Our Top Picks to Visit in Colombo
Colombo, Sri Lanka's largest commercial city, integrates the island's rich culture and heritage alongside modern tourist spots and conveniences.
Colombo, Sri Lanka's largest commercial city, integrates the island's rich culture and heritage alongside modern tourist spots and conveniences. The capital's distinct colonial past adds more value to the surroundings and offers a plethora of tourist attractions and museums that showcase Sri Lanka's profound history. You'll gain more insight into the island's culture and traditions if you spend a day or two in the capital. So, here are some of the best places you can visit in Colombo.
One of Colombo's most prominent and distinctive temples is Gangaramaya Temple. The architecture of the temple is a mishmash of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese traditions. Being located on the banks of the famed Beira Lake in Colombo 2, the Gangaramaya temple eludes a 120 old history and includes the main temple, a museum, a library, and vocational training facilities. The temple is a major tourist destination, a place of worship, and is living proof of the island’s ancient artisanship.
Jami Ul-Alfar Masjid, popularly known as the Colombo Red Mosque, is a very remarkable piece of architecture that will wow you with its unorthodox colour schemes and wonderful design. With its tall minarets and location in the Pettah area, this oldest mosque originally served as a dependable landmark for sailors travelling to Colombo harbour. It looms above the nearby buildings and streets and you’ll be able to easily identify the Mosque. Both men and women are allowed entry here, but you must respect local norms by dressing modestly, covering your head, and wearing appropriate clothing.
In 2019, Sri Lanka unveiled the Lotus tower, the highest self-supported structure in South Asia. The lotus-shaped tower, which is 350 meters (1,150 feet) tall, will be used for communication, observation, and other leisure activities. It can be seen all around Colombo, its suburbs, and the majority of the main roads leading out of and surrounding the city. The Lotus flower, which in Sri Lankan tradition represents purity and is said to represent the nation's thriving progress, served as the design inspiration for this structure. On special days, the tower is illuminated at night and you’ll be mesmerized by its colours.
National Museum of Colombo
The museum was founded in 1877 by William Henry Gregory, the British governor of Ceylon from 1871 to 1877 and is considered one of the largest museums in Sri Lanka. Along with important historical and indigenous artefacts, farming practices, equipment, and traditional craft, the building's artworks reflect the essence of the Dutch, Portuguese, and British Colonial eras and also elude the knowledge carried out by our ancestors. The structure of the museum is well thought out and simple to travel along the hallway, and the guards will direct you to the different exhibits. There are three primary parts to it: a natural science area, cultural galleries, and a gift store. You will require at least 2-3 hours for the tour because it has a lot of artefacts from the prehistoric and colonial periods and the tour itself can be regarded as a gateway to another era.
This stunning park, which is one of Sri Lanka's largest and oldest parks, is situated not far from the Colombo National Museum. Prior to being renamed in honour of King Dutugemunu's mother, the Viharamahadevi Park was known as Victoria Park. A massive Buddha statue and several water fountains add to the tranquillity and beauty of Viharamahadevi Park. The park also provides beautiful views of sunrise and sunset for an unforgettable experience. There is also a small zoo and a play area for kids. The park is a family destination, with many families picnicking in the neighbouring garden. There is also an open stadium that is utilized for various activities, including concerts. Further, there are several foods stands in the area that sells great munchies.
Galle Face Green
For a tranquil evening and to watch the sunset, Galle Face Green is Colombo's most well-liked beachfront park. Not only that, but there are various activities to do such as flying kites, tasting Sri Lankan street food, strolling or running, and enjoying the fresh wind from the Indian Ocean.
National Zoological Garden - Dehiwala
The National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka, often known as the Dehiwala Zoo, is a large green sanctuary just a short drive from the city's centre. It is home to a variety of intriguing animals, birds, and butterflies. As one of the first Asian zoos to implement the open zoo idea, it was founded in 1936. More than 2500 creatures make up Dehiwala Zoo, which is home to a wide variety of native and exotic species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. It is well known for its incredible variety of flora as well as for its deep canopy of trees and beautiful, groomed gardens. The zoo has made significant contributions to animal conservation by rearing rare and endangered species.
We believe that you got a clear insight as to where you should hurry now. Gear up! An adventure is right ahead of you.