Although you may think you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, Colombo is a city like no other; the streets of Colombo will keep you busy admiring the many famous buildings, architectural masterpieces and breathtaking views. Colombo sightseeing will enable you to experience the truly authentic culture and history that Colombo is known for!
For a small city, Colombo has many things going on for it and here are some of the best things to do in Colombo and how to spend 5 days in Colombo.
Start your adventure by travelling back a couple of centuries and revel in the wonders of Sri Lanka’s history by visiting the National Museum in Colombo. The majestic building built in 1876, that houses the National Museum is indeed an architectural masterpiece from the colonial times. Some of the rarities and artefacts at the museum date back to the 5th century and the museum is a must visit in Colombo.
There’s no better way to wind down after a long day than to enjoy the cool breeze in your hair and take your tastebuds on a journey never to be forgotten at the Galle Face Green. Famous for its breathtaking view of the Indian Ocean, gloriously red sunsets and succulent and tantalizing Sri Lankan Street food, makes the Galle Face Green an experience not to be missed in Colombo.
Photo Credits: Sakura Ciao
If you’re in the mood for some shopping, we’ve got some options for you!
The Big Bazaar, Colombo’s most colourful Bazaar is surely a budget-shoppers’ paradise. Walk the narrow cobble-stone streets of the Bazaar which are filled with multitude of small shops and individual vendors to find everything you could possibly need. While you’re in the area, don’t forget to catch a glimpse of the Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque more famously known as the Red Mosque.
You can continue your shopping by dropping by the Pettah Floating Market, a fancy hangout spot and the place for all your shopping needs. It was opened recently under the Government’s Urban Development plans, housing nearly 100 different shops. Here’s the place for all your shopping needs.
Photo Credits: SriLankainStyle
Get yourself a combined experience of history, culture and architecture at the Gangaramaya Temple. The architecture is a broad-ranging collection of Sri Lankan, Indian, Thai and Chinese architecture. The temple includes a Museum of its own, a learning centre, a floating temple with a chaitya and an assembly hall and a series of Buddha statues which are elegant and delicate and look magical under the sunlight.
Wind down and relax at the Cloud Red by Cinnamon Red; a rooftop bar with the perfect view and mouthwateringly succulent food. The panoramic view from the infinity pool is breathtakingly enchanting. You can wind down and dip in to our special ozone pool cleaning technology which allows for minimal chlorine while indulging yourself to the picturesque view of the city scape as the brilliant sunrise or sunset as its backdrop.
Photo Credits: Soymugriel
Make your way to the Independence Memorial Hall, a stone building surrounded by a peaceful, green, and lush garden built in honour of Sri Lanka obtaining Independence from colonial rule in 1948. It also houses the Independence Memorial Museum, another museum not to be missed!
Next up, visit the Old Dutch Hospital considered to be one of the oldest buildings in Pettah, dating back to the early 1600s. The building has now been renovated and restored into a shopping precinct. You will find some great restaurants, pubs and some shops to buy some souvenirs that you can take back home for your friends and family.
Colombo can truly mesmerize the thrill-seeker and hedonist in you during the day and night as well! Colombo nightlife is so vibrant and highly ecstatic that Sri Lanka has no better place that can match the wild all-nighters and endless dance parties of Colombo. While you’re out and about in Colombo after dark, wind down and enjoy a drink with a great ambience, five-class comfort and top notch service at the 8 Degrees North on the Lake at Cinnamon Lakeside, Cloud Red by Cinnamon or the Breeze Bar at Cinnamon Grand.
You can make a visit to the Colombo Lotus Tower, standing tall at a height of almost 350m was built to serve the purpose of a transmission hub, it also features observation decks, shopping centres, restaurants, and banquet halls. The top of the structure closely resembles the namesake, Lotus Flower and it can be seen, standing tall, from all around Colombo. However, you might just have to wait a little bit until all the amenities have are open to the public.
Photo Credits: Ian Trower
Thereafter, you can hop over and take a look at the artefacts on display at the Dutch Period Museum and the Colombo Maritime Museum. The Dutch Museum is a converted residence of a Dutch Governor done with the help of the Government of Netherlands in 1977. The unique architecture of the museum combined with the countless personal belongings of several Dutch rulers endears the place to the lovers of history and culture. Home to a variety of important historical artefacts, items, and information associated with Sri Lanka’s ports, The Colombo Port Maritime Museum was built in the year 1676 and is situated next to the Colombo Port, a must-visit for all the history enthusiasts.
You can always wind-down and relax while enjoying food that will take your tastebuds on a journey of a lifetime with the many restaurants at Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts. Enjoy a wide variety of dishes from local to international cuisine served right to you by our world-class chefs.
Where to stay?
Since comfort is of the essence while you explore the coastal capital of Sri Lanka, book your stay with Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts for an experience in itself. Our hotels, Cinnamon Grand, Cinnamon Lakeside and Cinnamon Red, are all situated in the heart of Colombo, with ease of access to all Colombo attractions. We are famous for our top-notch service, five-star comfort and luxurious living experiences along with some of Colombo’s best-loved restaurants.
How to get about?
Getting around in Colombo is now pretty-easy! You can pick from a tuk-tuk, taxi, or bus. The bus and tuk-tuk are definitely the most local method of travelling. However, getting about has been made easier with the introduction of dedicated travelling apps such as Uber, Pick-Me etc. You can now get your tuk-tuk or taxi right to your doorstep.
The City of Colombo, is definitely one of the more vibrant cities in the country with a perfect mix of history, culture and modernity. Don’t miss out on the many things that must be explored and experienced here in Colombo!
Author: Shenella Fonseka