Colombo Travel Guide

  • Seema Malakaya Temple
    Seema Malakaya Temple
    by husain
  • Colombo
    by SamanHewage
  • A Dargah in Colombo
    A Dargah in Colombo
    by alycat

Colombo Highlights

  • Pro
    OMERKASHMIRI profile photo

    OMERKASHMIRI says…

     lovely beach like mount lavinia, excellent hotels, ideal place to shop , no language problems as every one can speak english . 

  • Con
    brighidnatasha profile photo

    brighidnatasha says…

     If you really want to see Sri Lanka, only use Colombo as a jumping off point to other places in the country - to head to the beaches, the ruins, the mountains, etc. 

  • In a nutshell
    ogb4619 profile photo

    ogb4619 says…

     Enjoy it and then go bush. 

Colombo Things to Do

  • Temples

    In the Pettah area of Colombo is the famous Sea Street, home to three important Hindu Temples, the Ganeshan, the Old Kathiresan and the New Kathiresan. All have their intricately-carved and colourful gopurams (doorways). This street is also a business centre for many jewellery shops.

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  • Day Trip

    St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, a branch of the Church of Scotland, earlier known as St. Andrew's Scots Kirk located in Princess Street, Fort, is the only Presbyterian Church in Sri Lanka. It opened its doors to worshippers on 21st. October, 1842. In 1906, it was shifted to its present location between the DFCC Bank and The Cinnamon Grand, close...

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  • Museums

    In the centre of the bustling, noisy and marginally manic Pettah (market) area of Colombo stands the rather fine building you see in the main image which houses the Dutch Period Museum. It is a building with quite an interesting history and dates to the very late 17th century when it was constructed by the Dutch Governor of the area, a chap called...

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Colombo Hotels

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Colombo Restaurants

  • Burgers Salads wraps and more

    The pub is filled with cricket memorabilia it has an inside and outside eating area as well as a designated smoking room. They offer a range of different lagers on tap and bottled.On my last visit I met up with Britta & Nath who are living in Colombo and involved in the fashion and artitectural industry. We sat outside and enjoyed a excellent lunch...

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  • Burger King comes to Sri Lanka

    Fast food at its best and so much nicer then MacDonalds which has a few chains in Sri Lanka. I was treated to a meal here by vtér Threshi after telling her that I am mostly restricted to chicken in Kandy and the very occassional mutton briyani. I was bundled off in the car with Treshi and her son who was also excited to try out the new burger king...

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  • Not so fast food but very good.

    I had seen this place a few times as it was near my hotel and I had wondered what it was like. I had actually walked past it a couple of times quite early and knew that it did not open until 1100 in the morning and stayed open until 2300. I had heard of the famous rice and curry, the staple of the Sri Lankan lunch menu and had determined to try it....

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Colombo Nightlife

  • My favorite bar in Sri Lanka.

    Brwery by the O is a really nice watering hole in central Colombo inside the old dutch hospital, which is an old hospital turned in to a trendy place full of bars, cafes, restaurants and shops.But despite being in a trendy place and being really nice looking this place is not expensive at all with only 170 rupees for a pint of Lion Beer.That is...

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  • CASINO TIME :)

    There are many Casinos in Colombo.. all located in the same area ( Galle Road)most famous ones are Balagio and Ballys followed by Star Dusti went to Ballys and had a great time...Note: in all Casinos , Food,Drinks& cigarettes are free of charge as long as you are playing ! Smart Casual

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  • Restaurant bars

    I live in Sri lanka. Down below I will give you locations of all the local bars available in Colombo to sit and drink.1. Fort area- One bar In front of Fort railway station, Two just opposite same railway station, street name, Olcotte mawatha. One at Ricky cinema hall and, another two at slaves island in front of slaves island railway station and...

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Colombo Transportation

  • Central Bus Station.

    Rather confusingly, there are three main bus stations in central Colombo, all within close proximity at the edge of the Pettah (market area) just East of Fort train station. This tip deals with central Station which is the arrival and departure point for most suburban buses although the airport bus did also deposit me here.It is situated to the...

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  • Let the train take the strain.

    If you are making any sort of train journey to or from Colombo, you will inevitably end up in Fort Station which is the hub of the entire system. The fabled hill line trains complete with observation cars depart here as do all the overnight sleepers. I am writing this tip during my trip to Sri Lanka and have been through here several times. I have...

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  • This is only half a tip!

