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Sri Lanka is a marvellous getaway destination for love birds!
Today I’m gonna cover some of the most romantic places in Kandy that are must visit if you travel as a couple.
Being a cultural capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing. Even though it wasn’t our favorite Sri Lankan destination, it has a huge historical, cultural, and religious appeal.
Most of the places are relatively close to each other, so you can totally see Kandy in one day if you are short on time. Plan wisely, as there is much more to this wonderful island than just big cities! Some of the other must-do things include exploring the south coast beaches of Sri Lanka, visiting elephant sanctuaries, hiking to see Sigiriya and Pidurangala rocks, and watching wildlife in the national parks.
However, if you have enough time for relaxed strolling hand in hand and romantic picnics, here is my special list of things to do in Kandy for couples!
How to get to Kandy
Sri Lankan traffic is crazy, and it’s important that you are aware of that before you choose your transportation options. Check out my other post where I described everything you need to know about getting around Sri Lanka!
Now, depending on where you are coming from, there are a few options how to get to Kandy:
- Hire a private driver (that’s what we did)
- Order a local taxi (make sure to negotiate the price)
- Take a tuk-tuk (also negotiate)
- Drive a car or a tuk-tuk by yourself (please don’t unless you are used to local traffic!)
- Rent a scooter (depending on how far you are and whether you have luggage or not)
- Order an Uber or PickMe ride (cheaper than all of the above, but hard to find a non-scared driver)
- Ride a bus (non-recommended, cheap but not worth it)
- Ride a train (best option for budget travelers)
Want someone else to take care of everything and organize a wonderful romantic visit to Kandy for you? Check out the tours on Viator or GetYourGuide as they always have many interesting options for all-inclusive day tours!
7 Most Romantic Places In Kandy, Sri Lanka
I can’t even decide which one is my favorite on this list!
Let me think…
- White Buddha in Bahirawakanda temple makes quite an impression as it’s unique and really huge.
- Botanical gardens and Ramboda waterfalls are breathtaking and perfect for your romantic trip.
- We learned a lot of interesting stuff in a Spice Garden as well as at our cooking class.
- Ceylon tea plantations plus a train ride to Ella with its scenic views is something special Sri Lanka has over other countries.
Let’s just say that each of these places is a great spot for a travel couple and worth visiting!
We all agree that traveling is important, and traveling with your loved one is among the best things you can do for your relationship!
1. Visit Peradeniya Botanical Gardens For A Romantic Walk
Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens in Kandy take up a huge territory just outside the Kandy city and are equally loved by both tourists and locals.
They have 4000+ different plants around the gardens, many of which we haven’t seen before. And there are three amazing palm tree alleys with different kinds of palms!
The most impressive part for me was a forest of giant bamboo, but you’ll find a ton of beautiful spots there. By the way, it’s a wonderful place for a romantic photoshoot in Sri Lanka if you are looking for something other than south coast beaches!
You can get more information from the botanical point of view as well as up-to-date prices and opening times on the official website. If you want a guide, you can hire an official one at the entrance when you buy your tickets.
Prepare to spend at least a couple of hours in the gardens! You can bring a blanket and have a picnic on the grass to rest your legs after all that walking. Such a nice date idea overseas!
2. Learn Sri Lankan Cuisine At Local Markets & Join A Cooking Class
As almost every other country, Sri Lanka has its own unique cuisine worth exploring!
And what can be a better way of learning about Sri Lankan food than attending a cooking class with a local family?
Eating in local restaurants can give you some shallow overview, but it’s nothing compared to real homemade food that locals themselves eat every day!
During our short time in Kandy, we managed to attend this cooking class and it got to be one of the most special experiences from our trip to Sri Lanka!
Here are a few highlights from that evening in local home:
- We visited a local market with no tourists around and picked some vegetables we have never seen before for our class
- They organized our transfer from the hotel and back as it was an authentic local house in a quiet residential area
- The whole family helped us cook: a man (experienced cook), a woman (experienced housewife), a grandma, some children running around, and a dog barking outside
- We made about fifteen different dishes!
- They grow curry leaves in the yard and we used them for making curries
- We learned all the stages like scraping coconuts, making coconut milk with our bare hands, and deep-frying papadums
- We used an old-school wood-burning stove
- It was really a hands-on experience: we did most of the cooking ourselves carefully supervised by other family members
- We got to eat a lot in the end and it was amazing!
Cooking something new together with a local family can make you closer as a couple! An hour into the process you start to be comfortable and feel like part of the family. You might even learn a few secret tricks that have been used in the family for generations!
3. Hug Each Other Under Breathtaking Ramboda Waterfall
We visited three waterfalls in Nuwara Eliya, but this was the most beautiful one!
Ramboda Falls is the 11th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. It is situated along the road from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya and is much more impressive up close.
There is actually more than one way you can see the Ramboda waterfall!
