A No-Fuss List Of Must-Do’s In Colombo

Colombo is a city that offers a little bit of everything Sri Lanka represents.

Facebook Viharamahadevi Park
Facebook/Viharamahadevi Park

The largest city in Sri Lanka is also an urban capital that houses 5.6 million residents. Colombo will most likely be your first and last stop in the country, so spending a few days in this growing financial center is a must. The greatest quality that Colombo encompasses is that it offers a little bit of everything Sri Lanka represents: spirituality, local cuisine, and fun under the sun on a sandy beach. So here’s a straight-to-the-point, carefully filtered list of must-do’s in Colombo. May you have an unforgettable time!

1. Stay in zen mode at Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

Kelaniya, Colombo, Sri Lanka (map, website)

The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is significant must-see in Colombo, because locals believe the original stupa at the temple is where Buddha sat and preached. Kelaniya has survived through transitional periods throughout Sri Lanka’s sordid history, from Portuguese to Dutch empires. But the most captivating part about Kelaniya is a series of impressive images portraying the reclining Gautama Buddha. Also, don’t miss the religious paintings of Buddha’s life by native artist Solias Mendis.

Facebook Location Lanka
Facebook/Location Lanka

2. Say a little prayer at Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple

61 Sri Jinarathana Rd, Colombo 00200, Sri Lanka (map, website)

As one of the most famous temples in Colombo, Gangaramaya is a remarkable architecture. The mixture of Sri Lankan, Chinese, Indian and Thai designs conveys a unique and cultural aspect. In addition to a place of worship, the Gangaramaya Temple also serves as a learning center, a museum and a library.

Facebook Gangaramaya Temple
Facebook/Gangaramaya Temple

3. Stroll through Viharamahadevi Park

Colombo, Sri Lanka (map)

For an hour of carefree promenade escaping Colombo’s busy streets, Viharamahadevi Park is the ideal venue. Situated next to the National Museum, this is the oldest and largest park in the city. Highlights in the park include: a giant Buddha statue, numerous water mountains and a small zoo.

Facebook Viharamahadevi Park Colombo
Facebook/Viharamahadevi Park

4. Perfect your tan on Mount Lavinia Beach

Every island city has a strip along the beach, and Colombo is not an exempt. Popularized by travelers, Mount Lavinia Beach is the hub of nightlife and beach activities. With several resorts in the area, Mount Lavinia is THE place for a sandy afternoon with a fruity cocktail in hand.

Facebook Mount Lavinia Hotel
Facebook/Mount Lavinia Hotel

5. Shop for local souvenirs at Dutch Hospital Precinct

Hospital St, Colombo, Sri Lanka (map, website)

As the oldest building in Colombo, the old Dutch Hospital Precinct was transformed into a place for restaurants, cafes and local boutiques. Don’t expect a mall, but this is a great area to grab a bite to eat and shop for local souvenirs.

Facebook Dutch Hospital Complex
Facebook/Dutch Hospital Complex

Wendy Hung


As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and St. Bart's because they were all so different!

Jetset Times in your inbox

Sign-up for our newsletter

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy and European users agree to the data transfer policy.