World Sri Lanka Western Province Colombo

Colombo , Western Province

Type of Destination
Historical, Heritage, City
Languages Spoken
Sinhala, Tamil and English
Ideal Trip Duration
2-3 Days
Colombo Altitude

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Western Province Colombo

About Colombo

Colombo, the capital and the largest city in Sri Lanka is a crowd-puller and has an array of attractions and activities to offer. One side of the city has mansions, luxurious hotels, lush gardens, malls whereas on the other, we find slums and congested roads bustling with people. Call it religious, historic, or cultural, this is the land of diversity and temples, decorated with greenery, studded with flora and fauna.

Colombo is the vibrant capital city of Sri Lanka, situated on the southwestern coast of the island. It is the largest city in Sri Lanka and serves as a major economic, cultural, and political hub. Here are some key aspects that define Colombo:

  1. History and Heritage: Colombo has a rich history dating back to ancient times. It has been influenced by various colonial powers, including the Portuguese, Dutch, and British, which is evident in its architecture and cultural heritage. The city boasts historic landmarks such as the Old Parliament Building, Independence Memorial Hall, and colonial-era mansions.

  2. Cultural Diversity: One of Colombo's most striking features is its cultural diversity. The city is home to people from various ethnicities, including Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, and Burghers, contributing to a rich tapestry of traditions, languages, and cuisines. This diversity is celebrated through festivals, religious events, and cultural performances held throughout the year.

  3. Modern Development: While Colombo has deep-rooted historical significance, it also reflects modernity and progress. The cityscape is dotted with skyscrapers, commercial centers, luxury hotels, and modern infrastructure. Areas like Colombo Fort and Galle Face Green showcase the city's modern face, bustling with business activities, shopping malls, and entertainment options.

  4. Tourist Attractions: Colombo offers a wide range of attractions for visitors. From scenic parks like Viharamahadevi Park and Diyatha Uyana to cultural sites like the National Museum of Colombo and the Gangaramaya Temple, there's something for everyone. The picturesque coastline along the Indian Ocean, including spots like Mount Lavinia Beach, adds to the city's charm.

  5. Culinary Delights: Food enthusiasts will find Colombo a paradise for gastronomic adventures. The city is renowned for its diverse culinary scene, offering a fusion of traditional Sri Lankan flavors with international influences. From street food delights like kottu roti and hoppers to fine dining experiences showcasing fresh seafood and aromatic spices, Colombo caters to all palates.

  6. Shopping and Entertainment: Colombo is a shopper's haven, with vibrant markets like Pettah Market offering everything from textiles and jewelry to spices and electronics. Modern shopping malls such as Majestic City and Colombo City Centre provide a premium retail experience. The city also boasts a lively nightlife scene with bars, clubs, and cultural performances.

  7. Transportation: Getting around Colombo is convenient, thanks to its well-connected transportation network. Visitors can use buses, trains, tuk-tuks (three-wheeled taxis), and ride-sharing services to explore the city and its surrounding areas.

Overall, Colombo is a dynamic city that blends history, culture, modernity, and hospitality, making it a captivating destination for travelers seeking a diverse and enriching experience in Sri Lanka.

The beautiful Mt.Lavinia beach adds to the scenic beauty of this place. All these and The Royal Colombo Golf club, which has attracted golfers for 129 years, make this city a tourist destination.

A religious symphony can be seen here as it houses the temples of Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Gangaramaya Vihara is the most revered Buddhist temple, located beside a Holy Bo tree under which Lord Buddha is believed to have preached. Kelaniya Raha Maha Vihara and Asokaramaya Buddhist temples are equally brilliant. Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam kovil, meaning a Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is the oldest temple of Colombo. Due to the colonial influence, there are many cathedrals of which St. Lucia’s is the most visited one.

The Old Dutch Fort at Galle, a UNESCO heritage site, Beira lake, the Colombo harbour are a must visit places. The light house is supposed to be the only one in the world that tells time. There is no lack of museums, one can travel through time to 4th century BC while glancing at the art, sculptures and paintings in the National Museum. The Colombo Dutch House museum gives a glimpse of the life of the colonialists. Independence Commemoration Hall located on independence square, built in 1948 after the country gained its independence, exemplifies excellent art and architecture.

 Take a stroll at Galle Face Green, a long stretch of lawns facing the sea especially on Sunday evenings to grab a bite if the delicious Street food. Viharamahadevi, the largest park in the city, is distinguished for its flowering trees, best visited in March, April and May. Pinnawala elephant orphanage delights you with an unusual experience of relaxing and lunching around elephants. Also, Dehiwala zoological gardens is a worth seeing place.

