Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, has a long history as an important port on the ancient east-west trade routes, and has been variously ruled by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. That heritage is reflected in its often charming architecture and unique culture.
The city is fast developing into a regional business hub, buzzing with activity and filled with interesting things to do and see. Visitors will enjoy discovering the best of local authentic cuisines – including some of the word’s exquisite curries – and some fine historic buildings.
Colombo also presents, of course, a cosmopolitan side, with ever-more stylish cafés, shops and galleries opening all the time.
Explore, discover, and enjoy getting to know the enthralling city of Colombo.
Dutch Hospital Precinct
The Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct is one of the attractive shopping centres in the country. The building was originally a hospital during the Dutch occupation of Sri Lanka, and is considered to be the oldest building in the historic Colombo Fort area. It was also used as a police station and an apothecary, before being finally converted for its current use in 2011.
Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple
Gangaramaya Temple is one of the important temples in Colombo, and serves as both a place of Buddhist worship and a centre of learning. The temple’s architecture is a mix of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian and Chinese, and it welcomes visitors of all faiths.
The Red Mosque
In the heart of the busy streets of Pettah, the red and white structure of the Jami-ul-Alfar Mosque stands as one of the most popular tourist attractions of the city, as well as being one of the oldest mosques in Colombo. Its clock tower and candy-cane-striped minarets, towering over its surroundings, were once used as a landmark by sailors approaching Colombo’s ports.
Colombo Museum, as it was originally called, was established on 1 January, 1877. Its founder was Sir William Henry Gregory, the British Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) at the time.
Independence Memorial Hall
Independence Memorial Hall is a national monument that was built to mark the independence of Sri Lanka from British rule, with the restoration of full governing responsibility to a Ceylonese-elected legislature on February 4, 1948.
Royal Colombo Golf Club
The Royal Colombo Golf Club is the oldest golf club in Sri Lanka. Established in 1880, it is home to the Sri Lanka Golf Union, the governing body of Golf in Sri Lanka. It maintains ties with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Bally’s is a well-established casino with a reputation for respectability and hospitality. The gaming area is spread over an extensive area, with private areas for high rollers.
Colombo’s largest park was originally called Victoria Park, but renamed in the 1950s for the mother of King Dutugemunu. It is notable for its superb flowering trees, which bloom in March, April and early May.
Galle Face Green
Great for a seafront-stroll and for people watching, especially on weekend evenings, this large open park and promenade, created by the British in 1859, covers 13 acres between Galle Road and the Indian Ocean.
One Galle Face Mall
Colombo’s first prestigious shopping development. A premier retail, entertainment and dining paradise to unite local and global shoppers.
From the outset, the design was planned to offer a fusion of clear sight lines, ease of access and an environment rendered in high quality materials. Providing the globe’s best known and best loved names with optimal display and foot traffic opportunities and ensuring that visitors are engaged and satisfied with an experience unlike anything else in Colombo.
At the rooftop, find a plethora of alfresco dining options with cuisines to suit every taste, all with spectacular views of the ocean makes this a must visit attraction for having a drink with friends, colleagues or the family. For everyday dining, the high-quality themed food court will offer familiar international brands alongside the best of local flavours with something for every palate and pocket, ensuring an endless stream of activity passing through the mall.