Nightclubs and bars in Sri Lanka

  • View of the sunset from Golden Sand Beach Hotel
    View of the sunset from Golden Sand...
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  • Deckchairs at Golden Sand Beach Hotel, Hikkaduwa
    Deckchairs at Golden Sand Beach Hotel,...
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  • ZAZA Bar @ Casa Colombo
    ZAZA Bar @ Casa Colombo
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Most Viewed Nightlife in Sri Lanka

  • zaza bar casa colombo: Lovely bar

    by aldav Written Jun 24, 2012

    Casa Colombo is a really nice little hotel, very trendy.
    they just opened their bar ZAZA.
    the prices are reasonable, the cocktails are good, there is a long wine list (although not the best)
    and the staff is friendly.
    Its not a big place but it doesnt get crowded, it has a nice ambiance. a bit dark but they give you little pentorches to be able to read the menu! nice touch. shame it closes at midnight
    nice and stylish place to go in colombo to enjoy and afternoon evening drink with friends

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    • Food and Dining

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  • Clancey's: pubs

    by ishar Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Clancey's is a great pub to hang out, with live music 7 days a week from 8pm till 2 am! A must check out the next time you visit Sri Lanka, and is conveniently located in the heart of Colombo!

    The music ranges from DJ's to live bands playing stuff from the 60's through to today.
    GREAT!!!!

    they also have great dinner and snacks!

    Dress Code: jeans and shoes and a T Shirt is all you need.

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  • Margherita Blue: LOTS of great nightlife in Colombo!

    by SamSriLanka Written Sep 28, 2010

    Being a Canadian living in Colombo for the past 5 years, I've come to know of LOTS of GREAT NIGHTLIFE in Colombo, you just have to find it! Starting with MARGHERITA BLUE NIGHTCLUB at the Galadari Hotel, which has great bands, great music, great food & drinks, and a great crowd too, to the RYTHM & BLUES NIGHTCLUB, which also has all of the above, to some great DANCE CLUBS like ZOUK, D'S, etc., and of-course the CASINO's which are really fun places to spend evenings in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

    I guess one of the things that makes the nightlife so great in Sri Lanka is the COST.

    Sri Lanka is still one of the cheapest places to party compared to any part of the world, it's very cheap to get around, and people are EXTREMELY friendly!

    The other tips for enjoying a great evening out in Sri Lanka is that you should act like you belong, don't go up to the front door and try to pay, simply walk in, and in most cases you are automatically exempt from entry fees!

    ALWAYS be polite & friendly (except to the occasional tout or beach boy), nobody in Sri Lanka fights or tries to bully people around, they are a great laid back society, and you can really enjoy yourself here, if you know where to go!

    Oh, and by the way, most places are not really happening till after 11 PM although things start up around 9 PM, and you can usually go till 4 or 5 or even later in the morning! (Casinos 24 hours).

    Dress Code: Most clubs will not allow you in with sandals, or shorts (for guys), girls can wear just about anything!

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    • Casino and Gambling
    • Budget Travel
    • Music

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    The Bavarian: One of the few good options in Colombo

    by RocknRolla Written Feb 9, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Nightlife in SL sucks everywhere...In colombo if u go to any pubs all u'll find is prostitutes...

    But there is this German pub which is bang opposite to Galle Face Hotel...the ambience is pretty good...ther's a couple there who play guitar nd sing along...Food ...just like all other places is good and so are the cocktails!!!

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  • Rhythm and Blue: Night clubs - Pubs

    by sahanj Written Dec 16, 2009

    Rhythm and Blue (R&B) has been a local night club lasting over 10 years IN Colombo. its close to all city hotels and caters mostly alternative rock or oldies at most. with a dance floor and limited access -it allows a bit of the older generation (80-2000') to enjoy some of its tunes back ! live music is avilable and nigth life is best during friday and sat. pool tables and food is also available, while hard spirits and beer is freely available.

    Dress Code: casual but no slippers , sandles and shorts...

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    Off Sales

    by Maxus Updated Jan 24, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    What bars there are outside the tourist resorts tend to be exclusively male affairs and can be a little grim, however most villages will have a ‘wine store’ or ‘beer shop’ selling local and occasionally imported beers and spirits for consumption off the premises and assuming your guesthouse doesn't have a bar (Government Rest Houses and the ever-increasing number of wedding halls usually do) your guest house owner probably won’t mind you bring a few beers back for a drink in the evening.

