Written by

Kandy is a beautiful town in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, an island country. It derives its name from the Sinhalese word for ‘hill’. Rightfully so, the town is located on a plateau, crossing over multiple tropical plantations, mostly tea. It is a major centre for educational, commercial, and religious activity, attracting pilgrims and tourists alike. The city was labelled a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. While there are a lot of activities to do in Kandy, the things to do in Kandy in one day include but are not limited to activities involving temples, gardens, lakes etc.

8 Incredible Things To Do In Kandy In One Day

Check out this incredible list of the best things to do in Kandy in one day. Find new places to visit and cherish this beautiful experience for life.

1. Temple Of The Sacred Tooth Relic

Not only is the temple visually stunning, but it is also of utmost religious significance to Buddhists

Image Credit: MiyuruSankalpa for Wikimedia Commons

Locally known as Sri Dalgala Maliwada, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple. It is located in the Royal Palace Complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy and is known to house the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. The temple sees daily worship, where rituals are performed thrice daily at different times.
The temple offers freelance guides around the complex for a pretty subsidised price, along with free audio guides available at the temple counter.It is advised that visitors wear clothes that cover the legs and shoulders and wear shoes that are easily removable since the temple requires visitors to remove their shoes.

Must Read: Cottages In Kandy

2. Ambuluwawa Tower

An image showing the Ambuluwawa Tower from an aerial view

Image Credit: Kushanharsha for Wikimedia Commons

The Ambuluwawa Tower is located in the suburbs of Gampola Town in Sri Lanka and can be a great addition to a one-day tour in Kandy. It offers visitors a beautiful view of the surroundings that can be enjoyed from its top. It is the ideal place to visit for adventure seekers who are up to the challenge of climbing its narrow staircase. To visit the tower, the closest train station is Gambpola, from where a taxi or tuk-tuk can be hired. The gates for the tower open at 8:30 am. It is advisable for those with a fear of heights or those not comfortable with climbing to skip this place. However, the tower has viewing platforms at various levels, so the view can be enjoyed by everyone as well.

3. Kandy Lake

The Kandy Lake is a stunning place to be during sunsets

Image Credit: Ji-Elle for Wikimedia Commons

The Kandy Lake is one of the most popular sights in the town of Kandy. It was created artificially in 1807 by the last ruler of Kandy, Sri Wickrama Rajasinha. It is associated with a fair bit of history, details of which are widely available with local tour guides. Located near the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, visitors who are fond of nature and leisurely walks can take a few hours and spend some time walking around the lake or having a seat and enjoying the peace. Kandy Lake should be visited during the daytime since there is more to see in the daylight.

Suggested Read: Kandy Hostels

4. Kandyan Dance Performance

Artists mid-mid-dance performance at the Dance Club

Image Credit: Schnobby for Wikimedia Commons

The Kandyan dance form is a vital part of the Kandy Lake Club Cultural Dance Show, an amusing Sri Lankan Heritage Show that must definitely be a part of your list of things to do in Kandy in one day. Started in 1982 with the view of culturally integrating different native dance forms onto a single platform, the Club Dance shows a keen glimpse into the rich culture of Sri Lanka. The dance forms performed are usually passed down through generations and performed widely at local ceremonies using drums and costumes.

5. International Buddhist Museum

The museum is the world’s first insight into Buddhist culture and its history

Image Credit: Santhosh Sundaramoorthy for Wikimedia Commons

The International Buddhist Museum is the world’s first museum dedicated to Buddhism. Its main motive is to give its visitors an overview of the history, variety and types of practices that come under the best of Buddhism. Its proximity to the Temple of Tooth makes it the perfect addition to the one-day itinerary for Kandy. It was the former palace of the Kandian King. Currently, it houses artefacts with the contribution of countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan etc.

The average visitor takes about one to two hours to see the museum in its entirety. Entry to the museum is free of charge for visitors who have already purchased a ticket to the temple.

Suggested Read: Restaurants In Kandy

6. Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage

An image showing the elephants at the orphanage bathing in a river

Image Credit: Alexey Komarov for Wikimedia Commons

The Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage is an institution for the captive breeding and conserving of wild Asian elephants. The orphanage was founded in 1975 to care for and protect the wild elephants wandering in and near Sri Lankan forests. The elephants are cared for in case of diseases or wounds.

7. Sigiriya

Sigiriya Lion's Rock of Fortress in the middle of the forest in Sri Lanka island

Image Credit: Madhawa Dunuwila for Wikimedia Commons

Sigirya, also called Sinhagiri, is an ancient rock fortress located in Dambulla, another town in the Central Province. It is an area associated with major credibility within the discipline of archaeology and history and thus makes the list of the most interesting things to do in Kandy in one day. In addition to there being a large piece of granite called the Lion Rock, which makes for an interesting view, the gardens present in Sigiriya are some of the oldest landscapes in the world. These gardens include water gardens, boulder gardens and terraced gardens.
There are a lot of activities that can be done in Sigirya. Visitors can hike to the Lion Rock at sunset, grab food at local eateries, travel to nearby national parks etc.

Suggested Read: Day Trips From Kandy

8. Peradeniya Botanical Garden

An image showing the gardens in all their glory

Image Credit: Vyacheslav Argenberg for Wikimedia Commons

Located approximately five kilometres from Kandy, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya is a beautiful natural getaway for all flora and nature lovers alike. The garden contains over 4000 species of plants, including orchids, medicinal plants and palm trees.An outing takes about two to three hours and is a must-visit for people looking to enjoy nature.

Further Read: Kandy In August

Now that you have been acquainted with the various things to do in Kandy, don’t miss this opportunity to plan your next trip to Kandy! Kandy never runs out of fun things to do, so don’t think, take the leap of faith and have the trip of a lifetime.

For our editorial codes of conduct and copyright disclaimer, please click here.

Cover Image Credit: Ji-Elle for Wikipedia

Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Kandy In One Day

How to spend 1 day in Kandy?

Kandy offers a lot of options for a day trip for various types of visitors. The must-see attractions include the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a UNESCO World Heritage site housing a relic of the Buddha’s tooth. The Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, featuring over 4,000 species of plants, is another top destination. Additionally, the Kandy Lake and the adjacent Udawattakele Forest Reserve offer serene spots for nature lovers.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Kandy?

Kandy offers a variety of outdoor activities. Hiking enthusiasts can explore the trails of the Knuckles Mountain Range, known for its breathtaking views and biodiversity. For a more relaxed experience, a boat ride on Kandy Lake is a popular choice. Birdwatching and nature walks in the Udawattakele Forest Reserve provide an opportunity to see native wildlife in their natural habitat.

What is Kandy famous for?

Kandy is famous for a lot of things. One of the most popular things in Kandy is the Temple of the Ancient Tooth Relic, one of the holiest places in the world for Buddhists.

How much time do I need to explore Kandy?

Ideally, one to two days is sufficient is explore Kandy to its fullest.

What is the best time to visit Kandy?

The best time to visit Kandy is from January to March, as these are the driest months of the year. The weather in Kandy is the best in February and March, with the temperature ranging between 18 to 30 degrees Celcius.

People Also Read:

Category: Kandy, Places To Visit, Sri Lanka

Best Places To Visit In India By Month

Best Places To Visit Outside India By Month