Colombo

Travel Guide
Colombo showing heritage elements and a sunset

Colonial charm and Buddhist spirituality mix with beachside entertainment, bustling shopping districts and a love of cricket in Sri Lanka’s coastal capital.

Colombo is a showcase of Sri Lanka’s Asian and European heritage. It’s where the fast-paced chaos of the continent’s cities meets a lingering colonial ambiance and contemporary fashion. In Colombo, ancient religious shrines stand next to churches, and skyscrapers rise above time-honored shops. Pretty parks are a reminder of Colombo’s “Garden City of the East” nickname while beaches offer an introduction to the island’s 833-mile (1,340-kilometer) coastline.

Discover the spiritual serenity that exists amid the mayhem of the city streets at Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple and lakeside Seema Malaka Buddhist Temple. The contrasting Gothic Old Town Hall and neoclassical New Town Hall sit on the edge of gorgeous Viharamahadevi Park. Visit European-influenced churches, including the Dutch-built Wolvendaal Church, Portuguese St. Anthony’s Church and Scottish St. Andrew’s Church.

Browse art collections that date back to the 4th century B.C. at Colombo National Museum and learn about Dutch rule at the Dutch Period Museum. Ape Gama is an open-air folk museum that brings to life the customs of a Sri Lankan village via mock rural scenes. The elaborately decorated Independence Memorial Hall commemorates the nation breaking free from the British Empire.

Pettah is Colombo’s bustling shopping quarter, famous for traditional shops and markets such as Pettah Floating Market. Go to Arcade Independence Square and Crescat Boulevard for brand-name and upmarket fashion. Witness the city’s passion for cricket while attending a match at Premadasa International Cricket Stadium. Or, play a round of 18 holes at the immaculate Royal Colombo Golf Club.

Watch the sunset and snack on spicy street food during an evening stroll on Galle Green Face Promenade. Find an aquarium, beer garden and outdoor food court at Diyatha Uyana waterfront park. Mount Lavinia Beach boasts golden sand and chic seafront bars. Spot exotic animals at Dehiwala National Zoo and ride waterslides at Leisure World.

Reach Colombo by flying to Bandaranaike International Airport, located an hour’s drive from the city center. Get around the city via low-cost buses, trains and tuk-tuks.

Where to stay in Colombo

Marino Beach Colombo
Marino Beach Colombo
5 out of 5
590 Marine Drive, Colombo, WP
The price is $60 per night from Dec 9 to Dec 9
Located in Bambalapitiya, this luxury hotel is 0.3 mi (0.4 km) from Marino Mall and within 3 mi (5 km) of Nawaloka Hospital and Bally's Casino. German Embassy ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (377 reviews)
"Nice"

Reviewed on Nov 24, 2021

Marino Beach Colombo
Shangri-La Colombo
Shangri-La Colombo
5 out of 5
1 Galle Face, Colombo
The price is $160 per night from Jan 8 to Jan 8
Located in Colombo, this beachfront hotel is in the city center and within 1 mi (2 km) of Galle Face Green, Bally's Casino, and Pettah Market. Colombo City Centre ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (220 reviews)
"Spacious Room with a lovely ocean view. Restaurants were great! Service at the lobby could improve."

Reviewed on Dec 2, 2021

Shangri-La Colombo
Cinnamon Grand Colombo
Cinnamon Grand Colombo
5 out of 5
77, Galle Road, Colombo
Fully refundable
The price is $110 per night from Jan 7 to Jan 7
This family-friendly Colombo hotel is located by the ocean, just steps from Crescat Shopping Mall and St. Andrew's Scots Kirk Church. Nawaloka Hospital and Bally's ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (649 reviews)
"Excellent service and great food at the restaurants."

Reviewed on Nov 25, 2021

Cinnamon Grand Colombo
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Halahouse Colombo
Halahouse Colombo
3.5 out of 5
7 Kothalawala Gardens, Colombo
The price is $50 per night from Jan 5 to Jan 5
Located in Colombo 04, this apartment building is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Majestic City and 2.6 mi (4.1 km) from Nawaloka Hospital. Raux Brothers and Asokaramaya ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (4 reviews)
"Great accommodation and value for money!!! We stayed in a 3 bedroom unit and felt we were at home as it had all the space and the amenities we needed. The place is kept well, the bedsheets & linen provided and the toilets & bathrooms were clean."

Reviewed on Jan 13, 2019

Halahouse Colombo
Supun Arcade Residency
Supun Arcade Residency
3 out of 5
56, Galle Road, Colombo
The price is $65 per night from Dec 18 to Dec 18
Located in Wellawatte, this beach aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of New Delmon Hospital and Raux Brothers. Majestic City and Park Hospital are also within ...
3.6/5 Good! (138 reviews)
Stains on the couch and not clean
"Sofas were full of dust and stains"

Reviewed on Apr 16, 2019

Supun Arcade Residency
Occazia Residence
Occazia Residence
3 out of 5
43/92A, Poorwarama Mawatha, Colombo, Western Province
The price is $75 per night from Dec 9 to Dec 9
Situated in Colombo, this vacation home is within 2 mi (3 km) of Lanka Hospital, Park Hospital, and Asiri Hospital. New Delmon Hospital and Isipathanaramaya ...
4/5 Very Good! (4 reviews)
SAFETY ISSUE?
"WOW. We walked in and realized that there are security cameras everywhere and the fact that the caretaker was to stay with us is not advertised at all. We didnt feel comfortable so we just left.. the worst part? Hotels.com was never able to reach the manager, so we never got refunded for the money. ..."

Reviewed on Jun 15, 2020

Occazia Residence
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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