, Colombo, or delivered nationwide. As Tuk Tuks are hired directly from local owners, the company provides a good and reliable income for some of the poorest Tuk Tuk drivers in Colombo, who would otherwise be working long hours as a driver to support their family. All Tuk Tuks provided are no more than 5 years old, and rentals include comprehensive insurance, 24 hour support and a number of other extras to make your trip safe and hassle-free. They even provide you with your own Sri Lankan driver's license! Travel like a local and drive your own Tuk Tuk around Sri Lanka!
Tuk Tuk Taxis
Tuk Tuk taxis are cheap compared to European prices and a hassle-free way of seeing the greater city. They run virtually all night long.
Rent a 'Scooty'
Normally one scooty will be LKR 2000per day.
The Temple of the Tooth Relic
- The Temple of the Tooth, ☎ +94812234226 ([email protected], fax: +948112236201), . The temple is open from dawn to dusk. It houses a tooth relic of the Lord Buddha, and is consequently considered one of Sri Lanka's most holy shrines. Although you may not view the actual tooth itself, the casket within which it is said to be is displayed twice a day. The best time to view this ornate casket is around 6.30PM Make sure to cover up below the knees with pants and everything on the shoulders. There are plenty of people at the entrance that will hire you a shoal to cover for 150 to 200 LKR. There is also a foreigner only shoe drop just before you enter the temple where they ask for a donation...there is a local shoe drop for free behind it so don't feel like you need to give a donation as you have already had to pay 1,000 LKR. Foreigner entrance: LKR1,000. edit
- The Bogambara lake. You can walk all the way around the Bogambara lake, right next to the temple of tooth relic. Beware of crows over your head, and the air is not the best. But locals and foreigners alike love to walk through the bank in early mornings. edit
- The Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage has about 70 semi-tame elephants roaming freely around this wonderful sanctuary. You can either hire a taxi or tuk-tuk to take you there directly or, if traveling on a budget (by bus), on the Kegalle Kandy road, 4-5 km from Kegalle at the Karandunpona junction take the road north heading towards Rambukkana for about 6 km - the bus price from Kandy to the junction is about LKR40, ask the bus driver to drop you off at the turn for Pinnewala. Alternatively, take a train to Rambukkana and walk from there. Follow the road through the village back in the direction the train has just come from and then turn right at the large sign for the Elephant Orphanage - it's about 2 km. Rambukkana is on the main line to Colombo and the journey is quite scenic, passing through jungle drenched mountains - definitely worth the trip especially if you have children. The best time to visit is the feeding time from 09:30-10:00AM and 01:30-02:00PM, and the bathing time from 10:00-10:30AM and 02:00-02:30PM when all the elephants are taken to the river close by. Entrance: LKR2,500 (September 2016).
- Alternatively but slightly different, the Millenium Elephant Foundation is right next to Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage. On the Kegalle Kandy road, 4-5 km from Kegalle at the Karandunpona junction take the road north by bus heading towards Rambukkana for about 3-4 km. The foundation is on the eastern side of the road. You can ride and wash elephants in the river. Entrance: LKR1,000.
- The Royal Botanical Garden in Peradeniya 
is the best botanical garden in Sri Lanka and one of the best in the region. It dates back to the ancient kings of the country although the British changed the look of it. The British are said to have used the gardens to grow trees that could not be grown at Kew gardens. The large banyan tree, the orchid house, the suspension bridge, and the bats are some of the main attractions. Foreigner entrance: LKR1,500 (September 2016). Drive there through the University of Peradeniya  the most scenic and the largest university in the country. There are plenty of buses going from Kandy to Peradeniya (Rs 15-20) which stop in front of Botanic Garden.
Peradeniya Botanical Gardens
- New Ranweli Spice Garden phone="+94 77 1351931." web="" located in close proximity to Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden (on the other side of the suspension bridge inside botanical gardens.) is a place to see and learn about Sri Lankan spices and herbs. It is a fun place to guess the spices. After seeing around the "garden" (which is actually just about 15 spice plants), spices can also be purchased as a souvenir, but there is no obligation to buy. Entrance free. Directions-It is much easier to visit New Ranweli Spice Garden for those who visit Peradeniya Botanical Garden. Simply take the SUSPENSION BRIDGE inside the botanical garden and make it to the other side of the river (ignore the STOP sign), take the road (Gannoruwa Muruthalawa RD) directly opposite the SUSPENSION BRIDGE, from there it is just around 800m to New Ranweli Spice Garden. A path on the right side of the road leads to the garden.