    I am writing this tip whilst in Sri Lanka and so have only experienced the arrivals part of the airport. I shall complete the information whenever I sadly have to depart from this lovely country.Unless you are arriving in Sri Lanka by cargo vessel or in the fortunate position of sailing in on your own yacht, you will have to go through Bandaranaike...

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Colombo Shopping

See all 27 Shopping in Colombo
  • Ramafour Shop

    Ramafour is a 3 stories shop of clothes and shoes.it located just next to Majestic City... very nice clothes and very good quality ... but the prices are not low

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  • Odel

    Odel is a small Shopping mall.. you can find almost everything here..Shopping is known to be cheap in Colombo.. but this is not true from what i saw....in Odel, you can find lots of nice clothes,shoes..etc... but the prices are not low

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  • Don't leave airport without SIM card

    Moment you clear Immigration & Customs, walk towards the exit. Just before the exit gate, look to your left. You will see kiosks of Dialog, Mobitel and Etisalat, next to one another. I chose Mobitel (LKR 200/- deposit + LKR 800/-talk time). LKR 4/- per minute to India. When your limit gets low, you can 'roload' your SIM card. Don't buy a fresh one,...

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Colombo Local Customs

  • that useful umbrella

    An umbrella is useful every day in Colombo... it canprotect you from the rain, it can protect you from the sun... and especially it can ürotect you from people's eyes. This is what I liked best in town - the sweetest sight of all... dozen and dozen of young couples at Galle Green, chilling our and kissing, hidden behind that useful umbrella.

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  • Holidays used by Locals to Travel

    There are few holidays considered very important to locals. You have to avoid using local transport traveling looking for an accommodation. If have any pre booked transport means and accommodation there is nothing to worry. There are two main holidays considered very important here and I have given description on other holidays too. Main Holidays...

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  • Other Holidays

    The great thing about Sri Lanka is it has the highest no public holidays in the world. I am correct it have to be 27 days I think. It is mixture both religious and other public holidays. Now when it comes to holiday Poya Day will definitely effect your holiday or rather travel plans. But there are few things you have to be more careful on as...

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Colombo Warnings and Dangers

  • Beware of this man, he is a scammer.

    I bumped into this guy in the Mission to Seaman aka the Flying Angel down by the port which is frequented ,as the name suggests, by visiting mariners and the odd traveller like myself although I only have the managers word for that as I reckon everyone else I saw in there was a seafarer. The chap in the image approached me and asked, in perfect...

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  • Just dip a toe in but be careful.

    I saw the sign that forms the main mage for this tip on Galle Face Green in central Colombo and, to be honest, it is a fairly necessary warning anywhere on the island form what I have read and been told. Whilst Sri Lanka boasts some truly stunning beaches, indeed that is a major attraction, there are all sorts of unpredicable rips and the like...

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  • rip off tailors

    This is more about tailors than anyone else, although I could say similar about taxi drivers. Always agree on a price before you place an order for alterations or getting some articles of clothing made, and get this in writing. I've paid three times the price for something as simple as changing a lining in a suit jacket. Lankan workmanship can be...

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Colombo Tourist Traps

  • I'm sure I was ripped off

    I had read in my guidebook about the old Town Hall in Colombo and it stated that you could just go in and have a look round for nothing although it was nothing exciting. Well, they were certainly right about the second part as it really is underwhelming to say the least. As for the matter of price, the book had already proved to be inaccurate once...

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  • Just what he thinks you will pay.

    I have thought long and hard about where to put this tip as it refers to a bar where I had a wonderful travel experience which you can read about in my blog and with the benefit of hindsight and more local experience I have decided that it is indeed a tourist trap and best avoided.I realise that beach bars attract a premium, even if the beach in...

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  • The tour guide commsion

    your guide or driver will try to take you to a handicraft or gem shops where he will receive a commission.Wether your alone on a tuktuk or if you are part of a tour group from a reputable tour company ex. jetwing walkers you would be invariably be taken to a shop, factory spice garden where you would be expected to purchase goods at a very high...

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Colombo What to Pack

  • Packing List

    My back pack was all I had most of the trip and turned out to be all I needed. Nearly every one in Sri Lanka carried an umbrella. On sunny days it would be used for shade. I wanted to keep both hands free to use my cameras so I did not take one. I would suggest some sort of a light weight rain coat that could also serve as a wind breaker if you go...

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  • Packing List

    The safari trips offer decent value for money. Remember to bring along a good pair of binoculars, suntan lotion, water and mosquito repellent. I like the variety of bird life in particular. Don't get too near the wild elephants though. I saw a porcupine for the first time in my life and was absolutely delighted. It was in captivity though. Can...

