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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
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Joanna James Joanna James
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10 things to do in Colombo - Explore the Capital City of Sri Lanka to the Fullest

Colombo is fast-developing and the face of the city is ever-changing. When in Colombo, ensure that you engage in certain must-do activities and visit essential attractions.

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1. Embark on a City Tour of Colombo

Before you do anything else, embarking on a city tour of Colombo is highly recommended. Whether you ask your hotel to arrange one for you, or whether you opt to board the Double Decker City Tour bus, it is a must-do for this will allow you to see the best sights of Colombo with ease. You can decide which attractions you wish to explore in greater detail later.

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2. Enjoy Seafood by the Beach

As an island, Sri Lanka hosts some of the most amazing seafood in the region. What better way to set your taste buds alive than to indulge in some seafood platters at a hotel in Mount Lavinia, overlooking the sandy beach.

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3. Stroll along Greenpath and Enjoy Sri Lankan Art

Greenpath is a road alongside the Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo. While it has been renamed as Nelum Pokuna Mawatha, this particular road is still used by budding artists and students as an informal space to display and sell their art. As there is an entrance to the Colombo National Museum, as well as a local art gallery from Greenpath, a stroll along road is ideal for art aficionados exploring Colombo.

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4. Brave a Hair-raising Ride in a 'Tuk-Tuk'

A tour of Colombo is truly incomplete without a ride in a local trishaw. Known for their daredevil speed, these trishaws are also known as 'tuk-tuks' by locals and are a convenient mode of transport when travelling in Colombo. Ensure that you board a trishaw with a meter or negotiate the fare in advance to avoid unnecessary hassle when paying for your ride.

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5. Indulge in Retail Therapy

Colombo is home to a number of retail stores that provide for ideal outlets for retail therapy. From small stores to larger department stores, the shopping scene in Colombo is a bit wanting, but one can purchase almost anything they wish from local attire such as sarongs, to top brands such as Mango.

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6. Stroll along Galle Face in the Evening

Galle Face Green is a long stretch along the coast in Colombo. Difficult to miss by any person visiting Colombo, Galle Face Green is an ideal place to spend the sunset as this attraction comes alive in the evenings. Many locals visit the Green for leisurely strolls, fly kites in the sea breeze, watch the sunset and enjoy delicious local delicacies such as 'isso wadey'.

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7. Rejuvenate with a Spa Treatment

Colombo is peppered with numerous spas offering a myriad of treatments. These spas offer travellers the perfect opportunity to unwind and relax after an exhilarating day in the city. Patrons can opt for a number of different treatments while those who wish to explore the various traditional medicines of Sri Lanka, can opt for an ayurvedic treatment a hotel such as Siddhalepa ANARVA Mount Lavinia.

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8. Pay a Visit to a Buddhist Temple

With more than 70% of the population being Buddhists, Buddhism has influenced the architecture of Colombo. Therefore, when exploring the city, a visit to one of the many Buddhist temples is a must. Many tourists opt to visit the famous Gangarama Temple near the Beire Lake which is also home to a museum. However, for an authentic experience, try to visit a different temple, away from the tourist crowds.

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