Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, situated on the west coast of the country, the city is an excellent location for you to explore the rest of the island from. There are many day trips from Colombo that you can embark on to see more of Sri Lankan culture. To make your travels even more enjoyable, stay at Jetwing Colombo Seven. The hotel is found in the heart of the city and ensures you’ll get to experience the best of Colombo between your day trips.
Spend one day exploring Colombo. In spite of being the commercial hub of Sri Lanka, Colombo is actually an important heritage city and the city is home to its fair share of historical monuments built during the colonial era. For the most unique (and exciting) experience, go on a tuk-tuk tour around Colombo. An English speaking driver/guide will take you to the different buildings and tell you about its history.
Things to see in Colombo:
- The National Museum
- The Old Parliament
- The Old Colombo Lighthouse and Colombo Lighthouse
- Gangarama Seema Malakaya
- Independence Square
A popular tour is to go on a day trip to Galle from Colombo. Galle is situated on the south coast of the island, only a 2-hour drive from Colombo. The city is best known for being home to the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site, Galle Fort. The fort was initially built by the Portuguese in 1588, it was later taken over by the Dutch who fortified it and finally seized by the British. Go on a walking tour around the fort, wander through the age-old streets and learn about the fort’s interesting colonial history. Today, most of the buildings have been converted into boutique hotels, cafes and restaurants, which make you forget that you’re walking on a 500-year-old historical monument!
Things to see in Galle Fort:
- The Galle Lighthouse
- The Dutch Reformed Church
- The Old Dutch Hospital
Kandy is Sri Lanka’s second-largest city and is the country’s cultural capital. Nestled in the verdant hills of the Central Province, Kandy is home to Sri Lanka’s holiest Buddhist temple, Sri Dalada Maligawa, also known as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. The ornate gold-roofed temple houses a tooth relic belonging to Lord Buddha himself and Buddhists from all over the country frequently visit this holy site. Even though it’s about a 3-hour drive, a day trip to Kandy from Colombo is totally worth it. It’s best to leave early in the morning to avoid traffic and so you can enjoy a full day in Kandy.
Things to see in Kandy:
- Sri Dalada Maligawa
- The Royal Botanical Gardens
- Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue
Finally, head to the heart of the Cultural Triangle to visit the iconic Sigiriya Rock Fortress. King Kashyapa built the fortress in the 5th century BC after he committed patricide and usurped his half brother, the rightful heir. Despite its rather violent history, the fortress is incredibly beautiful; it has three different planned gardens, palatial pools and fountains, terraces, a mirror wall and of course the Lion Paw Steps. Sigiriya also has some other interesting monuments which you can visit on your day trip to Sigiriya from Colombo.
Things to see in Sigiriya:
- Sigiriya Rock Fortress
- Dambulla Cave Temple
Colombo is definitely an excellent base for your Sri Lankan journey, but apart from taking day tours from Colombo, you should spend some time in the city and explore the many historical sites within this vibrant city.