Best things to do in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Best things to do in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Colonial Architecture  |  A Night Life Hub
A popular Beach |  Shopping Center | Religious Capital


Colombo is the commercial hub of Sri Lanka and it is more than likely your first day will be spent here. The Bandaranaike International Airport is 40km away from the city but the new highway system has made this trip a short one.

The city was not considered as a prime destination worth a look in the past, but now it has blossomed in to one. There are many attractions well worth your time and you can incorporate them into your schedule while you lay some groundwork your trip.

We at Circle Ceylon present you with collections things that is possible for you to do and make your time in Colombo memorable.

Visit Galle Face Green in the Evening

Galle Face Green, although the name may be slightly misleading, is a stretch on land in Colombo and not in Galle. It is an open ground at the city center bordered by the sea on the west, the Galle Face Hotel from the south end, the main road including 5 star hotel on the east end and the new port city and old parliament building to the north. Galle Face Green itself is a popular destination for locals to walk and fly kites. Thus the ground has lost its lush green covering and no long “green” but brown.  Local food vendors line the coastline and dice out fried delights and snack. If you have a weak stomach then its best you pass on the food.

Photo Credit : Azeez Abubakr (WikiCommons)

Admire British Colonial Architecture

The legacy of the British colonial enterprise, as well as the Portuguese and Dutch whom preceded them, is quite evident with beautiful architectural building standing tall in the city center. Although dwarfed by the new towers, these monuments of a bygone era serve a reminder of human skill and creativity. Some structures were renovated when Colombo was beautified under the Garden City Concept and rest will hopefully will be too.

Take a stroll at Viharamahadevi Park

Vihararamadevi Park is beautiful park situated at the center of Colombo. Previously hidden by wall and fences, the park is now open on all sides without any wall impeding the beauty of the park. Since, it has become a popular for recreational activities and walk and fitness.

Have a quick look at Colombo Racecourse & Arcade

Another building that used look like a haunted stadium cordoned off by tall dirty wall was renovated in the post war period and converted in to a beautiful open Rugby stadium and the outer walkway into an shopping arcade. If you are passing by, it is worth to notice that it is now one of the most distinct stadium in Sri Lanka.

Admire the architecture of the Nelum Pokuna Theatre

Nelum Pokum Theatre, another post war creation, is distinct structure shaped in the form of a lotus flower.

Visit Independence Square & Arcade

Independence Square is one of the most iconic structures in Colombo. Independence Memorial Hall is a national monument in Sri Lanka built for commemoration of the independence of Sri Lanka from the British rule with the restoration of full governing responsibility to a Ceylonese-elected legislature on February 4, 1948

Have a glance at Bandaranaike Memorial International Convention Centre

A massive convention center, it is named after the former prime minister, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the first woman to be elected as a prime minister in the world. There nothing much to see unless you visit one of the many open fairs held here. It also houses a Language & Education Center. It’s just a short walk from the Independence Square and Arcade.

Colombo Lotus Tower

The newest attraction on the block, the lotus tower,  is a tower of 356 m, located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It also reflects the symbolic landmark of Sri Lanka. As of 16 September 2019, the tower is currently the tallest self-supported structure in South Asia. It is expected to be open to the public 2021.

National Meuseum

National Museum of Colombo, also known as the Sri Lanka National Museum is one of two museums in Colombo. It is the largest museum in Sri Lanka. It a nice place to quickly spend an afternoon.

Seema Malakaya & Gangaramaya Temple

Seema Malaka is a Buddhist temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The temple is mainly used for meditation and rest, rather than for worship. Situated in the Beira Lake, the temple was originally constructed in the late 19th century. It is one of the most iconic and beautiful sites in Colombo.


Sri Lanka Planetarium is a public planetarium located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is the first and only planetarium in the country and maintained as an institute under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research.

The Red Mosque at Pettah

Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque  is a historic mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is located on Second Cross Street in Pettah. The mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Colombo and a popular tourist site in the city.

Mount Lavinia Beach

The golden mile stretch in Mount Lavinia is the most popular beach in Colombo. Usually the evening are crowed with people but the dusk ushers in the quite restaurant in to life. You could head there in the morning for a run or a sea bath.

Dehiwala Zoological Garden

This soon to be shifted out of Dehiwala. Once the location is set we will update.

Dutch Hospital Precinct

The former Dutch Hospital, now converted into a thriving nightlife hub with restaurants, pubs and shops. It is one of the unique nightlife centers in Colombo.

Pettah Wholesale Market

If you want to experience the hectic atmosphere of a wholesale market, visit Pettah Market. This is the center for everything you might want at a very cheap price. Crowded and sometime difficult to navigate, it is best to keep your valuables safe and know where you are heading. Particular streets are popular specialized items as sarees, curtains, carpets, electronic and hardware item, so it’s best to ask remember the exact street names.

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