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Things to do in Colombo

Things to do in  Colombo

Welcome to Colombo

A valuable port on the East-West trading route for more than 2,000 years, Colombo has existed as a city with a history of changing fortunes. Sri Lanka's rule by three successive foreign empires, followed by decades of devastating civil war, left indelible marks on its landscapes and people. But today, peace reigns supreme, and the country's vibrant, multicultural capital is coming into its own as a destination for travelers. Sleek high-rises and luxury hotels line Colombo's leafy boulevards, alongside ancient temples, mosques, and colonial landmarks. History tours cover key sights such as the Colombo National Museum, Independence Square, and the Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple. Join the locals for an evening stroll along Galle Face Green; or consider a guided tasting tour of the city's culinary scene, from traditional Sinhalese and Tamil dishes to innovative world-fusion cuisine. While it's an easy place in which to relax, Colombo is also the perfect hub for venturing to the island's many UNESCO World Heritage sites. A guided tour will help you cover a lot of ground in a short time: Kandy's Sri Dalada Maligawa ("Temple of the Sacred Tooth"); the massive rock-fortress of Sigiriya, decorated with colorful frescoes for a 5th-century king; the cave temple of Dambulla; and the lost city of Polonnaruwa, to name but a few highlights. Nature-lovers can explore the wild with a boat trip around Negombo Lagoon and the Muthurajawela Wetlands. Or, book a private safari in Yala National Park, home to leopards, elephants, crocodiles, sloth bears, and other wildlife.

Top 6 attractions in Colombo

#1
Gangaramaya Temple

Gangaramaya Temple

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Situated near Beira Lake in central Colombo, Gangaramaya Temple is one of the city’s largest and oldest Buddhist temple copmlexes. Established in 1885 and composed of pagodas, courtyards, and shrines, it’s best-known for its beautiful lake temple (Seema Malaka), which stands on stone pillars above the waters and is reached via a walkway.More
#2
Galle Face Green

Galle Face Green

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Fringing a stretch of Colombo’s southern coastline, Galle Face Green is the city’s largest open space, composed of 12-acre (5-hectare) lawns overlooked by the colonial-era Galle Face Hotel. The green, which is flanked by a promenade and narrow beach, is a popular spot for strolling, picnicking, and kite flying.More
#3
Gem Museum

Gem Museum

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Situated in central Colombo in the prestigious Cinnamon Gardens neighborhood, the Gem Museum is a 4th-generation family-owned gemstone and jewelry store with an adjoining small museum. Displays showcase many of Sri Lanka’s gemstones, from topaz and blue sapphires to rubies, moonstones, tourmaline, quartz, and alexandrite.More
#4
Colombo National Museum

Colombo National Museum

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Founded in 1877, the Colombo National Museum in central Colombo chronicles the history and cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. Also called the Sri Lankan National Museum, the institution occupies a 19th-century Italianate-style building and attracts visitors eager to view its wide collection of treasures.More
#5
Leisure World Water Park

Leisure World Water Park

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Leisure World Water Park combines waterslides with rides and kid-friendly attractions for the ultimate day of fun in Sri Lanka. The first park of its kind in the country, Leisure World is a must-visit destination for thrill seekers and families alike.More
#6
Independence Square

Independence Square

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In the heart of the city’s prestigious 07 district and framed by palm-lined gardens, Independence Square is one of Colombo’s signature sights. The centerpiece of the square is Independence Memorial Hall, a stone monument that commemorates Sri Lanka’s independence from Britain in 1948.More

Trip ideas

Virtual Curry Cooking Class, Live from Sri Lanka

Virtual Curry Cooking Class, Live from Sri Lanka

Recent reviews from experiences in Colombo

star-5
Enjoyable, relaxing and Informative
Steve_H, Feb 2020
Tuk It Easy Colombo
Sameer is a very nice young man with excellent English.
star-5
Adventures in Colombo
TravelyTina, Sep 2019
Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour
We saw many wonderful attractions, and he went out of his way to find a place that would pierce my nose.
star-5
Excellent way to see the city sites.!
romello_202, Apr 2019
Colombo Tuk Tuk Safari
Excellent way to see the city sites..
star-5
Best way to see Colombo is to book a...
Liv G, May 2017
Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour
Best way to see Colombo is to book a private car.
star-5
Our guide Smokio was really...
Andyjin, Aug 2017
Weligama, Jungle Beach, Galle, and Turtle Project Private Tour from Colombo
Also he took us where we wanted to visit, like market and specific restaurant.
star-5
What a fantastic way to see Colombo...
Andrew B, Mar 2018
Colombo City Tour by War Jeep
What a fantastic way to see Colombo.
star-5
Super fun and the open top jeep...
Louisa_M, Apr 2017
Private Tour of Colombo in a World War II Jeep
A great and alternative way to visit the fantastic city of Colombo.
star-4
Great 1st day, disappointing 2nd day
Marcus_A, Apr 2019
Kandy & Nuwara Eliya | 2 Days Tour
The second day we drove for 2 hours to get to Nuwara Eliya (Little England) - although pretty there is nothing to see there really and the journey was up very windy roads though tea plantations.
star-5
This tour is a must if you are...
Colletta_W, Jan 2018
Galle Full-Day Tour
He could speak English very well, kept us informed of the day's events and generally attended to our every need all day.
star-4
Overall, I had a relatively positive...
Ashley_C, Aug 2018
Airport Transfer Anywhere
While the driver did not speak English that well, he was very attentive and patient with me as I visited several museums and shops.
star-5
This is a unique and amazing way to...
Luanne M, Jan 2018
Private Tour of Colombo in a World War II Jeep
This is a unique and amazing way to see the city!
star-5
We had a fantastic time and were...
Clive D, Jul 2018
Sri Lanka Tour Package For 4 Nights
We had a fantastic time and were able to see much of the beautiful country.
star-5
The four night, five day excursion...
uvaguy1, Oct 2017
Sri Lanka Tour Package For 4 Nights
From hiking through tea plantations, climbing mountains to see temples, antiquities, caves and ruins, mixing with locals, a safari filled with wildlife, and adventurous meals, one could not have asked for a better way to be introduced to this amazing island nation.
star-5
We are so glad we did this tour. We...
Lars S, Feb 2017
Colombo City Day Tour
We also got to see different parts of the city.
star-5
This is a fantastic tour! We...
Tarik_Z, Feb 2017
Colombo City Day Tour
His English is excellent and his driving skills are brilliant given that driving in Colombo is a real challenge.
star-5
Mr Muhammad took us from Airport and...
Jahanzeb_k, May 2017
Airport Transfer Anywhere
Secondly Mr Muhammad style of speaking English was excellent.
star-5
I must tell the truth: my...
LUIZGUSTAVO_M, Feb 2018
Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour
I highly recommend the tour, either if you have little time in town or want to see a glimpse of what Colombo has to offer.
star-5
We had a fabulous day with Nish...
Christine B, Apr 2017
Private Tour of Colombo in a World War II Jeep
We were also taken to see his family home where we had lunch and met his charming family and saw his amazing collection of jeeps.
star-5
An incredible experience, and well...
Georgina S, Nov 2016
Private Tour of Colombo in a World War II Jeep
We got to see the whole of colombo in one day, have a lovely lunch by the river and see everything the area had to offer.
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