Touring of the city is by no means complete without an open double decker ride, sponsored by Sri Lanka tourism. Tune in to the buzzing night life of the city by chilling out in lavish bars. Have a bite of kothu rotti, a quintessential snack of this country and dig your teeth into Wattalappam, a Sri Lankan dessert. Go on a shopping spree to Beverly Street, Fun Planet, No Limit and take a tuk-tuk ride to Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct which offers sumptuous food and souvenirs. Last but not the least, enjoy the Trishaw ride, the local transport, which will leave you with an unforgettable experience.

Getting There:

  • By Air: Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) is the main airport serving Colombo, located about 35 km north of the city center. You can take a taxi or arrange for airport transfer services to reach your accommodation.
  • By Train: Colombo has a well-connected railway network, with trains running from major cities like Kandy, Galle, and Anuradhapura.


  • Colombo offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget guesthouses. Popular areas to stay include Colombo 3 (Kollupitiya), Colombo 4 (Bambalapitiya), and Colombo 7 (Cinnamon Gardens), which are central and have easy access to attractions.

Things to Do in Colombo:

  1. Gangaramaya Temple: A beautiful Buddhist temple complex with a museum, library, and picturesque surroundings.
  2. Galle Face Green: A seaside urban park where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll, try street food, and watch the sunset.
  3. National Museum of Colombo: Explore Sri Lanka's rich history and cultural heritage through exhibits of art, artifacts, and archaeological finds.
  4. Pettah Market: Dive into the vibrant chaos of this bustling market, famous for its spices, textiles, and local goods.
  5. Viharamahadevi Park: A tranquil park perfect for picnics, leisurely walks, and enjoying the greenery amidst the city.
  6. Colombo Fort: Discover the colonial history of Sri Lanka at this historic fort area, home to colonial-era buildings, museums, and government offices.
  7. Independence Memorial Hall: A significant monument commemorating Sri Lanka's independence from British rule, with a peaceful park surrounding it.

Food and Dining:

  • Colombo is a paradise for food lovers, offering a wide range of cuisines from traditional Sri Lankan dishes to international fare. Don't miss trying local specialties like hoppers, kottu roti, and seafood curries. Popular dining areas include Galle Face Green, Colombo 7, and Mount Lavinia.

Shopping in Colombo:

  • For shopping enthusiasts, Colombo has several options ranging from modern malls like Colombo City Centre and One Galle Face to traditional markets like Pettah and Odel Department Store for fashion, handicrafts, and souvenirs.


  • Taxis, tuk-tuks, and ride-sharing services like Uber are popular modes of transportation within Colombo. You can also use public buses and trains for longer journeys.

Safety Tips:

Colombo is generally safe for tourists, but it's advisable to take normal precautions like avoiding isolated areas at night, keeping your belongings secure, and using reputable transportation services.

  1. Plan Your Trip During the Dry Season: Colombo experiences two main seasons - the dry season (December to March) and the monsoon season (April to November). It's advisable to plan your trip during the dry season to avoid heavy rainfall and enjoy pleasant weather for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

  2. Stay Aware of Cultural Norms: Sri Lanka has rich cultural traditions, so it's important to respect local customs and norms. When visiting religious sites like temples or mosques, dress modestly and remove footwear before entering. Additionally, ask for permission before taking photographs of people, especially in rural areas.

  3. Use Reliable Transportation: Colombo offers various transportation options, including buses, trains, tuk-tuks, and taxis. Opt for reputable and licensed services to ensure safety and fair pricing. Negotiate fares with tuk-tuk drivers beforehand, and always use metered taxis or agree on a fare before starting your journey.

  4. Stay Hydrated and Use Sun Protection: Colombo can get quite hot and humid, especially during the daytime. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and use sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun's harsh rays, particularly if you're exploring outdoor attractions like parks or beaches.

  5. Try Local Cuisine Safely: Sri Lankan cuisine is flavorful and diverse, offering a mix of spicy curries, seafood delicacies, and tropical fruits. While trying local street food and restaurants, ensure that the food is freshly prepared and served hot to avoid any stomach issues. Vegetarians and vegans can also find plenty of options in Colombo's culinary scene.

  6. Be Cautious with Street Vendors: Colombo's markets and streets are bustling with vendors selling a variety of goods. While shopping or exploring, keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas, to prevent theft or pickpocketing. It's also wise to carry small denominations of local currency for easier transactions.

  7. Stay Informed About Safety: Colombo is generally safe for tourists, but it's essential to stay informed about any local safety advisories or updates. Avoid political demonstrations or gatherings, follow the guidance of local authorities, and keep emergency contact numbers handy in case of any unforeseen situations.

  8. Explore Beyond the City: While Colombo offers a wealth of attractions, consider exploring nearby areas like Mount Lavinia for its beautiful beaches, Piliyandala for authentic village experiences, or Negombo for its Dutch colonial heritage and seafood markets. Day trips or overnight stays can add depth to your Sri Lankan adventure.

By following these travel tips, you can make the most of your trip to Colombo and ensure a safe, enjoyable, and memorable experience in Sri Lanka's bustling capital city.

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