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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Best of All the Things in Colombo- A quick guide
Joanna James Joanna James
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Best of All the Things in Colombo- A quick guide

Colombo is the metropolitan melting pot of the country and the commercial capital. Here are a few things to see and do in this buzzing city.


The Independence Square

This is situated right in the heart of the lush Cinnamon Gardens and is an iconic landmark that was built to commemorate the day of independence from the British rule. The design adopted by the building is based on the celebration hall or 'Magul Maduwa' of the Royal celebration hall in the Kingdom of Kandy. It is open 24 hours. However, it is best visited during the day. There is no entrance fee.


Jami Ul-Afar Mosque

Walking down the cramped and buzzing streets of Pettah, you will come across this unmistakeable candy-cane-like red and white mosque amidst the many shopping stores. The architecture of the mosque, if you notice, perfectly combines the Indian, Neo-classical, Indo-Islamic and Gothic styles. The exact location of the mosque is at 228, Second Cross Street, Pettah.


Galle Face Green

This is an open space park spanning across 12 acres and is situated facing the Indian Ocean and overlooking the many high-end hotels and luxury apartments in Colombo. This marks the pulse of the city, with most of the bank head-offices, pubs, restaurants and hotels like One Galle Face, adding to the rapidly growing Colombo skyline. The best time to visit would be during sunset, when the locals gather around the park for a picnic, children running about with their kites, the occasional joggers and couples. There are many local street stalls propped up along the coastline where one can relish the local street food and snacks. The sunset is quite idyllic despite being amidst the hustle and bustle.


Viharamahadevi Park

Situated right in the heart of the city and providing a recluse from the busy streets, is the Viharamahadevi Park. It was previously known as Queen Victoria Park and currently comprises of walking trails, picnic spots and a lush dense of trees. The park itself is quite clean and has many benches spread across, making it a great spot to escape the town and enjoy a few minutes of peace or get lost in a book.


Beira Lake

Another spot in the city centre that is ideal for a quick relaxing spot. The lake was once a reservoir and in the ancient days, was a source of transport to trade goods. There are swan boats available should you wish to pedal away into the lake and better see the Colombo skyline looming up from afar. One of the best times to visit is during the month of Vesak festival, an important day in Buddhism as it marks the birth and nirvana of Lord Buddha. During this season, the rest of the country, including the lake and the surrounding trees are donned with lanterns and lights which makes it a pretty sight to capture in the night. The Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, an epitome of brilliant architecture, is located right near the lake and is a must visit the place. Do remember to dress modestly when visiting temples.