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Attractions

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Galle Face Green Beach

Situated in the middle of the busy stretch of Galle Road and the Indian Ocean, this open space, established during 1859 on 5 hectares, is a huge hit among tourists of all age groups. During weekends, the place is abuzz with vendors who attract kids with their bright toys and bubbles. This area is open all through the year. Entry into the park is free.

While you are here, do not miss to taste the lip-smacking delicacies that are prepared by street vendors.



Location: This is located right next to the famous Galle Beach.

Highlights:
 The magical and golden rays of sunset, fresh air and the positive ambience of the place make Galle Face Green one of the must-visit places in Colombo. The place is currently taken care of by the Sri Lanka’s Urban Development Authority. 

Timings:
This park is open 24/7 all through the day.

Price: Entry into this park is free of cost.
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Mount Lavinia Beach

Mount Lavinia is a heritage hotel, which was predominantly a huge place during 1806. There are various ocean view rooms up for taking here, provided you book early. During special festivals and peak tourist seasons, the heritage hotel offers great deals for the benefit of tourists.



Location:
 With a spending view of the Laccadive Sea, Mount Lavinia offers luxurious services and facilities for its guests. It is located in close vicinity to the National Zoological Gardens. 

Highlights: Sunset deals, wedding packages, national holiday deals, offers on cards of certain banks etc. are some of the promotional offers advertised by Mount Lavinia throughout the year.

Timings: The hotel is open all through the year. It also has a children’s park, where children are treated to a variety of outdoor sports till 4PM.

Price: 
Approximate price starts from 1000 LKR
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Gangaramaya Temple

Gangaramaya Temple is not only one of the most beautiful but also one of the most iconic Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. It is more than a century since this temple was constructed; however even today, the temple doesn’t stop to surprise tourists and devotees. The pathways and doors that lead into the main sanctum sanctorum contain intricately carved sculptures that are simply breath-taking.

Highlights: The ceilings and walls contain pictures and miniature paintings that explain stories from Buddhism religion. In the main sanctorum, a huge Buddha statue exudes a brilliant sense of calmness in the devotees. Built in a mix of various architectural styles including India, Burmese, Thai and Chinese, this temple also houses a museum.



Location: The temple is located right on the Jinaratana Road in the heart of Colombo city.

Timings: The temple is open from 5.30AM to 10PM.

Price: Entry fee is LKR200 per adult.
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Dehiwala Zoo

Dehiwala Zoo or the National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka was set up during 1936 with the sole ambition of providing ultimate protection to a wide range of wild animals and birds. . When you are here, do not miss the impressive performances from elephants, chimpanzees and sea lions.

  

Location: This zoo is located at 
Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, Dehiwala.

Highlights:
 This place is one of the members of WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums). In order to encourage breeding, this zoo is actively involved in animal exchange programs. The place is known for its exotic varieties of mammals, birds, fishes, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and marine invertebrates

Timings: The zoo is open from 8.30 AM to 6:00 PM on all days.

Price: 
Approximate price starts from 100 LKR for adult and 30 LKR for child, for foreigners 500 LKR for adults and 250 LKR for child.

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National Museum

If you are a history lover and have a keen eye for architecture, the National Museum is probably one of the first few places that you need to visit, when you come to Colombo. Established during 1877, this is the biggest museum in the island nation and is undoubtedly the pride of Sri Lanka. The place houses some of the best and personalised collections of the ancient Kandyan dynasty rulers.



Location:
 The museum built in Italian architecture style, is located right in the heart of the Colombo city. 

Highlights:
 The museum’s library deserves special mention as it contains rich manuscripts in palm leaves in languages like Burmese, Sinhala, Telugu, Tamil and much more. 

Timings:
The museum is open on all days except national holidays from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Price:  Approximate price for local adults and kids are 35 LKR and 20 LKR respectively, whereas, for foreign adults and kids, the prices are 600 LKR and 300 LKR respectively.
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Viharamahadevi Park

Named after Queen Viharamahadevi, this park is the largest and probably the only public park in Colombo. It is one of those places that never cease to excite you irrespective of the number of times you come here.

