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Colombo Street Food Tour - Flat 20% off

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  • Being the capital of Sri Lanka, there is a diverse list of places to visit in Colombo for everyone. The rich and vast history of Colombo may be the result of having been ruled successively by the Dutch, Portuguese, and British! This has led to an incredible patchwork of various different cultures, and the various monuments of Colombo can attest to that.


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    Apart from some marvellous historical monuments and buildings, there are some religious places exhibiting praiseworthy details, museums storing artefacts and nature escapes that make it a great travel destination. You can witness a perfect amalgamation of different cultures in Colombo. Besides, you can also indulge in a number of activities on your trip to Colombo which include scuba diving, shopping, and waterpark activities. The unending tourist spot options here make Colombo the most popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka.


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    Some of the major tourist places in Colombo that you should not skip are Beira Lake where you can experience adventure, pilgrimage and picnic at a single place; National Museum of Colombo where you can check artefacts and manuscripts in a beautiful building with Italian Architecture; and Gangaramaya Temple which is the most iconic Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. Wildlife tours of Attidiya Bird Sanctuary and Dehiwala Zoo are highly recommended for adventure and wildlife lovers. 

  • Best Places To Visit In Colombo

  • 01Gangaramaya Temple

    Gangaramaya Temple

    One of the greatest religious attractions in Colombo, the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple sits in walking distance from the beautiful Lake Beira. The religious significance of the temple attracts locals and travellers alike. Fusing elements of Chinese, Indian, and Thai style of architecture and design, the temple is also an architectural marvel. 

    The intricate carvings on the doors and walls of the temple are marvellous. The wall murals convey informative Buddhist legends and stories, while the colossal statue of Lord Buddha emanates peaceful vibes all over the temple.


    Timings: 05:30 AM to 10:00 PM

    Price: LKR 200 per person

    Location: Gangaramaya Temple, 61 Sri Jinarathana Road, Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 4 km

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    Colombo Walking Tour - Flat 26% off

    NNNNM36 Ratings

    h3 HourslColombo

    O2,300

    Starting from

    O1,700

  • 02Galle Face Green

    Galle Face Green

    A beautiful stretch of open space sandwiched between the bustling Galle road and the Indian Ocean, Galle Face Green is one of the most popular picnic attractions in Colombo. The place received considerable footfall, especially on weekends when there are countless vendors around, tempting the little ones with all kinds of toys. 

    It also helps that the area is lined with street-food vendors, making it one of the best places to indulge in the street-food culture of Colombo. Looked after and maintained by Sri Lanka’s urban Urban Development Authority, Galle Face Park also promises you a phenomenal sunset!


    Timings: Open 24 hours

    Price: No entry fees

    Location: Near Galle Beach, Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 3.5 km

  • 03National Museum of Colombo

    National Museum of Colombo

    Established during 1877, this is the biggest museum in the island nation and is undoubtedly the pride of Sri Lanka. The place houses some of the best and personalised collections of the ancient Kandyan dynasty rulers. 
    Carrying striking reflections of the Italian style of architecture, the museum houses countless artefacts dating back several centuries, portraying the cultural and natural nuances of the country.

    Check out the magnificent throne of the last king of Kandi, along with the royal throne of King Wimaladharmasuriya II and pair of Bodhisattva sandals dating back to the 9th century! If you’re a history fanatic or simply curious about the culture of Sri Lanka, a visit to the National Museum of Colombo has ample treats to tickle your fancy.


    Timings: 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM, every day

    Price: INR 30 per head

    Location: Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: The museum is at a distance of 4 km from Colombo bus stand.

  • 04Viharamahadevi Park

    Viharamahadevi Park

    Taking its name after Queen Viharamahadevi, the Viharamahadevi Park is the largest one in Colombo. Combining picnic spots, waterfalls, a public park, a zoo, nature trails, and much more, the park is one of the most relaxing places to visit in Colombo. It is one of those rare few places that always manage to surprise you, regardless of how many times you visit. 

