The Best Things To Do in Colombo

Colombo is a blend of old and new. The bustling city gives way to natural landscapes and pristine lakes and beaches that add to the tourist value of the city. From big museums such as The National museum of Colombo and museum of national history, to cathedrals and temples such as Wolvendaal church and Gangarayama temple, the city abounds in attractions and things to do in Colombo to engage you during your stay here.

Then, there are beaches such as Mount Lavinia beach that offer a balmy escape from the hustle and bustle of the city with sandy shorelines and dense bordering trees. The city is also famous for its colonial heritage that finds expression through its mansions and other buildings such as Old city hall, Dutch period museum and Old Dutch Hospital whose sight will transfer you back to the colonial times in the country. Take a tuk tuk ride and go around the city's local markets to see local culture and people. For those who wish to enjoy, there are various pubs and dining options that will introduce you to the vibrant nightlife of Colombo.

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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Must see places in Colombo ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Colombo and point of interests to visit.

  1. Independence Square

    #1 of 165 Things To Do in Colombo
    Independence Square

    Tags: Walking Area, Statue, Leisure, Square

    Address: 7 Independence Ave Colombo 00700 Sri Lanka

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Walking down Independence Avenue, you'll see a statue looming up before you. It is Hon. D. S. Senanayaka, father of the Nation, the first Prime Minister of Independent Ceylon, welcoming you to the squ...Read more

  2. Galle Face Green

    #2 of 165 Things To Do in Colombo
    Galle Face Green

    Tags: Park, Walking Area, Picnic Spot

    Address: A2, Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This lovely park, facing the Indian Ocean,  was once a marshland. The British Governor, Sir Henry Ward had it landscaped into a luxury promenade for the wealthy in 1856. Moreover, the clearing ga...Read more

  3. Seema Malaka

    #3 of 165 Things To Do in Colombo
    Seema Malaka

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple

    Address: Sir James Pieris Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Most religious temples in Sri Lanka tend to be Christian or Hindu. Which serves for a double dose of irony when you find out the most popular tourist interest temple is this Buddhist one, and that it ...Read more

  4. Independence Memorial Hall

    #4 of 165 Things To Do in Colombo
    Independence Memorial Hall

    Tags: Memorial, Hall

    Address: 7 Independence Ave Colombo 00700 Sri Lanka

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Rising in the heart of the Independence Square, this memorial hall serves as an open pavilion of sorts. Built to commemorate the  independence of Sri Lanka from the British rule, the hall where r...Read more

  5. St Anthony's Church Kochikade

    #5 of 165 Things To Do in Colombo
    St Anthony's Church Kochikade

    Tags: Church, Religious Site

    Address: Kochchikade, St Anthony's Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Timings: 05:30 am - 07:00 pm Details

    This is one of the most curious churches you'll ever visit. From the outside, it is by every appearance a regular Catholic Church. But the second you step in, it's as if you've stepped into a pagan te...Read more

  6. Old Parliament Building

    #6 of 165 Things To Do in Colombo
    Old Parliament Building

    Tags: Architecture , Heritage Building

    Address: Old Parliament Building, Lotus Road, Colombo Sri Lanka

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    It could be ironic, that this, one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city, is not open to the public. But considering that people are well satisfied with merely taking photographs of its ...Read more

  7. Jami Ul-alfar Mosque

    #7 of 165 Things To Do in Colombo
    Jami Ul-alfar Mosque

    Tags: Mosque, Religious Site

    Address: No.228, Second Cross Street, Colombo 11- Sri Lanka

    Timings: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Details

    Imagine a building with the color scheme of a red-velvet pastry cake. Try to take it seriously. Then take a look at this mosque and the eye-catching white and red striped pattern on its towering, impo...Read more

  8. Sri Kaileswaram

    #8 of 165 Things To Do in Colombo
    Sri Kaileswaram

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple, Architecture

    Address: 11/15, Captain's Garden Kovil Street, Colombo 01000, Sri Lanka

    Timings: 09:00 am - 03:30 pm Details

    This is the oldest (125 years old) and largest Hindu temple in the city. Like most major hindu temples, the architecture is incredibly ornate. Hundreds of sculptures and carvings of hindu deities ador...Read more

  9. Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple

    #9 of 165 Things To Do in Colombo
    Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple

    Address: Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Himi Mawatha, Colombo 00500, Sri Lanka

    Timings: 07:30 am - 07:00 pm Details

    The tourist who comes upon this temple, and unmoved by ut's unimpressive exterior , and decides to not go in will miss out on something mindblowing. If you Google pictures of this temple, the results ...Read more

  10. Arcade Independence Square

    #10 of 165 Things To Do in Colombo
    Arcade Independence Square

    Tags: Walking Area, Square, Picnic Spot

    Address: 30 Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This complex is an interesting juxtaposition of facts. It looks like a mansion. It looks new, but was built in 1889 as an lunatic asylum. It is now located adjacent to where Sri Lanka was declared fre...Read more

  11. Shri Ponnambalawaneswaram Kovil

    #11 of 165 Things To Do in Colombo
    Shri Ponnambalawaneswaram Kovil

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple

    Address: Srimath Ramanadan Mawatha Colombo Sri Lanka

    Timings: 05:00 am - 08:30 pm Details

    Usually Hindu temples explore with color. Not this one. It's a little surprising to see. The whole temple is made from grey granite from South India. The only splash of color on the outside are the br...Read more

  12. Colombo Lighthouse

    #12 of 165 Things To Do in Colombo
    Colombo Lighthouse

    Tags: Light House, View Point

    Address: Colombo Lighthouse Chaithya Rd Colombo Sri Lanka

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    It's a shame one cannot climb up to the top anymore; access was restricted during the Sri Lankan Civil War. Still, the construct makes for some nice selfie opportunities and inventive photography. It ...Read more

  13. The Central Point - Economic History Museum

    #13 of 165 Things To Do in Colombo
    The Central Point - Economic History Museum

    Tags: History Museum

    Address: Chatham St, Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Timings: 09:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    When it was first built, the Central Point building was the tallest in the city. Restored after the damage it suffered in the 1996 bombing, the building is one of the best examples of Greco-Roman arch...Read more

  14. St. Thomas Chapel

    #14 of 165 Things To Do in Colombo
    St. Thomas Chapel

    Tags: Church, Religious Site

    Address: Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, St Anthony's Mawatha, Colombo Sri Lanka

    Timings: 07:30 am - 01:30 pm Details

    Situated on a hillock, surrounded by grass and trees, the chapel is part of St. Thomas Anglican Church and the school of the same name. From the outside, it's an old and dignified looking building. It...Read more

  15. Geoffrey Bawa Number 11

    #15 of 165 Things To Do in Colombo
    Geoffrey Bawa Number 11

    Tags: Architecture

    Address: Geoffrey Bawa Number 11, 00300, 33rd Ln, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka

    Deshamanya Geoffrey Manning Bawa was a renowned Sri Lankan architect who nearly single handedly formed the style known as tropical modernism. The unassuming looking house is where he stayed for 40 yea...Read more

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