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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 6 Cool things to do in Colombo - Explore the Cosmopolitan Niche of the Country
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Joanna James Joanna James
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6 Cool things to do in Colombo - Explore the Cosmopolitan Niche of the Country

Colombo is the business capital of Sri Lanka and a melting pot of cultures. Amidst the hustle and bustle, here are some tips on getting the most out of this city.

1

National Museum

Museums are one of the sure ways to indulge in the history and culture of a region. The museum, which was built in 1876, is filled with paintings and artefacts from every historically significant period. You will also come across the clothes worn by the Kings and Queens, the artillery and more.

2

The Independence Square

This memorial hall resembles the architecture of the Royal Audience Hall in Kandy where the last Kandyan Kingdom signed the papers making Sri Lanka, British. Sri Lanka got its independence from the British on the 4th of February 1948 and to commemorate this, the Independence memorial hall was built, linking the two defining moments. If you have time constraints, one of the best ways to ensure you don't miss any significant places is to book a tour with agents like Steuart Holidays.

3

Old Dutch Hospital

Despite the name, this is a shopping precinct with many restaurants and shops. It is still named the Dutch Hospital because, during the Dutch era, this building used to be a hospital. However, it has been refurbished, ensuring the colonial charm is kept intact and is always abuzz with locals and tourists, heading here for a relaxing evening drink after work.

4

Galle Face Green

This is a long stretch of green-sandy lawn right next to the beach. It is packed with families, joggers, couples and local food vendors. Sandwiched between the Indian Ocean and the constant bustle of the city life, this is a great place to witness the city sunset and enjoy a moment of peace. Help yourself to some of the popular local snacks like the isso wade (a flat fried lentil pancake with prawns) and achcharu (various fruits like pineapple, wood apple and guava, cut into cubes and generously coated with chilli powder and salt).

5

Test your luck

In Colombo, the casino experience is available in plenty of clubs and hotels. Most are exclusive and have strict rules. However, you can always go in and test your luck!

6

Stroll the streets of Pettah

This is one of the oldest districts in Colombo and is crammed with many shops, markets and stalls. This is where people prefer to go to buy things in wholesale or for a lesser price. It is very much crowded, and it is advisable to be careful with your personal belongings. Though it seems like a messy maze, the streets are organised according to the items they sell. For example, one street is lined with only textile malls and shops while another street has all the electronics. You will come across a few local juice vendors from whom you can try some refreshing, cool Narang juice- something that will quench your thirst in the tropical sweltering weather.

You will also come across some interesting buildings and architecture like the Red Mosque, a Hindu temple and the Wolvendaal Church.