Sri Lanka has long since been a destination loved for spell binding beaches, soul-stirring culture and vibrant natural beauty. Amid all the attractions that dot the island’s western shores, Colombo remains the biggest draw of them all. A growing city fueled by trade and tourism, Colombo is definitely the place for you to be this summer. There’s something for everyone and you’ll find that there’s so much to learn and do in the best places to see in Colombo. Always bubbling with something new and exciting to explore, this is the real heart of Sri Lanka where you can count on just about anything happening.
Away from the Colombo’s glossy shopping plazas and luxury retail stores, you’ll find the lively bustling market hub of Pettah. Large, confusing and packed with both buyers and sellers, this is the place where you can find just about anything at the right price. Accessories, electronics, fresh produce, hardware; you name it, they got it. These markets seem to be ever-evolving and afford you the simplicity of getting some modest shopping done at the lowest prices. Every path within the market has something new to explore or some new street delicacy to try. Pettah is an endless stretch of different markets, bazaars and boutiques that come together to create a single huge trade experience. Aside from all the shopping, you’ll also be able to take a peek at several interesting historical creations in the area which includes a few churches, mosques and kovils.
An important cultural and historical highlight, the Colombo National Museum is one of the best places to see in Colombo. A fascinating creation with bright white walls, this is a great choice for a tour that’s both educational and fun. There’s an incredible number of historical artwork and great exhibits to see here. The building was designed back in the colonial years with the authority of the reigning British governor and was completed in 1876. The ground floor of the museum has a curious collection of galleries showcasing fabulous paintings, delicate carvings and other precious craftwork. You can also take a look at ancient traditional masks, historical war gear and jewelry that once belonged to the Kandyan royal family. There really is a colossal amount of exploring to do here which will help you piece together a picture of Sri Lanka’s colonial age for yourself.
A classy beachside destination for a slow walk and good street food, the Galle Face Green is another of the best places to see in Colombo. A pretty urban park immediately facing the Colombo shoreline, this is a popular place for a romantic sunset and a spot of cold ice cream. The place sports a large well-kept stretch of grass which was used in the past for golf games and horse racing. The place sees fewer visitors in the midday hours, but draws crowds of locals and tourists during the cooler hours of the day. On holidays the place is mostly packed with vendors selling junk food, strolling lovers and children playing cricket and flying kites. The park is considered to be the largest open space in the city and also lies next to two of Colombo’s finest hotels; the Galle Face Hotel and the Ceylon Inter-Continental Hotel.
A beautifully preserved building housing a number of curious artifacts, the Dutch Museum is a place where you’ll see what Sri Lanka’s colonial ages were really like. Aside from its vast artifact collections, the museum breathes and exudes an air of former glory and is definitely one of the best places to see in Colombo. The place was built by the Dutch to serve as the formal residence of the islands reigning Dutch governor. With the passage of time, the institution was gradually named as a museum which was opened to the public in 1982. Today, the Dutch Period Museum is a fascinating destination where you can lose yourself among old artwork and intriguing collections of antiques. The lawns here are well-maintained; there are rows of charming columns beautifying the place and the interiors are nicely done. The building itself bears the hallmarks of being a true Dutch creation with its high roofs and colorful tiles. The larger part of the collection here includes furniture from the Dutch era, historical documents and writings along with several other odds and ends.
Just a few footsteps away from the National Museum, the Viharamahadevi Park is a lovely escape from the bustle of the city all around. The park is open on three sides with plenty of trees and well-kept grassy lawns. The Viharamahadevi Park is also the largest public park in the city. The place is peaceful and beautiful with several flowering plants and shrubs all around. This is easily one of the best places to see in Colombo, with lots of greenery, pretty palms and winding paths. The park is very open and has a romantic feel to it, especially in the evenings when the place is cooler. There are several benches and other cute seating spaces where you’ll often find lovers and families relaxing in the fragrant air. The park also has a cool suspension bridge that goes right over the lake. There is a large Buddha statue in the park and also a smattering pf water fountains. You can also check out the mini-zoo, a historical British Jet Provost and the children’s play area while you’re here. The kids play area is a colorful sight with plastic toy houses and even a space for the kids to go on pony rides. The World War Memorial here, built to honor the soldiers lost during periods of war is also an interesting sight.