TOP 12 THINGS TO DO IN Colombo, Sri Lanka
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1. ENJOY THE LANDSCAPING IN VIHARAMAHADEVI PARK
You’ll probably want a break after the busyness of Pettah, and Viharamahadevi Park is the answer. The urban park has a jogging/cycling trail, an amphitheater, a golden Buddha statue, and pleasant landscaping. The enormous fruit bats sleeping in the trees above you shouldn’t worry you; they are harmless.
Viharamahadevi Park is in Cinnamon Gardens, a 15-minute walk southeast from Beira Lake. The Colombo Public Library and Colombo Town Hall serve as the park’s anchors on the southwest and northeast sides, respectively.
2. WATCH A SUNSET AT GALLE FACE GREEN
If the weather is nice, as it often is outside of monsoon season, Galle Face Green is an ideal place for fresh air, sunsets, and street food. The seafront promenade stays busy with couples and local families, who are often happy to chat. A long, spacious lawn is perfect for letting kids run or just lounging to watch locals fly kites.
3. MARVEL AT AN ANCIENT TEMPLE
4. GO TO MOUNT LAVINIA BEACH
5. GET OVERWHELMED IN PETTAH
6. ADMIRE AND SHOP FOR LOCAL ART
7. GO UP THE ICONIC LOTUS TOWER
The Lotus Tower in Colombo is hailed as one of the city’s top attractions. Standing at a height of 350 meters, it is the tallest structure in South Asia. Resembling the bud of a lotus flower, the tower offers an observation deck with a panoramic 360-degree view and a revolving restaurant (though it may not have been open during some visits in 2023).
Visiting the Lotus Tower during sunset provides a memorable experience, allowing visitors to witness breathtaking views and take in the sights of the places they have already explored in Colombo. The tower is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.
While the entrance fee for foreigners in 2023 may be somewhat high ($20 for adults and $10 for children under 10 years old), the experience is considered well worth it, making a visit to the Lotus Tower one of the best things to do in Colombo.
8. EXPLORE GANGARAMAYA TEMPLE
9. DISCOVER BEIRA LAKE AND KELANI RIVER
10. EAT LIKE A LOCAL IN COLOMBO'S BEST RESTAURANTS
11. EXPLORE COLOMBO FORT
Taking a stroll in Colombo Fort is considered one of the best activities in Colombo. It offers a blend of Sri Lanka’s colonial history and its modern identity. As the city’s business district, it features high-rise buildings and the Trade Center while still retaining its colonial charm.
The Fort district preserves numerous colonial buildings that evoke a bygone era. Originally fortified by the Portuguese in 1517 and later expanded by the Dutch, the fortress was eventually dismantled during British rule in the 19th century.
While exploring the Fort area, visitors can admire various colonial structures, with the Lighthouse Clock Tower being particularly noteworthy. Initially conceived as a clock tower to promote punctuality in Colombo, it later served as the city’s lighthouse until the 1950s, when a light was added to its top.
12. SEE THE RED MOSQUE
Common Questions about of THINGS TO DO IN COLOMBO
Some popular tourist attractions in Colombo include the Galle Face Green, Viharamahadevi Park, Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, and the National Museum of Colombo.
Yes, Colombo is known for its shopping opportunities. Some famous shopping places in the city are the Pettah Market, Odel, and the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct.
Absolutely! Colombo offers a diverse range of culinary experiences. Some must-try restaurants in the city include Ministry of Crab, Nuga Gama, The Gallery Café, and Upali’s by Nawaloka.
Colombo has a vibrant nightlife. Visitors can enjoy a sunset stroll along the Galle Face Green, go for a scenic night walk at Mount Lavinia Beach, or indulge in the lively bars and clubs in the city, such as The Library, Taphouse by R&R, or ZAZA Bar.
Yes, there are several family-friendly attractions in Colombo. Some popular options include the Dehiwala Zoo, the Arcade Independence Square, and the Water World Lanka.
Yes, there are several day trips from Colombo that offer unique experiences. Some worth considering are a visit to the historic city of Galle, exploring the beautiful beaches in Bentota, or taking a safari at Yala National Park.
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