Colombo is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city in the beautiful country of Sri Lanka. Over the last few years, it has experienced a boom in the building of skyscrapers, new roads, and hotels. Its mixture of modern life and architecture and the old colonial buildings and charming ruins make Colombo rather unique. Despite lacking bucket-list kind of sights which other capitals in Asia have, Colombo is an attractive city that is worth visiting. Dedicate to it at least one day at least to get a taste of the bustle of city life in Sri Lanka.
If you are planning to go to Sri Lanka or you simply want to learn more about this vibrant and dynamic capital city, keep reading this essential guide on Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Make sure you take some good walking shoes and wander about neighborhoods that are packed with history and culture. Here are some of the best things to do when in Colombo: make a point not to miss them!
Visit The National Museum
This museum is interesting to visit if you want to learn more about the story of ancient Sri Lanka. If museums are not your thing, it is still worth to get to this one even just to get a view of this wonderful colonial building and the peaceful park surrounding it. Inside, you’ll find various collections with pieces spanning through the centuries telling the story of this ancient country.
Explore the city By Foot
Simply walking around Colombo is a great way to soak into the vibe of the city. If you are looking to get some shopping done walk down Malawaththa road. Here you’ll find several shops selling bags, clothes, shoes, and souvenirs. If you want to admire some of the typical colonial buildings of the city, you should head to the Colombo Fort area, next to the Colombo Fort Railway Station.
Other ways to explore the city without walking around might be to pop on to an open deck bus tour or a tuk-tuk tour. Some of the sights you’ll most probably pass by are the Second World War Memorial, the Lotus Tower, and the Old Parliament Building, among other attractions.
Pay A Vist To The Gangaramaya Temple
Next to the Beira Lake, you’ll find one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples of Colombo. The temple is very beautiful and consists of several buildings rich in decorations. The on-site museum has a large collection of old artifacts among which the relics of Buddha’s hair. Visiting the Gangaramaya Temple is also a great way to admire the huge Beira Lake, a peaceful area to sit down and have a break.
Learn More About the Local Lifestyle at the Pettah Market
Exploring local markets is a way to get a sense of the local lifestyle and the great part is that you don’t have to buy anything! The Pettah Market, located in the center of Colombo is a local market where you can get to see lots of local fresh produce and it is the best way to blend in with the locals.
Relax On Mount Lavinia Beach
If you are tired of the bustling city life of Colombo, you can get to Mount Lavinia Beach by tuk-tuk or taxi and have a drink or a meal by the beach. Keep in mind that the beach can get extremely crowded on the weekends, so better to visit it during the week.
Walk Around Viharamahedevi Park
If you want to get to some green areas while in the city, there is no better place to go than Viharamehadevi park. Together with the Galle Face Green, this peaceful and quiet park is perfect for kids and a great place to relax for a while.
Colombo, even if slightly off the touristic radar, is worth visiting, especially as a way to compare the big city life to the more traditional lifestyle that you’ll encounter in other parts of the country. Hopefully, with this guide, you’ll have an easier time to organize your trip around the city and explore as much as you can. From the delicious street food to simply walking around and visiting local markets, you’ll for sure find things to do when in Colombo!