12 Places to see in Colombo

Colombo is the commercial capital of srilanka. The rich and vast history of Colombo may be the result of having been ruled successively by the Dutch, Portuguese, and British! This has led to an incredible patchwork of various different cultures, and the various monuments of Colombo can attest to that. Colombo is the commercial capital and largest city of Sri Lanka by population. According to the Brookings Institution, Colombo metropolitan area has a population of 5.6 million, and 752,993 in the Municipality. It is the financial center of the island and a tourist destination.

Colombo is located in the western province of Srilanka near the Indian ocean. 

Apart from some marvelous historical monuments and buildings, there are some religious places exhibiting praiseworthy details, museums storing artifacts, and nature escapes that make it a great travel destination. You can witness a perfect amalgamation of different cultures in Colombo. Besides, you can also indulge in a number of activities on your trip to Colombo which include scuba diving, shopping, and waterpark activities. The unending tourist spot options here make Colombo the most popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka.

01. Gangaramaya Temple

One of the greatest religious attractions in Colombo, the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple sits in walking distance from the beautiful Lake Beira. The religious significance of the temple attracts locals and travellers alike. Fusing elements of Chinese, Indian, and Thai style of architecture and design, the temple is also an architectural marvel.

Note to remember

This is a Buddhist temple and be caution of your clothes. 

When we enter to Buddhist temples we need to remove our Hats and Shoes. you can use temple shocks 

Full moon days and Sundays are usually crowded 

02. Galle Face Green

Galle Face is a 5 ha (12 acres) ocean-side urban park, which stretches for 500 m (1,600 ft) along the coast, in the heart of Colombo, the financial and business capital of Sri Lanka. The promenade was initially laid out in 1859 by Governor Sir Henry George Ward, although the original Galle Face Green extended over a much larger area than is seen today. The Galle Face Green was initially used for horse racing and as a golf course, but was also used for cricket, polo, football, tennis and rugby

Note to remember

This is a Public Beach Front green ground for relaxation

Weekends, Full moon days are usually crowded

Plenty of Street Foods available

03. The Old Dutch Hospital

The Old Dutch Hospital is one of the oldest buildings in the Colombo Fort area, having been built somewhere in the late 17th century by the Dutch. It was constructed in order to manage the health and welfare of staff serving under the Dutch East India Company, and its location close to the sea was considered to be ideal for catering to Dutch sailors. Paintings depicting the hospital in the past show that a canal once ran alongside the building (what is now known as Canal Row Lane), but it was covered up and filled in by the British.

Note to remember

This is a relaxation area with pubs and restaurants 

Friday and Saturday Evenings are Usually crowded

04. The Red Mosque

SRI LANKA’S RED MOSQUE, OR Jami Ul-Alfar Masjid, is one of the architectural wonders of the world. Situated in the bustling Pettah district, one of the oldest parts of the city of Colombo, its tall minarets are seen from almost every street, towering over the hustle and bustle of the busy neighborhood streets.

Note to remember

This is an Islamic Religious Place be caution of your dress 

You can take photographs with a prior approval

05. Colombo Fort Bazaar

The Pettah is the original bazaar or street market in Colombo. The web of narrow streets has numerous specialist shops. For example, jewelers and gold shops are largely on Sea street

Note to remember

This is the Biggest Bazaar in Srilanka and usually crowded

Because it is crowded, be aware of motorcycles and Tuk Tuk drivers

No public toilets available, No Tourist Friendly Restaurants

06. Galle Face Urban Forest Park

The stalls are there. The view in front of food cabins will be one of the greatest views in the future. Beautiful shopping malls are under construction now. The beautiful lake also developing and this is great place to relax at the evening. Galle face urban forest located in the raid front of the Galle face which going between Shangrilla and presidents office. This forest developed by president Gotabaya Rajapakse and its wonderful development. It has more than 1.5 km well developed jogging track with some green plants.

Note to remember

This is a public place for relaxation 

Good restaurants are available

07. Vihara Maha Devi Park (Victoria Park)

You will never believe that you would find such an awe inspiring green zone putt in the middle of busy Colombo, This park has trees which are total “show stoppers’ that would make anyone go WOW. It has spots to chill, walk around, and work out or simply sit under a tree and marvel at nature’s splendor

Note to remember

This is a public place for relaxation 

Good place to jogging in the evening

Nelum Pokuna Theater and National Museum is nearby 


08. Independence Square and Arcade

It is a national monument. Built to commemorate the Independence of Sri Lanka from Britain. Somewhat crowded in the evening. Jogging and relax walking is possible. SSC Cricket ground and Arcade Independent square is located nearby.

Note to remember

This is a National Monument & public place for relaxation 

Good place to jogging in the evening

Good Tourist Friendly Restaurants and Gymnasiums are available 


09. National Museum of Srilanka

The Colombo Museum as it was called at the beginning was established on 1st January 1877. It founder was Sir William Henry Gregory, the British Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) at the time. It is the largest museum in Sri Lanka. It is maintained by the Department of National Museum of the central government. The museum holds contains a collections of much importance to Sri Lanka such as the regalia of the country, including the throne and crown of the Kandyan monarchs as well as many other exhibits telling the story of ancient Sri Lanka

Note to remember

Open every day from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm

Call and check before you visit the place, if it is a special holiday

10. Geoffrey Bawa’s Home

The house in 33rd Lane is an essay in architectural bricolage. In 1958 Bawa bought the third in a row of four small houses which lay along a short cul-de-sac at the end of a narrow suburban lane and converted it into a pied-à-terre with living room, bedroom, tiny kitchen and room for a servant. When the fourth bungalow became vacant this was colonised to serve as dining room and second living room. Ten years later the remaining bungalows were acquired and added into the composition and the first in the row was demolished to be replaced by a four-storey tower.

Note to remember

Opening hours – 10.00 am to 3.30 pm. Holidays might effects the time

Call and check before you visit the place, if it is a special holiday

There is a entrance fee to visit the place- house tour is 45 mins. 

11. Mount Lavenia Beach

Mount Lavinia Beach is located just out of the Colombo city. This beach strip has a lot to offer for the locals as well as the tourists visiting Colombo. Along the beach there are many nice restaurants pubs as well as relaxing areas. As a tourist who is visiting Colombo, Mount Lavinia Beach is a must visit. The weekends could be crowded with locals though, during the week it is relaxing and peaceful. If you would relax at a pool overlooking the ocean or the sunset, The Mount Lavinia Hotel terrace is recommended. You can use the Mount Lavinia Hotel pool for an affordable fee.

Note to remember

This is a public beach no entrance fees required to go to the beach

You can have a good swim in recommended areas

Life guard service is available

12. Wet Land Park

It is a must visit place in Colombo for a nature lover. Artistic landscaping and natural surroundings blend perfectly to provide an unforgettable experience to the visitor. Identification of butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies is facilitated by information boards along the trail. Observation decks are perfect for bird watching and to enjoy the view of the wetland through bird’s eye view. Sitting area in the front provide an outdoor class room experience, specially for the kids. Long walking paths shaded by tree shadows create an adventurous walking experience in nature.

Note to remember

This is a public nature park

You need to buy tickets to enter 

No restaurants inside the park. Toilets available 

Do you like to see Colombo?

Make you own trip plan with us

add any of these destinations and make your own trip with dear srilanka OR you can see the ready made Colombo City  Tour from our Day Tours as well.

Make your tripColombo City Walk