Highlights: There are lots of places to visit here like the aquarium, mini zoo, children’s play zone, war memorial, lake and the dangerous-yet-adventurous suspension bridge above it. When you and your kids are tired of running round the park, you can just relax on the cool resting places on the park, eating local delicacies like candy floss, corn and ice-creams from the sellers here. A canopy of green trees lends a beautiful ambience to this place.



Location: The Park is located right next to the famous National Museum in the heart of Colombo.

Timings: This Park is open all through the year.

Price: Entry into the park is free of cost.
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Old City Hall

This is definitely a place that will interest any architecture or history lover. Constructed over two centuries ago, the Old City Hall is one of the brilliant architectural marvels from the bygone British era. The months of January, February, March, November and December are the best when it comes to visiting Colombo. The entry price is free of cost.


 
Locati
on: The hall can be found on Main Street in Colombo amidst various famous tourist spots.

Highlights
: There are a few attendants working in the hall, who will gladly take you around the building, provided you tip them a reasonable amount of money. The hall is literally a treasure island that contains old government equipment, transport machinery and other council chambers that were present during the earlier times.

Timings: The place is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM ll days of the week except Sundays.
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Dutch Period Museum

During the period between 1656 and 1796, Dutch rulers ruled over Sri Lanka. The Dutch Museum which tourists get to watch today was once the official residing place of Thomas Van Rhee, the former Dutch Governor of Sri Lanka.

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Location
: The place is located at Prince Street in the city

Highlights
: The museum contains two floors and it houses around 3000 personal collections of Dutch rulers who reigned over the place. This place was converted into a public museum during 1977, thanks to the able support rendered by the Government of Netherlands.

Timings: The museum is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Tuesday to Saturday.

What You Should Know More About Colombo

  • About the destination:

    True, salvaging its 19th century appellation of being the ‘garden city of the East’ is implausible but despite that Colombo is a burgeoning must see tourist place in Sri Lanka today. It is no longer that boring city that you simply had to get away with it when on your way to the Southern Beach but is rather a worthy holiday destination in its own very right that demands a definite visit when in the country.  

    Along with the shady paths, the legacies of the colonial Colombo’s garden roots are indeed unmarred with its garden roots. While Pettah brims with boisterous commerce and shopping hubs, Fort lies is in center of excessive historic restoration of its landmark colonial architecture. Even the congested Galle Rd is getting swanky with its gleaming hotels, resorts and stays. On the other hand, the sea front gains massively from the new roads which are stimulating hotel construction.  

    The urbane side of Colombo supports further more stylish galleries, eateries and museums. Marvels are plentiful in the old quarters where one can avail succulent local food and tiny convivial cafes or characterful shops. This capital city is indeed an interesting start or even end to your Sri Lankan ventures and adventures.

  • Travel Advice

    • You’ll need a visa to travel to Colombo. You can easily get a short stay visa online.

    • Usually the tourist visits to Sri Lanka is hassle free however, you need to be aware of the risks of assault, road accidents, drowning, spiked drinks, credit frauds and dangerous tides here.

    • Sri Lanka is a mosquito prone area. So, carry a strong repellant.

    • Weather here can be vastly affected by the monsoon rains and cyclones. Check with a local advice before making a visit.

    • Do not hire a guide who is not from a trusted or authentic agency.

    • Never trust any stranger who gets friendly with you in just a short while.

    • Don’t eat food off the street vendors.

    • Carry with you a copy of your licenses and passport.  

    • Don’t let anyone in the city misguide you. Acquire sufficient information before heading to a new place.

    • Dress appropriately.

    • Nudity is strictly prohibited here.

    • Do not film or do videography without the legal permissions.

    • In case the banner or sign says, ‘No Photography’ obey it.

    • Avoid traveling alone in the night hours.

    • Sri Lanka does have an underlying threat from terrorism so ensure that you do not visit during the times of civil unrest.

    • Take a comprehensive travel and medical insurance before traveling.

  • Drinking Laws

    The legal age for drinking in Colombo is 21 years.


  • Our Recommendations: What you can’t afford to miss?

