The capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo is one of the cleanest cities we have witnessed. We spent just four days in the Island Nation and wish to go back again someday and explore a lot more. However, in our limited time, we did manage to enjoy our stay, but on our way back home, we regretted not seeing more (Like most of our holidays).
While there are many wonderful places to visit in the country, when it comes to Colombo, you can cover a lot of things in just one day in the city.
Here are our top six picks:
Visit Gangaramaya Temple: It is one of the most well-known Buddhist temples in the city. It’s stunning architecture, which dates back to the 19th century, is a blend of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian and Chinese designs.
There are also souvenir shops within the complex and also watch out for the elephant in the temple! The entry fee is LKR 300 per person, which also includes entry to Seema Malaka.
Visit Seema Malaka: Just a few metres away from the Gangaramaya Temple, is the Seema Malaka – a Buddhist temple, constructed in the 19th century. It is more of a meditation centre than a place of worship. As a result, it is peaceful and quiet and as it is situated right on the Beira Lake, the view is also quite beautiful.
On all sides of the Seema Malaka, you can see many Buddha statues depicting different Mudras (A mudra is one the hand movements used in Hindu religious dancing).
You’ll also find a suspension bridge nearby, which you can enter and spend some time at the beautiful park and soak in everything.
Cricket Club Café: If you too are a cricket fanatic like us, the Cricket Club Café, which is just at a walking distance from Seema Malaka is the place to go. You get excellent choices for food and beers.
You can have a great meal while enjoying all the famous cricket memorabilia around the restaurant, including jerseys, autographed bats etc. And if you’re lucky, you can also enjoy live cricket match on the big screen.
Visit Galle Face Green: For a soothing evening to enjoy the breeze in the midst of the ocean, Galle Face Green is a perfect getaway. It reminded us of the Marine Drive promenade in Mumbai, where we went once a while when we stayed in the city.
Sports like rugby, golf, horse racing and also cricket were played at the Galle Face Green, which has been in existence since 1859.
Nightlife at Dutch Hospital: Confused? Hospital and nightlife? Yes, Colombo has restored a 17th century’s hospital, which is today one of the most happening places in the city in its fort area, hardly three kilometres away from the Galle Green Face. From shopping, bars to exquisite restaurants, the Dutch Hospital has tons of activities on offer and so attracts of locals and tourists throughout the week.
Behind Dutch Hospital is Hospital Street, which is known to be one of the city’s most charming pathways. With cobbled courtyard, cosy corners, jazzy music and sparkling lights, it ensures you have a memorable evening there.
Mount Lavinia Beach: It might not match the high standards of other Sri Lankan beaches, like Unuwanta (Near Galle), it is still a great option for people in the city who are looking for a beach, sun and the breeze.
Due to time constraints, we could not visit it but if you ever plan to go, visit the beach in the evening as it is known for providing breathtaking views of the sunset.
TRAVEL TIP: A day trip to Galle – If time permits you can also take a bus to Galle, in the southern part of the country. You can walk along with the gigantic Galle Fort, overlooking the Galle International Cricket Stadium. Also, you can feast at the iconic Peddlar’s Inn.