Colombo over the years has come a long way from just being a port city in Sri Lanka to a must-see spot during your vacation.
Colombo has its unique attractions, and it’s definitely the most convenient and developed city in the country.
Here’s a look at a few highlights and attractions in the city that would help your vacation be a little bit more exciting.
How to get here
Well, basically it’s the easiest place to find in Sri Lanka. From the Airport, you can take the Highway bus, which will be at the exit of the Departure terminal.
It will cost you only LKR 150.
Colombo is the main hub in the country.
It’s hard not to avoid Colombo on your vacation because this is a connecting point to most parts of the country if you’re taking public transport.
Let’s just run down a few attractions in Colombo.
Colombo is the main city in Sri Lanka. The capital, Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, is on the border of Colombo.
However, Colombo is divided into 15 parts.
The main areas are Colombo 1, which is Colombo Fort, Colombo 2, which is Slave Island, Colombo 3, which is Kolpity.
These areas are on the Galle road, and it is the busiest areas and the most developed areas in the city.
You could find five-star hotels, restaurants, pubs, casinos etc. in this area.
You could find shopping malls and High-quality cinemas around these areas as well as other theatres and arenas.
National Museum – Colombo Sri Lanka
The Colombo museum was built on the 1st of January in 1887.
Sir William Henry Gregory was the founder and also the governor at that time.
After the development of the museum to an international level, it was turned into a national museum during the period of Dr P. E. P. Deraniyagala.
This takes center stage among all other cultural institutes in Sri Lanka.
This includes many artefacts which dates way back to the very first day of the museum.
You can witness different types of artifacts which goes back to the ancient rich history of Sri Lanka. This includes few remains from the Colonial days as well.
Amongst many other important historical items, you’ll come across many paintings which belong to the 19th century when the English were governing Ceylon. To depict, the rich cultural values of Sri Lanka, there are few demon Masks from the past.
The entry ticket for a local would be as low as LKR100. For other nationals, it would cost approximately LKR1000.
Galle Face Green
This is by far the most picturesque place you will find in Colombo.
By the beach with a lush green field close to the beach and a pier which spreads to the middle of the sea. The port at the far corner and the skyscrapers at the back.
It gives a unique picture to Colombo, and many locals come over here during weekends and the evenings to just enjoy the sunset and sea breeze after a hectic day’s work.
Apart from the scenic views, there is another big attraction in this part of the city. It’s the “Isso Wade”.
Unique to this area, Isso Wade is a much enjoyed and very popular amongst both locals and tourists.
It’s basically a Wadai with few sea prawns on top of it.
Mixed with homemade spices, it’s a delicacy that you shouldn’t miss during your vacation here.
Pettah Floating market
The floating market was opened on the 25th of August in 2015.
It’s a bunch of pavilions on the Beira lake where local businessmen are given space to do their business.
The ambience here gives it a different feeling to what you get at a shopping mall.
By the lake with a cool breeze and the scenic view makes it special and a must-see during your stay in Colombo.
The Lotus Tower
The tallest self-supporting structure in the whole of South Asia sits at the heart of Colombo.
It’s the Lotus Tower which stands 356 meters high, which is also the 11th tallest completed tower in Asia and 19th in the whole world. This tower will be used for Communication, observation and leisure activities in the near future.
Tower shapes up like a lotus flower, and it’s lit up during the night time which has already become an iconic picture amongst the city’s skyline.
The initial launch took place a few months back but, the tower is yet to be opened for the public.
Initially, it was called Victoria Park but, in the 1950’s it was renamed after the mother of King Dutugemunu.
It is a vast space with a lot of greenery and an open-air theatre and a few water fountains.
Mostly it is crowded by couples who hide around the bushes.
During weekends and in the evenings, the children will flood the playing area to release their stress.
Apart from that, it is a lovely scenic walking path where you can have a nice evening jog or a stroll, enjoying some fresh breath in the middle of the concrete jungle.
Paintings in Colombo Street
Hotels & Pubs
Colombo possesses high-end hotels and pubs.
Few international chains have invested in this area since many businessmen frequently travel to Colombo for their business ventures.
The pubs differ from all-out night clubs and chilled out pubs where you can enjoy a beer and some live music.
The restaurants around the city give many options.
From local spices to different European, Middle Eastern and Asian flavours which are fairly easy to find in the city.
Another delicacy you should definitely try out is the “Cheese Kottu”. This too is very easy to find in Kolpity(Colombo 3).
The pubs here serve foreign and local liquor.
You could enjoy a chilled beer with some live music or go all out and party all night in one of the few nights clubs in the city.
A definite try out should be the local “Arrack”. It’s not similar to other liquor, but it’s something many tourists enjoy during their vacation here.
Another major attraction in the city is the casinos. Especially amongst our neighbours, Indians.
Many Indian tourists come down here to gamble and enjoy great Sri Lankan hospitality.
Nelum Pokuna Theatre
Old Dutch Hospital in Colombo
Independence Square Colombo
Arcade Independence Square Colombo
Colombo Light House
Old Light House in Colombo
Pettah Clock Tower
Port City in Colombo Sri Lanka
Apart from the above-mentioned attractions, there are few shopping complexes around the city.
These have all the international brands and many local products which go along the rich culture here in Sri Lanka.
These malls are equipped with quality gaming arcades and cinemas so if you ever have some extra time. You could always enjoy a good movie or some game time with your mates.
Colombo will not be at the top of your go-to list when you make your itinerary, but, it has its unique advantages.
Plus it’s pretty hard to avoid Colombo during your stay since it is the main hub in the country.
So might as well spend a couple of days and enjoy some quality hospitality and the luxurious lifestyle.