Top Historical Places in Colombo

Are you looking to explore the history of Colombo through the ages? There are a number of historical destinations in Colombo including the time-honored buildings, monuments, palaces, and parks where you can learn about the glorious past of Colombo. The presence of these historical sites and museums will take you on a walk through Colombo ‘s rich history.
If you are willing to have an in-depth historical information about Colombo, we recommend that you take a wonderful guided tour to cover the major historical attractions. Also, check the opening and closing time for each so that you can organize your time. Make sure that you go through the complete list of historical places in Colombo for a great trip!

Let's witness the history of Colombo with these top historical places - monuments and landmarks:

  1. Independence Square

    Walking Area, Statue, Leisure, Square

    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 square where Sri Lanka's freedom from British rule was celebrated in 1948. Right behind the statue is the Independence Memorial Hall. Around the square is a manicured grassy garden, popular with jogge...Read more
  2. Independence Memorial Hall

    4.4 (3374 Votes)
    Independence Memorial Hall

    Memorial, Hall

    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 religious events and annual national holidays are marked. The architect of the elegant building was Tom Neville Wynne-Jones, who took inspiration from the the Magul Maduwa, the royal audience hall o...Read more
  3. Old Parliament Building

    Architecture , Heritage Building

    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 great architecture, it is not so surprising. Built in the 1930s in Neo-baroque style to house the Parliament, the building's function changed in 1983, when the parliament moved to Sri Jayawardenapu...Read more
  4. St. Lucia's Cathedral

    4.7 (733 Votes)
    St. Lucia's Cathedral

    Religious Site, Cathedral

    There used to be a chapel here during Dutch occupation of the island. On its place, there is now a lovely new-Baroque and neo-Renaissance structure, and one of the biggest churches in the country. Its facade though is somewhat Gothic, and will remind you of ancient Greece too. A part of this mish-mash is explained by the fact it took nearly a century and half to build it - starting in 1782, end...Read more
  5. St Andrews Presbyterian Church

    Church, Religious Site, Cathedral

    This church may be the only real remaining evidence that once upon a time, Ceylon had a significant Scottish presence. They were tea-planters longing for home, and though they built this church, they are here no longer. Now it is a Protestant place of worship, with a congregation of immigrants, locals and tourists. Stepping in is like stepping into another world. You can forget for a moment tha...Read more
  6. Borella General Cemetery


    This graveyard, over 170 years old, is the most significant burial place in the city for several reasons. First, as resting places go, it is utterly beautiful, with flowering plants, and pathways shaded by large trees as old as the cemetery itself. Secondly, a plethora of famous people are buried here, perhaps none more prominent than famous science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke. The people b...Read more
  7. St Pauls Church

    4.2 (460 Votes)
    St Pauls Church

    Church, Religious Site, Cathedral

    This Anglican church is one of the oldest in Sri Lanka. It was originally a Roman Catholic and Portuguese church, and reputed to have miraculous power. The architecture is reminiscent of a Greek Basilica. It is very graceful looking. In front of the church is a small play area for kids.
  8. The National Museum Of Colombo

    Art And Culture, Religious Site, Museum, View Point

    Under the soothing shade of magnificent Banyan trees stands Sri Lanka’s premier cultural institution- the Colombo national museum. To greet you on your ingress is a Buddha carved in stone which dates back to the 9th century and the enigmatic smile of the statue will surely mesmerize you. The galleries displaying a huge collection of arts, carvings and statuary, a peek through the ancient ...Read more
  9. Old Dutch Hospital

    4.4 (3440 Votes)
    Old Dutch Hospital

    Historical Site, Entertainment, Architecture

    As the name suggests, a former hospital of the Dutch, this colonial era complex is now rejuvenated to become a city centre of Colombo. Centrepiece of the newly vibrant Fort, this construction dates back to the early 1600s. The unyielding architecture astonishes the on-lookers and is an ideal hang out in the evenings. Lavishly restored, it is home to shops, cafes and restaurants run by some of C...Read more
  10. Dutch Period Museum

    3.9 (2877 Votes)
    Dutch Period Museum

    Museum, View Point, Historical Site, Architecture

    This unique museum was originally the 17th-century residence of the Dutch governor and has since been used as a Catholic seminary, a military hospital, a police station and a post office. The mansion contains a lovely garden courtyard and has a nice faded feel since a 1977 restoration. Exhibits include Dutch colonial furniture and other artefacts.
  11. Fort

    Landmark, View Point, Entertainment, Shopping Center

    During the European era Fort was indeed a fort, surrounded by the sea on two sides and a moat on the landward sides. Today it’s a curious mix of brash modern structures, such as the World Trade Center, and venerable red-brick institutions from the Colonial-era, such as Cargills and Millers. The security presence is heavy here, curtailing vehicle access and some pedestrian access. A good l...Read more
  12. Old City Hall

    Architecture , Heritage Building

    An ecstatic structure of the past but now a semi-ruined building is what the old city hall is like. Built almost 150 years ago, this was a signature construction of the British era and is now mostly empty. The galleries on the ground floor display some municipal equipments and old trucks. The worth observing are the notable Mahogany stairs in the distinctive vintage style. These stairs lead up ...Read more
  13. Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall

    Memorial, Convention Center, Exhibition

    The Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall is a convention center located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Built between 1970 and 1973 the convention center was a gift from the People's Republic of China in memory of Solomon Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka from 1956 to 1959. The construction of the Hall was carried out by a joint Sri Lankan and Chinese workforce with ...Read more