Greetings, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, we’re going to explore the vibrant city of Colombo, the bustling capital of Sri Lanka. With its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning landscapes, there’s no shortage of things to do Colombo. So, pack your bags and join me as we uncover the top things to do Colombo, ensuring you have an unforgettable experience in this enchanting city.
From ancient temples to modern skyscrapers, Colombo offers a unique blend of old and new, making it a must-visit destination for any avid traveler. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, you’ll find plenty of things to do Colombo that cater to your interests. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the best things to do Colombo and start planning your next adventure!
Exploring Colombo’s Rich History
Colombo, the bustling capital city of Sri Lanka, is a melting pot of cultures and traditions. The city has a rich history that dates back to the 5th century when it was a small trading post. Today, Colombo is a vibrant city that offers visitors a glimpse into its past through its many historical sites and landmarks. Here are some of the things to do in Colombo to explore its rich history:
Visit the National Museum of Colombo
The National Museum of Colombo is a must-visit for anyone interested in Sri Lanka’s history and culture. The museum has a vast collection of artifacts, including ancient weapons, pottery, and art pieces that date back to the prehistoric era. The museum also has a section dedicated to the country’s colonial past, with exhibits showcasing the Portuguese, Dutch, and British influences on Sri Lanka.
Explore the Old Fort Area
The Old Fort Area, also known as the Colombo Fort, is a historic district that was once a Portuguese fort and later a British administrative center. Today, the area is a bustling commercial hub with many shops, restaurants, and offices. Visitors can explore the area’s colonial architecture, including the Old Parliament Building, the Clock Tower, and the Colombo Lighthouse.
Visit the Gangaramaya Temple
The Gangaramaya Temple is a Buddhist temple located in the heart of Colombo. The temple is known for its eclectic mix of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese architecture. Visitors can explore the temple’s many shrines, statues, and artifacts, including a collection of vintage cars and a museum of Buddhist artifacts.
Take a Walk in the Galle Face Green
The Galle Face Green is a popular public park located along the coast of Colombo. The park was once a British colonial-era promenade and is now a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Visitors can take a leisurely walk along the park’s seaside promenade, enjoy a picnic, or watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean.
Colombo’s rich history is evident in its many historical sites and landmarks. Whether you’re interested in ancient artifacts, colonial architecture, or Buddhist temples, there are plenty of things to do in Colombo to explore the city’s past.
Culinary Delights: Food and Drink Experiences
Colombo is a food lover’s paradise, with a diverse range of culinary delights to explore. From street food to fine dining, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the best food and drink experiences to try in Colombo:
1. Sample the Street Food
One of the best things to do in Colombo is to sample the street food. The city is famous for its hawker stalls and food carts, which offer a range of delicious snacks and meals. Some of the must-try street foods include kottu roti, hoppers, and samosas. You can find these street food vendors all over the city, but some of the best places to try them are Galle Face Green, Pettah Market, and Colombo Fort.
2. Indulge in Sri Lankan Cuisine
Sri Lankan cuisine is a fusion of Indian, Malay, and Dutch influences, and is known for its bold flavors and spices. Some of the must-try dishes include rice and curry, string hoppers, and seafood. You can find these dishes at local restaurants and cafes all over the city. Some of the best places to try Sri Lankan cuisine are Ministry of Crab, Nuga Gama, and Upali’s.
3. Sip on Ceylon Tea
Sri Lanka is famous for its tea, and Colombo is the perfect place to sample some of the best varieties. You can visit tea plantations on the outskirts of the city, or simply enjoy a cup of Ceylon tea at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the city. Some of the best places to try Ceylon tea are T-Lounge by Dilmah, Tea Avenue, and Barefoot Garden Cafe.
4. Enjoy a Cocktail with a View
Colombo has a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. For a truly memorable experience, head to one of the rooftop bars in the city. These bars offer stunning views of the city skyline, along with delicious cocktails and snacks. Some of the best rooftop bars in Colombo are Cloud Cafe, ON14 Rooftop Bar, and Sky Lounge.
Whether you’re a foodie or just looking for a unique culinary experience, Colombo has something to offer. From street food to fine dining, there’s no shortage of delicious food and drink experiences to try. So, don’t miss out on these things to do in Colombo and indulge in the city’s culinary delights.
Colombo’s Vibrant Art and Culture Scene
Colombo is a city that is rich in history and culture, and its vibrant art scene is a testament to this. There are plenty of things to do in Colombo for art and culture enthusiasts. Here are some of the top things to do in Colombo to experience its vibrant art and culture scene:
Visit the National Museum of Colombo
The National Museum of Colombo is a must-visit for anyone interested in Sri Lanka’s history and culture. The museum has a vast collection of artifacts, including ancient weapons, pottery, and art. It’s a great place to learn about the country’s rich history and culture.
Explore the Colombo Art Gallery
The Colombo Art Gallery is a great place to see contemporary art from Sri Lanka and other parts of the world. The gallery features a wide range of art, including paintings, sculptures, and installations. It’s a great place to discover new artists and get a sense of the local art scene.
Attend a Cultural Show
Colombo is home to several cultural shows that showcase traditional Sri Lankan dance and music. These shows are a great way to experience the country’s rich cultural heritage. Some of the popular cultural shows in Colombo include the Kandyan Dance Show and the Colombo Cultural Show.
Visit the Gangaramaya Temple
The Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important Buddhist temples in Colombo. The temple is known for its beautiful architecture and intricate carvings. It’s a great place to learn about Buddhism and experience the local culture.