- Bahirawakanda temple. The ominipresent Buddha statue seen from everywhere in Kandy city. Take a tuk tuk ride to the Temple or walk, just 1 km away from the Kandy city. The way to the temple may not be easy to locate, you might have to take a three wheeler or ask a local, when in doubt just walk up and follow the colorful Buddhist flags over the road. This Buddha statue is best viewed from far away. Once you get onto the premises it is no longer easy to see. Plus it is not a very peaceful place as temples go. There are some stares to go a little up behind the statue. Best viewed at the evening as the sun sets and the city starts to light up. Slight pressure to make a donation, but you are not required to.
- The Tea Museum, Hantane, Kandy. The ancient Tea Factory of Hantana Estate is converted into a Museum dedicated to the history of Sri Lankan Tea. Run by the Sri Lanka Tea Board.
- Udawattakele Royal Forest Sanctuary, is a forest reserve located on a hill ridge in the middle of Kandy. It is 104 hectares (257 acres) large. It was a royal reserve and the tranquil pond near the entrance is said to have been a royal bathing pond. One can take a wonderful walk on well maintained tracks through dense jungle. The large circular walk will take about an hour. You are guaranteed to come across plenty of monkeys, which although curious are not dangerous, and possibly deer and wild boar. Wear long trousers after rain, and take some mosquito repellent or salt as there are lots of leeches about when it is wet. The entrance is above Trinity College and Kandy Municipality. The fee for foreigners is Rs. 570-. Because the forest is large and secluded it is not recommended for women to venture alone in the forest. In 2013 two young German women were molested by a group of drunk men in a remote part of the forest. There are a few Buddhist monasteries in the forest, but these are private areas that should not be entered.
- Temples situated around Kandy are some other popular tourist attractions. The most famous temples are: Gadaladeniya (LKR300, serviced by many buses), Lankathilaka Viharaya (LKR300), Embekke Devalaya (LKR300; serviced by bus 644, LKR35, 1 hour), Dodanwala Devalaya, Degaldoruwa, Hindagala Viharaya, Madawala Viharaya and Galmaduwa Viharaya.
- Visit Athur's seat for a panoramic view of the Kandy city.
- Commonwealth War Cemetery is located at Deveni (2nd) Rajasinghe mawatha down by the Mahaweli riverside. Formerly known as Pitakande Military Cemetery, it is one of the most beautifully landscaped and maintained war cemeteries in the world. There is one Commonwealth burial of the World War I and a further 196 Commonwealth burials of the World War II commemorated in the cemetery. In addition there are four Foreign National and two non world war burials. The range of nationalities laid to rest comes from the records of the War cemetery, and include 107 Britons, 35 East Africans, 26 Sri Lankans, 23 Indians, six Canadians, three Italians and one Frenchman. You can take any bus that goes towards the Botanical garden, get off at the Gatambe ground, and this place is a short walk away. Along the way, the Mahaweli river will be to your left, and it is quite beautiful in the mornings.
