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.
An extraordinary experience amidst an ordinary setup lies 65 kilometres from Colombo and is named Bentota beach. Soak yourself in the ordinary golden sand while enjoying the marvellous sound of the mighty Indian Ocean crashing against the shores. The mesmerizing view of the sea will leave you speechless. If you are planning to break the monotony of the routine just try your hands at adventure sports found alongside the palm trees.
Highlights: You can visit Kasgoda Turtle Hatchery and also go on a boat cruise on the Bentota River.
Getting there: Bentota is very well connected with the cities and is very easily accessible. You can ride from Galle or you can take a ride from Colombo. Bentota is approximately 101km south of the airport from Colombo
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.
Even a 90 year old will feel young as he steps onto the beach of Hikkaduwa,98 kms from Colombo. The charm of the hippy mood will get into your blood, making you feel completely carefree. You will find predominantly young and independent travellers walking on the beach.
This beach is one of the lesser spoilt destinations in Sri Lanka which is why it is an ideal place for people who want to try something off beat. You will also find coral gardens which are considered to be one of the much appreciated beauty of these beaches which was once completely eroded due to tsunami.
Highlights: The beach should be ideally visited during the Hikkaduwa beach fest which usually takes place during the month of July and August. This fest is conducted in an attempt to revive the charm of hippy culture. Surfing, diving and snorkelling are some of the other attractions which the beach offers.
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.
Plunge into the waters and leave all your worries at bay. The Dickwella beach is primarily dominated by reefs, headland and sand bars which makes it the most appropriate place for swimming. Situated at a distance of 220 kms from colombo, Dickwella beach has housed the largest seated Buddha statue. This has made it the most visited place for all the Buddhist worshippers. The ideal time to visit this place is May, June and July when festivities are in the air and the residents are busy celebrating festivals of Wesak, Poson and Esala. Particulary this place has many temples on its way which gives it a religious bent. The Dickwella beach is an ideal place for many swimmers as it is an extremely safe and calm beach.
Highlights: Wewurukannala Vihara which has 50 m high seated Buddha. You can also spot the eye arresting hall of horrors where you can see models of both demons and sinners being severely punished by dipping in hot waters.
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.
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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