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Updated by Joanna James on Nov 06, 2019
Headline for 5 Must-See Places in Colombo - Top Highlights to Visit in Colombo
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Must-See Places in Colombo - Top Highlights to Visit in Colombo

As Sri Lanka's bustling capital, Colombo is home to some of the country's most popular sites. Here are five of the city's top highlights every visitor must explore during a holiday in Colombo.

1

National Museum

Tipped to be the country's most illustrious cultural institution, the National Museum in Colombo is a must experience highlights in the city. Housed in a former colonial structure, the museum was established by Sir William Henry Gregory who served as Ceylon's British Governor back in the day. Open from 9 am to 5 pm - seven days of the week, the museum is home to the most extensive collection of heritage items in Sri Lanka. This not only includes galleries devoted to royal garments and the throne of the last king of the island but a plethora of Buddha sculptures unearthed from different corners of the world. Other relics of note include masks, words, artwork and exquisite carvings from various eras.

2

Galle Face Green

Ideally situated in Colpetty, bordering the Indian Ocean, the Galle Face Green can rightly be described as the island's favourite oceanfront recreational hub. As a venue where city dwellers and families alike congregate to spend the evening hours taking in the views, the sprawling green space which was built during the colonial period remains a street food hotspot in its own right as well. Spread out across an impressive 12 acres, the locale frequently plays host to international kite-flying contests, Red Bull thrill seeker events and outdoor concerts. Visitors can dig into the prawn "wadeys" sold at the venue or simply enjoy an ice cream cone from the many ice cream vans that are parked along the Galle Face Green.

3

Viharamahadevi Park

Regarded as the lungs of the great city of Colombo, Viharamahadevi Park is no ordinary public park. As one of the country's oldest patches of green, the massive park was named Victoria Park when it was first established as the British monarch ruled over the island during the era. Home to picturesque picnic spots and walking trails, Viharamahadevi Park is also the best place in Colombo to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon or curl up with a book under a tree. Countless flower shows, educational events and fairs take place within the confines of the park throughout the year while the venue is also a prime jogging hub for exercise fanatics.

4

The Independence Square

Also known as the Independence Memorial Hall, this landmark is one of the most photographed sites in the city. Built to commemorate the island's independence from British rule, the stone square is a premier wedding photo location and a leisure hotspot in its own right. Surrounded by an extensive park with jogging tracks and walking paths, it's also a popular hangout for the romantically inclined.

5

Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple

The Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple is one of Colombo's oldest sacred attractions and is likely the most spectacular temple travellers will come across in the city. Tranquil and breathtaking the sheer number of Buddha sculptures found at the temple is staggering while the architecture is equally captivating. Those based at Berjaya Hotels and Resorts will find that it is one of the top Colombo places to visit listed in travel books and blogs.