- Kandyan Art Association., No. 72, Sangaraja Mawatha, Kandy (almost at the rear end of the Maligawa – Temple of the Tooth Relic and can be reached by walking along the lake road from the “Ulpenge” situated at the Southern entrance.Only five minutes walk from the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. (Sinhala: ශ්රී දළදා මාළිගාව)), ☎ 094 81 2223100, . from 9. 00 a. m. to 5. 00 p. m.. A center for traditional arts and crafts with a government-sponsored sales room and fixed prices. The building in which the Kandyan Art Association is currently housed is over 175 years old. Despite its varied uses over the years, the building has retained its unique character over the last two centuries and today serves not only as the Association’s art gallery and sales outlet, but also a site for the demonstration of a range of production activities, including hand loom weaving, dumbara mat weaving, and wood carving. Entrance free. edit
- Wales park, (Climb the stairs right in front of the Lake Round bus stop). Offers a quite good scenery of Kandy from up top. Most of the Kandy city photos are taken from here, and one can stay hours looking at the city's beauty. To get there, go to the Lake Round bus stop (search on maps), and you will see a small set of stairs going up. It is a short walk. Alternately, you can take a Tuk Tuk or a taxi that takes a slightly different road. If you take the walk way, note that the stairs are not well-lit, and they are not the safest stairs. Entrance free. edit
- Ambuluwawa tower. View point about 15km from Kandy (30min/40LKR take local bus to Gampola, then 6km by tuk-tuk). If you are visiting Royal Botanical Garden you may consider going to this view point. BUT check if it's open - in case of recent rains it may be closed without any previous notice. There are also some temples to see on the mountain. edit
The Kandy district has large number of known treks. Within the Kandy city the short walk of Asgiri Maha Viharaya via Bahirawakande hill is an interesting. Udawattakelle forest reserve in within the city limit, gives valuable walking in nature. The secret Walkers Forest upper Hantane trek is on special permission from the Municipal Council of Kandy. The famous Western Shrines of Kandy Gadaladeniya, Lankathilake temples and Embakke shrine are connected by a very scenic footpath. Other part of the west of Kandy, a part of Portuguese War Route, via Ihalakotte railway station to Dodanwala Devale shrine is passing forest reserves, Alagalle Mountain, tea estates and kandyan traditional villages. East of Kandy city the temples Gangaramaya, Galmaduwa, Degaldoruwa temple are well known for paintings, sculptures and architectural techniques.Knuckles mountain range and its forest trails are the most suitable for trekking in Sri Lanka. It has many nature trails cleared trough the forest by forest department with campsites. For example Mini world’s end trails in the west and east, Pitawala pathena trail, Ash cave trail, Nitre cave trail, Knuckles summit trail are very exciting. Also there are interconnected footpaths of cardamom planters, toddy tappers, tea plantation workers, farmers and villages. Traditional villages of the Knuckles foothills with so mach of treks and short walks such as Last King of Kandy, Sri Wikrama Rajasinhe’s (1798-1815) hideout place, Rathna water fall trek, Sitakotuwa limestone cave and waterfall trek, etc.South of Kandy the longest rice field scenery of the island, Lamasuriyagama the rice field was belonging to royal court of Kandy a very spectacular trek. It is undisturbed from electricity wires for photographs and with terrace rice fields by a Loggaloya river with watch huts of farmers. Loggaloya riverine forest trail to Victoria – Randenigala – Rantambe sanctuary is also a very interesting trekking.
- Perahera is the most famous festival in Kandy usually in August. It's a pageant where many elephants participate. You can buy expensive seats or can see it with the crowd. Buy a seat from the Queens hotel. This will be around $40. Buy the tickets from the officials or otherwise through middlemen you will be paying exorbitant prizes.
- Kandyan dancing you can see this traditional form of dancing in the "Kandyan Cultural Center" near the Kandy lake. But prepare to be harassed by the touts. Just try your way around them. If a tout brings you into place, he will later get a 50% commission from the Center, which you will have paid for.
- Buddhist Publication Society this is located on the lake to the east of the Temple of the Tooth. There is a large bookshop where you can buy books about Buddhism and get information about places to meditate.
- Nilambe meditation center, . This is a Buddhist meditation retreat centre which offers experiences of a mindful Buddhist lifestyle. You can engage in daily activities which involves yoga classes, meditation and discussions. Take a "Galaha" bus passing Peradeniya and get down from Nilambe "office junction". Costs are about LKR1,000 per day including lunch. In the main tourist season the place is heavily booked and is best to contact beforehand if one wants to stay.
- If there's a cricket match on, spend a day at the Asgiriya Stadium, possibly the world's prettiest test match venue, and certainly the only one that for most of the year is simply a school sports ground (Trinity College).