    The calming, peaceful vibes of nature combined with the adventurous rides make this place an unmissable spot when travelling to Colombo. While it is no wonder that the park is a favourite amongst kids, it also appeals equally to adults seeking respite from the banter of routine life.


    Timings: 07:00 AM to 06:00 PM everyday

    Price: No entry fees

    Location: Colombo 07, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 4.5 km

    Also Check: Most relaxing places to stay in Colombo
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    Cycling in Colombo - Flat 20% off

    NNNNN25 Ratings

    h3 HourslColombo

    O2,044

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  • 05Independence Memorial Hall

    Independence Memorial Hall

    Erected in the year 1953, the Independence Memorial Hall is one of the most popular tourist places in Colombo. Built as a tribute to the nation’s independence from British rule, the hall annually hosts the Independence Day celebrations along with various other national events. Sitting right in the centre of Cinnamon Gardens, there is also a museum on the premises which stands to commemorate the brave souls who fought for the nation. 

    The hall also serves as an open space for jogging, cycling, aerobics, gymming, and other fitness activities.


    Timings: Open 24 hours

    Price: No entry fees

    Location: 7, Independence Avenue, Colombo

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: Independence Square is at a distance of around 5.6 km from Colombo bus stand.

  • 06Beira Lake

    Beira Lake

    Put together the elements of picnic, adventure and pilgrimage, and you have Beria Lake, one of the most beautiful tourist places in Colombo. Set in the heart of the city, Beria Lake sits in close proximity to the legendary Gangaramaya Temple, while a beautiful temple called Seema Makala temple graces the centre of the lake. 

    The resident temple is furnished with beautiful idols of Buddhist and Hindu deities. Religious appeal aside, the lake is a popular haunt for birdwatchers and photographers, especially during the evenings when a spectacular sunset lights up the sky. Spanning nearly 160 acres, the lake is also famous for rowing and other activities.


    Timings: Open 24 hours every day

    Price: LKR 300 per head, but if you’ve paid for entry at Gangaramaya temple, you need not pay for the lake.

    Location: 02 Colombo, Near Seema Malaka, Colombo

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 2.3 km

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    Colombo Walking Tour - Flat 26% off

    NNNNM36 Ratings

    h3 HourslColombo

    O2,300

    Starting from

    O1,700

  • 07 Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque

     Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque

    Jami Ul-Afar is a great mosque sitting in the confines of Second Cross Street in Colombo. The mosque is quite prominent and stands out with its red and white striped colour, almost like a candy! Built by Habibu Labbe Saibu Labbe, the mosque is one of the many culturally rich places to visit in Colombo. A dreamy synthesis of Indian, Indo-Islamic, Neoclassical, and Gothic styles of architecture can be seen here -  a true cultural gem.


    Timings: 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM, from Saturday to Thursday

    Location: No.228, Second Cross Street, 11, Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 2 km

  • 08Seema Malaka

    Seema Malaka

    If you’ve never heard of something called an island temple, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Seema Malaka is the perfect option for those looking for a little quiet time away from the maddening rush of the city. The tropical vibes of the place make it an ideal choice for couples, too. 

    Surrounded by lush greenery beside the water, the Seema Malaka temple carries a stunning amalgamation of the Chinese, Thai, Indian, and Sri Lankan styles of architecture. Aiming to promote peace amongst people of all cultures and religions, Seema Malaka is one of the most peaceful places to visit in Colombo.


    Timings: Open 24 hours, every day

    Price: No entry fees

    Location: Sir James Pieris Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 4 km

  • 09Dutch Period Museum

    Dutch Period Museum

    The Dutch Period Museum, set in the very heart of the Pettah market, is one of the most interesting places to visit in Colombo. The unique architecture of the museum combined with the countless personal belongings of several Dutch rulers endears the place to patrons of history and culture. Spread over 2 storeys, the museum was originally the official residence of the then Dutch Governor of Sri Lanka, Thomas Van Rhee. 

    With help from the Government of the Netherlands, the mansion was converted into a public museum in the year 1977.


