Colombo has become a popular visitor hotspot endeavouring various social, historical also nightlife attractions. Colombo is one of the Major cities of Sri Lanka and a diversely populated city on the island. Frequently, Colombo was well-known for its natural harbour. The town was placed on a port beside the early East-West sea trade routes. The Portuguese first arrived in Colombo in 1505; similarly, the city became a centre of East-West social impacts. The British colonial authorities made Colombo Sri Lanka’s capital in 1815. Later, Sri Lanka’s administrative centre shifted to Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, a nearby neighbourhood city, though Colombo resumed the business and commercial capital. Prepare your sightseeing in this lovely city with our checklist of the finest places to visit in Colombo.
1. Colombo Lotus Tower
The lotus tower will rise like a colourful art from the centre of the Colombo capital on the waterfront of the scenic Beira Lake as the tallest tower in South Asia and the 19th highest tower globally. Its elegant design, stimulated by the lotus flower, which has solid symbolic relations with Sri Lankan society, will bridge the gap between its built fabric and rich cultural heritage.
The Lotus Tower, also called Colombo Lotus Tower, is 350 m found in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Sinhala Name is ‘ Nelum Kuluna “. The 350-metre-tall 17-storey Lotus Tower includes a television tower, a hotel, a telecommunications museum, eateries, an auditorium, an observation deck, a shopping mall and a convention centre.
Visitors are now permitted to visit the tower by buying a ticket for Rs. 500 or Rs. 2,000 for Sri Lankans, and a foreign travellers ticket is priced at USD 20. Those who purchase a ticket for Rs. 2,000 will be permitted to enter the premises without standing in a queue and climb to the tower’s top several times during a single visit. Meanwhile, those who buy Rs. Five hundred tickets will be permitted to visit the top of the building at once.
Those visiting the Lotus Tower can experience bars, renowned restaurants and souvenir stores on the ground floor.
The third floor consists of a conference arena, accommodating up to 400. Meanwhile, the open floor has been planned for diverse entertainment activities.
2. Galle Face Green – Colombo
It may only be a tiny spot of Green, but it’s one of the countless iconic locations in Colombo. Galle Face Green, an oblong grass space along the Galle Road in Colombo’s Fort zone, is the city’s most famous recreational space. While its beginnings are drawn after the 19th Century, the Galle Face Green — similar to the town it is part of — has undergone many development stages. But it has never misplaced its charm or its energetic soul.
The Galle Face Green is a sunny spot. Ask any Colombo citizen what you should do when visiting Colombo, and a walk along the Galle Face Green will be a wonderful experience. It’s one of the most appropriate places in the city, where all ethnicities, backgrounds and social groups mix in a spirit of fun and entertainment. There’s no entrance fee, and it nevermore closes.
Although initially a much larger space, the Green now officially spans a five-hectare strip, joined on one flank by the gorgeous Indian Ocean and by the bustling Galle Road on the opposite. More Details and Map
3. Independence Memorial Museum
Independence Memorial Museum is located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It has a collection from the origin of Sri Lankan civilization till the current of about 25 centuries; the service the Sri Lankans provide to uplift and sustain their political, economic, social, cultural and human freedom is limitless. The difficulties they courageously faced on such occurrences present an instance and treasure to the future generation.
The aims and purposes of this exhibition constitute the rekindling of our pride and remind us of the excellent efforts conducted over the centuries until 1972 when we retrieved in winnings independence, on our national protagonists also their bio-sketches, for the privilege of the future generations. More Details and Map
4. Viharamahadevi Park
The Viharamahadevi Park, formerly Victoria Park, is located in Colombo, next to the National Museum in Sri Lanka. It is the most beloved and magnificent park in the city of Colombo. Located in front of the colonial-era Town Hall building, the park is delegated after Queen Viharamahadevi, the mother of King Dutugamunu. The park was built on land granted to Colombo city by Charles Henry de Soysa when the British rule Sri Lanka and used to be named “Victoria Park” after Queen Victoria. However, the British Army attacked it with the Australian 17th Brigade based at Victoria Park. The park was renovated and opened to the public after the war in 1951. More Details and Map
5. Arcade Independence Square – Colombo
Arcade Independence Square was established in Colombo 7. Several such refurbishments have been offered in Sri Lanka, especially Colombo, yet innovative culture to the country. For instance, the Auditor General’s Office buildings have been transformed into one of the best places to relax, shop, and dine in Colombo.
