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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Best Places to be in Colombo – Discovering the Capital of the Island Nation
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Best Places to be in Colombo – Discovering the Capital of the Island Nation

Once known as the "garden city of the East", Colombo has always been one of the focal points of the continent. Here is a list of the top places to visit while in this ancient capital.


The National Museum

Looking for your cultural fix? Drop by to the country's foremost cultural institution. With some of the galleries ranging back to the nineteenth century, you will get the chance to view some of the unique artefacts from Sri Lanka's vivid and turbulent past. These include artwork, carvings, swords, guns and other weaponry from different periods. Add to that a couple of antique demon masks which the country is famous for and reworks of nineteenth-century British artwork and you have enough to lose yourself in for a complete day. Located in the heart of Colombo, the National Museum is not far from major hotels in Colombo such as the Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo.


Galle Face Green

One of Sri Lanka's few urban parks, Galle Face Green is one of the most iconic landmarks in the sprawling city. The open space was first cleared by the Dutch in order to allow clear sight for the cannons stationed there, but this is now a regular hangout spot for the city's dwellers. On weekends, the skies are filled with kites while families and couples cover every inch of the seaside promenade. Oh and if you are in the area, do not forget to try out the famed "isso wade" sold by the food hawkers on the grounds.


Viharamahadevi Park

The biggest park in the city of Colombo, Viharamahadevi Park is a large park covered with lush greenery. As with Galle Face Green, the park is always occupied by visitors but for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of this vociferous city, there is no better place to beat. Shaded by large trees and blooming flowers all around you, the park oozes a sense of tranquillity and peace. On your lucky day, you might even come across the odd snake charmer.


Dutch Hospital

Set in the middle of the commercial hub of Colombo, the compound dates all the way back to the seventeenth century. It also served as a hospital during the Dutch Era, which explains the name and has now been lavishly restored to glory. The complex is a delight to visit and not just because of its grand architecture. It now houses a large number of upscale bars, cafes, eateries, and shops that are well worth checking out.


Dutch Period Museum

An attraction largely off the tourist trail, the Dutch Period Museum is located in what was the seventeenth-century living area of a Dutch governor. It has since been used as a seminary, a hospital, a police station and a post office before finally being turned into a museum. The complex still has its old grandeur and architecture and features colonial furniture among many other colonial artefacts. If you are in the area, a visit here is highly recommended.