- Hanthana mountain range hike. There are three ways to enter the Hanthana mountains: One from Kandy city, taking the road passing the main hospital, the second from Mulgampola, and the third from Peradeniya. There is a telecommunication tower, and offers a quite good scenery. There are a few tea shops along the way, plus some smaller restaurants. The locals can be helpful despite their lack of English. You will encounter some young people, mostly from the nearby university making the hike. Join with them if possible. If you plan to camp there, note that there can be strong winds. It would be helpful to let your hotel/friend know that you are going on this hike, because it is easy for hikers to get lost in here, and you are not certainly the first one to get lost. Pay extreme care if you plan to cook your own food or involve fire in any way. You wouldn't be the first one to accidentally start a wildfire and destroy the most of the beauty and others property. If you are extremely careful and plan your journey well, it can be a hike of a lifetime with no other scenery in Sri Lanka to at least to come close. edit
- Laksala is the somewhat overpriced state owned handicraft shop, with many of the items sold here easily found for much cheaper prices in other stores throughout the country. Laksala is located by the lake.
- Kandy City Centre opened up in January 29, 2009. It is an ultra modern shopping complex with space for over 400 shops. By the time of its opening it is the country's most modern and biggest shopping complex.
- Waruna Antiques, 761 Peradeniya Road (10 minutes from Kandy, Old Peradeniya Road), ☎ 0094777710013. 9AM. Kandyan masks, jewellery, coins, plates, textiles, etc. edit
- Jayamali Batiks Studio, No.196, 1st Floor, Central Market, Kandy, ☎ 094777833938, . Exclusive Batiks By Upali Jaykody. You will be able to buy high quality, uncommon, artistic, modern batiks. edit
- Sriya & Daya Curio Shop (Sriya & Daya), 493, Peradeniya Road, Kandy (Opposite KFC Peradeniya Branch), ☎ +94812226247, . Sriya & Daya Curio Shop is a unique showroom with a collection of a wide range of Sri Lankan antiques, curios, jewellery, masks, souvenirs and more at affordable prices. edit
- Bakehouse, for snacks or traditional Sri Lankan meals. Scenic view of the City, from its first floor balcony, where they serve a Sri Lankan buffet, but this tends to sell out by about 7:30PM
- Devon Restaurant is famous for quality snacks. Captain's table is at Upstairs of Devons. Good Sri Lankan and South Indian food.
- Avanhala, is just in front of the Kandy lake. Good food and best scenery.
- SRIRAM Indian Restaurant located in the Colombo Street offers nice south Indian food.
- The Flower Song Chinese Restaurant on Kotugodelle Vidaya is just north of the town centre, is to be avoided. It sells really overpriced, foul tasting "Chinese" food. On the plus side, the bill is a print out so you can clearly see what you've ordered including the 20% taxes (not mentioned in the menu) added on top of the mandatory 10% service charge. It is relatively clean, air-conditioned and serves alcohol (beer and wine). (Updated July 2013)
- Dinemore , just opposite to the Anniewatta tunnel. On the top of Nihal's Super. Quality Mid-Eastern and South-Indian food for affordable prices.
- Lyons restaurant located in front of the Hindu Kovil. Serves quality food, both Western and Eastern.
- Paivas Food Court, No,37 Yatinuwara Street, Kandy Sri Lanka (center of city), ☎ 0094-812220002 or 0776451987, . 7 am -11.00pm. North Indian,Chinese,Sri Lankan And European Food And Juice Bar from Rs 250.00. edit
- There are two popular bars on the main street (Dalada Vidaya), The Pub and The Pub Royale. The former serves quite good (but pricey, perhaps LKR700) meals, has a large screen for sports inside and a 1st floor outside verandah.
- There are a number of cheap bars (LKR100 or less for a 650ml bottle of beer) scattered throughout the side streets near the town center. They can be rather seedy and the kind of place where unaccompanied women could be made to feel very uncomfortable.
- Victory Hotel, 79 Colombo Road This bar is a great way to see real Sri Lankans and what they do, downstairs is full of locals knocking back Arrack the atmosphere may be less than salubrious, in fact it gives the Sidney Hotel, Galle a run for its money, but the people are friendly. Upstairs is slightly less dingy as it serves food, Arrack starts at LKR700, beer LKR195 and a cigarette from a waiter LKR30l.
