Colombo is not to be missed when travelling to Sri Lanka, it is after all the city where you plane lands. While recovering from your long oversea flight, find a nice place or even better, a private luxury villa to stay at, and go explore the capital city of Sri Lanka on foot or by Tuk Tuk. This sprawling, oceanfront, multicultural city features a lovely blend of old historical sites, new contemporary buildings, shady boulevards, gardens and traditional markets. Lots to see and do, so check it out!
1. See the old Colonial buildings
While in Colombo, seeing the ancient colonial sites of the city cannot be missed! At Colombo Fort, you can see the Old Dutch Hospital, the oldest building within the fort, contrasting with the modern high towering buildings of the financial business district of this sprawling city. Outside of the fort, you can see the Wolvendaalsche Church, the Old Parliament Building, and the Cinnamons Gardens which now gives a home to the Independence Memorial Hall, the National Museum of Colombo, the Prime Minister’s Office as well as a range of restaurants, bars and art galleries.
2. Visit the sacred Gangaramaya Temple
This sacred Buddhist Temple is one of these biggest ones in all of Sri Lanka and it is beautiful! In the courtyard grows a majestic Bodhi Tree and the sea of Buddhas that awaits inside is truly impressive! On-site, you will also find a library, a museum and a display of interesting and strange artefacts given by devotees. It includes ivory and even a stuffed elephant, talking about weird things.
3. Wander around the Pettah Market
At this grand traditional market, you can buy everything! Spices, watches, clothes, fruits, bags, cellphones, jewellery and much, much more. It is a burst of colours, sounds, fragrances and people and you will need to bargain for your goods! A visit to the Pettah Market gives a great insight into the daily Sri Lankan life and you can buy some of those local spices to take home with you, so you can try cooking some Sri Lankan dishes at home for your loved ones.
4. Explore the city in a Tuk Tuk
Exploring the city of Colombo by Tuk Tuk, a traditional Sri Lankan three-wheeler, is lots of fun! It is way less tiring than walking around the city in the hot tropical sun and it allows you to see the whole city in a nice traditional way. Tuk Tuks are everywhere as it is the main transportation for both locals and tourists. Check if the meter works!
5. Watch sunset at Galle Face Green
Galle Face Green is an ocean-front urban park, surrounded by endless manicured green grass lawns. The perfect place to go for a walk in the fresh ocean breeze, see local families and couples enjoying their Sunday afternoon, and watch the stunning sunset of Sri Lanka. Also, the park is home to a horse track, golf course, rugby and cricket fields. Head towards the promenade to try out some delicious, authentic Sri Lankan street food. You will love it!
Written by Stephanie from Villa-Finder