The Arcade is, without uncertainty, elegant. Although the parking areas tend to get filled up quickly, especially at night, there are enough parking spaces. The lion statue is nicely done, and so is the aquarium. The plants and pathways connect to the class of Arcade, which delivers a place much more eternal than a place for shopping. More Details and Map
6. Pettah Floating Markets – Colombo
Pettah Floating Markets is located at Bastian Mawatha in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Behind the bustling main streets of Colombo Pettah, this is a place where travellers can experience tranquillity and peaceful water. The floating market assists as a visitor attraction, trading local products and local craftsmanship. It consists of 92 stalls and many stands on the Beira Lake boats.
The Urban Development Authority developed and beautified the floating market, and Sri Lanka Army’s engineering units transformed Bastian Street, Pettah Central Bus Stand, and Colombo Fort Railway Station into a greener ecosystem. More Details and Map
7. Beddegana wetland park – Colombo
Beddegana wetland park can be found in Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte. The park’s location within the revealed “Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte Bird Sanctuary” and highly urban built environment sets the stage for its paradigm importance. This 18-hectare area is home to many aquatic birds and other faunal species, such as butterflies, dragonflies, and mammals endemic to Sri Lankan and Asian wetlands. Apart from that, this marsh area is a popular stopover for migratory birds. During the migratory season, one can catch sight of the diverse flocks of shorebirds or waders, including plovers and sandpipers.
It has been reported that 50 species of birds, 20 species of fish, and 119 species of butterflies make this wetland their habitat, and endangered mammals included in the I.U.C.N. red list, such as a fishing cat, are with the resident species of mammals. More Details and Map
8. Diyatha Uyana – Colombo
Diyatha Uyana is a delightful difference for Colombo city residents and tourists. These premises are just next to the Waters Edge Hotel. It is ideal for a stroll in the evening or even jogging, as there are jogging paths. You might also spot a charming duck or two waddling along the trail. More Details and Map
9. Mount Lavinia beach – Colombo
Dehiwala beach, also recognized as Mount Lavinia beach, is near Colombo, one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. It is a perfect destination for a relaxing and fantastic beach holiday. And also, this golden sand beach is ideal for morning yoga, meditation, and evening relaxation. The beach is immaculate. Furthermore, it is proper for swimming, and you can visit the cafes with live music and artists performing, enjoying the marvellous beauty of the beach. So you can spend a perfect musical night here. The views during the sunset are magical and spectacular. Mount Lavinia beach is best for travelling to unwind your body and soul. More Details and Map
10. Kelani Rajamaha Viharaya
Kelani Rajamaha Viharaya is one of the several revered well-known Buddhist temples of the orient in the Colombo region. Set on the summit of a bit of hill lapped by the streams of the river Kelani, this magnificent shrine presents one of the most scenic views ever offered to the tourist.
Amongst the many Buddhist temples of Sri Lanka, the Kelani Viharaya is one of the most graceful examples of the sculptor’s art. Its story runs back more than 2500 years. In the days of yore, it always assumed full royal patronage, and to this day, it has been highly respected by the island’s people. Furthermore, its significance as a place of Buddhist worship is apparent in the island’s traditions. More Details and Map
11. Independence Square
Independence Square is a majestic stone edifice celebrating Sri Lanka’s liberation from the British Empire in 1948. The specific place is where Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester, presented Sri Lanka’s first Parliament on a particular podium, ending almost five centuries of colonial control and marking the beginning of Sri Lanka’s self-rule. Initially, the Independence Memorial Hall treated important diplomatic guests and ceremonial parts of the two houses of the Parliament.
Each architectural square inch of this column abounds with unique symbols of the island’s rich history and administrative freedom. On the way to the building is an impressive statue of D.S. Senanayake, Sri Lanka’s first prime minister, which four stone lions enclose with protruding eyes. More Details and Map
12. Gangaramaya Temple – Colombo
Gangaramaya is one of Colombo’s most beloved Buddhist temples, started by the famous scholar-monk Hikkaduwa Sri Sumangala Maha Nayaka Thero in the late 19th Century.
