Exploring Sri Lanka: Top 5 Things To Do In Colombo

The capital of Sri Lanka is buzzing with a heady mix of beaches, museums, temples, high rise and colonial era buildings. Here is your guide to exploring this vibrant and eclectic capital of Sri Lanka and the best experiences to have there
Sri Lankan countryside/ iStock

The capital city of Sri Lanka offers a variety of things to do and places to see. With its beautiful beaches, rich architecture, a vibrant cultural spirit and the perfect blend of tradition and modernity, it is the ideal country to visit if you want to experience the thrill of a new destination but do not wish to travel too far. Colombo is rife with beautiful beaches, rich architecture and a vibrant cultural spirit; here is your guide to exploring the best of what it has to offer.

Visit the National Museum

The National Museum is the largest museum in all of Sri Lanka. With its jaw dropping pristine white building, it is a prime example of colonial era architecture in the country. It is also the only museum in the country that represents natural history and natural heritage.  There is also a library situated within the museum, a space where a copy of every document printed in the country is required to be lodged, by law. The museum offers insights into the history and heritage of Sri Lanka and is a must visit if you wish to understand the culture of the country.

Inside the National Museum/ Travel Triangle

The Gangaramaya Temple

Gangaramaya is a temple complex situated in the Beira district. It is Sri Lanka’s oldest and largest Buddhist temple complexes and houses pagodas, shrines and courtyards. Best known for its lake temple Seema Malaka, the temple is both intensely spiritual and a highly venerated space. It also houses a monastery and a museum as well as a statue house. You can also opt for either a private guided half day or a full day tour to get a better understanding of Buddhist cultural and religious life as well as the significance of the temple.

Seema Malaka in Gangaramaya Temple/ Google Images

Take a tour of Independence Square

Lying in the heart of the city’s prestigious ’07 district, the Independence Square is one of Colombo’s bucket list tourist sites. Independence Memorial Hall is the centrepiece of a monument that commemorates Sri Lanka’s independence from the British. The square hosts a statue of DS Senanayake, Sri Lanka’s first Prime Minister. The open sided hall is designed to echo the royal courts of the Sri Lankan dynasties. There are other attractions as well, like The Arcade, a shopping mall converted from a colonial era building.

The Independence Square/ Viator

Sample Watalappan

Sri Lanka’s trademark dessert, this bowl of chocolaty and custardy delight is made of indigenous jaggery, coconut milk, cinnamon and dry fruits. It is the perfect dessert to end any meal and can be found almost anywhere in Colombo, but be sure that you sample a homemade Watalappan. Relishing this delicious dessert should be at the top of your culinary adventures in the country.

Road trips from Colombo to Galle and Kandy

The breathtaking landscapes of Colombo call for a road trip from Colombo to the cities of Galle and Kandy. The road runs along the Sri Lankan shores and mesmerising views of the sea are guaranteed. The entire length of the coastline is adorned with luxurious sea facing resorts that will tempt you to stay just for a night, and the Kosgoda Sea Turtle conservatory is a fine place if you wish to witness rare species of tortoises.

Roads leading to Galle/ Google Images

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