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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Places to Visit in Colombo - Culture, History and Monuments
Joanna James Joanna James
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Places to Visit in Colombo - Culture, History and Monuments

Colombo is a fun place to be in since it has everything from museums to beaches and cycling parks. There is something to do for everyone, however old or young you may be.


National Museum

Now that you've gotten yourself a rented car at Malkey Rent A Car or someplace similar, head to the National Museum in Cinnamon Gardens to begin your day of gallivanting. Built in 1876, this is a huge white building that is surrounded by lush green grassy gardens. Certainly, a pleasing place to look at, the museum is home to many artefacts that tell you of the great history of Sri Lanka.


Independence Square

Officially named Torrington Square, the Independence Square in Cinnamon Gardens is a prominent hang out spot in Colombo for people of all ages. Take a look at this impressive building that is a momentum of freedom, independence and what it means to Sri Lankans. The architecture, intricate stone carving and the all around feel good vibe of the people hanging out here makes it a great hangout spot.


Colombo Fort

The Colombo Fort is an impressive place to see and has a rich history as it was used by almost all the nations in the world. The harbour in Colombo was a major passing through point for the merchants of old times and then the Portuguese built a fort around the harbour, which is now known as the Colombo Fort.


Millers Building

Another iconic and colourful building that is painted in stripes of red and white, the Millers Buildings is the oldest department store on the island and was built by William Miller in 1844.


Gangaramaya Temple

A pride of the Beira Lake and its neighbourhood, this old Buddhist temple is on the Beira Lake and is one of the most photographed places in Colombo. It's just a short walk away from Galle Face and was built in the 19th century, by a trader named Don Bastian. You can reach the temple by crossing a bridge that takes you out into the lake.


Jami Ul Alfar Mosque

Of all the best things to do in Sri Lanka, if photographing iconic buildings is on your list, you need to visit this place. Located in Second Cross Street, Pettah, this is a mosque you won't miss when you walk past it. Painted in bold stripes of white and red in interesting looking designs, this mosque was founded in 1909 and looks as bright as new until this day.


Colombo Light House

Initially meant to be used as a clock tower, a lantern was later added to this lighthouse in 1860. The fun fact about this light house/clock tower is that the person who manufactured the clock for this tower was the same person who made the clock for Big Ben in London. You will see the tower as you leave the Galle Face Road and take a turn into the junction formed by Chatham Street and Janathipathi Mawatha. The light house is not in use now, but the clock runs to this day.

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