Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka and the largest city filled with vibrant activities and many attractions for eager explorers of the island. With warm weather most year around Colombo offers an exciting night life, shopping, dining and activities and also relaxing beaches. Getting around in the city is a whole new experience in its famed tuk tuks and also the Colombo City Tour. A few key places you must visit to experience Colombo in its whole includes:
The Galle Face is a five hectare ocean-side urban park, which stretches for a half kilometer along the coast, in the heart of the financial and business district of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The promenade was initially laid out in 1859 by Governor Sir Henry George Ward, although the original Galle Face Green extended over a much larger area than is seen today. The Galle Face Green was initially used for horse racing and as a golf course, but was also used for cricket, polo, football, tennis and rugby
Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo, Sri Lanka, being a mix of modern architecture and cultural essence
National Museum of Colombo, also known as the Sri Lanka National Museum is one of two museums in Colombo. It is the largest museum in Sri Lanka. It is maintained by the Department of National Museum of the central government. The museum holds contains a collections of much importance to Sri Lanka such as the regalia of the country, including the throne and crown of the Kandyan monarchs as well as many other exhibits telling the story of ancient Sri Lanka
The Viharamahadevi Park (formerly Victoria Park) is a public park located in Colombo, next to the National Museum in Sri Lanka. It is the oldest and largest park of the Port of Colombo. Situated in front of the colonial-era Town Hall building, the park is named after Queen Viharamahadevi, the mother of King Dutugamunu. The park was built on land donated to the Colombo city by Charles Henry de Soysa during the British rule of Sri Lanka, and used to be named “Victoria Park” after Queen Victoria. During World War II it was occupied by the British Army with Australian 17th Brigade based at Victoria Park. After the war the park was restored and open to the public in 1951.’
Independence Memorial Hall (also Independence Commemoration Hall) is a national monument in Sri Lanka built for commemoration of the independence of Sri Lanka from the British rule with the establishment of Dominion of Ceylon on February 4, 1948. It is located at the Independence Square (formally Torrington Square) in the Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo. It also houses the Independence Memorial Museum. The monument was built at the location where the formal ceremony marking the start of self-rule, with the opening of the first parliament by the HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester occurred at a special podium February 4, 1948. Located at the head of the monument is the statue of the first prime minister of the country Rt. Hon. Don Stephen Senanayake “The Father of the Nation”. Most of the annual National Independence Day celebrations have been held here. Apart from a monument it served as the ceremonial assembly hall for the Senate of Ceylon and the House of Representatives of Ceylon until the parliament was moved to the new parliament complex. Currently it is the venue for religious events and annual national day celebrations. The new addition to the square is the Independence Arcade, Beautifully landscaped and filled with a variety of stores for shopping and dining.
The place is all stone tiles with planned patches of green with a seating space and around the seating space there is a neat walkway that goes along the Weras Lake with a calming and relaxing ambience. Food outlets are also available to cater to the needs of the visitors.
The Pettah Floating Markets are located on Bastian Mawatha in Pettah, a neighborhood in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and consist of 92 trade stalls, with a number of the stalls established on boats on Beira Lake. The floating market serves as a tourist attraction selling local produce and local handicraft. The development of the floating market and beautification works were carried out by the Urban Development Authority (UDA). Engineering units from the Sri Lanka Army in collaboration with the Urban Development Authority transformed Bastian Street, the street linking the Central Bus Stand in Pettah and the Colombo Fort railway station, into a green environment. The unique simple architecture of the stalls along the canal, designed by Thushari Kariyawasam, with grey cemented floors and minimalistic décor, tries to reflect the calm and undisturbed water of lake.
The Old Colombo Dutch Hospital (known as The Dutch Hospital) is considered to be the oldest building in the Colombo Fort area dating back to the Dutch colonial era in Sri Lanka. It is now a heritage building and a shopping and dining precinct.