Being the capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo illustrates the most vibrant picture of the country’s culture and history alongside archaic temples and modern buildings. You’ll find trains and buses whizzing by hazy streets, and hopping on one of them with a cheap ticket will lead you to the many glories that Colombo has to offer.
Here is a list of the 5 top places you must see in Colombo, Sri Lanka
National Museum of Colombo
Before you embark on experiencing Sri Lankan culture, a trip to this museum will help you understand the history and importance behind the country’s architecture, arts and crafts, clothing and jewelery, and more. The museum showcases the nation’s traditional items and artifacts in various media, all of which are presented in a chronological manner set from pre-history to the current times.
As represented by its name, this tower is physically structured to look like a lotus flower that overlooks the entire city, making it an excellent viewpoint. The Lotus tower is South Asia’s tallest freestanding structure, positioned at the height of around 1,168 feet. Inside, you’ll find a telecommunication museum, shopping mall, revolving fine dining restaurant, hotel, indoor and outdoor observation areas and a plethora of other facilities.
If you’re traveling as a family or a couple, you can wind down in one of Colombo’s greenest parks that also houses a 15-foot-tall brass statue of Buddha meditating. Other attractions in this park are a small zoo, a national library, and a war memorial statue called the Cenotaph.
Viharamahadevi Park is also considered one of the oldest parks in Sri Lanka and was formerly called Victoria Park. Currently, it is named for one of the country’s former queens, the mother of King Dutugemunu, to pay homage to her brave and selfless character.
National Zooligical Gardens of Sri Lanka
This zoo is officially one of the oldest zoos in Asia and comprises about 3000 animal species. However, the Colombo Zoo is far from a traditional caged zoo. It prioritizes educating the public about animal conservation and welfare, and its zookeepers host daily demonstrations with several of its animals.
You can visit the zoo on any day of the week between 8:30 am to 6 pm. Additionally, you can make a short trip to the nearby elephant sanctuary and wildlife park managed by the Department of Zoological Gardens. This is a fun activity for both couples and families to experience in Colombo.
The Gangaramaya Temple is not just a place for worship but also where non-Buddhists can educate themselves about the religion. Constructed in the 19th century, the temple doubles as a museum for ancient artifacts including jewelry, coins, and even a vintage Rolls-Royce alongside a lock of Buddha’s hair.
The most exciting time to visit the Gangaramaya Temple is in the month of February where a religious ceremony takes place, and wide-eyed tourists stand by as a procession is led on by the temple’s elephant.