After the Venerable Sri Sumangala, his chief pupil Devundera Sri Jinaratana Nayake Thera took on the Temple’s administration. He laid the organization to convert the little Temple into an institute of global reckoning. More Details and Map
13. Dehiwala National Zoo – Colombo
Dehiwala National Zoo, which has an exceptional display of indigenous fauna, is one of the most aged zoos in Asia. The Zoo in Sri Lanka is generally known as Dehiwala Zoo worldwide.
Dehiwala Zoo currently houses 72 Mammals, 65 birds, 31 varieties of reptiles, 89 species of fish, 03 species of amphibians and 30 species of Butterflies. The total number of animals varies from 2500-3000 due to breeding and free-living colonies of birds. Dehiwala Zoo has become famous among visitors for collecting local and exotic animals and landscaping with lush greeneries. Furthermore, the Zoo supports and promotes conservation by breeding certain rare and endangered species through proper animal welfare. More Details and Map
14. Red Masjid
This historical place of prayer known as JAMIUL ALFAR JUMMAH MASJID is called SAMMAN KOTTU PALLI in Tamil, RATHU PALLIYA in Sinhala, and RED MASJID in English is located in the Muslim-intensive business area of PETTAH (PURAOKOTTAI – Second Cross Street) Colombo.
If the obligation is the mother of invention, so be it with the establishment of this MASJID. The devoted Muslims needed a place to pray five times a day; they began constructing a commonplace of worship in 1908; the travelling business Muslims, our forefathers from India, recognized the need and came forward to fulfil this by building the MASJID in the city. It is essential not to forget our forefather’s dedication and contribution towards building a place of worship that has only expanded the number of fellow Muslims in the city and the spirit of Islam, essentially making a stamp of our religion in the city. We pray to Allah to accept our ancestors’ pioneers within the heavenly aboard Aameen, Aameen Ya Rabbal Aalameen. More Details and Map
15. Colombo National Museum
The Colombo Museum, as it was declared at the beginning, was established on January 1 1877. Its patron was Sir William Henry Gregory, the British Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
The Royal Asiatic Society (C.B.) finally brought to Gregory’s statement on his nomination as Governor in 1872 the request for a public museum; with much trouble, the permission of the legislative council was received in a year. J.G. Smither(The Architect of the Public Works Department) made a new structure with Italian architectural characteristics. The construction was finished in 1876, and the Museum commenced its functions the following year. More Details and Map
16. Bellanwila Temple
Bellanwilla Temple is located on the outskirts of Colombo, in the village of Bellanwila, just a few kilometres from the city limits. Bellanwila temple has a long and sacred history. The great sanctity attached to the Temple is due to its holy Bodhi tree. In the temple-studded idyll island of Sri Lanka, Bellanwila Rajamaha Vihara occupies a special place. This Temple is so sacred that there is a long-cherished belief that a child who treads the ground under the shade of its sacred Bodhi tree will never fail in life.
17. Sri Kaileswaram Temple
Sri Kaileswaram Temple, built over two centuries ago and devoted to Lord Shiva and Ganesha, is the old Hindu temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Temple is one of the most popular marital places in the region.
18. Sri Kailasanathar Swami Devasthanam
Temple of Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil, Colombo, is one of the tourist’s most visited Colombo attractions. Entry tickets are NOT required to visit this place. It is better to call this Hindu temple in the morning and to return by noon. You can get a blessing by watching the poojas at this Temple. This area is an excellent place to meditate as it is peaceful and calm. You can witness Hindu Tamil weddings in this Temple if you are lucky. On any auspicious day, Tamil marriages used to take place here. If you are visiting there with a tuk-tuk, keep it with you for your return trip. Indian Hindu Travellers come to this Temple to participate in the temple Poojas and get the blessing from the Temple Preachers.
19. Minarets of the Dewatagaha Mosque
Minarets of the Dewatagaha mosque is one of the more renowned mosques in Colombo – its attractive exterior is virtually an iconic element of the architecture close to Town Hall. It is also partly a shrine to a Saint from the 19th Century – Shaikh Usman Waliyullah – and Muslims and non-Muslims visit to pay their respects.
