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Updated by Paul Wick on Sep 23, 2015
Headline for Things To Do in Colombo – Exciting City Discoveries
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Things To Do in Colombo – Exciting City Discoveries

East meets West in the colourful cultural melting pot that is Sri Lanka's commercial capital, Colombo and here are some of the myriad of things you can do in this dynamic city by the sea


Go For a Tuk-Tuk Ride

Getting around the city in these three-wheeled vehicles also referred to as a tuk-tuk (pronounced like 'took-took') or tuk for short, is definitely part of the thrill of discovering what the capital has to offer. There are plenty of tuks on the road and all you need to do is put out your hand and flag them down. Most of them run on metres so there is no need to negotiate price. Apart from getting to your destination you can most often expect a speedy and thrill-induced ride on the mostly chaotic streets of Colombo as your driver zips in and out of traffic, horn blaring, seemingly impervious to other vehicles that block its way. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!


Visit the Colombo National Museum

If you want to learn more about the country's history, then definitely head to the Colombo National Museum. Housed in a sprawling building, this impressive museum showcases a diverse collection of exhibits and artefacts that span the centuries. From a royal throne used during the Kandyan Kingdom to prehistoric fossils and bronze Bodhisattva sandals to animal specimens, this museum offers a fascinating insight into the island's heritage.


Enjoy the Local Arts Scene

Lovers of the arts also have plenty to see and do in Colombo. If it is artworks by locals artists you are after then there are several galleries in the city you can visit. The National Art Gallery is a good place to start though it is by no means the definitive place to see art. Checkout the Barefoot Gallery, the Sapumal Foundation and the Saskia Fernando Gallery, all of which are worth a visit. If theatrical performances and dramas are more what you are after then see what is playing at the mainstay venue for English language dramas in Colombo, the Lionel Wendt Art Centre; from political satire to musicals and slapstick comedy to Greek tragedy, productions at this venue offer a fun evening out.


Spend The Evening at Galle Face Green

Located by the sea, Galle Face Green is a vast open space in Colombo that has become quite a popular place to hangout. With its central location and proximity to the shore, it is little wonder that this locale is one of the hottest areas in the city with Colombo luxury apartments coming up in its vicinity such as One Galle Face. There is plenty of room for kids to enjoy, the constant sea breeze is perfect for kite flying and couples can enjoy a walk along the promenade just above the beach or on the sandy shores itself. Yes it can get crowded, especially on weekend nights but it is a great spot to relax and even have a picnic with friends and family. Excellent spot for people watching too!


Embark on a Foodie Adventure

If you love trying out new food, then Colombo is the place to be, with an eclectic dining scene that lets you sample truly exotic cuisine. As with most Asian countries, street side eateries and vendors offer some of the best local dishes; the previously mentioned Galle Face Green is a great spot to try "isso wadde" which is a prawn based deep fried snack. Do not forget to try some famous "kotthu rotti" a signature dish at local "Pilawoos" outlets that specialise in this creation of chopped up rotti, pan fried with a variety of ingredients be it meats or vegetables. Word to the wise; some outlets offer something called "dolphin kotthu"; do not worry there is no dolphin meat involved and it is just a term (strange one at that!) for a special kotthu creation that generally includes a variety of meats. There are also a plethora of cafes and dessert outlets where you can indulge your sweet cravings too.