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Exploring the 16 Best Tourist Places in Colombo in 2023

16 Best Tourist Places in Colombo

Colombo, the lively capital city of Sri Lanka, offers a fascinating mix of history, culture, and beautiful beaches. From ancient temples to modern skyscrapers, this bustling metropolis has some of the best tourist places in Colombo.

Let’s explore the 16 best tourist places in Colombo, revealing the city’s hidden gems and must-visit destinations.

Iconic Lotus Tower: With a 360 Degree View

Colombo Lotus Tower, also known as “Nelum Kuluna” in Sinhala, is the tallest skyscraper in Sri Lanka. Situated in the town of Colombo, it has gained fame as one of the most popular tourist sites in the country.

Rising to an impressive height of 356 meters, this tower holds the distinction of being the tallest tower in South Asia, the 11th tallest in Asia, and the 19th tallest in the world.

It has become a prominent attraction, drawing numerous visitors and captivating tourists from around the world.

Galle Face Green: One of the Best Tourist Places in Colombo

Heading towards the coast, we arrive at Galle Face Green, one of the best tourist places in Colombo, a sprawling promenade overlooking the Indian Ocean.

This picturesque stretch of green is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. Take a leisurely stroll, fly a kite, or indulge in street food while enjoying the stunning sunset views.

The National Museum of Colombo: Unveiling the Past

Immerse yourself in Sri Lanka’s rich history at the National Museum of Colombo, one of the best tourist places in Colombo.

Housed within a magnificent colonial-era building, this museum showcases a vast collection of artifacts, including ancient relics, royal regalia, and Buddhist art.

It’s a fascinating journey through the island’s past.

Gangaramaya Temple: A Place of Spiritual Serenity

Seeking spiritual solace? Visit the iconic Gangaramaya Temple, one of the best tourist places in Colombo, a renowned Buddhist temple in Colombo.

Marvel at its intricate architecture, adorned with vibrant colors and elaborate decorations. Don’t miss the impressive collection of religious artifacts, including ancient manuscripts and statues.

Viharamahadevi Park: Nature’s Oasis in the City

Escape the city’s hustle and bustle at Viharamahadevi Park, the largest public park in Colombo and one of the best tourist places in Colombo.

This green oasis offers a serene environment perfect for picnics, leisurely walks, and enjoying nature’s beauty.

Be sure to visit the park’s centerpiece, a majestic golden Buddha statue.

Colombo Fort: Historical Landmarks from the Past

Step back in time as you explore Colombo Fort, one of the best tourist places in Colombo, a historic district dating back to the colonial era.

Wander through the streets lined with colonial-era buildings and soak up the atmosphere of a bygone era. Don’t miss the Old Parliament Building and the Clock Tower, iconic landmarks that reflect the city’s colonial past.

Pettah Market, a Shopper’s Paradise

Indulge in a sensory overload at Pettah Market, one of the best tourist places in Colombo, a vibrant and bustling marketplace in Colombo.

Get lost in the labyrinth of streets filled with shops selling everything from clothing and jewelry to spices and electronics.

Bargain to your heart’s content and experience the vibrant local culture.

Independence Memorial Hall: Commemorating Freedom

A testament to Sri Lanka’s struggle for independence, the Independence Memorial Hall stands tall in Colombo.

Marvel at its striking architecture and pay homage to the country’s freedom fighters. The surrounding Independence Square offers a tranquil setting for a leisurely stroll or a moment of reflection.

Beira Lake: A Tranquil Retreat

Nestled amidst the city’s hustle and bustle, Beira Lake provides a serene escape from the urban chaos. Take a boat ride on the lake and admire the surrounding scenery.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the Seema Malaka Temple, an exquisite Buddhist temple located on a floating platform.

Sri Lanka in January: The Family-Friendly Destination

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Mount Lavinia Beach, Sun, Sand, and Serenity

Just a short distance from Colombo, Mount Lavinia Beach is one of the best tourist places in Colombo and offers a slice of paradise.

Sink your toes into the golden sands, take a refreshing dip in the clear waters, or simply relax and soak up the sun.

Enjoy a romantic sunset dinner at one of the beachside restaurants, savoring delicious seafood.

Colombo Dutch Museum: Exploring Colonial History

Discover the remnants of Sri Lanka’s colonial past at the Colombo Dutch Museum. Housed within a restored Dutch-era mansion, this museum provides insight into the Dutch influence on the island.

Explore the exhibits showcasing colonial artifacts, antique furniture, and historical documents.

Dehiwala Zoo, A Wildlife Adventure

Animal lovers will delight in a visit to Dehiwala Zoo, one of the best tourist places in Colombo and one of the oldest zoological gardens in Asia.

Home to a wide variety of species, including elephants, lions, and colorful birds, this zoo offers an opportunity to get up close and personal with Sri Lanka’s diverse wildlife.

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara: Peaceful and Sacred

Experience the tranquility of Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, a sacred Buddhist temple located on the banks of the Kelani River.

Admire the temple’s exquisite architecture, adorned with vibrant murals depicting the life of the Buddha. Take part in religious rituals and soak in the spiritual ambiance.

Diyatha Uyana: A Recreational Haven

Diyatha Uyana, a beautifully landscaped park, is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy recreational activities.

Take a leisurely boat ride on the lake, explore the vibrant flower gardens, or savor local delicacies at the waterfront restaurants.

The park also hosts a weekly night market, offering a unique shopping experience.

The Floating Market: Shopping on the Water

Colombo’s Floating Market is a one-of-a-kind shopping destination that combines traditional market vibes with a modern twist.

Explore the wooden stalls selling a variety of goods, including clothing, handicrafts, and souvenirs, all set against the backdrop of the floating market on Beira Lake.

Red Mosque: The Oldest Mosque’s in Colombo

One of the most fascinating buildings to explore in Colombo is the Jami Ul-Alfar Masjid, famously known as the Red Mosque.

Built in 1909, the Red Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Colombo, adding to its historical significance. The striking red and white patterns of the mosque create an eye-catching sight, almost resembling a structure made of candy.

Visiting the mosque is relatively easy, but it’s essential to dress respectfully according to Islamic customs. This means that women should also cover their hair as a sign of respect.

Located in the Pettah area, known for its bustling markets, the Red Mosque offers an excellent opportunity to explore the vibrant surroundings.

Related Reading: 12 Best Places to Visit in Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka Tour Packages

Our Sri Lanka tour packages offer the perfect way to explore this beautiful island. We have a variety of packages to choose from, so you can find one that fits your interests and budget. We can also create a custom itinerary for you.


What is the best time to visit Colombo?

Colombo is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is during the dry season from November to April when the weather is pleasant, and rainfall is minimal.

Are there any beaches in Colombo?

While Colombo itself doesn’t have many beaches, nearby Mount Lavinia Beach is a popular spot for sunbathing and swimming.

Can I visit the Gangaramaya Temple during religious ceremonies?

Yes, visitors are welcome to observe religious ceremonies at the Gangaramaya Temple. It is important to dress modestly and respect the customs and traditions of the temple.

Are there any accommodations near Galle Face Green?

Yes, there are several hotels and guesthouses near Galle Face Green that offer stunning views of the ocean and convenient access to the promenade.

Is it safe to explore Colombo at night?

While Colombo is generally safe, it is always advisable to take basic precautions when exploring the city at night. Stick to well-lit areas and avoid isolated places to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

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