- Fruit juices. In every street and restaurant you'll find a wide choice of fresh fruit juices, surprisingly cheap (around 70-100 Rps for a big glass). edit
There are lots of cheapish guest houses to the south and east of the lake, about one kilometer from the town center, and generally clean and friendly. Saranankara Road to the South of the lake has a concentration of budget and mid range guesthouses with many different types of rooms near the top of the hill (best to catch a tuk tuk to the top of Saranankara road, instead of walking uphill if you have luggage, it's a steep climb, price for a tuk tuk should be maximum 150 from the main street in downtown or 200 LKR from the train station). As of December, 2015 room prices at Saranakara are from 1000 LKR for a hole with shared bathroom, 1500-2500 for a nice fan room, and 2500+ for AC room. The guesthouses vary widely in quality, some owners are very aggressive in recruiting guests, be firm if you don't like the room they offer you. With Kandy's climate AC is not really necessary and nights can even be cool, so many guest houses don't even have AC, don't be afraid to get a fan room.
- Pink House, 15 Saranankara Rd. (a low family house at the beginning of the street), ☎ 07790 18552 (as of Feb 2016). Basic and a bit run-down, but friendly atmosphere. The old lady owner is adorable. If you ask enough in advance that she can go shopping, she will enjoy cooking you an astonishingly diverse and delicious dinner. LKR1200 incl. slow wifi. edit
- No.44 Guest House, 44 Saranankara Rd., Kandy. Three simple but clean double rooms and a small lounge area. Serves juice and meals. LKR1,200-1,500. edit
- Kandy City Hostel, 76 Ampitiya Rd (Just up the hill from the far end of the lake. Take a tuk tuk for 200LKR from anywhere downtown), ☎ +94 774449182, . A chilled out hostel not very far from Kandy downtown. Great atmosphere and lots of people to go for dinner or to the bar with. A small breakfast and coffee and tea are provided. 2000LKR. edit
- Kandy Downtown Hostel, 93 Aniwatta Road, Kandy, ☎ +94 077-106988, . Walking distance (1.3km) to the bus/train station. Rooms start at LKR1,200. edit
- Olde Empire, Temple st. Situated next to the Temple of the Tooth -- very central. Basic, clean rooms. Nice ancient wood building, w. polished wood floors and good hangout balcony overlooking the temple. Free 5:30am wakeup call by temple puja. Friendly staff. Some combo of charming, funky and rundown. Restaurant is above-average. Cheapest rate starts from LKR880. Aug 2014: single, shared bath: LKR1100. Double, shared bath: LKR1500. edit
- YMCA, 116A Kotugodella Veediya. Probably the cheapest option in town. Common bathroom, cold water, no wifi. Cold and hot drinking water provided for free. Rates start at LKR500 per person for the dorm, or LKR700 for a single room (october 2014). edit
- Gami Seva Sevana, Office Junction, Galaha (25 km towards Galaha on the Galaha Rd), ☎ +94 814920790. Located just at the foot of the hill of the Nilambe meditation center. One bungalow with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms one living room and a kitchen at 2 floors. Several simpler rooms. Gami Seva Sevana is a cooperative which is into organic agriculture and education. Recently it started to rent out its facilities and also offers a scheme to explore local places and sights that otherwise wouldn't likely show up on a tourist radar. From LKR2,000. edit
- Golden View Rest, Saranankara Rd., ☎ +94 81 2239418 ([email protected]). View on the lake and a part of the city. Hot water and very clean rooms. A/C and non-A/C rooms. The breakfast is not included in the price if not asked. CAUTION: Beware of the owner's free tuk-tuk scam - your driver will demand an extortionate sum of money once you arrive at your destination. Rooms from LKR1,500. edit
- McLeod Inn, 65A Rajapihilla Mawatha, ☎ +94 81 222 2832 ([email protected]). The couple who run the place are all smiles and very helpful. Rooms are sparkling clean, comfy beds, en suite with hot and cold water. Some beautiful views across Kandy from their balcony and from a couple of rooms, room 6 especially has floor to ceiling windows. No A/C, but you do not need it. LKR2500 and up. edit
