Colombo Calling: Unforgettable Experiences In Sri Lanka's Capital

These experiences promise a deeper understanding of the city's culture, heritage, and the warmth of its people
Buddha Statues in Seema Malaka Temple, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Buddha Statues in Seema Malaka Temple, Colombo, Sri LankaShutterstock

Situated on the west coast of the teardrop-shaped island nation of Sri Lanka, Colombo stands tall as the vibrant and bustling capital city, offering travellers an array of unforgettable experiences. Steeped in history, culture, and a blend of modernity, this city captivates visitors with its diverse attractions, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic taste of Sri Lanka. Here's a look at some must-try experiences in Colombo.

Go To The Top Of The Lotus Tower

Colombo cityscape with iconic colombo lotus tower and lake
Colombo cityscape with iconic colombo lotus tower and lakeShutterstock

The Lotus Tower is the tallest in South Asia, standing tall at 356 metres. It is shaped like a lotus flower, which is a symbol of purity and enlightenment in Buddhism. 

The tower has a viewing deck, a revolving restaurant that provides a unique experience where guests can enjoy gourmet meals while the restaurant slowly rotates, offering a constantly changing view of the city.

The Lotus Tower is particularly stunning at night when it's illuminated with lights. This lighting creates a mesmerising effect, highlighting its lotus-inspired structure and making it a visual spectacle against the night sky.

Ticket Price: USD 20 (INR 1660)

Catch A Show At The Theater

Colombo has a thriving theatre scene, with many venues that showcase local and international performances. You can watch a variety of shows, such as dramas, comedies, musicals, and dances. Some of the popular theatres in Colombo are the Lionel Wendt Theater, the Nelum Pokuna Theater, a modern venue that hosts both local and international acts, and the Tower Hall Theater, a landmark of traditional and contemporary performances. 

You can also catch a puppet show at the Traditional Puppet Art Museum, which displays the history and culture of Sri Lankan puppetry. Each of these venues contributes to the rich cultural vibe of Colombo's performing arts scene, making it a must-visit for theatre enthusiasts and cultural explorers alike.

Explore Colombo’s Central Park

Sitting in the bustling heart of Colombo is Viharamahadevi Park, a verdant oasis and the city's largest and most historic park. If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, you can head to Viharamahadevi Park, which is the largest and oldest park in Colombo. The park is also known as Central Park. 

The park has a lot of greenery, flowers, fountains, and statues. You can also find a mini zoo, a children’s playground, an aquarium, and a library. Viharamahadevi Park is a beloved gathering spot for both locals and tourists, providing a perfect backdrop for picnics, leisurely strolls, or simply soaking in the tranquillity amidst the city's frenzy. 

Visit The National Museum Of Colombo

Established in 1877, the National Museum of Colombo is the largest and oldest museum in Sri Lanka
Established in 1877, the National Museum of Colombo is the largest and oldest museum in Sri LankaShutterstock

The National Museum of Colombo is the largest and oldest museum in Sri Lanka and a must-visit for anyone interested in the history and culture of the country. The museum was established in 1877 by the British governor and houses a vast collection of artefacts, ranging from ancient to modern times. 

You can see exhibits such as the royal throne of the last king of Kandy, the regalia of the Kandyan kingdom, the sword of the hero Dutugemunu, and the skeleton of a Balangoda man who lived 30,000 years ago. The museum also has sections dedicated to art, literature, natural history, and anthropology.

Ticket Price: LKR 1500 (INR 385)

See The Gangaramaya Temple

A man praying in the Gangaramaya Temple
A man praying in the Gangaramaya TempleShutterstock

The Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most prominent and sacred Buddhist temples in Colombo. It is also one of the most eclectic and eccentric, as it displays a mix of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese architectural styles. The temple complex consists of several buildings, such as the main shrine, a pagoda, a museum, and a library. 

The temple is also home to a large collection of Buddha statues, relics, and other religious objects, some of which are very rare and valuable. The temple is especially festive during the Navam Perahera, a grand procession that takes place in February, where hundreds of elephants, dancers, and musicians parade through the streets.

Experience The Pettah Market

The Pettah Market is the largest and busiest market in Colombo, where you can find anything and everything you need. The market is divided into different sections, each selling specific goods, such as clothes, electronics, jewellery, spices, fruits, and vegetables. 

The market is also a great place to sample some of the local street food, such as kottu, hoppers, samosas, and vadai. The market is a sensory delight and a fun and exciting way to immerse yourself in the local culture.

Go On A Street Food Tour

Colombo is a food lover’s paradise, as it offers a variety of cuisines and dishes, influenced by the different ethnicities and religions of the country. One of the best ways to taste the flavours of Colombo is to go on a street food tour, where you can try some of the most popular and delicious snacks and meals that the city has to offer. 

Some of the street food that you should not miss are the egg roti, the fish bun, the isso wade, the lamprais, and the wood apple juice. You can also learn about the history and culture behind each dish, and interact with the friendly and hospitable vendors.

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