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ColomboSri Lanka

Colonial charm and Buddhist spirituality mix with beachside entertainment, bustling shopping districts and a love of cricket in Sri Lanka’s coastal capital. 

Colombo is a showcase of Sri Lanka’s Asian and European heritage. It’s where the fast-paced chaos of the continent’s cities meets a lingering colonial ambiance and contemporary fashion. In Colombo, ancient religious shrines stand next to churches, and skyscrapers rise above time-honored shops. Pretty parks are a reminder of Colombo’s “Garden City of the East” nickname while beaches offer an introduction to the island’s 833-mile (1,340-kilometer) coastline.

Discover the spiritual serenity that exists amid the mayhem of the city streets at Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple and lakeside Seema Malaka Buddhist Temple. The contrasting Gothic Old Town Hall and neoclassical New Town Hall sit on the edge of gorgeous Viharamahadevi Park. Visit European-influenced churches, including the Dutch-built Wolvendaal Church, Portuguese St. Anthony’s Church and Scottish St. Andrew’s Church.

Browse art collections that date back to the 4th century B.C. at Colombo National Museum and learn about Dutch rule at the Dutch Period Museum. Ape Gama is an open-air folk museum that brings to life the customs of a Sri Lankan village via mock rural scenes. The elaborately decorated Independence Memorial Hall commemorates the nation breaking free from the British Empire.

Pettah is Colombo’s bustling shopping quarter, famous for traditional shops and markets such as Pettah Floating Market. Go to Arcade Independence Square and Crescat Boulevard for brand-name and upmarket fashion. Witness the city’s passion for cricket while attending a match at Premadasa International Cricket Stadium. Or, play a round of 18 holes at the immaculate Royal Colombo Golf Club.

Watch the sunset and snack on spicy street food during an evening stroll on Galle Green Face Promenade. Find an aquarium, beer garden and outdoor food court at Diyatha Uyana waterfront park. Mount Lavinia Beach boasts golden sand and chic seafront bars. Spot exotic animals at Dehiwala National Zoo and ride waterslides at Leisure World.

Reach Colombo by flying to Bandaranaike International Airport, located an hour’s drive from the city center. Get around the city via low-cost buses, trains and tuk-tuks.

Where to stay in Colombo

#Reflections...the sunset reflection on the ocean was really something!

Kollupitiya

4/5Very Good!(154 area reviews)

The abundant dining options and seaside views are top of the list for many visitors to Kollupitiya. A stop by Bellagio Casino or Galle Face Beach might round out your trip.

Kollupitiya
Colombo which includes general coastal views, a skyscraper and a city

Cinnamon Gardens

4/5Very Good!(9 area reviews)

You'll enjoy the museums and gardens in Cinnamon Gardens. You might want to make time for a stop at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall or Colombo Town Hall.

Cinnamon Gardens
Colombo, despite it's location alongside the ocean, still has a very industrial feel to it.  For some reason, the contrast of this scene resonated with me.

Bambalapitiya

If you're spending some time in Bambalapitiya, Bellagio Casino and Majestic City are top sights worth seeing.

Bambalapitiya
From Galle Face

Fort

4.5/5Wonderful!(47 area reviews)

Fort is noteworthy for its historic sites, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Bally's Casino and Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct.

Fort
Only a very few of us can truly relate to this genre of music. This was a free gig that was open to anyone and everyone. Given that there were 2 other events happening in Colombo and Mount Lavinia, we ended up having this hardcore fans who enjoyed the fraternity on a Saturday evening. 

The only venue the rock community can get these days. But seems like this would be the last few concerts that we get to do here. The government is renovating the place, so they say. Till then we need to find another location.

Kirula

5/5Exceptional!(1 area review)

While there might not be top attractions in Kirula, you can explore the larger area and discover places like Bellagio Casino and Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall.

Kirula
Overlooking the Beira Lake in the heart of Colombo, at sunset.

Colombo 02

4.5/5Wonderful!(3 area reviews)

While visiting Colombo 02, you might make a stop by sights like Beira Lake and Gangaramaya Temple.

Colombo 02

Top Hotels in Colombo

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Marino Beach Colombo
Marino Beach Colombo
5 out of 5
590 Marine Drive, Colombo, WP
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is ¥6,261 per night from Sep 27 to Sep 28

Located in Kollupitiya, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Marino Mall and Bellagio Casino. Galle Face Beach and Galle Face Green are also within ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (364 reviews)

"There was absolutely nothing to moan about we were treated so well doors opened for you to chairs pulled out made us feel really special each and everyone of the staff your top class x"…"

Reviewed on Apr 1, 2020

Marino Beach Colombo
Galadari Hotel
Galadari Hotel
4 out of 5
64, Lotus Road, Colombo
The price is ¥3,517 per night from Oct 1 to Oct 2

Located in Fort, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Galle Face Green and Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct. Dutch Period Museum and Colombo City Centre ...

