The Temple of The Tooth - located at the edge of Kandy Lake - is the most sacred site in Sri Lanka, housing a tooth relic from the Buddha, each morning at dawn, it attracts a steady stream of white-clad devotees, there to partake in an offering and prayer ceremony. There is a second session in the evening, but the morning one is quieter and less touristy, so start your day here for a truly authentic experience of Kandy.
Looking for activities apart from the festival? The Peradeniya Botanic gardens are a great break away from the bustle of the city. Other options are a cooking demonstration with a lovely local host, a walk around the city's lake or a relaxing beer at one of the many restaurants.