12 Best Things to do in Colombo, Sri Lanka

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If you’re planning a trip to Sri Lanka, then the capital city of Colombo should definitely be on your itinerary. Colombo is a bustling city that combines modernity with its colonial past. There’s so much to do in Colombo, from exploring the local markets to visiting historical landmarks. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the 12 best things to do in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

1. Visit the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple

Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple is one of the most famous temples in Colombo. It’s known for its beautiful architecture and collection of artifacts. The temple has a mix of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese architectural styles. There’s also a museum within the temple complex that showcases a collection of Buddhist relics and artifacts.

2. Explore the Pettah Market

Pettah Market is a bustling market in the heart of Colombo. It’s a great place to explore and shop for local products. You can find everything from spices and textiles to jewelry and electronics. The market is divided into several different sections, so it’s easy to navigate.

3. Check out the National Museum of Colombo

The National Museum of Colombo is a must-visit for history buffs. The museum houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase Sri Lanka’s cultural and natural history. The museum has a mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits, so you can spend a whole day exploring it.

4. Take a stroll through Viharamahadevi Park

Viharamahadevi Park is a beautiful green space in the heart of Colombo. It’s a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park has several walking trails, playgrounds, and a large lake. It’s also home to the Viharamahadevi statue, which is one of the most iconic landmarks in Colombo.

5. Visit the Independence Memorial Hall

The Independence Memorial Hall is a significant landmark in Sri Lankan history. It was built to commemorate Sri Lanka’s independence from British rule in 1948. The hall has a beautiful architecture and is surrounded by a park. It’s a great place to learn about Sri Lankan history.

6. Go on a food tour of Colombo

Colombo is known for its delicious cuisine. There are several food tours that take you to some of the best local restaurants and street food vendors in the city. You can sample traditional Sri Lankan dishes like hoppers, kottu, and string hoppers.

7. Take a day trip to Mount Lavinia Beach

If you want to escape the city for a day, then Mount Lavinia Beach is a great option. It’s located just a few kilometers from Colombo and is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. There are also several restaurants and bars on the beach where you can enjoy a drink or a meal.

8. Discover the Old Parliament Building

The Old Parliament Building is a beautiful colonial-era building that used to house the Sri Lankan parliament. Today, it’s a museum that showcases Sri Lankan political history. The building is located in the heart of Colombo and is surrounded by a beautiful garden. It’s a great place to learn about Sri Lanka’s political past and admire the architecture.

9. Spend an afternoon at Galle Face Green

Galle Face Green is a large public park located along the Indian Ocean coast. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon relaxing, people watching, and enjoying the sea breeze. The park is also home to several food vendors and street performers. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

10. Explore the Beira Lake

Beira Lake is a scenic lake located in the heart of Colombo. It’s surrounded by several historical landmarks, including the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple and the Seema Malaka Temple. You can take a boat ride on the lake and enjoy the views of the city skyline.

11. Visit the Colombo Fort

Colombo Fort is a historical fort that was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Today, it’s a commercial and financial district in the city. The fort is home to several historical landmarks, including the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct and the Colombo Lighthouse.

12. Learn about Sri Lankan history at the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct

The Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct is a historical shopping and dining complex located in the Colombo Fort. It used to be a hospital during the Dutch colonial period and was later converted into a shopping precinct. Today, it’s home to several shops, restaurants, and cafes. It’s a great place to learn about Sri Lankan history and enjoy some shopping and dining.


Colombo, Sri Lanka is a city that’s full of history, culture, and amazing experiences. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical landmarks or trying delicious local cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. Be sure to check out the 12 best things to do in Colombo, Sri Lanka on your next trip.


  1. What is the best time to visit Colombo, Sri Lanka?
  • The best time to visit Colombo is between December and March when the weather is dry and sunny.
  1. What is the currency used in Colombo, Sri Lanka?
  • The currency used in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan rupee.
  1. Is it safe to travel to Colombo, Sri Lanka?
  • Colombo is generally a safe city to travel to, but it’s always important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.
  1. What is the main language spoken in Colombo, Sri Lanka?
  • The main language spoken in Sri Lanka is Sinhala, but English is also widely spoken.
  1. Are there any cultural customs that visitors should be aware of in Colombo, Sri Lanka?
  • Visitors should be aware of Sri Lankan customs such as removing shoes before entering temples and covering up when visiting religious sites. It’s also important to be respectful of local customs and traditions.
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Upendra Yadav is a seasoned Data Analyst with a passion for exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. With a curious mind and an eye for detail, Upendra delves deep into the history, people, and cuisine of the places he visits, and brings his experiences to life through his writing.. His work has been featured in various travel blogs, where he shares his insights and recommendations for fellow explorers. Through his writing, Upendra aims to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and discover the hidden gems of the world. When he's not analyzing data or traveling to new destinations, Upendra can be found indulging in his other hobbies, such as photography and trying out new recipes. He is currently working on his next travelogue, where he hopes to take his readers on a journey to even more exciting and lesser-known destinations.