    Timings: 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM from Tuesday to Saturday only.

    Location: Prince Street, Colombo 01100, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 2 km away

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    NNNNM36 Ratings

    h3 HourslColombo

    O2,300

    Starting from

    O1,700

  • 10Old Parliament Building

    Old Parliament Building

    One of the most important government offices in Sri Lanka, the Old Parliament Building in Colombo bears reflections of the Neo-baroque architectural styles. Rooted in history and politics, there are many stories that build up the reputation of the building. The building was built in the year 1930 and declared as the Parliament of Sri Lanka in 1977. 

    The Parliament of Sri Lanka was shortly shifted to the new office in Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, and the old building has since been serving as the residence of the Presidential Secretariat. The garden within the premises is home to a number of bronze statues, too. If politics and history fascinate you, the Old Parliament Building is one of the most inspiring tourist places in Colombo.


    Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 1.5 km

  • 11World Trade Center

    World Trade Center

    The World Trade Centre twin-building is one of Colombo’s top tourist attractions. Standing tall at 152 meters, the 39-storey premium business complex guards some of the most important and reputed businesses from all over the world. 

    The World Trade Centre in Colombo has been presented with several awards, including many for the energy-efficient management of the building! It is said to one of the most eco-friendly business complexes in Sri Lanka.


    Timings: Open 24 hours

    Location: 1 Bank of Ceylon Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 1.5 km

  • Places to Shop in Colombo

  • 12Paradise Road

    Paradise Road

    Inaugurated in the year 1987 by Udayshanth Fernando, Paradise Road is a lovely little boutique that deals in quality contemporary clothing, most of which are locally produced. What began as a small, quiet label in Cinnamon Gardens of Colombo is now one of the landmark design brands in the city! 

    The design brand has also made a foray into the hospitality sector with two established boutique hotels in Colombo and Bentota. Furnished with the utmost elegance, Paradise road is amongst some of the most luxurious hotels in Colombo. Patrons of contemporary arts, fashion, and other finer things should feel right at home here.


    Timings: 10:00 AM to 07:00 PM everyday

    Location: 213 Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 4 km

  • 13Pettah Floating Market

    Pettah Floating Market

    Located on Pettah’s Bastian Mawatha, Pettah Floating market is one of the most sensational shopping spots in Colombo. A former cluster of dilapidated warehouses and smelly water, the market was considered a danger zone. The market was then transformed by the merged efforts of the UDA and a brilliant architect called Thushari Kariyawasam. 

    The former swamp was then transformed into a calm marketplace lined with cemented paths and elegant wooden walkways. The market is abuzz with vendors selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to clothes, jewellery, electronics, and handicraft items.


    Timings: 08:00 AM to 10:30 PM everyday

    Price: No entry fees

    Location: West East Bastian Mawatha, Colombo 01000, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 600 meters

  • 14Laksala

    Laksala

    One of the most refreshing places to visit in Colombo, especially if you like shopping, Laksala is the only state-run souvenir shop. Laksala is a chain with thirteen outlets across various parts of Sri Lanka. You can find a great variety of local Sri Lankan items here, sold at very reasonable rates. This is also a clever way of generating profit across all businesses that supply products to Laksala. 

    If you’re looking for a fit or souvenirs to take back home, you might want to pick up some organic tea, spices, traditional jewellery items, or even a little piece of art!


    Timings: 09:00 AM to 09:00 PM everyday

    Location: 215 Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 6.3 km

  • 15Barefoot

    Barefoot

    Barefoot is an exquisite boutique that has gained tremendous fame over the last few years. Carrying beautiful range garments woven with handloom cotton fabrics, Barefoot is especially marked for its unique designs influenced by land and seascapes along with the rich biodiversity of the country. Most popular for its sarongs, the beautifully crafted garments of Barefoot redefine ethnicity. 

    You should experience hunger pangs while shopping at Barefoot, there is a lovely little garden cafe where you can treat your taste buds with their famous delicacies! If you find yourself there on a Sunday, you’re in luck for a groovy live Jazz session with lunch!


