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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for Things to Do in Colombo – The up and coming city of Asia
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to Do in Colombo – The up and coming city of Asia

Colombo has become quite a metropolitan city in recent years with many new high-rises and developments taking place – however, it has not lost its old-world charm in the slightest.


Gangaramaya Temple

Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most famous in Colombo – it is said that a relic of the Buddha's hair is kept here. The temple complex in honesty is quite an oddity as it is also a museum in some senses. The compound houses thousands of Buddha states from all over the world and various other oddities gifted to the temple by devotees from all over the world. There is also a library at Gangaramaya.


Old Dutch Hospital

This beautiful old colonial building right in the heart of the city was renovated in the past few years and now has become one of the favourite gathering spots in Colombo. There are quite a few amazing pubs and restaurants as well as many boutique stores.



Pettah could be described as one giant maze of tiny crowded roads which sells anything and everything. It's located right in the centre of the city in close proximity to the railway and bus station as well as the main commercial district where you find Mandarina Colombo Hotel a relatively new but widely acclaimed Colombo City Hotel. Pettah is chaotic but a truly Sri Lankan experience – it is a burst of colour and activity and really worth checking out. A little piece of advice would be to go in the evening when the sun isn't burning down. With the heat, the chaos might be too much to handle.


Tuk-Tuk Ride

Colombo is quite crowded and the traffic can be bad. However, if you know which times to avoid you can actually get around without too much trouble. There is a public transport system; buses and trains but these really aren't that great unless you're travelling to the coast or outside the city. So hail a tuk-tuk (preferably use an app Uber works fine, there are also local versions of it such as Pickme – it's much cheaper and more reliable) nothing completes a trip t South Asia without a tuk-tuk ride. If you meet a friendly driver you could probably try to drive it also.



Colombo isn't lacking when it comes to nightlife but the night's usually come alive on Friday and Saturday. There are a few nightclubs in the city, a casino or two and so many amazing pubs. Even on weekdays, there will be crowds at the popular drinking spots. Check out some of the fancier rooftop bars also while you're in the city.



There are occasional street food festivals that pop-up in the city however if you head towards the Galle Face Green on any given evening you can sample some of the local favourites; Isso Wade', Kottu and various rotis and patties. There are a few places that open up at night in and around Pettah and Slave Island which serves dishes unique to the local Muslim community though you'd probably need to befriend a local to take you to one of these.

  • 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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