First we looked at it from the distance when we made a stop at a popular viewpoint on our drive from Kandy to Ella. There are other viewpoints as well and as Hill Country is quite curvy, there are many places from which Ramboda falls can be seen.
Later we came to see it close. To be honest, I don’t think we would easily find the way if it wasn’t for our driver (one of the many perks of hiring a local driver!). I didn’t see any direction signs to the waterfall and you need to walk through the hotel to get there.
But this leads me to the best thing!
As it’s not obvious, not many people know the way, so there are hardly any tourists close to the waterfall. Compared to a super crowded Ravana waterfall we visited later, this one was surprisingly quiet!
Even though some people make their way up to the closest viewpoint (as on my second photo), almost nobody takes the effort to climb down to the falls themselves! There are no stairs, but it’s like a minute of effort, and you get to make all those amazing photos of the Ramboda waterfall (like my first one) with no people around.
4. Unwind On A Picnic Near The Peaceful Kandy Lake
Artificial Kandy Lake is the centerpiece of Kandy!
It’ located right in the middle so you will pass it a lot on your sightseeing journey.
Despite this, you can still have a quiet walk along the long stretched shore with hardly any tuk-tuks around. Come with a blanket and sit together for a while looking at slight waves and getting to know each other.
Kandy Lake was built by the last king of the Kingdom of Kandy in the early 19th century. It’s one of the most romantic places in Kandy if you want a feel-good date without long commuting. Locals call it ‘The Sea of Milk’ by the name of the pond that was there before.
The fishing is prohibited, but you might see some locals bathing in the lake in their clothes. I wouldn’t recommend joining them though, as the water is not that clean.
Anyway, it’s perfect for a romantic stroll in Kandy!
5. Jump On A Scenic Train Ride To Ella
If you are planning your trip to Sri Lanka, you must have heard about this train ride already.
Some insta-famous couples got a lot of criticism for taking those amazing romantic pics hanging from Ella train. I wouldn’t recommend recreating such photos as it can be dangerous if you aren’t careful enough. However, those adventurous pictures are one of the reasons train ride to Ella is on my list of the most romantic places in Kandy!
The train goes from Kandy to Ella and takes around seven hours.
You can also go the other way around, from Ella to Kandy, or choose another train from Colombo, depending on your planned route in Sri Lanka. Another very common approach is to go from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya and stay there for a bit exploring the tea plantations (see #7).
Every train that goes through the Hill Country will amaze you with wonderful scenic views along the way!
By the way, don’t expect all the trains that go along the Nine Arch Bridge to be blue! They are common, but we also saw a red one with occasional green cars.
6. Climb The Stairs To The Bahirawakanda Temple
As opposed to the popular and therefore super crowded temple of the tooth relic, there are hardly any people in quiet temples like this one.
Located on top of the hill in Bahirawakanda village right in the center of Kandy, this temple is known for the giant white Buddha depicted in meditation pose. You need to pay a small entrance fee and climb a few stairs to get to the top where the statue is.
There is a small dedicated place before the entrance where you can leave your shoes as you can only enter sacred places barefoot. There is a tiny souvenir shop at the top with books, postcards, symbolic merchandise and some clothes.
The whole territory feels peaceful and serene, so please keep it quiet as there are actually monks living there.
No matter how religious you are, you won’t leave the Sri Maha Bodhi Viharaya temple unimpressed!
7. Explore Tea Plantations in Nuwara Eliya
You probably know that Sri Lanka was called Ceylon back in the day.
And what is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Ceylon? Right, Ceylon tea!
Sri Lanka is one of the world’s leading tea exporters with hundreds of millions kilograms of tea being produced every year.
On your trip to Kandy, you should definitely come to Nuwara Eliya to try some freshly made Sri Lankan tea and learn about the whole tea making process!
You will see a lot of tea plantations around the island, especially in the highlands, but in Nuwara Eliya you can visit a tea factory and see all the phases. Our driver took us to one of the tea estates where we were given a free tour around the factory!
There is so much interesting stuff to see that it’s worth it even if you happen to be a coffee lover. But better not tell them that you don’t like tea!
During our tour at the factory, we saw people working the machines, the process of drying fresh leaves, some special equipment that separates big leaves from small ones, and much more! In the end, we got complimentary cups of tea and saw their selection of end products. The guide even told us what kinds of tea locals prefer to drink and which one tastes better with milk.
After the tour, we were allowed to wander around their plantations on our own, smell the growing leaves, and make wonderful photos! This is your opportunity to shoot some of the most romantic pictures from your Kandy trip!
Hint: Beware of the tea pickers that might let you take photos with them only to ask for tips afterwards.
Where to stay in Kandy: The Most Romantic Accommodations
Here are some good accommodations for various price points.