- Tourmaline Hotel, 55, 2nd Lane, Pushpadana Mawatha, ☎ +94 81 4473551 5. The hotel has 29 furnished rooms with modern amenities. edit
- Holiday Bungalow, Haragama, Kandy (11km's on Rajamawatha), ☎ +94-777-426321, . 6 deluxe rooms, ideal for family holidays who like to stay in a relaxed and peaceful area edit
- Heavens Holiday Resort, 23/a Arangala Nattharanpotha Kandy, ☎ +94755915211 ([email protected]), . Heavens Holiday Resort is a nice clean guest house with situated in near the Kandy city. They have 3 rooms and 3 bathrooms. One room have private balcony and others comes with public balcony. Home made foods are offered the 1st floor restaurant. ''Cheapest rate starts from LKR1500. triple room price will be: LKR3000. edit
- No.31 Kandy Guest House, 31 Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe Mw., Kandy (Newly built Kandy Guest House is just steps away from the city’s numerous attractions such as Temple of the Tooth Relic, Royal Wales Park, Malwatte Maha Vihara & the Kandy Lake), ☎ 0094-778-048-210, 0094-774-142-154, . Guest House has four well furnished luxary bedrooms, perfect for families, groups of friends or tourist travelers. $30-$60. edit
- Peace Haven Guest House, 47/10 Louis Pieris lane and other entrance 44 firstlane Dharmaraja mawatta (Near the north-east corner of Kandy Lake), ☎ +94 812232584, . Located a pleasant 20 minutes stroll by the lakeside from the center of town. The owners, Mr & Mrs Atapattu, are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Breakfasts include heaps of fresh fruit, all the toast you can eat, and good rich tea. US$35. edit
- Amaya Hills, Heerassagala, Kandy, Central Region 20000, Sri Lanka, ☎ +94 114 767 842/800, +94 814 474 022, . Amaya Hills in Kandy, Sri Lanka presents guests a breathtaking retreat that offers a glimpse of the verdant Hanthana mountain range. It offers Deluxe Rooms, Superior Rooms, and Suites all equipped with Plasma TV with satellite channels, Mini-bar, coffee/ tea maker, Daily supply of bottled water, Wi-Fi Internet access. Some of its facilities and services are Swimming pool, Spa and fitness facilities, Sports equipment – table tennis, squash, billiards, board games, Business services. While at Amaya Hills, complete your vacation by exploring the following points of interest in Kandy - Temple of the Tooth Relic – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Embekka Devalaya (Embekka Temple), Kandy Museum – within the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Horton Plains National Park. edit
- Rosendale Villa, 85/A Upul Mawatha, Primrose Gardens, Kandy, ☎ 0094771015665 ([email protected]). Located in a secluded area of Kandy, Rosendale Villa offers a unique experience where you can relax, in true up country style! The climate which is cool mornings and evenings, with fairly warm day times offer a splendid environment to enjoy the calm ambiance at the Villa and explore the surrounding sites and other places of interest. Ideally located on the Primrose Hill with a panoramic view of the famous Mahaveli River with close proximity to the Historic Kandy City. Facilities offered are Clean Rooms with Breakfast or Lunch & Dinner, WiFi, Laundry, Tuk Tuk rides, Telephone, Hot Water etc.. Rooms from LKR4,500. edit
- Chaaya Citadel Kandy, 124 Srimath Kuda Ratwatte Mawatha, ☎ +94 81 2234365, . Offers a stay that takes you back in time. The four star hotel is away from the hustle and bustle of the city but near enough to access the cultural marvels that Kandy has to offer. edit
- Earl's Regency, 84 Tenna Kumbura (4km from Kandy), ☎ +94 81 5873305 7, . This 100 room five star luxury hotel has restaurants with a variety of international cuisine, 24 hour room service, a coffee shop, Ayurvedic health center, shopping arcade, a sauna and wedding, conference and banquets facilities. Evening entertainment includes disco, karaoke, live bands, oriental bands, bingo and cultural shows. edit
- Kandy Cottage, 160 Lady Gordon Drive, ☎ +94 77 2 203040 (Contact Tobi) ([email protected]), . Eco-friendly retreat for writers and artists, but it also welcomes regular holiday makers with facilities from laundry to laser printing. Although it nestles in a little hollow adjoining a tiny virgin forest 'Udawatta Kele Royal Forest Sanctuary' - it is only ten minutes' walk from the city center. It has two double rooms and one family suite, all of them enabled with broadband internet. Rates from USD 22-40 per person, accompanying children free if under 12. Half rate after the second week.. edit
