Colombo is the heart and soul of Sri Lanka. It’s an amalgamation of modern, traditional and contemporary design. Can be visited all year long. Its influenced by Portuguese, Dutch & British and reflected in its art and architecture. Filled with so many places to visit, listing them is a gruesome task. Varying from lush green forests, wildlife, adventure activities like scuba diving, swimming with whales, serene beaches, peaceful temples, soul-stirring waves of Indian Ocean.
Colombo has Forts, beautiful Vesak festival where streets are lighted. Regattas on shores, a Floating market of Pettah. National parks. The list is endless. But here are 14 Best things to do in Colombo that will leave you in awe.
1) Beira Lake
Beira Lake is a perfect place for nature lovers, honeymooners. A Place to rejuvenate your mind and body. Sprawling quiet alleys, a shade of trees, straight out of a Classic English novel. One can scull in swan-shaped boats. You are not alone but the flock of elegant ducks and colorful birds will graze your boat. A complete package of flora and fauna. Ganga Ramaya Temple providing its blessing, standing tall in front. It is easily accessible by bus and Tuktuk.
2) Dambulla Cave Temple
Dambulla Cave Temple caves are the oldest caves in Colombo. One can feel the stillness by glancing at Lord Buddha’s idol. It has handcrafted images of GOD’S and GODDESSES. Ideal for history lovers and to communicate with ancestors.
3) Green Path Colombo
Green Path Colombo has open-air events, art exhibitions under the sky, which will make you fall in love with the colors of paintings. Art lovers can visit this place and buy numerous paintings. It is not only for artists but for cultural buffs. Multiple food festivals showcasing the rich heritage of SriLanka existing in food and culture.
4) Sri Pada/ Adam’s Peak
Sri Pada / Adam’s Peak is the highest mountain peak in SriLanka and 140km away from Colombo. Sacred for Buddhist, Hindus, Muslims, and Christians. The peak reflects the multi-ethnic culture of SriLanka. For Adventure lovers its a great place to trek and challenge one’s strength. Surrounded by rich biodiversity, tea plantations, and forest. A must visit in your lifetime.
5) Hikkaduwa Beach
Hikkaduwa Beach is for all the Snorkelling and Canoeing lovers. It’s Only 98 km from Colombo. Shallow waters surrounded by multicolored Coral reefs. Great place for surfers. Waves varying from 4 to 11 feet. East coast’s Arugam Bay is the secret place for serious surfers. These golden shores are ideal in tropics.
6) Udawalawe National Park
Udawalawe National Park has 500 Wild Asian Elephants, leopards, colored beaked birds. 100 elephants can be seen at a single time. Sri Lankan Leopards roaming free, sloth bear if you have great luck. Watch them in their natural habitat. A place for wildlife lovers. Late evenings are accompanied by photogenic sunsets. Not only elephants but rich biodiversity including plants, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and butterflies.
7) Mirissa Beach
Mirrisa Beach is famous for wildlife amphibians. Whale and dolphins can be seen swimming in the Indian Ocean. North Western coast of Sri Lanka as a point for offshore whale watching and dolphin watching at Kalpitya. Watch them from close distances. Those whales are as gentle as giants. A moment to cherish for a lifetime.
8) Rare At Residence Restaurant
Rare At Residence is a great place for fine dining with modern amenities. Organic produce direct from gardens of Uga. Impressive wine collection as old as 150-year-old wine. Inspired by flavors of Sri Lanka. Its signature dishes have a gastronomic flair all to themselves. Unique in flavor, aroma, and presentation.
9) Colombo City Tour
Colombo City Tour is a complete package with open deck sightseeing service and unmatched experience. Have a look at Old and New Colombo together. Lighthouses with clock towers, Prison Cell of Srilankan Kings, Arcade of Independence Square, Independence Memorial Hall. Boat rides on the lake. History and Future walking holding hands.
10) Ayurvedic Massage
An hour-long session perfects to balance mind, body, and soul. Accompanied by Shirodhara Sounds. Drizzling oil on the 3rd eye of the human body and increasing the energy manifold. Ayurvedic traditions are 1000’s of year old. Therapists identify the doshas out of balance and how to restore the balance. Oil massage from head to toe. Give them time to absorb in your body.
11) Colombo National Museum
Colombo National Museum holds Regalia of Sri Lanka. Showcases throne and crown of Kandyan Monarchs (previous monarchs that ruled Sri Lanka). Italian Architectural style can be observed in 142-year-old Museum. Showcasing the bygone time and age. Also boasts a Colombo National Museum Library. A copy of each printed document in the country is lodged with a museum library.
12) Viharamahadevi Park
Viharamahadevi Park is named after queen Viharamahadevi, the mother of King Dutugamunu (The last king of Srilanka). The oldest and largest park in Colombo. Centre of attraction is the Muscovy ducks swimming in the pond and walking on grass. Open air stadium for concerts. Includes a mini zoo and play zone for children. A place to visit with family and friends. A golden seated Buddha, a long rectangular pond presents an outline of Italian Style.
13) Gangaramaya Temple
14) Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque
Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque is a 110-year-old mosque built on images of Indo-Saracenic structures. A hybrid style of architecture. A red and white candy stripped two-story building. Located on second cross street in Pettah. Oldest and most popular mosque in Colombo.
So travelers what are you waiting for, pack your bags and Visit Colombo, Do visit the places mentioned above and share your thoughts and experiences.