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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for 6 Great Things to Do In Colombo – Explore the Charms of the City
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Joanna James Joanna James
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6 Great Things to Do In Colombo – Explore the Charms of the City

Have you found yourself planning a visit or are already in Colombo and not exactly sure what you can do? Here are 6 great ways you can experience the charms of the city.

1

Try street food

Local food is expensive and tastes great. Street food, in particular, is pretty safe to eat and can be found anywhere. Whether you're trying kottu or isso wade, you'll be craving for more after your first serve. Sri Lankans love their spice, in fact, they add tons of it into all their curries and main dishes, so if you can't handle spice and chilli, do inform the restaurant owner as you are placing your order. Enjoying street food while you're walking around Galle Face Green has become the trendiest bucket-list things to do in Colombo. Galle Face Green overlooks the Indian Ocean and this is a great view while you're biting into a hot isso wade, i.e. a deep-fried prawn cake (the latter made from lentils).

2

Visit the Museum

The National Museum is a great place to learn about the country's rich history; from the era of kings to the foreign colonists. Walk through its hallways packed with stories and portrayal and find out just how significant the jade of the Indian Ocean was and continues to be.

3

Spa

If you plan your tour to the island with one of the reputed travel agents such as Walkers Tours, you're most likely to visit the city of Colombo as your last stop, before heading back to the airport. Once you're done sightseeing and shopping, head over to some of the popular spas such as Spa Ceylon, with branches around the city for a relaxing end to the journey. Hop in and treat yourself to a back massage or a shoulder rub.

4

Independence Square

Independence Square was erected to commemorate the day Sri Lanka gained independence from the British rule in 1948. The large open stone hall is surrounded by a well-manicured lawn and guarded by stone lions, which are said to protect the country's independence from foreign invaders. The nearby Arcade – Independence Square is a newly built shopping mall featuring designer brands and restaurants.

5

Gangaramaya Temple

A sacred temple located in the heart of Colombo, Gangaramaya Temple is complete with a museum, library, shrine, a gift hall and a sacred Bo tree. Remember to dress modestly, covering your knees and shoulders, before entering the premises. Located 5 minutes away, you'll find the Beira Lake and another structure which belongs to the temple called the Seema Malaka, believed to be a meditation ground for Buddhist worshippers.

6

Old Dutch Hospital

This age-old, colonial hospital, built by the Dutch colonists around 1861, is now a bustling outdoor mall and restaurant hub. It's the ideal place to get your shopping done or head into one of the many restaurants and bars for a bite to eat. The iconic Ministry of Crab is located here; if you're looking to taste some of the famous crabs from the island!

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