How to Spend 1 Day in Kandy
Kandy offers a lot for visitors, and with one day, you have plenty to keep you busy right in the city center. Whether you plan to join or tour, or prefer to go it on your own, here's one way to organize your day.
Morning: A Famous Tooth and Other Important Artifacts
Start your day in Kandy with a trip to the city's most important attraction: Sri Dalada Maligawa, better known as the Temple of the Tooth. This 18th-century Buddhist temple houses one of the Buddha's teeth, and the presence of the relic draws pilgrims from around the world. Most city tours stop here, and going with a guide is ideal to ensure you follow temple protocol. Just next to the temple sits the National Museum of Kandy, where you can see all sorts of artifacts, from royal weaponry to jewelry located in what was once the king's harem house.
Afternoon: Palace Splendor and a Taxidermied Elephant
In the afternoon, grab a quick lunch before heading to the Royal Palace of Kandy, just north of the Temple of the Tooth. Palace tours focus on the highlights, which include the 14th-century Natha Devale, one of four shrines within the complex, and the taxidermied remains of the elephant Raja, who was famously used for royal and religious processions for decades. If you have time, stop by the International Buddhist Museum just around the corner, a good place to learn more about Buddhist traditions around the world.
Night: Fire Walk or Cooking Class
Finish your day in Kandy by attending an evening dance and cultural performance hosted in the auditorium at Kandyan Art Association. Dance is traditionally performed to the beat of a drum known as geta beraya, and performances staged here often end with a fire walk demonstration. Alternatively, if you’re a fan of cooking and want to learn how to make Sri Lankan dishes, consider signing up for a private cooking class in the home of a local—an experience that allows you to both cook and sample all sorts of delicious food from the island.