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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Places to Glimpse in Colombo - Five Must-Visit Highlights in Colombo

As the country's most popular city Colombo is home to countless recreational and cultural points of interest. Here are five attractions all visitors must explore on a tour of the Sri Lankan capital.

1

Fort

Fort

As one of the busiest and historic areas of Colombo, the fort region is a cultural hotspot that should not be missed when holidaying in the capital. Officially known as Colombo 1, the Fort area is lined with iconic structures and colonial buildings that were originally constructed during the British and Dutch occupation of the island. The architectural beauty of these buildings is so remarkable that the area is a popular location for music video shoots in the city. The Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka is one of the many breathtaking architectural highlights in the area. Walking around the area from the Old Galle Buck Lighthouse onwards visitors will come across countless other attractions including The Clock Tower, the Sambodhi Chaitiya and St PeterĀ“s Church which dates back to 1821.

2

Beira Lake

Beira Lake

Just a stone's throw away from the Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo lies one of the city's most captivating and largest lakes. Known as the Beira Lake, this well-known recreational hub contains several islands including the one which now houses the Simamalaka Shrine. Running across the city, visitors will find that the lake is a frequent stopover for rowing and boating enthusiast although the lake served as a major goods transportation route during colonial times. In fact, the name Beira is a Portuguese term which means "border" indicating the water body's significance during the era.

3

Dutch Period Museum

Dutch Period Museum

Although most visitors take the time to tour the National Museum in Colombo, very few visitors are aware of the Dutch Period Museum in the city. Housed within the former residence of a ruling Dutch governor, the imposing structure dates back to the 17th century and was used for various purposes throughout its long history. Having served as a seminary, a police station, post office and a military hospital, the museum is also surrounded by a picturesque garden courtyard. Some of the best exhibits inside the museum include the many artefacts from the Dutch colonial period including furniture and other relics. The venue is also the historic location in which the monarch of the Kingdom of Kandy signed a crucial document that opened up the island for an invasion by the Dutch.

4

Independence Memorial Hall

Independence Memorial Hall

As a symbol of the country's independence from British rule, this stone structure is perhaps one of the most recognizable landmarks in Colombo and Sri Lanka as a whole. The area is now a premier leisure hub in the city with gardens extending outwards and walking and jogging paths also on-site for exercise fanatics. The monument which also boasts a sculpture of Sri Lanka's first ever president Hon. Don Stephen Senanayake or the "The Father of the Nation" also distinguishes Independence Memorial Hall which is often used to host state functions as well as various other events throughout the year.

5

Old Dutch Hospital

Old Dutch Hospital

Regarded as one of Colombo's best dining venues, the Old Dutch Hospital is a former colonial hospital converted into a dining and entertainment attraction. Home to a plethora of shops and boutiques including Barefoot, Odel and a Dilmah Tea Lounge the venue is also home to the Ministry of Crab and other famous Colombo restaurants. Visitors based in TRI-ZEN or any other residences and holiday apartments for sale in Colombo will find that they are within close range of the Old Dutch Hospital.