    Of course your hosts may object on religious grounds, although I've never come across this but either way it’s polite to ask, in some areas (like Kataragama) and on some days, including Poya Day and other religious holidays alcohol is banned but in most cases if you tell the manager what you want during the day and he’ll often offer get it for you.

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    Beach Bars

    by Maxus Updated Jan 22, 2009

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Your hotel management understandably want your cash in their tills so will not encourage you to go out of an evening but there is not a lot to keep you in the hotel except overpriced drinks and the odd pretty dire cultural show. Even if you are all inclusive it's worth getting out to see something a bit more 'real'.

    The main resorts all have locally owned small bars and it would be a mistake not to venture out of an evening, there really is nothing to be scared of. Drinks are a fraction of the price you pay in your hotel and the company is often better. Bar owners know where their bread is buttered, they want you to come back and will do their best to see you have a good night. The best are open air so you can see in, try a drink inone and if you don’t like it move on.

    You maybe offered arrack, its not a particularly nice drink and does not always bring out the best in people so if in doubt leave it out. Imported spirits are expensive in Sri Lanka, most bars have local alternatives.

    A Beach Bar at Bentota
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    Watch what you smoke

    by Maxus Updated Jan 22, 2009

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    Lots of dope or 'Ganga' is smoked around the tourist resorts, the beach boys will offer you it and it is smoked fairly openly in some of the more secluded bars. Penalties for possession and trafficking of drugs go as high as the death penalty but you are more likely to be caught up in a scam which ends up with you making a hefty donation to a local policeman. The dope here is very very strong so for one reason or another you need to tread carefully.

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    House Party: Bring your own!

    by Maxus Updated Jan 22, 2009

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    A Sri Lankan night can be a magical experience but if you want western style nightlife you are probably in the wrong country. In Colombo there are casinos and clubs, which tend to cater for the more affluent (often rather unpleasent VIPs with their bodyguards and men looking for the company of exploited female hostesss') and small towns may have a local bar (catering for the more desperate) but these are probably not the sort of place you will want to frequent.

    Your hotel management will do their best to entertain you as you sip your overpriced after dinner drinks with your fellow Europeans but believe me the novelty will soon wear off and even the most love-struck couples will be eager for a change of scenery by the end of the first week.

    Touts or beach boys can be a pain in the arse, but do not let that stop you getting to know the locals and if you get invited to visit a Sri Lankan home jump at the chance. Unless your new found friends are Muslim they will almost certainly agree to share a beer with you of an evening so if you enjoy your daytime visit (i.e. if you are not asked for money) suggest getting together for a drink after dinner one night.

    The locals may know a reasonable local bar but for a real treat get yourself invited to their home to share a few beers with their family and friends (their friends will turn up anyway so you might as well include them in the invitation). Arrange a time and place for them to pick you up in a three-wheeler (only tourists call them tuk tuks), grab your bug spray and enjoy your evening. It gets lively and even though you will be buying all the beer it is a relatively cheap night out.

    Dress Code: Go casual but smart; Sri Lankan's know good clothes and will appreciate it if you make an effort when you are visiting their home. It's customary to take a small gift when ever you visit a Sri Lankan house, a cake will do but anything from your home country will be particularly appreciated (although in Sri Lanka it is considered rude to examine a gift in front of the giver so your gift will be put out of sight as soon as you hand it over).

    PS: While relatively cheap to westerners, booze is a luxury item to most Sri Lankan people which they simply cannot afford on a regular basis so expect to pay for all the beer that you and your friends are likely to drink. Give them the money to go and buy the booze because anywhere in Sri Lanka a white face can sometimes lead to a sudden bout of price inflation.

