Ten things to do in Colombo

Browse our guide to experiencing the best of Sri Lanka's capital
Ten things to do in Colombo
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By Time Out editors |

Discover a side of the city that is miles apart from Colombo's 'commercial hub' status. Trips on 'tuk tuks', beach visits, shopping sprees, street food and more will ensure that your stay in the city is filled with fun experiences. 

Gangaramaya Temple is a temple in Colombo

Visit a temple

Spend some hours in spiritual reverence at the Gangaramaya Temple or the Bellanwila Temple. Don’t forget to step into the museum at the Gangaramaya Temple to see unique sculptures and learn some interesting details about the temple and Sri Lanka in general.

A 'tuk tuk' ride around Colombo

Take a 'tuk tuk' ride around the city

If you are in Colombo or in any other major town, one of the best ways to explore the city is to hop onto a three wheel or as the popularly known ‘tuk tuk’. You can cover the whole town, get to know and experience all the major attractions and must visit places within a matter of hours as the ‘tuk tuk’ zig zags its way through the busy streets. There are many tuks available in the city and it’s a matter of flagging one down. Make sure to flag a meter taxi or if it’s a normal one to negotiate a price before starting your tour.

Mount Lavinia Beach is a beach in Colombo

Visit the beach

Take some time from your busy schedule to visit either the Galle Face Green or the Mount Lavinia beach to enjoy some time by the ocean. If you happen to choose the Galle Face Green, make sure to fly a kite, if the weather permits, or simply walk the length enjoying the vibrance of this overwhelming popular hangout spot. At any given point, the place is overrun with people, adults and kids alike, especially during weekends.

The Mount Lavinia beach, similarly popular, is a good place to enjoy a spot of sea bathing, if the sea is not too rough, and then to some yummy seafood in one of the many restaurants dotting the shoreline.

Racecourse Promenade is a shopping complex in Colombo
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Go shopping

Shopping in Colombo is a fun thing to do with countless options that range from boutique stores, department stores to clothing shops. For more read our guide to Shopping, Colombo Style – places you must try.

Museum of Natural History is a museum in Colombo

Visit a museum or an art gallery

Visiting a museum in Colombo is the perfect opportunity to learn about the history and culture that shaped Sri Lanka while a visit to an art gallery would provide you with an opportunity to see what ‘art’ in Sri Lanka is all about.


Visit the good market

With the main Good Market held every Thursday, it is the perfect venue to go if you are looking for fresh produce—vegetables and fruits, prepared food with no additives and handicrafts. Also don’t forget to check out the Saturday and Sunday Good Markets as well. 

Floating Market in Pettah is a venue in Colombo

Visit the Floating Market in Pettah

Following a concept similar to that of Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, the Market is worth a visit to buy goods, relax and to grab a bite. Read more.

The Independence Square Walking Tracks is a venue in Colombo

Take a jog or walk along a walking/jogging track

There are many walking/jogging tracks in Colombo, all built to promote a healthy living style. Early morning or late afternoons, all tracks are filled with joggers or people who come to enjoy a walk with their families. Built to attract people and to please the eye, a jog or walk along one of the many walking tracks in Colombo is definitely a healthy option to try out. Read more.

Isso Vade is a popular street food in Sri Lanka

Try some street food

Try some street food from the many vendors scattered along the busy streets of Colombo or the Galle Face Green.

Dehiwala Zoological Gardens is a zoo in Colombo

Visit the Dehiwala Zoological Garden

A day spent among the furries, exotic or not, is a time spent worthwhile at the Dehiwala Zoological Garden, the foremost zoo of Sri Lanka. Read more.

More to explore