This time, we take you to the capital of the Island Country Sri Lanka – Colombo. Located on the west coast of the country, this place a perfect location for a budget trip with currency almost half of Indian Rupee and perfect location for those Indian travelers. Although the city doesn’t offer much for the party-goers and does not have a dazzling nightlife to boast about, it houses enough spots to leave you in awe ensuring diverse and distinctive experience.
Wildly famous among tourist, this place doubles up as a museum and a library, apart from being a momentous place to worship. It is a one-stop location for witnessing Buddhist relics from around the world. Apart from that, it boasts an architectural mix of India, Thailand, Sri Lanka with a pinch of Chinese. As you take in the beauty and realizes the importance of the temple with a history dating 2000 years or more, prepare yourself to observe anything but ordinary. It showcases a colossal display of Buddha murals all in gold, white and stone, which is more than present elsewhere. Adding to its charm it has a real stuffed, chained and sad looking elephant named Ganga, along with various ivory-made objects lined in the whole temple.
National Museum of Colombo was established in the late 19th century by the then British Governor and is till date the largest museum of the country connecting people to Sri-Lankan history. Having a natural science, library and cultural section, this place has something for everybody. Apart from its magnanimity, it boasts of crowns, golden thrones, million years old currencies, and antiques. But even if all this fails to impress you, the place itself is surrounded by a peaceful and splendid courtyard, giving you a break from the hustle bustle of this busy city.
Sitting beside the National Museum, this largest and oldest park in Colombo has everything you can think of for a perfect family time. For children, it has an aquarium on the eastern side, a small amusement park, a separate space for playing and elephant rides. Besides that, it speaks of snake charmers, a zoo, variety of flora and fauna, a war memorial giving strategic importance, and towering statue of Lord Buddha at its heart. All this place is surprisingly clean and well maintained. Moreover, this place opens 24×7 and charges a very nominal fee, making it all the more irresistible.
Independence Memorial Hall
Also known as Independence Square, this grand place stands as a symbol of free and independent Sri Lanka and marked the beginning of the self-rule in 1948. Every brick of this fine architecture speaks of islands rich history and political freedom. More than just a hall used for religious and annual celebrations.This place has a museum in the basement having a section in the memory of its freedom fighters and insights of their life. It is also equipped with a renewed library which is said to have all the documents published in the country. A spot of joggers in the morning, free gym for fitness freaks, walking spot for strollers in the evening.Also, the place provides food and shopping options in the proximity. All this, have contributed in raising its status to a recreation spot, upholding its historical importance, making this a must visit.
At the heart of the city, this is a nice peaceful place which was once used by Portuguese to commute transfer goods. It offers great sightseeing options so it is never bad to bring your camera along. The water temple or the Seema Malaka is by far the best part of the Beira lake. Also, can be visited by hopping on swan boats and encountering ducks or giant birds along the way. The temple has a central payer area in wooden pavilions, a Treasury of Truth and even the status of Hindu gods. The lake also provides a bridge to Lover’s Island which remains replete with couples. On your way back, treat yourself with a rejuvenating drink from Juiceez or Tea Breeze.
Galle Face Green
As of today, Galle Face Green is the largest open space harboring the sea spanning over 5 hectares of land. Vast land and ample wind had made this place a perfect location for an unprecedented kite flying experience which happens all year long. This place is equally popular among locals and tourists of all age group. Besides, it witnesses diverse cultures and a great place to observe people. The place is laced with stalls offering food including the local popular wadey, drinks, trinkets, and toys for children. Thus, it remains full of picnickers and day trippers during weekends. Two neighboring hotels, Galle Face and Ceylon International are country’s oldest. Thus giving impetus for the development and popularity of this beach.
Jami ul-alfar Mosque and Pettah Market
Built in the early 20th century, this mosque has a hybrid style architecture, fusing elements from Indo-Islamic and Indian cultures. Covered with red and white stripes all over, this Mosque never fails to attract attention at first sight. However, Women must visit the place covering their bodies which is seen as a mark of respect for their tradition. Can be visited any day expect except during the peak prayer timings on Friday and known for its peaceful interiors. After experiencing the innards of the place you can head out in the innumerable shops that encompass anything to everything. It is a good place to test your bargaining skills and grab cheap souvenirs.
Old Dutch hospital
Once a healing center for officers of East India Company, let the name not fool you of what is it today. Preserving the 17th Century Dutch colonial architecture this place has turned into a foodie stop and a mecca for shopaholics. Revitalizing spa at Spa Ceylon and Snacking at Heladiv Tea club are some of the notable mentions of the place. Bordering courtyards hosts live music, making the place lively and lit.
Mount Lavinia Beach
If any place is worth visiting after the day hours in Colombo, its Beach Livinia. A top-notch, stunning sunset location in the whole of Sri Lanka, it will leave you spellbound. The place hosts Gay Pride parade and Rainbow kite festival. It attracts the crowd from all over the city and known for humble nightlife feasts. Most importantly, it provides laid-back dining experience specializing in the exquisite seafood.
Final Tip: While you visit all the locations Colombo is known for, don’t forget the enjoy the local delicacies. Understand their culture, admire the colonial buildings, and relish street ice-creams to make your trip a fulfilling experience.