20. Beira Lake
The Beira Lake is a renowned landmark in Colombo, the heart of the capital. The Beira Lake is home to draws such as the Seema Malakaya Meditation Centre, a Gangaramaya Temple wing that floats atop the lake’s waters. For those so inclined, a jogging track can be a great place to get away from the stresses of the city, and the popular swan boat rides, where two people can rent a manually-powered swan-shaped boat to paddle across the lake.
21. Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct Colombo
The Dutch hospital in Colombo fort, one of the centuries-old buildings recently converted into a dining and shopping precinct. This place got this name because it was a hospital in the Dutch era. Then it lodged the police and a pharmacy. Eventually, this was converted into a shopping precinct with cafes, restaurants and upmarket shops in 2011. Since then, this has become a popular tourist hotspot for food and beverages.
22. Crow Island Beach
One of the most beautiful beaches situated on the shores of the Indian Ocean of Colombo, the Crow Island Beach Park is a public recreational area that opened in 2016. The beach park is also a fine place to witness the sunset with a children’s play area, walking tracks, a mangrove forest, a lake, a vast playground, and kite-flying prospects.
23. Bolgoda Lake
Bolgoda Lake is one the most prosperous Biodiversity lakes in Sri Lanka, situated in the South West of Sri Lanka, 19 kilometres from Colombo. The boat ride is a great experience around the large river, and many tourists curious about watersports and fishing come to spend their day. Unfortunately, only a few local boat owners can arrange boat rides.
24. Scuba Dive
Colombo dive location is the finest site in Sri Lanka for wreck diving. You can dive a dozen wrecks varying from 30 to 57 Meters, from a World War I Armed Merchant Ship to a ship recently sunk in 2009. Not only does the best array of shipwrecks in Sri Lanka but there are also some excellent reefs. For example, try the Gorgonian Gardens, a unique dive site found nowhere else in Sri Lanka or the distant Taprobane Reefs!
25. Air Force Museum
Air Force Museum is Sri Lanka’s only national Museum committed to the field of aviation as well as the history of the Sri Lanka Air Force (S.L.A.F.). A visit to this establishment will undoubtedly be a unique experience for aviation enthusiasts of all ages. The Museum offers a unique insight into the history of the S.L.A.F. and a comprehensive picture of aviation in general, including the basics of aviation technology.
From the Royal Air Force (R.A.F.) operations during World War II to the combat operations of the S.L.A.F. in the recent past, the Museum offers a detailed depiction of the evolution that has shaped the S.L.A.F. into the highly successful fighting force it is today.
26. Colombo Planetarium
Sri Lanka Planetarium is one the largest Planetarium in the world in Colombo. The Planetarium was inaugurated on February 1, 1965. The Planetarium offers educational and other astronomical shows for science enthusiasts. Up to 500 people can visit one of the tours. This place is ideal for students exploring science and learning about the interplanetary system.
27. Excel world Colombo
It is the most extravagant, sought-after entertainment hotspot in Excel World Entertainment Park and holds the title “The only twelve-lane cosmic bowling alley” in Sri Lanka. With ten magnificent lanes for a ten-pin bowling competition for grownups and two bumper bowling lanes for kids who are intolerant to knocking some pins down. Shotz Pool Lounge is found guilty of attracting a swarm of crowds to Excel World Entertainment Park. Game Zone is the largest token game centre in Sri Lanka that magnetically attracts many crowds.
While the game continues spiritedly, you may refresh at the restaurant, conveniently located inside Strikes, offering visitors an A la carte menu.
28. Panadura Beach
Panadura Beach has located 27km away from Colombo CBD. , this beach is accessible from Pandura town via Galle Road. A long stretch of the sea has its bordered coasts shrouded with golden sand. Like Panadura, its beach also speaks of refinement, heat and simplicity.
29. Kotte Rajamaha Viharaya
Kotte Rajamaha Viharaya is far from the hustle and bustle of Nugegoda town. A 20-minute drive towards the Pita-Kotte junction leads to Kotte Raja Maha Vihara, one of the city’s archaic temples. The tranquillity of the Temple invited us on a journey towards a life full of peace and happiness. Since it was nearly twilight, the Temple stood filled with considerable worshipers. The oil lamps’ light and the incense sticks’ smell took us to an unexpected planet.
Suggested Read : Places to visit in Kandy