- Forest Villa, 185B Rajapihilla Mawatha, ☎ +94 81 2234107 ([email protected]), . checkin: 12:00PM; checkout: 12:00PM. Forest Villa provides the comfortable amenities of an urban lifestyle. It offers rooms equipped with bathroom amenities, Welcome pack (water, tea, coffee or juice) and Coffee/tea maker. Some of its facilities and services are Restaurant, dining areas, business center, housekeeping and 24-hours back-up power supply. USD 35. edit
- Hill Top Hotel, 200/21, Bahirawakande Peradeniya Rd (About 2 km to the city center), ☎ +94 81 2224162, . Two star hotel. The onsite restaurant serves a variety of local and international dishes. edit
- Hunas Falls by Amaya, Elkaduwa (About 26 km away from Kandy), ☎ +94 81 4940320, . The hotel is in a breathtaking setting overlooking the Hunas Falls. The hotel has nine superior rooms, 19 deluxe rooms and suites. Room facilities include a mini bar, satellite TV and IDD telephone. All rooms are centrally air conditioned. The hotel offers conferencing and banqueting facilities. edit
- The Kandy Samadhicentre, Kukuloya Rd Narampanawa (passing Digana), ☎ +94 777710013, . Nature resort. Double room with hot water B&B USD 80. edit
- Mahaweli Reach Hotel, 35, P.B.A. Weerakoon Mawatha (a few minutes away from the city), ☎ +94 81 4472727, . Five star hotel. edit
- Queen's Hotel, 124 Srimath Kuda Ratwatte Mawatha (in the middle of the city beside the Temple of the Tooth Relic and the Kandy Lake), ☎ +94 81 81 2233026 / 81 5627620-4, . One of the oldest hotels in Kandy. Offers ideal getaway spots to watch the Maligawa Perahera (the procession). edit
- Randholee Resort, ☎ +94 81 2217741, . The panoramic view from this resort is one of the better ones in the area, decked in Kandyan decor, all rooms do not have its own private balcony and bathrooms. Best rates on official website start at USD 68. edit
- Riverdale Hotel, 32, Aniwatte Road, Kandy, Sri Lanka. edit
- Suisse Hotel, 30, Sangarajah Mawatha (right beside the historic Kandy Lake), ☎ +94 81 81 2233024-5, . Colonial hotel. edit
- Swiss Residence Kandy Hotel, 23 Bahirawakanda Lane (1 km to the city center). 40 rooms. edit
- Hotel Topaz, Aniwatte, Kandy, Central 20967, Sri Lanka, ☎ +94 817 389000 6, . Hotel Topaz in Kandy, Sri Lanka offers its stylish and comfortable accommodation with its guestrooms fitted with modern comforts like air-conditioning, minibar, safety deposit box, coffee/tea making facilities and satellite TV. Aside from basking in Hotel Topaz's stylish comfort, you can also take pleasure in a selection of its prime facilities and services like room services, 24-hour front desk, meeting/banquet facilities, airport shuttle, laundry, ironing services, currency exchange, shuttle services (free), restaurant, bar, spa and wellness center, massage, children's playground, outdoor pool, free private parking, free WiFi in public areas. edit
- The Tourmaline, Aniwatte, Kandy, Sri Lanka, ☎ +94 817 389000 6, . Experience a very refreshing and invigorating relaxation with sense of royalty. Indulge yourself in a luxurious private getaway with The Tourmaline Hotel Kandy. With a complete hotel facilities consist of Restaurant, Poolside bar, Garden,Business center,Bar/pub, The Tourmaline Hotel also offers services such as Spa, Laundry and Dry cleaning, Airport transfer, Shuttle service and Massage. edit
- Mountbatten Bungalow, No 4, Spring Hill Estate, Bowalawatta, ☎ +94 81 2054400 ([email protected]), . A Century old boutique bungalow, Once home of lord Mountbatten still holds Colonial Charm is located in Hill Country of Sri Lanka. The Bungalow consists of 2 Suites and 4 Bungalow rooms edit
There's a laundry shop at the beginning of De Soyza Lane, near the Clocktower, that charges 200LKR per kilo and serves in the same day. Also, there are some other laundries with name "Budget wash" that charge only LKR80 per kilo, with a minimum of 3kg. One branch is near the Dinemore/Nihas' Super.