    Timings: 10:00 AM to 07:00 PM every day

    Location: 704 Galle Rd, Colombo 00300, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 7 km

  • 16Pettah/ Manning Market

    Pettah/ Manning Market

    Huddled along the eastern end of Fort station, Manning Market or Pettah Market is one of the oldest and most popular markets in Colombo. Brimming with locally grown products, Manning Market is named after the former governor William Manning. The mouldering colonial architecture and cobblestone work is over a century old and has remained untouched ever since. 

    With several other markets mushrooming within the city, Manning Market may have lost some of its old popularity, but remains widely visited by locals. Manning Market is one of the oldest and most well-known markets in Colombo.


    Timings: 06:00 AM to 02:00 PM

    Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 500 meters

  • Tourist Places in Colombo for Family

  • 17Attidiya Bird Sanctuary

    Attidiya Bird Sanctuary

    One of the most refreshing places to see in Colombo, the Attidiya Bird Sanctuary is home to over 50 avian species, along with variations of insects and butterflies species. The biodiversity of the place will leave you stunned as you take short walks around, appreciating the beauty of Mother Nature. 

    While you can explore the bountiful corners of the sanctuary throughout the day, mornings and evenings here remain unbeatable. If you’re truly willing to watch these birds in full glory, we recommend taking a trip to Colombo during January, when the migratory birds fly in. The sanctuary is recommended for everyone who wishes to spend some time in the bounds of nature.  


    Timings: 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM, every day

    Price: No entry fees

    Location: Boralesgamuwa, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 15.4 km


    Also Check: Best things to do on your Colombo trip
  • 18St Anthony's Church

    St Anthony's Church

    One of the most interesting attractions in Colombo, St. Anthony’s Church, nestled in the heart of the city, appeals to visitors from all castes. Visit the church on a Tuesday, and you will see throes of devotees waiting their turn to offer prayers and seek blessings of the statue of St. Anthony. The statue is believed to possess magical powers and is one of the several reasons that the church is the centre of attention and devotion for so many.

    Unlike other places of worship that exude distinctly religious vibes, St. Anthony’s church in Colombo welcomes people from all religions to promote peace and unity. Having been declared as a national shrine now, the church is a must-visit destination for travellers, especially those with a penchant for history and culture.


    Timings: 08:00 AM to 07:00 PM

    Price: No entry fees

    Location: Kochchikade, St Anthony's Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: The church stands at a distance of 2 km from Colombo bus stand.


  • 19Mount Lavinia

    Mount Lavinia

    Mount Lavinia is arguably the most popular heritage hotel in Colombo, home to some of the best ocean-view rooms which are almost always booked out, unless you’re an early bird. If you’re visiting Mount Lavinia during festivals or peak season, the hotel offers several attractive deals including wedding packages, sunset deals, national holiday offers and more. The rooftop opens to incredible views of the Laccadive sea, and makes for a quiet little getaway especially during the sunrise and sunset hours. 

    The well-known National Zoological Garden is also in close vicinity to this legendary hotel. Equipped with a salon, shopping arcade, and swimming pool along with many other facilities, the Mount Lavinia knows exactly how to pamper you.


    Timings: 24 hours

    Price: Starting from LKR 1,000

    Location: No. 100, Hotel Road, Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: Mount Lavinia is located at a distance of 13 km from Colombo bus stand.

    Also Check: Best Adventures to take in Colombo
    Colombo Day Tour on Scooter - Flat 17% off

    Colombo Day Tour on Scooter - Flat 17% off

    NNNNN30 Ratings

    h8 HourslColombo

    O2,314

    Starting from

    O1,920

  • 20Dehiwala Zoo

    Dehiwala Zoo

    Dehiwala Zoo, also known as the National Zoological Gardens is one of the most widely recommended places to visit in Colombo. It is home to a diverse array of exotic animal species in addition to being one of the oldest zoos in Asia. The zoo presently houses around 2,500 animals in all, actively working towards their protection and conservation. 

