Best things to do in Sri Lanka
Find out more about those top places in Sri Lanka
Welcome to the largest city in Sri Lanka, the financial and cultural center of the nation. Colombo is considered to be one of the oldest cities of the world, it has been around for over 2000 years and served as a major trading center for the Roman, Greek and Arab traders due to the presence of its natural harbor which made doing business easy at the time.
The formal capital city has played a huge part in the history of Sri Lanka and was often the bone of contention during the country’s colonial era. There is no scarcity of things to do or places to visit in Colombo. It is a city that keeps you excited throughout your stay.
Usually the first stop for anybody visiting Sri Lanka for the first time – the National Museum is the largest Museum in the country and was specifically established to display Sri Lanka’s glorious history. Initially called the Colombo museum, it was built in 1876 and founded by Sir William Henry Gregory the Governor of Sri Lanka. The ever expanding Museum contains some of Sri Lanka’s most important artifacts including the throne and crown of the Kandyan Monarchs, a collection of antique demon masks, cravings, and weapons.
Known as the landing site of the Portuguese when they first came to Sri Lanka, the Fort Area is arguably the most beautiful part of the Colombo. Surrounded perfectly with Precolonial buildings, churches and statues - it remains the best place to go for an evening stroll. The highlights of the Fort Area are the Old Galle Buck Lighthouse where you can find old cannons and The Clock Tower.
Often described as the most sacred place in Colombo, the Gangaramaya Temple is one of many Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. The 19th century temple is arguably the most architectural pleasing building you with ever visit with is mix of various architectural styles featuring Indian, Chinese and Thai designs. Run by monks, the temple consists of several other buildings including a library and a museum. It does not only serve as a worship center but it is also a center of learning. The best time to visit is during the flamboyant Vesak Celebrations.
Right in the center of Colombo is the Beira Lake, it was one of the most important means of transportation during Sri Lanka’s colonial era. Built by the Portuguese who gave it the name “Beira”, it was constructed to safeguard Colombo from enemies. The lake has a variety of flora and fauna presence and you are most likely to see pelicans, storks and fish. However, it is primarily known as the location of the Seema Malaka shrine. The Shrine was built by Sri Lankan Muslim businessman, S.H. Moosajee and it is mostly used for resting and meditation rather than for worship.
After touring around the city of Colombo, the best place to relax is the Dutch Hospital. Considered to be the oldest structure in the Colombo Fort Area, the 1600s building was previously used as a health center to take care of foreign officers and staff during the nation’s colonial era. Presently it is a heritage building and features several restaurants, cafes and shops. It is the best place for visitors to try out local drinks and food.