Dangers and annoyances
Kandy is a very safe place and more relaxed than the east and north of Sri Lanka. Women however should be cautious (especially at night) and kindly deny help when approached by someone. When seeking advice, address your question to local women, which generally are happy to help.
- Tuk-tuk driver - Beware of the usual suspects that offer you to take you to the "best thing in town", which is "too far away to walk" or an alternative to where you want to go because "today yours is closed". Generally, all such advice is wrong and must be consider critically. Most things in town can be reached by foot. If you want to get out, the local buses are a good option - just go to the bus station and ask at the counter or one of the bus guys.
- Touts - There are many guys strolling around and offering their help to tourist. Often they approach you by saying "You remember me?" or by telling you they work at the guest house or hotel you stay in. Of course the usual "Which country?" is also very common. This is of course all bushwa and just a conversion starter to trick you into buying something or taking an overpriced tour with them. Touts that bring you to shops or hotels, Kandyan dancing, etc. will get a large commission from the place they bring you to, which will be included in your bill.
There is a lot of heavy black soot in the air and in the compartment on both buses and trains, even slightly noticeable over long distances in AC 1st class cars. Any significant distance will result in soot in your pores, nasal passages, mixed with sweat and sticking to your clothing.
List of Major Hospitals and health care centers:
- General Hospital Kandy, ☎ +94 81 2222261. edit
- Teaching Hospital - Peradeniya, ☎ +94 81 2388001. edit
- Suwasewana Hospital, 532, Peradeniya Road Kandy, ☎ +94 81 2222404 (fax: +94 81 4476763). edit
- India, High Commission of India, No. 31, Rajapihilla Mawatha, PO Box 47, Kandy, Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka, ☎ (94) 81 2222652 / 2223786 (fax: (94) (81) 2232479), . edit
- Buses are usually the best option and serve almost all destinations. Favorite destinations from Kandy are Dambulla, Sigiryia, Hatton (for Adam's Peak), Nuwara Eliya or Ella. Short distance buses start from the clock tower in the center. For the long distance buses go to Good Shed Bus Station south west of the town next to the train station. Prices are LKR50-150 for a 1 or 3 hours trip respectively. Dambulla costs about LKR150. (93LKR as update of October 2015, non-AC bus)
- Train is the best option if you are heading further into the mountains towards Hatton (Adam's Peak), Nanu Oya (Train Station for Nuwara Eliya), Haputale (Lipton's Seat, Horton Plains National Park), Ella (Ella Rock) or Badulla. There is an observation saloon (1st class) in some trains. 3rd and 2nd class unreserved tend to be crowded but tickets can be bought right before the train departs. Best check the train times and situation one day before departure - you can always opt for the bus. If there are no reserved tickets left, ask if they have tickets from Peradeniya train station which is 6 km from Kandy and can be easily reached by bus, tuk tuk or taxi. The Kandy train station is located south west of the town next to the Good Shed Bus Station. The trip to Haputale is about LKR200 for 2nd class, reservation however will set you back another LKR600.
Note that the train line between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya (Nanu Oya) is completely booked out for all of December 2015 as of December 19, 2015. Second and third class unreserved seats are still available but can only be purchased on the day of travel and the trains were really crowded with locals and tourists. The trains are full even as they arrive to Kandy station as locals seem to be getting on somewhere else, so no seats were left even before the train arrived in Kandy.
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