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  • Colombo Hotels

    34 Hotels in Colombo

    659 Reviews and Opinions

Colombo Off The Beaten Path

  • Sadly not what it was.

    I really wasn't having a good day that day! Readers of my other pages will know that two of my great loves are railways and canals. I had just left the rather disappointing National Railway Museum which had saddened me a little with the condition of the few exhibits there (see separate tip) and was feeling a little sad when I came on the scene you...

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  • REPLICAS OF MAJOR BUDDHIST SHRINES

    While visiting some Christian friends nearby Colombo, they took me to this large area where many of the major Buddhist shrines are replicated, called 'SRI MAHA DEVRAN VIYAHARA'.Their English is limited and my Sinhala is almost non-existant, so I couldn't glean details. It was raining heavily, so we had to jump puddles and huddle under the umbrella...

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  • Respect The Cultures and Traditions

    Shaking of hands is the normal form of greeting. It is customary to be offered tea when visiting but it you refuse It is considered very rude. Please note that when visiting Buddist temples, modest clothing should be worn. ie no bare legs or uncovered hair. Shoes and hats should be removed

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Colombo Sports & Outdoors

  • Recreational Activity.

    This is one of the great family clubs of which I’m a member too. Its one of the best in Sri Lanka and home to most of the Sri Lankan cricketers including the present Captain Mahela & former Captain Arjuna. The club is situated in Colombo 7. The club has many facilities which include, Cricket obviously, Swimming, Diving, Squash, Badminton, Tennis,...

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  • Clubs, Holes & Birdies...

    This one is for the Golf enthusiasts, those seeking for golfing in our beautiful island will have the previledge of making use of the following clubs,The Royal Colombo Golf Club (RCGC) is another landmark place located in the heart of the city. Established in 1879, has the honor of being the 2nd Golf club in the world to receive the Royal Charter....

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Colombo Favorites

  • Colombo City

    Colombo is the Main City of Sri Lanka and growing very quickly after the 30 years Local War. I think Colombo City will be the best City of the Asia for "Night Life" in Future because plan has started already ;) I guess

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  • Currency Exchange at the Airport

    There are no ATM or Currency Exchange facility to change your Sri Lankan Rupee in to foreign currency once you get inside the boarding area and clear Immigration for Departuture. Departure Gate. There is a ATM on the right hand side beside entrance gate before the first security scaner, and banks counters at the Departure Hall a receipt is required...

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  • ATM

    There is one ATM on the back side of Commercial Bank Counter. Slightly on left side after coming out of arrival hall.Its better to draw money from VISA ATM rather then selling the foreign currency to the Bank Counters which offer lower rates then the open market. There is no extra charges when i used my Debit Card.

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Explore Deeper into Colombo
Zoo
Things to Do
Galle Face Green
Things to Do
Shopping
Things to Do
Forts
Things to Do
Beaches
Things to Do
Cinnamon Gardens - Viharamahadevi Park
Things to Do
A very fine market.
Things to Do
I can only speak as I find.
Things to Do
What a strange experience.
Restaurants
I'm still not sure about this place.
Things to Do
Friendly, average food, odd serving style.
Restaurants
Quite plain but interesting.
Things to Do
The building is the star here.
Things to Do
You could easily miss this.
Things to Do
Good, cheap Indian food.
Restaurants
Slightly disappointing.
Things to Do
A very high tea.
Restaurants
Memorial to a remarkable man.
Things to Do
A wonderful find, seek it out.
Things to Do
I didn't know it was posh!
Things to Do
Shine a light, what time is it?
Things to Do
Everyone seems to do it.
Things to Do
I just didn't like it.
Things to Do
Excellent Jaffna Cuisine.
Restaurants
Excellent bar food.
Restaurants
Great food, unusual setting.
Restaurants
Sunsets along Galle Face Beach
Things to Do
A very fine bar.
Things to Do
Nice biryani in a "closed" restaurant.
Restaurants
An OK Bar, nothing more.
Things to Do
Don't let appearances fool you.
Things to Do
From the airport to Colombo.
Transportation
RELIABLE TRANSPORT & FRIENDLY GUIDE
Transportation
Good Service and food, shame about some people
Restaurants
Excellent place for drinks and light meals.
Restaurants
Rude Customer Service
Restaurants
Red Mosque
Things to Do
Dutch House Museum
Things to Do
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
Things to Do
Candy Stripes - Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque
Things to Do
Map of Colombo

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