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A Guide to Unforgettable Excursions in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, is a historic port city buzzing with life and colour and also the largest city in the country. From the picturesque Galle Face Green overlooking the Indian Ocean to the luxury hotels, bustling markets and historical landmarks, it offers a blend of the past and present. Whether it is sightseeing, shopping or sampling local cuisine and exploring the rich culture, excursions in Colombo offer the best of everything.

So if you want to embark on a Colombo day tour before heading to the beaches of the South or the hill country, discover the best places to visit below.

Galle Face Green is one of the most popular spots in the commercial capital. Tourists and visitors can stroll through this large park overlooking the ocean to unwind after a busy day. It is a great place to engage in recreational activities such as flying kites, playing sports and more. Also sample the delectable street food on offer along the walkways, such as isso vadai, a prawn based delicacy. One of the best things to do in Colombo is to soak in the atmosphere at Galle Face and capture stunning photos with the setting sun. The evenings are the ideal time to visit as this is when all the street vendors are in full swing.

The Colombo Fort is the main economic centre in the city, a bustling metropolitan area consisting of banks, hotels and a large bazaar. It is also one of the most popular places in Colombo for sightseeing and absorbing the city’s culture, especially the historic colonial buildings and monuments dotting the area. Visit the Pettah market for great deals, on everything from fruits and vegetables to clothing and electronics. While it is the central business district, the fort is also home to the city’s transport hubs. The main bus station and the railway station can be accessed from here, and you can travel to other locations across the country.

The Independence Memorial Hall marks the island’s independence from the British Empire in 1948. This magnificent building is one of the most important monuments in Sri Lanka. Its distinct architectural style and quaint surroundings attracts many visitors, making it one of the most visited Colombo tourist places. The grounds have also become a popular place for recreational activities and have a picturesque walking path.

Find out more about Sri Lanka’s culture and heritage at the Colombo National Museum. The building is a white baroque structure built in the 19th century and sits in a spacious, well-maintained park. View artefacts such as antique devil masks, Buddhist relics, and sculptures and paintings from the country’s long history. One of the highlights is the stunning royal throne of King Wimaladharmasuriya II. Also on display are specimens from the country’s natural history, including endemic plants, animals and reptiles. Travelling to the museum with family or friends will ensure that you have a fun-filled trip that is both informative and enjoyable, making it one of the best places to visit in Colombo.

Also located in the heart of the capital are two eye-catching places of worship that stand as a testament to the country’s long Buddhist heritage. The Gangaramaya Temple, nestled by the banks of the Beira lake, combines a unique mix of East Asian, Indian and Sri Lankan architectural styles. The Seema Malakaya is a serene meditation site and floating temple situated nearby. It is the perfect spot to go on a peaceful retreat to escape the hustle and bustle of the main city.

When it comes to accommodation, choose centralised locations in the city which will allow you to travel with ease. There are many five-star hotels in Colombo located in the heart of the city, such as Jetwing Colombo Seven, complete with a rooftop bar, and a relaxing infinity pool.

Colombo is full of amazing places to visit, so head over to Sri Lanka’s vibrant capital to experience its unique blend of modern and old-world charm.

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