Kandy is located at the centre of Sri Lanka and is generally recognised as the island nation's cultural capital. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


This is the last kingdom of the country. Since it was conquered by the British only around 1815 you can still see the living traditions. Kandyans are usually proud of their heritage. Since the western elements has played a comparatively little role in the city most Kandyans uphold Buddhist values. Since it is in the cultural triangle the authorities try to retain this values as much as possible. Situation had changed recently because of many immigrants coming from other parts of the country. So don't expect to find the honest Kandyans they describe in the colonial literature now. Be careful with your belongings and the people whom you associate with. But this is a peaceful city compared to most other parts of the country with a lesser crime rate.

Get in

The train ride from Colombo to Kandy

By bus

From Dambulla bus station, you'll get the direct bus for Kandy. No train run on this route. A non-air-con bus will cost you Rs. 100 and take some 3 hours. Air-conditioned buses are also available on this route but they stop only briefly in Dambulla and they usually stop somewhere outside the bus station.

By train

From Colombo - Intercity express train are hassle free and scenic, 2.5 hours. 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 travelling on a weekend or holiday. There is a great observation saloon (first class) in this particular train. Other trains are overly crowded and late. The trip from Colombo costs 220 LKR in second class. First class tickets are 1,250 LKR each way.

By 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 R6,000/-. The journey takes about 3 hours. This saves the hassle of going into Colombo, and is a lot quicker and easier.

By hired mini-vans

Hired mini-vans with a driver are available from Colombo through travel agencies and hotel concierges. The road to Kandy is astonishingly chaotic and frightening even for seasoned travellers. 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 to Kandy, including seeing the sights in Kandy, costs around LKR 10,000 [May 2011].

By air

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 09:00 (currently from Kelani River) and touch down at Mahaweli River in Polgolla, Kandy at 09:30 The travel time between Colombo and Kandy is just 30 minutes. It costs Rs. 4,900 one-way fare and Rs. 9,800 for a return.

Get around


The Temple of the Tooth Relic
Peradeniya Botanical Gardens




A bright display of spices at the Kandy Central Market




There are many hostels, budget, midrange and splurge hotels in Kandy, where you can stay the night and rest easily.


There are lots of cheapish guest houses to the south and east of the lake, all an only a short walk from the town centre, and generally clean and friendly.



Holiday Bungalows



List of Major Hospitals and health care centres:


Go next

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