10 Must Do Activities In Colombo
Colombo is an increasingly popular destination for Sri Lanka visitors. It is the largest city in the country, with a metropolitan area that includes over 4.5 million residents. Thanks to its location on the western coastline, Colombo provides some of the most beautiful views that Sri Lanka has to offer. Let’s take a look at ten of Colombo’s most popular travel destinations.
1. Gangaramaya Temple
This temple is one of the most well known in all of Colombo. With its unique mixture of historic importance and modern architecture, the temple delivers a visual feast for all who visit. Of particular interest to tourists is the Sima Malaka Shrine, which was designed by Geoffrey Bawa and funded by Muslim donations. There is also a museum and library on the premises so that you can learn more.
2. Pettah Market
Travelers who are in search of a unique shopping experience and a little bit of madness should look no further than Pettah Market. With a variety of street merchants to choose from and bargains galore, the biggest worry you’ll have is finding a place to put it all. A wide selection of rare spices, fruits & vegetables, street eats are available for you to choose from. Or maybe clothing and fake jewelry are more your style. Whether it is electronics, souvenirs or textiles, there is something at Pettah Market for everyone.
3. Old Dutch Hospital
The oldest building in Colombo, the Old Dutch Hospital’s convenient location gives tourists a chance to take in a number of local sights. The hospital began its existence in 1681 and is now home to several high end restaurants. The Old Colombo Lighthouse is a mere stone’s throw away and while the lighthouse does not function anymore, the clock remains in use. The tallest building in Colombo, the World Trade Center, is very close by and is one of the 5 tallest twin towers in all of South Asia.
4. Independence Arcade Avenue
Colombo visitors who are in the mood for a modern, posh shopping outing should make their way to Independence Arcade Avenue. Fine dining, high end shopping and quality entertainment are all located under one roof. Even more importantly, the avenue is located near one of Colombo’s most culturally significant locations, Independence Memorial Hall. The hall was built to commemorate Sri Lanka receiving independence from British rule back in 1948. A monument to Sri Lanka’s first prime minister, Don Stephen Senanayake is also located here.
5. Galle Face Green
Looking for authentic Sri Lankan street cuisine? Galle Face Green has got you covered. Located on the shores of the Indian Ocean, Galle Face Green is a great spot to take the family for an evening stroll. The young ones can fly kites, go swimming and no need to worry about snacks, as they will make their way to you. Everything from pineapples to grilled chicken to wood apples is available. Galle Face Green is a great spot to have a plate of kottu, curry, paratha bread and what not.
6. Mt. Lavinia Beach
Widely considered to be the most beautiful beach in all of Colombo, there is no better place to take in a sunset. The beach is lined with restaurants, so you and your loved ones can settle in and enjoy a nice dinner as you take in the sights. There are also hotels and shops on site, contributing to the gorgeous atmosphere and ambiance. Loon Tao comes highly recommended, giving visitors the chance to enjoy top notch Chinese seafood dining as they sit back and listen to the ocean’s calming waves.
7. Ayurveda Massage
After your long, stressful journey, few things help to ease the tension in your bones like a traditional Ayurveda massage. A quality Ayurveda massage does wonders for your circulation and gives the body a much needed opportunity to recuperate and recharge. The oils used in these massages eliminate any unnecessary friction and allow rejuvenating heat to disperse throughout your body’s core. More over it’s child friendly.
8. Colombo City Tour
There is no better way to truly get to know the city of Colombo than to catch a glimpse of Colombo from an open top bus. You are able to see such local landmarks as the Galle Face Promenade, York Street’s remaining British infrastructure, the War Memorial and the Nelum Pokuna Theater, in addition to many more. Water and snacks are provided, as well as English speaking tour guides.
9. Local Eateries
A trip to Sri Lanka is not complete without stopping by any number of local eateries so that you can order a plate of rice and curry, one of Sri Lanka’s traditional foods. No matter where you decide to go, you simply can’t go wrong with rice and curry for your lunch, dinner or even both! Try the lunch packet.
10. Cinnamon Gardens, Viharamahadevi Park
Colombo is home to some of the lushest greenery that Sri Lanka has to offer. Viharamahadevi Park gives tourists the chance to do their sightseeing in Colombo’s largest and oldest park. It is the only park in Colombo of its size that is open to the public. There is an aquarium, children’s play areas and a statue of Buddha on site. Colombo Municipal Council maintains the property and is located opposite of the park. The Council is an exact replica of the United States White House, giving visitors (in case they are Americans) a little taste of home while they are abroad.