All of these romantic hotels all located in Kandy city center, basically spread around Kandy Lake, so you can walk to half of the listed above places to visit in Kandy and not spend extra money on transportation.
I also am a big believer in staying in homestays and trying Sri Lankan local food, that’s why all of the hotels and guest houses below have breakfast included. Believe me, having a local homemade breakfast in your accommodation is way better than going to a random restaurant and ordering from the menu. You get the idea of what locals eat and you will try new things every day! Besides, the portions are normally sufficient to keep you full for the rest of the day. I often had to skip the lunch!
But enough about food, let’s find a romantic hotel for your wonderful stay in Kandy!
Cheap rooms in Kandy for couples
Mid-range Kandy hotels for a romantic getaway
Luxury hotels in Kandy for love birds
Amazing Day Tours From Kandy, Sri Lanka For Couples
If it’s not your first time in Kandy or you have an extra day after you visited all the sights mentioned above, here are some one day tour ideas from Kandy you can consider:
Check the agenda of the tour before booking it to make sure it doesn’t cover the same places you’ve been to already. Sometimes these things are flexible and a private guide may walk you different routes depending on what you are interested in, but you better know in advance to have the best experience!
Kandy Outdoor Activities For Adventure Lovers
Walking around hand in hand is always great and romantic but you don’t want it to be the only thing you do in every trip. Otherwise at some point it won’t be special anymore! What is the reason to visit different places if you have the same experience over and over again, right?
If you are a fit couple and always up for adventures, check out these outdoor activities in Kandy!
Final thoughts on romantic places in Kandy
So I guess you have enough details on Kandy for a perfect romantic getaway!
Whether you’ve been married for decades or just met each other this year, a trip together is always an amazing experience that brings you closer to each other.
Every country can give you wonderful memories if you have the right person by your side!
This guide covers honeymoon worthy hotels, best romantic things to do, interesting activities, and all the romantic places in Kandy city. Hope it helps you plan a great holiday for yourself and your significant other!
Wish you love and happy travels!
If you’ve been to Kandy already, tell me in the comments which places you enjoyed the most!
What wonderful suggestions. While we often do food tours we’ve not done any cooking classes when we travel.
You should, this is one of my favorite experiences and much less touristic than just tasting the food!
Wow, it sounds like you had the best experience there! I have been to Sri Lanka but not in Kandy, only on the south beaches of Hikkaduwa and Weligama. This is a good reason to go back 🙂
Weligama is nice, but there are many more wonderful beaches there! Definitely come back to explore the others! You can see my personal rating of southern beaches here South Coast Of Sri Lanka: Best Beaches Uncovered.
These all look like amazing spots- but the waterfall would definitely be at the top of my list!
Yeah, it’s nice! There are also a few other waterfalls in the area, but this one was my favorite.
I like the idea of a cooking class in a local’s home. I think it can hardly get any more authentic. Was there a language barrier?
Yeah, but it wasn’t a problem. The main cook speaks great English and he helped us communicate with other family members when necessary. But gestures basically worked very well to give cooking instructions 🙂
I have not heard of this destination, but indeed does look incredibly romantic. I would especially love to do the cooking lessons and visit a tea plantation for the lush green views.
Yeah, and Botanical gardens are very beautiful too!
How amazing to visit a place called Kandy 😉 I love your photos and your great information on things to do here! I’d definitely would like to take a cooking class. Just seeing your photo in the kitchen made my mouth water as I could imagine how good it must have smelled in there with all the spices! Also the train ride seems great (hope there aren’t too many Instagrammers on board though ha ha) and seeing the tea plantations must be really impressive. If I ever make it out to Sri Lanka, I’m sure to keep Kandy in mind, thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much Zarina! I’m glad I was able to get you interested in Kandy 🙂 It really smelled great on a cooking class, but it tasted even better! Hope you make it to Sri Lanka!
Great list of things to do in Kandy! Me and my wife were going to visit in April but then covid happened and the borders shut so we didn’t make it. Hoping to see some of these places when we eventually visit Sri Lanka in the future 🙂
So sorry to hear that! We barely made it out of Sri Lanka when it all started and we had to come home. Hope you’ll get there as soon as it’s safe to travel!
Wow, Kandy looks very beautiful from your photos. I love taking a cooking class whenever I visit a new country, you can learn so much about the cuisine and culture! I hope I make it to Sri Lanka one day:)
Thank you Kailyn! It is very beautiful indeed, actually the whole Sri Lanka is as it’s very green and natural. Cooking classes are the best and such an authentic local experience!
Kandy looks amazing through your guide. The train journey to Nuwara Eliya and the tea plantation is so beautiful. Pinned this one for future reference, Thanks for sharing.
Happy it’s useful! I hope you make it to Sri Lanka, it’s definitely worth visiting.
Cooking with locals is great idea and something I end up doing on a lot of my trips. I never thought of Sri Lanka for romantics trips though.