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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Must Visit Places in and Around Colombo – Important tourist attractions
Joanna James Joanna James
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Must Visit Places in and Around Colombo – Important tourist attractions

When you’re visiting the tropical island of Sri Lanka , here are some of the must visit places that you need to see in the city of Colombo


Independence Square

Built a year after Sri Lanka gained independence from the British in 1948, the Independence Commemoration Hall; as it’s officially named stands as a stone structure to remember this grand day in Sri Lankan history.

The open pillared structure is made from concrete and takes the design of a traditional Kandyan hall. You’ll be greeted by stone structures of lions that are seemingly guarding the entrance to the Square. The interior upper walls of the hall are complete with paintings depicting the story of how Sri Lanka gained independence – in a timeline form.

The Independence hall is currently still in use, to mark the annual national day celebrations or other significant cultural and state celebrations. This historical landmark is a great place to start your city tour. If you’re looking for accommodation in Colombo, you’ll be able to find plenty of options around, especially budget friendly ones such as Yoho Bed.


National Museum

The Colombo National Museum was open in 1877 and takes the form of an Italian colonial mansion that was initially founded by Sir William Henry Gregory, a British governor. The museum houses some of Sri Lanka’s most treasured artefacts.

It’s the oldest and most prestigious museum on the island with a collection of over 100,000 items on display. One of the most fascinating items on display is the crown and throne that belonged to the Kandyan monarchs!

The museum is open from 9am to 5pm and is definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re a history buff. Learn all that you can about the rich island of Sri Lanka and you’ll love it for being more than just sun, sand and sea!


Colombo Lighthouse

The Colombo Lighthouse that you need to visit is the old tower and not the new one located at the end of the beautiful Galle Face Green. The old Colombo Lighthouse was completed in 1857 and measures a height of 95 feet.

The lighthouse which was added to the clock tower in 1867, is the only one in Sri Lanka to have the combination! The clock was manufactured by the same people who made the Big Ben – isn’t that cool?!


Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple

This beautiful temple is one of the most visited and most sacred temples located in the heart of the city. Dating back to over 2000 years the temple was constructed in the 19th century and houses a chetiya, image house, Simamalaka, bo tree, museum, library, education and alms halls and a relic chamber.

The temple is most famous for hosting the Nawam Perhera, a grand celebration that attracts tourists from around the world to witness the glamorous and religious display of Sri Lanka with cultural dances and parades. If you’re visiting the island in February, make your way to this temple to witness this grand parade.