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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 04, 2020
Headline for 8 Things to do in Colombo – Highlights of Colombo a tourist shouldn’t miss
Joanna James Joanna James
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8 Things to do in Colombo – Highlights of Colombo a tourist shouldn’t miss

In the last few years, Colombo went through many changes, and now it has assumed the role of a top tourist destination. The city has a myriad of attractions, and a visitor is never bored.


National Museum

The colonial-era building that houses the National Museum was built in 1876. The museum was founded by the British governor of the country at the time. Sitting in the centre of an amazing green park, surrounded by towering trees, the museum invites people who like some insight on a country's history and culture. Inside the museum is filled with exhibits that unravel the story of ancient times. Objects belonging to the former Royal Family of Sri Lanka are on display including the King's throne and the crown. In addition to royal artefacts, the museum also exhibits many carvings, ancient war weapons, masks and statues.


Colonial buildings in the Fort

Fort paints a picture of a buzzing beehive that's constantly at work. But, in addition to the endless commotion that's characteristic, the Fort area is home to many colonial buildings that date back to Dutch and British colonial periods. The place was given its name on account of it being an actual fort bordered by the sea on two sides. All over the area are colonial-style masterpieces deserving of praise and admiration. Among the colonial highlights at the Fort are Old Galle Buck Lighthouse, The Clock Tower, Lloyd's Buildings, Central Point, St Peter's Church and Cargills Main Store.


Gangaramaya Temple

Most tourist hotels in Colombo put emphasis on Gangaramaya Temple on account of its religious and cultural importance, Berjaya Hotel Colombo is among them. The temple complex has several buildings with different roles assigned to them. There are many statues strewn across the temple grounds, and some may find them to be a little scary. The complex has a display hall, a library and a museum. Gangaramaya Temple is also home to Buddha's hair relics. The main point of interest, however, is the stuffed elephant found at the premises.


Beira Lake

Located closely to Gangaramaya Temple is Beira Lake. The green water lake isn't exactly a cheerful sight; the water has turned green as a result of pollution. You find a small island situated in the middle of the lake which was built using the donations made by a Muslim sponsor. During the colonial era, the lake served as a mode of transport used for carrying goods and the name 'Beira' is a Portuguese one with the meaning 'border'. The surrounds of the lake are perfect for you to sit down and relax a little.


Independence Memorial Hall

Sri Lanka was freed from British rule in 1948, and the Independence Memorial Hall is reminiscent of the event. The monumental stone building sits in the middle of a lush garden; opposite the building is the statue of Sri Lanka's first president. The architecture of the building is similar to that of the Royal Audience Hall in Kandy. At present, the hall plays host to religious events. Unless it's an event day, the place doesn't get crowded much, thus making it a perfect spot for those in a meditative mood.


Old Dutch Hospital

One of the oldest buildings in Sri Lanka, the Old Dutch Hospital was constructed in the early 1600s. Now it is the venue of several restaurants, cafes and clothing stores, and the place is ideal for you to enjoy delicious local dishes and some shopping.


Tuk-Tuk ride

It could be pretty tiring walking around the city in the sweltering heat, and opting for a tuk-tuk ride is the solution to that. You can find tuk-tuks anywhere in the city as they are one of the main transport modes for both locals and tourists. You can take a tuk-tuk ride to your favourite place in Colombo, but you should make sure that you agree on the fare beforehand.


Enjoy the nightlife

Colombo has a pretty amazing nightlife bolstered by the growing tourism industry. There are many chill-out bars and clubs where you can enjoy a bit of a drink and dancing.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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