Sri Lanka

A Day Trip from Kandy to Sigiriya

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If you’ve visiting Kandy, I highly recommend taking a day trip from Kandy to Sigiriya. When I first started researching how to get from Kandy to Sigiriya, I was surprised to find a lack of accurate information. This guide will hopefully make things easier for you by covering what you need to know about getting to Sigiriya, as well as some tips for when you arrive!

monkeys at sigiriya
Monkeys climbing the trees at Sigiriya

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Kandy to Sigiriya Day Trip

Before you dive into the article, make sure to check out the top tours from Kandy:

Popular tours in the Kandy

What is Sigiriya?

Sigiriya was one of my favorite places to visit during my Sri Lanka 2 week itinerary. Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress, located near the town of Dambulla in Sri Lanka. The rock itself is approximately 650 ft high, and it is a popular tourist attraction.

Getting from Kandy to Sigiriya

There are two distinct rocks that can be climbed in Sigiriya – Lion’s Rock and Pidurangala Rock. During my time in Sigiriya, I actually hiked both rocks! We started at Lion’s Rock and then after finishing, we walked 20 minutes to Pidurangala to start the second climb. We loved both of them, however if you are tight on money or time then I would probably choose Pidurangala!

Lion’s Rock

Lion’s Rock is by far the more famous of the two. A quick, sweaty hike to the top will offer gorgeous views of the surrounding area. An entrance ticket to climb Lion’s Rock costs 4,500 Rs (~ 30USD). The ticket price is high, but the experience is well worth it.

mother and daughter on lions rock sri lanka
Lion’s Rock

Pidurangala Rock

If the entrance ticket to Lion’s Rock is too steep for your backpacker budget, consider hiking up Pidurangala Rock instead!  Pidurangala offers an amazing view of Lion’s Rock, with far less tourists and for a fraction of the price! A single ticket into the Pidurangala Rock complex costs only 450 Rs ($3USD). You should allot 2-3 hours for the trek and spending some time at the top admiring the views. Be sure to pack some water, as you won’t find any for purchase.

pidurangala rock hike
Pidurangala Rock

It is also possible to spend the evening in either Sigiriya or Dambulla which would allow you to catch sunrise/sunset on the rock, which is supposed to be incredible, however we preferred to use Kandy as a base so that we wouldn’t have to switch hotels so frequently.

Getting from Kandy to Sigiriya

Getting from Kandy to Sigiriya by Bus

Sigiriya is easily accessible from Kandy by public bus. You can catch a direct bus to Sigiriya from the main bus station in Kandy. If there are no direct buses, you can catch the bus from Kandy to Dambulla instead. . The bus ticket costs between 100 and 200 Rs ($0.50-$1.00 USD), depending on the type of bus and route. When you arrive at the bus station, simply as for Sigiriya, and you will be quickly pointed in the right direction. The first bus ride from Kandy to Sigiriya (Dambulla) takes approximately 2.5 hours, whereas the direct bus takes approximately 1 hour.

From the Dambulla bus station you will need to transfer to a second bus that takes 1 hour and typically runs every 30 minutes or so. During the low season the buses run quite infrequently, so you may have to wait longer for the second bus to arrive. Another option is to take a tuk-tuk from Dambulla to Sigiriya. A tuk tuk to Sigiriya should cost approximately 800 Rs ($4 USD).

Getting from Kandy to Sigiriya by Private Car

If you are tight on time, you may want to consider going from Kandy to Sigiriya by private car. Taking a private car is considerably more expensive, however you can expect a more comfortable, faster ride. A fair rate for a car from Kandy to Sigiriya is approximately $60-70 USD.


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If you’re traveling to Sri Lanka, here is another post that will be helpful: 

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