Kandy is a city of a great religious and cultural importance in Sri Lanka and accordingly, the city doesn’t boast of a vibrant nightlife. Most of the restaurants and bars in Kandy close before 9 pm, and pubs nearby the Temple of the Tooth Relic don’t serve alcohol for religious reasons.
If you know where to look, there are several bars in Kandy where you can enjoy a cold beer or some aromatic green tea after a long day of strolling through the lovely streets of this old historic town. Here are eight picks for the coolest bars in Kandy.
1. Mlesna Tea Centre
While away an afternoon sipping a cup of hot delicious tea and flavoursome light bites at the Mlesna Tea Centre, the adjoining cafe of the Mlesna Tea store. Relaxed and elegant, this tiny venue features a modern design with dark wood, glass and leather furnishing, and a laid-back atmosphere. The place is a great for relaxing and people watching while savouring tea prepared in the authentic Sri Lankan style.
2. Slightly Chilled Lounge
Slightly Chilled Lounge becomes especially busy during sunset, when travellers and locals gather to watch the mesmerising sunsets of Sri Lanka. Stylish and relaxed, this hilltop restaurant and bar offers a choice of seating outside on the spacious terrace or inside the open-sided dining room and serves amazing cocktails.
3. Natural Coffee
Natural Coffee is conveniently located nearby The Temple of the Tooth and stands out with its unique concept. For now, the venue is the first and only establishment selling coffee grown entirely in Sri Lanka. The lovely cafe also offers fantastic snacks, sandwiches and finger-food to satisfy your hunger. Treat your taste buds to an amazing cup of coffee and some Belgian waffles before continuing on to explore Kandy.
4. Royal Bar and Hotel Restaurant
Royal Bar and Hotel Restaurant sits in an old colonial building but features a modern interior. While most Sri Lankan patrons prefer sitting downstairs with inexpensive local beer and a buzzing atmosphere, travellers usually head upstairs to enjoy the chilled out ambience and a great selection of local and international spirits and craft cocktails to choose from.
5. The Pub
Located in the centre of Kandy, The Pub is a simple watering hole featuring a few big screens and friendly vibes. It becomes especially popular among locals during cricket season. On other days, The Pub is a reasonably relaxed and tranquil bar where you can get a beer (or three!), people watch and chat with the friendly barmen.
6. Le Garage
Le Garage is the premier nightclub of Kandy, throwing lively parties on weekends. Situated within the Le Kandyan Hotel complex, this bustling nightlife hub attracts party lovers of all ages to rock, dance and enjoy the vibrant nightlife that after all does exist in Kandy.
7. Kandy Lake Club
Perched on a 300-metre hill, Kandy Lake Club offers panoramic vistas of the city and its lush green valleys. The club offers what are arguably some of the best cultural shows in the region. Family-oriented, vivid and fascinating, these shows take place every day at 7 pm, but the theatre fills up very fast, so to ensure good seats, arrive early.
8. Old Trinitians’ Sports Club (OTSC)
The Old Trinitians’ Sports Club is a members-only club, but for a nominal fee, you can enter the venue as a visitor. The club is an awesome place to spend a weekend playing billiard, working out at the private gym and socialising in the evenings with other members and guests. An attractive bar along with stellar service and a high-end restaurant will leave no one indifferent. Take into account that there is a dress code applied in the establishment, so it’s best not arrive in your gym shorts.