    National Museum

    National Museum was established in the year 1877 by Sir William Henry. It is an important tourist place in Colombo that houses within it the insignia of Sri Lanka. Being the largest museum in the country, it showcases some intriguing pieces of literature and art which will take you back to the history of this port city.  

    Dehiwala Zoological Garden

    Want to feel closer to the nature? Head to the Dehiwala Zoological Garden which is spread over a vast area of 30 acres and has a myriad of mammals, reptiles, fishes and birds who live in harmony with nature. This is an important place to see in Colombo.

    Viharamahadev Park

    One of the oldest heritage park in Colombo is the Viharamahadev Park which was initially known as the Victoria park. This blooming park was developed when Sri Lanka was a British colony. This park has several different varieties of trees that look enchanting and alluring during the spring season when they are in full bloom. When sightseeing at this place, do click a lot of pictures as the surroundings are simply majestic.

    Cinnamon Gardens

    When you are touring Sri Lanka, you simply cannot miss out on the Cinnamon Gardens. It used to be the home of the cinnamon trees that were spread across the vast area of land. At present, it houses buildings as the Prime Minister’s Office, National Museum, Independence Hall and the Town Hall of Colombo.

    Galle Face Green Promenade

    There is approximately a half a km stretch in Colombo that runs across the Galle road and the scenic Indian Ocean. This stretch is known as the Galle Face Green Promenade. It is not just an important sightseeing spot but is also a favored picnic spot for locals and tourists alike. Don’t miss out on the savoring available here during the evenings.

  • What will you like there?

    Play a good round of golf at The Royal Colombo Golf Club
    Golfing is one of the key things to do in Colombo. The Royal Colombo Golf Club has been in existence since 129 years. Ever since then, its immaculately manicured greens have lured a major chunk of golf players. 

    A city tour 
    Board the exciting open deck double decker of the Colombo City Tour to witness the hidden treasures of Colombo. This city tour more or less covers all the important places to see in Colombo. 

    Relish on Seafood at Mt Lavinia Beach
    Mt Lavina is definitely one of the most easy going and lax suburbs of Colombo. It is filled with numerous seafood restaurants lined on the Golden Beach. The beach is named after Lovina who was the Bohemian dancing girl who had a secret affair with the governor of Sri Lanka. There is nothing better than staying at a resort or hotel near this beach.  

    SHOPPINNNGGGG
    The best kept secrets of Sri Lanka are revealed by the multiple shopping opportunities available in Colombo. From steep department stores to the high end designer malls, you can get anything you want right from the handbags to shoes, clothing, home furnishings, handicrafts and a lot more. 

    Indulge in a Massage at One Of Colombo’s Spas
    What’s a visit to Colombo without indulging in a premium massage? INCOMPLETE! Yes, that’s what it is! Here in Colombo you can find expert masseurs working in serene surroundings giving you massage right from Shiatsu to Swedish. 

    Take in Some Art 
    The National Museum of Colombo houses some terrific examples of sculptures, sketches and paintings that belong to the 4th Century BC. Some creative painters also exhibit their art in local galleries of Colombo. 

    Visit a Temple 
    One of the most revered temple of Colombo is Gangarama Vihara. It is adorned with beautiful stone carvings, wonderful Brass work and phenomenal instances from the Buddhist art. It is also a learning place and houses a museum that is complete with a residential hall. 

    Get Wet and Wild at Leisure World
    Leisure world is the first amusement and water park of Sri Lanka. You can try out a range of water sports here. It assures thrilling rides for both kids and adults.  

    Sample the Nightlife
    Colombo has a buzzing nightlife scene. There are casinos, chill out bars and cool clubs that will keep you interested all the while.  

    Eat Some Kothu Rotti
    Kothu Rotti is the quintessential snack of Sri Lanka. It consists of sliced up bits of rotti that are served in combination with your choice of egg, chicken, onions, tomatoes, green chilies and beef. Simply Unmissable! 

    Go For a Ride in a Trishaw
    You know what’s the backbone of transportation in Sri Lanka? The motorized three wheeled chariots! You definitely must take a ride in Trishaw to move around the city.  


  • Recommended reads for destination (govt. websites, travel forum articles)?

Listings in Colombo