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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Places you Must Visit in Colombo - Top Sightseeing Hubs in Colombo
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Places you Must Visit in Colombo - Top Sightseeing Hubs in Colombo

Tipped to be the country's best shopping destination, Colombo is not only reserved for shopaholics. Here are some of the city's top tourist highlights to visit during your Sri Lankan getaway.


Malls and Department Stores

With a reputation as Sri Lanka's ultimate retail hotspot, all travellers based in Colombo must indulge in at least a day of exploring the city's best shopping hotspots. Start with Colombo's larger than life malls and department stores including Majestic City and Crescat Boulevard and work your way to more eclectic retail hubs the likes of ODEL and Cotton Collection. Don't forget to bag a deal at House of Fashion or Romafour or the many large-scale retailers in the city including Beverly Street, Fashion Bug and No Limit.


National Museum

Housed within a stunning colonial structure, the National Museum of Sri Lanka is located in the heart of Colombo and is well worth the visit. Having been established by the then British governor of Sri Lanka, the extensive museum documents the chequered past of the island nation and includes breathtaking exhibits including the royal throne of the last known Sri Lankan monarch Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. Surrounded by lush lawns and featuring a scenic courtyard, a tour of the institution is a must for all first-time visitors.


Independence Square

This square landmark made almost entirely of stone is not only one of the most iconic monuments occupying the Sri Lankan capital but one of Colombo's favourite recreational spaces. Identified by the imposing sculpture of Sri Lanka's first ever President, the square was built to commemorate the country's independence from the British Empire in 1948. The hall is now used primarily for state functions and as a backdrop for wedding photography while the surrounding areas feature jogging tracks and well-kept lawns.


Galle Face Green

Easily accessible to visitors based in The Kingsbury Hotel or any of the countless Colombo hotels down Galle Road, the Galle Face Green is an oceanfront promenade and lawn of mammoth proportions. Local families frequently head to the venue to enjoy kite flying and other recreational activities while the area truly comes alive at night when couples and working professionals head to the open space to catch their breath and soak up the tranquil atmosphere. Don't forget to grab an ice cream cone from the many ice cream vendors occupying the Galle Face Green as it is customary.


Pettah Markets

Often compared to Thailand's extensive local markets, the Pettah Markets in Colombo are a veritable labyrinth of shops and storehouses retailing everything under the sun. The sheer volume of boutiques and stalls is staggering, to say the least but it is one of the best places in Colombo to buy consumer goods at discounted prices. The area is also a culturally diverse quarter of the city and walking down its narrow alleyways and streets is an experience in and of itself for a tourist exploring the bustling capital.


Viharamahadevi Park

Formerly known as Victoria Park, Viharamahadevi Park is located across the street from the Lotus Pond Performance Art Centre and remains one of Colombo's greenest landscapes. A favourite haunt for local families and flower shows, the sprawling park features a children's playground and ponds as well as quiet corners under shady trees to catch up on one's reading.