    If you do not get invited out but want to escape your hotel, ask a friendly three-wheeler driver, they usually know what is going on. (if you are in Bentota try Wunderbar, it is a gem)

    Drinking alcohol tends to be a male affair A night out with the boys The women may join you for a lemonade
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    • Beer Tasting
    • Budget Travel

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  • h20.club nuovo(earlier known as Onyx) at taj: Check out Colombo Nightlife!

    by sher656 Written Dec 25, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I agree that there is NO nightlife outside Colombo in Sri Lanka but in Colombo nightlife sure exists!!
    You can find a huge number of srilankans clubbing and partying at happening clubs like H20, Nuovo(Onyx),tabu.. RnB in duplication road is good for retro music lovers and its another happening club that gets all crowded late at night..

    Clanceys which is an irish pub n restaurant provides good food n good music as well..plus there are many more ways to enjoy your nights in Colombo!!!

    Dress Code: Clubs like h20 and Nuvovo - slinky clubwear

    RnB - a hot top with pants for ladies n even denim jeans are ok 4 both guys or gals

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  • casinos: what nightlife ?

    by fitzdubai Updated May 8, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the only nightlife in colombo are the casinos.the casinos are well run and safe they have poker,blackjack,ect.All three casinos are run by the same company. There is a free shuttle bus from one casino to the other,also free food and drinks.

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  • richardlevett's Profile Photo

    Bars, Karaoke bars, Night Clubs: Nightlife. What nightlife?

    by richardlevett Updated Mar 22, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Colombo doesn’t really have any nightlife (that is happening.) For single males there are the usual "male orientated nightlife activities" that is common in Asia (hostess bars and worse) but for women, couples and men seeking a good night out - especially dancing - just forget it.

    Seen some argument over this matter before so it is relevant to say I have clubbed in Bangkok, KL, Jakarta, Singapore, Vientanne and Indian cities and even little old Vientanne (capital of Laos) is far more exciting than Colombo.

    There are basically;

    - Karaoke bars: family type places (ok for a sing along) and the "brothel bars" types with hostesses. Pier 3 is listed as a nightclub BUT is extremely dodgy Tamil hostess bar. Beware of the tourist boards silly books that listed this as a nightclub!

    - Casinos – as I never gamble not bothered to look in one but they look expensive from the outside! Most are clustered near the Liberty plaza. Balleys and Star Dust are both nearby.

    - Night clubs - well Blue Leopard (Grand oriental), The Blue (Hilton) and basically a few other hotels have "night clubs". Rather cheesy student nightclub feel and hostesses/hookers (usually) add to the seediness. Even Laos has less seediness than this in the nightlife.

    - Bars – we’ll Galle Face Hotel bar is worth a drink and even a meal. Best with a group of friends. Other bars are so so yawn………

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    Confifi Beach Hotel: Snake Charmer

    by freya_heaven Updated Aug 19, 2005

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As you can see, there are snakes being charmed out of baskets.

    I assume they have had their venom taken out or are drugged.

    I have recently been informed by a VTer who is a friend of the snake charmer cobras are not drugged or had their fangs taken out , its just that usually in the evening cobras are naturally docile and easier to handle.

    Snake Charmer

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    everywhere: Try some arak

    by trisanna Written May 9, 2005

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    Coconut Arak is the local alcoholic drink of Sri Lanka. You can drink it straight or have it in cocktails. In Kandy, i had a nice cocktail with coconut arak, pasionfruit juice, and soda water. Quite nice after a hard day of sightseeing.

    I recommend you picking up a bottle of coconut arak before you leave. We bought an extra two bottles for friends. They cost around 390 rps, about 4 usd each.

    having a coconut arak cocktail, Kandy

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    Echelon Pub and Blue Elephant nightclub: Colombo

    by call_me_rhia Written Dec 23, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    How can I best describe this well-known Colombo Pub? Let's try fishing opinions off the net.
    Opinion 1: this can be a fun watering hole. Pool table and live music on weekends.
    Opinion 2: this is a colonial-style ''English'' pub. It has that convincing atmosphere. This ornate bar is where Colombo's night-time action can be found.
    What can I say, except: "oh, really?". Reality as I experienced it is quite different: a european couple in their 60ies, 6 British gals and guys busy getting drunk, 4 local lads of the upper class with a couple of body-guards and a score of whiskey bottles, two western men in their late 70ies and two badly dressed over-50 prostitutes.
    The Blue Elephant nightclub was just as boring as the pub, and with a similar cllientele, minus the old men and related prostitutes

    Dress Code: Smart casual - officially

    hilton fun

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