Welcome to Colombo!
Colombo – such a nice destination in Sri Lanka! Gems of colonial era and endless beaches. Remarkable temples and traditional food you won’t forget. Colombo is a great place to start Sri Lanka’s adventure! Check out our Top 5 Must-See Places in Colombo!
1. Gangaramaya temple and other religious buildings
Gangaramaya is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Colombo. The temple consists of several buildings. The complex is filled with many Buddha statues, made of gold, silver, ivory and different stones. Pictures, paintings, even a sacred tree and a museum, a display hall of gifts received from devotees over the years. This temple will definitely stay in your memory as there are no others alike!
Visit also Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque – beautiful red and white brick building. Also Wolvendaal Church, which is the most important Dutch building in Sri Lanka. Other beautiful temples include Sri Kaileswaram, Temple of Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil, Shri Ponnambalawaneswaram Kovil.
2. Fort area
Fort area or basically the downtown of Colombo is good to see the colonial architecture from the Dutch and British era of Sri Lanka. In colonial times this fort area was a real fort as it was surrounded by the sea on two sides. Visit the Old Dutch Hospital, which is considered to be one of the oldest buildings in the Colombo Fort area. Now it is restored and houses some good restaurants and shops. Then continue!
From Old Galle Buck Lighthouse you will be able to see beautiful view of the ocean and Colombo port. Do not miss also Old Parliament building and other government houses, the Clock Tower which was originally a lighthouse, and Central Point, located at Chatham Street, which is now the grandest renovated building in this area and houses a museum of local money. Also Cargill`s Main Store – a stunning building where now a small convenience store is inside.
3. Pettah area
Pettah is one of the oldest districts of Colombo and is mainly famous for its markets. Bigger and smaller shops, food stalls and that crazy movement all around! Household products, decorations and food, fruits and vegetables. Traditional clothes, electronics, gadgets and handicrafts. Be sure – here you will find everything you are looking for!
4. Beira lake
This lake has been considered as the heart of Colombo since colonial times. Then the lake and its canals were used for transporting goods within the city. The lake has two bigger ponds. In the smallest of them you will find two islands. One is containing the Seemamalakaya Shrine and the other one is just a park where locals are spending their time in. The second pond is meant for peaceful walks around the lake to spot some birds. The lake connects with other lakes through narrow canals and ends up in the Indian sea.
5. Galle Face Green and beaches
Galle Face Green is a long stretch of green lawn next to the narrow beach and sea promenade. In colonial times this area was cleared by the Dutch to give the canons clear sight, though today it is a nice place for an evening walk. It is said that here you can see the best sunsets in the city. While waiting sun to set you can watch locals playing cricket or flying kites, or enjoy a meal in a costal restaurants that offer sea food. Still, there are signs it is not recommended to swim and this beach is definitely not meant for that. But go a bit South and you will find fabulous beaches with free beach beds and umbrellas. Try our favourite the Mount Lavinia beach. Small, relaxing and perfect for a swim!
Rich history, interesting culture and great cuisine. Colombo is adorable. Not too busy, except the traffic, not too crowded. And diverse enough to introduce you to the Srilankan everyday life. Enjoy!