Take a Walk in the Pettah Market
The Pettah Market is a bustling market in Colombo that is known for its vibrant atmosphere and colorful stalls. It’s a great place to experience the local culture and pick up some souvenirs. The market is also home to several street performers and musicians, adding to its vibrant atmosphere.
In conclusion, Colombo’s vibrant art and culture scene offers plenty of things to do for visitors. From visiting museums and art galleries to attending cultural shows and exploring local markets, there’s something for everyone. So, if you’re looking for things to do in Colombo, be sure to check out its rich art and culture scene.
Shopping Spree: Best Markets and Malls
Colombo is a shopper’s paradise, with a wide range of markets and malls to choose from. Here are some of the best places to indulge in a shopping spree while exploring things to do Colombo:
Pettah Market is a bustling bazaar that offers a unique shopping experience. This market is a maze of narrow streets and alleys, where you can find everything from spices and textiles to electronics and jewelry. It’s a great place to haggle for a bargain and immerse yourself in the local culture.
Odel is a popular department store that offers a wide range of clothing, accessories, and home decor. It’s a great place to shop for high-quality products at reasonable prices. The store has a modern and chic vibe, and you can find everything from casual wear to formal attire.
Arcade Independence Square
Arcade Independence Square is a shopping complex that offers a mix of local and international brands. It’s a great place to shop for souvenirs, clothing, and accessories. The complex also has a cinema, restaurants, and cafes, making it a great place to spend an afternoon.
Liberty Plaza is a popular shopping mall that offers a wide range of products, including clothing, electronics, and home decor. It’s a great place to shop for high-quality products at reasonable prices. The mall also has a food court and a cinema, making it a great place to spend a day.
Good Market is a weekly market that offers a range of organic and eco-friendly products. It’s a great place to shop for locally made products, including clothing, accessories, and food. The market also has live music and workshops, making it a great place to spend a weekend afternoon.
Whether you’re looking for a unique shopping experience or just want to indulge in some retail therapy, Colombo has something for everyone. These markets and malls are just a few of the many places to explore while discovering things to do Colombo.
Unwind and Relax: Colombo’s Top Beaches and Parks
When you think of Colombo, you might picture a bustling city with busy streets and towering buildings. But did you know that Colombo is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches and parks in Sri Lanka? Here are some of the top places to unwind and relax in Colombo:
Galle Face Green
Galle Face Green is a popular park located in the heart of Colombo. It’s a great place to take a stroll, fly a kite, or have a picnic with friends and family. You can also enjoy some local street food while taking in the stunning views of the Indian Ocean. Galle Face Green is a must-visit spot for anyone looking for things to do in Colombo.
Mount Lavinia Beach
If you’re looking for a beach to relax and soak up the sun, Mount Lavinia Beach is the perfect spot. It’s located just a short drive from Colombo and offers a beautiful stretch of golden sand and clear blue waters. You can also enjoy some delicious seafood at one of the many restaurants located along the beach.
Viharamahadevi Park is a peaceful oasis located in the heart of Colombo. It’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some greenery. The park features a beautiful lake, a playground for kids, and plenty of benches to sit and relax. It’s a great spot for a morning jog or an evening stroll.
Negombo Beach is located just a short drive from Colombo and is a great place to spend a day relaxing by the sea. The beach is known for its calm waters and beautiful sunsets. You can also enjoy some fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants located along the beach.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful park or a beautiful beach, Colombo has plenty of options for you to unwind and relax. These are just a few of the top places to visit when looking for things to do in Colombo.
Exciting Day Trips and Adventures from Colombo
Colombo is a bustling city with plenty of things to do, but if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle for a day, there are plenty of exciting day trips and adventures to be had just a short distance away. Here are some of the best things to do near Colombo:
Visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
One of the most popular day trips from Colombo is a visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Here, you can get up close and personal with these gentle giants and even help feed them. It’s a great way to learn about the conservation efforts being made to protect these magnificent creatures.
Explore the Ancient City of Anuradhapura
If you’re interested in history and culture, a day trip to the ancient city of Anuradhapura is a must. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to some of the most impressive ancient ruins in Sri Lanka, including the sacred Bodhi Tree, which is said to be the oldest living tree in the world.
Go on a Safari in Yala National Park
For nature lovers, a safari in Yala National Park is an unforgettable experience. This park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, and crocodiles. You can take a guided tour through the park and see these animals up close in their natural habitat.
Climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress
For a bit of adventure, head to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This ancient fortress is perched atop a massive rock and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The climb to the top is steep, but the views are well worth the effort.
Relax on the Beaches of Bentota
If you’re looking for a more relaxing day trip, head to the beaches of Bentota. This coastal town is just a short drive from Colombo and offers some of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. You can spend the day lounging on the sand, swimming in the ocean, and enjoying the local cuisine.
These are just a few of the many exciting day trips and adventures you can have near Colombo. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, nature, or just relaxing on the beach, there’s something for everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore all the amazing things to do in Colombo and beyond!
In conclusion, my time in the vibrant city of Colombo has been nothing short of extraordinary. From the bustling markets to the serene temples, there’s no shortage of things to do Colombo. As Journeying Jack, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing many cities around the world, but Colombo holds a special place in my heart.
The rich history, diverse culture, and warm hospitality of the locals make it a must-visit destination for any traveler. So, if you’re planning your next adventure, don’t forget to add the many things to do Colombo to your itinerary. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking to unwind, Colombo has something for everyone.
As I pack my suitcase and bid farewell to this enchanting city, I’m grateful for the memories and stories I’ve collected along the way. I hope that my Suitcase Stories have inspired you to embark on your own journey and discover the countless things to do Colombo. Until our paths cross again, happy travels, my fellow wanderers!