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Travel Guide of Colombo in Sri Lanka by Influencers and Travelers

Colombo is the commercial capital and largest city of Sri Lanka by population. According to the Brookings Institution, Colombo metropolitan area has a population of 5.6 million, and 752,993 in the city proper.

The Best Things to Do and Visit in Colombo


1 - Mount Lavinia

   10 km away

Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, population 245,974 is the largest suburb of the City of Colombo, and covers an extent of 2109 hectares.

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Mount Lavinia things to do in Colombo Mount Lavinia things to do in Colombo

2 - Kollupitiya

Kollupitiya, also known as Colpetty is a major neighbourhood of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The name Kollupitiya comes from the name of a chief from Kandy who had unsuccessfully attempted to dethrone the last king of Kandy.

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Kollupitiya things to do in Colombo

3 - Shore Excursions in Colombo

Explore a historic city, Colombo on a 4-hour city tour with an experienced guide and a luxurious tuk-tuk.  A driver-guide rides by colonial heritage places, and stops for visiting many significant landmarks of the Colombo for example Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist temple, Independence memorial hall, the ocean-side urban park of Galle Face Green, and Pettah market. Then experience Sri Lankan teas and indulge in traditional dishes.

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Shore Excursions in Colombo things to do in Colombo

4 - Galle Face

One Galle Face is a mixed-use complex of buildings currently being built near the Galle Face Green in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is also Sri Lanka's first internationally and developed and managed mixed use project and was officially opened on 8 November 2019.

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Galle Face things to do in Colombo

5 - Gangaramaya Temple

Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo, Sri Lanka, being a mix of modern architecture and cultural essence. Located on the Beira Lake, it was completed in the late 19th century.

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Gangaramaya Temple things to do in Colombo

6 - Safaris in Colombo

Colonial Colombo, Sri Lanka’s Capital city! We stopped at nothing in our early days of research in putting the Colombo Safari together. The Colombo Safari aims to showcase this amazing historic bustling city, capture the smiles of the locals all while cruising in your retro fitted Tuk Tuk. We explore timeless destinations and visit ever changing seasonal hot spots and of course, we get you right off the beaten track. Expect to see people, true local foods, traffic, a thousand smiles all with in your 3.5-4 hour time with us! This is a fully inclusive, all expenses paid trip! We will fill you with Sri Lankan food, provide drinks and we’ll even throw in a couple of local beers and show you all of what we think is the best and most authentic rustic stops that Colombo has to offer. We go to places that near all other tour operator will not ! We look to visit the heart of the country going to the real rustic and local sri lankan hot spots!

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Safaris in Colombo things to do in Colombo

7 - Pettah

The Pettah Market also called Manning Market is an open market in the suburb of Pettah in the city of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The entrance to the Pettah Market is marked formally by a tall monument in the centre of a roundabout, known as the Khan Clock Tower which was built by the family of Framjee Bhickajee Khan, an eminent Parsi family from Bombay who used to have substantial business interests in the country and who also owned the Colombo Oil Mills.

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Pettah things to do in Colombo Pettah things to do in Colombo

8 - Viharamahadevi Park

Viharamahadevi Park is a public park located in Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo, situated in front of the colonial-era Town Hall in Sri Lanka. It was built by the British colonial administration and is the oldest and largest park of Colombo.

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Viharamahadevi Park things to do in Colombo

9 - Archaeology Tours in Colombo

Climbing a rock - if you’re in good shape and don’t stop to look at things, it’ll take you less than 30 minutes to climb all the way to the top of the rock. If you need a few breaks along the way or simply want to stop often to take photos and admire the view, it’ll take an hour and a half to two hours to climb up and go back down again. and then Visit The beautiful Royal Rock Temple complex sits about 160m above the road in the southern part of Dambulla. Buddha images were first created here over 2000 years ago, and over the centuries subsequent kings added to and embellished the cave art.

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Archaeology Tours in Colombo things to do in Colombo

10 - Red Masjid

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Red Masjid things to do in Colombo Red Masjid things to do in Colombo

11 - World Trade Center

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World Trade Center things to do in Colombo

12 - Rafting in Colombo

Visit Kitulagala, a town located in West of the road from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya. It's a town located in amid tickly forest hills. It has been once a filming place for David Lean's 1957 Oscar-winning epic "Bridge on the River Kwai" on the banks of Kelani River. Most visitors for the adventure sporting are from Colombo. The Kitulgala's main attraction is White water rafting where you can ride the tides of the Kelani River. Other than that it's popular for sports like confidence jump, Stream Sliding, Waterfall abseiling, Jungle trekking. Bird watching and cave exploration and last but not least river trips and expeditions.

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Rafting in Colombo things to do in Colombo

13 - Galle

   22 km away

Galle is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the southwestern tip, 119 kilometres from Colombo. Galle is the provincial capital and largest city of Southern Province, Sri Lanka and is the capital of Galle District.

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Galle things to do in Colombo

14 - Henarathgoda

   24 km away

Gampaha Botanical Garden, also known as Henarathgoda Botanical Garden is situated in the suburb of Gampaha. It was established in 1876 by the British to conduct experiments on exotic economic plants such as Rubber, and explore plant wealth and development of economy in the colony.

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Henarathgoda things to do in Colombo Henarathgoda things to do in Colombo

15 - Dolphin Watching in Colombo

Combine a morning whale-watching experience with personalized attention on this private tour. You'll get door to door service with hotel pickup and drop-off, as well as coffee, tea, and breakfast included. Aboard a comfortable Luxury Yatch, sail along the coast of the island and into the habitat of the whales, in search of pilot, humpback, sperm, and blue whales, as well as dolphins and sea turtles.

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Dolphin Watching in Colombo things to do in Colombo

16 - Padukka

   28 km away

Padukka is a town in the district of Colombo in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. It has a population of roughly 8,000. Elevation 44feet.

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Padukka things to do in Colombo

17 - Pinnawala

   29 km away

Pinnawala is a village in Kegalle District of Sri Lanka and is around 90 km from the capital, Colombo. It is well known for its elephant orphanage.

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Pinnawala things to do in Colombo Pinnawala things to do in Colombo

18 - Negombo

   30 km away

Negombo is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the west coast and at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon, in Western Province, 38 km from Colombo via Colombo - Katunayake Expressway.

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Negombo things to do in Colombo Negombo things to do in Colombo

19 - Seethawaka Wet Zone Botanic Gardens

   35 km away
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Seethawaka Wet Zone Botanic Gardens things to do in Colombo

20 - Seethawaka

   39 km away
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Seethawaka things to do in Colombo

21 - Kalutara

   40 km away

Kalutara or Kalutota is a major city in Kalutara District, Western Province, Sri Lanka. It is also the administrative capital of Kalutara District.

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Kalutara things to do in Colombo

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Pictures and Stories of Colombo from Influencers

14 pictures of Colombo from Brian Kyed, Jalitha Hewage, Alex Azabache and other travelers

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Why should you visit Colombo ?

Travel to Colombo if you like:

  🏘️ Town     🏖️ Beach     🗼 Landmark     🏞️ Waterway     🌆 Skyline     🏰 Hindu temple  

How to visit Colombo ?

Traveling to Colombo, the bustling capital of Sri Lanka, offers a unique blend of old and new, with colonial-era buildings standing alongside modern skyscrapers. This vibrant city offers a rich cultural experience, delicious cuisine, and numerous sightseeing opportunities.

To get to Colombo, you can fly into Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB), which is located about 32 kilometers north of the city. From the airport, you can take a taxi, bus, or arrange for a hotel pick-up. If you're arriving from another city within Sri Lanka, you can reach Colombo via train, bus, or taxi.

It's essential to book certain attractions in advance to ensure a smooth visit. For example, if you plan to visit the National Museum, purchasing tickets online will save you time and help avoid long queues. Additionally, if you're planning a day trip to nearby attractions such as Galle or Sigiriya, booking a guided tour in advance is highly recommended.

The costs in Colombo are relatively affordable for tourists. You can expect to pay around LKR 1,000-2,000 for a meal at a mid-range restaurant, while entrance fees for most attractions range between LKR 500-2,000. Public transportation is also inexpensive, with train and bus tickets costing just a few hundred LKR.

Some of the best things to do in Colombo include visiting the Gangaramaya Temple, exploring the National Museum, strolling through Galle Face Green, and shopping at the Pettah Market. If you're interested in history and architecture, don't miss the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct and the Independence Memorial Hall.

When it comes to dining, Colombo offers a wide range of options. For an authentic Sri Lankan meal, try Upali's by Nawaloka, which serves delicious local dishes. If you're in the mood for seafood, Ministry of Crab is a must-visit. For a unique fusion experience, head to Nuga Gama, which offers traditional Sri Lankan cuisine with a contemporary twist.

In terms of accommodation, there are several options to suit various budgets. For luxury, consider staying at Shangri-La Hotel, which offers world-class amenities and stunning views of the Indian Ocean. If you prefer a boutique experience, check out Residence by Uga Escapes, a charming property set in a restored colonial mansion. For budget travelers, CityRest Fort is a highly-rated hostel in the heart of the city.

Off the beaten path:

For a unique travel experience, venture out to the Piliyandala Floating Market, located about 20 kilometers from Colombo. This lesser-known market offers a serene atmosphere away from the city's hustle and bustle. Here, you can shop for fresh produce, local handicrafts, and even enjoy a meal at one of the floating restaurants. The market is accessible via tuk-tuk or taxi, and visiting during the early morning or late afternoon offers the most pleasant experience. This offbeat adventure will provide you with an immersive and authentic glimpse into the local way of life.

Learn More about Colombo

Colombo, Sri Lanka, is the capital of this beautiful Asian island. Although it has not always held this distinction, it has traditionally been regarded as the financial and economic centre of the country, due to its status as a port. Today, it is full of huge, modern buildings, including its own World Trade Center. Strolling through its narrow streets, one can discover traces of its colonial past. One of the city's main attractions is the Negombo Fortress, built by the Dutch in 1644. Here you can see the original gateway, the clock tower, which used to welcome visitors, the ramparts and the cellars which used to be used as weapons shops. Do not leave without seeing the sacred Anuraghapura tree, which was planted by King Valagamba. The Queen's House is another of the wonders of Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo. This complex of colonial buildings houses the official residence of the President of the Republic of Sri Lanka. You can imagine when the island was under the rule of the Portuguese, Dutch and British. The Pettah Bazaar is also one of the most interesting tourist attractions in the city. Here you will find shops and stalls where you can make all kinds of purchases. From local delicacies to gems and silver. Don't forget to take a leisurely stroll along Galle Face Green, the waterfront promenade of Colombo, Sri Lanka, where you can relax and watch the sea and sky converge on the horizon. Finally, if you want to delve deeper into the country's history, head to the National Museum, which offers a large collection of artefacts from different eras that will give you an insight into the past of this beautiful island.

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