3.6/5Good! (154 reviews)

"It was done as requested, good communication, old but gold"…"

Reviewed on Jul 31, 2020

Galadari Hotel
Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo
Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo
5 out of 5
1 Centre Road, Galle Face, Colombo
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is ¥15,810 per night from Sep 27 to Sep 28

Located in Kollupitiya, this luxury hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Galle Face Green, Colombo City Centre, and Gangaramaya Temple. Bally's Casino and Pettah Market ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (212 reviews)
Loved my stay at Shangrilla

"We like the friendly staff, comfortable room and the beautiful view. We were v happy with tight security 24/7. Toilet shower area tend to accumulate water. Perhaps during civil work, sloping was not done properly"…"

Reviewed on Feb 27, 2020

Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo

Vacation Rentals in Colombo

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Ocean Edge Suites & Hotel Colombo
Ocean Edge Suites & Hotel Colombo
4 out of 5
Marine Drive (Kollupitiya), 10th Lane, No.24, Colombo

Located in Kollupitiya, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Marino Mall and Bellagio Casino. Galle Face Green and Galle Face Beach are also within ...

3.4/5 (79 reviews)
Find a better alternative!

"The hotel is definitely overpriced! Cleanliness lacks. basic amenities like faulty air con was a put off! However, mr tushaar was helpful to move us to a better room quickly. There were dead cockroaches here and there. Though the lobby is renovated, poor flooring and dirty worn out rugs in the room ..."…"

Reviewed on Jan 18, 2020

Ocean Edge Suites & Hotel Colombo
Go Outdoors Motor Home - Caravan Park
Go Outdoors Motor Home - Caravan Park
2 out of 5
82/1A, Stratford Avenue, Colombo 06, Colombo

Located in Wellawatte, this campground is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Park Hospital and within 3 mi (5 km) of Mount Lavinia Beach and Bellagio Casino. New Delmon Hospital ...

Go Outdoors Motor Home - Caravan Park
Global Towers Hotel & Apartments
Global Towers Hotel & Apartments
4 out of 5
No.11 Station Avenue, (Colombo Plan Road), Colombo
The price is ¥3,417 per night from Sep 27 to Sep 28

Located in Wellawatte, this aparthotel is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) from New Delmon Hospital and within 3 mi (5 km) of Bellagio Casino and Mount Lavinia Beach. Raux Brothers ...

3.6/5Good! (122 reviews)

"it was good"…"

Reviewed on Mar 20, 2020

Global Towers Hotel & Apartments

Popular places to visit in Colombo

Galle Face Green
Image for Galle Face Green

Galle Face Green

4/5(67 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors with a trip to Galle Face Green, a popular green space in Colombo 03. Wander the area's beautiful beaches or simply enjoy one of its top-notch restaurants.

Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall
Image for Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall

Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall

4.5/5(13 reviews)

Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall is just one of the places to see in Thimbirigasyaya, so why not enjoy the other things to explore during your travels? Stroll along the seaside in this culturally rich area, or check out its top-notch restaurants.

Gangaramaya Temple
Image for Gangaramaya Temple

Gangaramaya Temple

4.5/5(30 reviews)

Find out about the history of Colombo when you take a trip to Gangaramaya Temple. Wander the seaside and beautiful beaches in this culturally rich area.

Top things to do in Colombo

Private Full-Day Excursion to Galle & South Coast
Image for Private Full-Day Excursion to Galle & South Coast

Private Full-Day Excursion to Galle & South Coast

¥19,230
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Private Customizable Colombo Sightseeing Tour
Image for Private Customizable Colombo Sightseeing Tour

Private Customizable Colombo Sightseeing Tour

¥3,205
Per adult
82% of travellers recommend
Private Overnight Luxury Leopard Safari - Yala National Park
Image for Private Overnight Luxury Leopard Safari - Yala National Park

Private Overnight Luxury Leopard Safari - Yala National Park

¥96,152
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Private Street Food Tour with 10 Tastings in Colombo
Image for Private Street Food Tour with 10 Tastings in Colombo

Private Street Food Tour with 10 Tastings in Colombo

¥4,558
Per adult
76% of travellers recommend
Glimpse of Colombo By Open Deck
Image for Glimpse of Colombo By Open Deck

Glimpse of Colombo By Open Deck

¥3,744
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Colombo City tour by Tuk-Tuk
Image for Colombo City tour by Tuk-Tuk

Colombo City tour by Tuk-Tuk

¥9,117
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend

Reviews of Colombo

4.1

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
57
5 - Excellent 36.075949367088604%
4 - Good
65
4 - Good 41.139240506329116%
3 - Okay
27
3 - Okay 17.088607594936708%
2 - Disappointing
5
2 - Disappointing 3.1645569620253164%
1 - Terrible
4
1 - Terrible 2.5316455696202533%

5/5 - Excellent

Arul

Jan 22, 2020

My motherland that I will treasure in my 

1/5 - Terrible

Verified traveler

Jan 18, 2020

Not a place I recomend going. Go down the coast. Hikkaduwa is nice.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 8, 2020

Clean modern city; very clean neat & orderly. Beautiful temples to visit. Excellent food & restaurants. Easy to get around. Enjoyed two days there.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Dec 24, 2019

Colombo remains a fascinating city with plenty of attractions. The port area is undergoing construction and has already taken some of the charm from the walk along the pier.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Dec 24, 2019

Beware of sharks trying to get you to see precious jem's.

3/5 - Okay

AL

Dec 22, 2019

We didn’t venture out too much since we mainly spent our time here recovering from a 35 hour trip to get here. It was a great place to relax and recharge before moving on.

Cities near Colombo

Photo by Mohd Yamin

Mount Lavinia

Photo by Gotukola

Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte