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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 16, 2024
Headline for 12 Things to Do in Colombo- See what Colombo has to offer
Joanna James Joanna James
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12 Things to Do in Colombo- See what Colombo has to offer

Although most travellers tend to skip Colombo and head straight to the outskirts, there are many fun things they are missing out on in the commercial capital of the island. Here is a glance at some interesting stuff you can see and do while in Colombo.


Visit the Independence Square

A significant historical site where Sri Lanka assumed self-governance of the island. The site is beautifully decorated with traditional Sinhalese architecture and splendid rock lions. It is a popular jogging track in the evenings and a nice quiet place to do some people-watching. 


Visit the Gangarama Temple

Located near Beira Lake, which is the main lake in Colombo. This historically significant temple is one of the oldest in the city. The temple grounds are ornate and filled with exquisite art and architecture. Within the temple, there is a museum of ancient relics and a centre for Buddhist learning for novice monks. 


Stroll along Viharamahadevi Park

The large green area situated at the heart of Colombo city is the central park of Colombo and is named after a venerated queen in Sri Lankan history, Viharamaha Devi. This is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate, from the scorching Colombo heat. You can enjoy the fountain, pond, outdoor theatre, and walking tracks, with many benches and tables for a nice picnic.


Explore Town Hall

The Town Hall is within a short walking distance from the park. You can explore the Colombo National Museum and the Colombo National Library nearby. There is also a monument dedicated to the fallen soldiers. If you're looking for a peaceful place to relax on a hot day, this beautiful garden environment is the ideal place. While doing this, if you are wondering where to stay in Colombo, you can find the Cinnamon Red Colombo for a comfortable stay.


Galle Face Green

Galle Face is a popular spot for Sri Lankans to hang out, situated close to the main commercial centre of the city known as the Fort area. The beach is always crowded, especially on weekends, with kids playing cricket, flying kites, picnickers, and wading in the sea. The beach promenade is full of vendors selling food items and trinkets, so you definitely won't go hungry or thirsty here. 


Drinks at Galle Face Hotel

Galle Face Hotel holds a significant historical value as it was the first hotel ever built in Sri Lanka during the British colonial period. It is a popular destination among locals, foreigners, and ex-pats, especially during the evenings. The verandah of the hotel has some mesmerizing views of the Galle Face Green. Just the place to enjoy a drink and watch the stunning sunset.


The Colombo Dutch Museum 

An important historical landmark in Sri Lanka that showcases the country's colonial past. The Dutch captured parts of the coast after ousting the Portuguese from the island. The museum is in a building constructed in the 17th century and served as the home of the then-Dutch governor. Inside explore over 200 years of Dutch rule from 1658 to 1796 through a collection of artefacts such as furniture, apparel, artwork, and weapons. 


Dutch Hospital precinct

The building was constructed during the Dutch period and was renovated to become a trendy shopping and dining precinct. You will find a wide variety of restaurants, bars, cafes, and shopping outlets. It's a great place to enjoy a nice dinner and do some shopping, while also taking in the beautiful architecture of the building.