    Besides being the ideal treat for wildlife enthusiasts, the zoo is also a favourite amongst nature and botany lovers alike. The zoo is an active participant in animal exchange programmes which promote breeding. The refreshing greenery of the gardens will leave you wanting to come back!


    Timings: 08:00 AM to 06:00 PM everyday

    Price: LKR 100 for adults, LKR 30 for children, LKR 500 for foreigners

    Location: 120 Quarry Rd, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: The zoo is about 11.4 km away from Colombo bus stop.

  • 21Old Dutch Hospital

    Old Dutch Hospital

    Established in the 17th century, the Old Dutch Hospital is one of the oldest and most well-preserved buildings in Colombo. It was built with the intention of providing medical aid to the workers of the Dutch East India Company. Although the building served many different purposes over the years, it has now been turned into a shopping centre. 

    Although the building is furnished with several shops, Odels is one particular place that deals in top-quality clothes and souvenirs. The building also appeals to foodies who can choose from the multiple cafes and food joints that thrive there. Located in Galle Fort, Old Dutch Hospital remains one of the most entertaining attractions in Colombo.


    Timings: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM everyday

    Price: No entry fees

    Location: Old Dutch Hospital Hospital Street, Galle, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: The hospital building sits at a distance of approximately 130 km from Colombo bus stand.

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    Colombo Walking Tour - Flat 26% off

    NNNNM36 Ratings

    h3 HourslColombo

    O2,300

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    O1,700

  • 22Old City Hall

    Old City Hall

    If you like architecture or history, the Old City Hall on Main Street is amongst the greatest attractions in Colombo. The hall was built nearly 200 years ago, the brilliant architectural vestiges of which era can still be seen in the exteriors. If you’re really keen on exploring the history of Sri Lanka, you might want to take a guided tour of the hall, though it might cost you a considerable amount as tip. 

    That said, this place is a treasure chest of information, and exhibits ancient equipment, machinery and various other historical items that will really ignite your imagination.


    Timings: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm from Monday to Sunday

    Price: No entry fees

    Location: Main Street, Colombo

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 1.5 km

  • 23Old Galle Buck Lighthouse

    Old Galle Buck Lighthouse

    Another great spot sitting right beside Galle Beach is the famous Old Galle Buck Lighthouse. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet without having to stray too far from the city, the Old Galle Lighthouse is your best bet. A little offbeat, the lighthouse affords you clear, mind-blowing views of the seemingly endless Indian Ocean. 

    Nestled within the boundaries of the Sri Lankan Navy, the best time to visit the lighthouse is at sundown when the sky burns orange and pink over the stretch of the ocean beneath. It goes unsaid that this is the best place to experience the sunset. Another highlight, the lighthouse is considerably less crowded!


    Timings: 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM

    Price: No entry fees

    Location: Chaithya Road, Colombo 00100, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 2 km

  • 24Traditional Puppet Art Museum

    Traditional Puppet Art Museum
    Puppet shows are closely related to Sri Lankan culture. Hence this museum is largely responsible for upholding the folk values and traditions of the island nation even today. Since the demand for these shows is quite high, it is better to book your seats early. This place is sure to bring great joy and entertainment for tourists of all age groups. One has to visit the museum to see the expertise with which artisans manage their multi-coloured and attractive puppets.

    Highlights
    : Local and international puppet show experts conduct shows at this venue on a regular basis to enthral people who gather here in large numbers.

    Location
    : This unique museum is located at Dehiwala, in close proximity to Galle.

    Timings
    : The museum is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on all days of the week. 

    Price
    Approximate price starts from 50LKR per adult
  • 25Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

    Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

    Kelaniya Raja Maha Viraha is a Buddhist temple applauded for the incredible sculptures that it harbours. Located about 10 km away from Colombo, the temple stands tall and proud despite having been demolished by hostile forces from India and Portugal. Built along the banks of river Kelaniya, the temple is one of the most consecrated spaces in Colombo. 

    The temple was originally built in the year 543 BC, and can, till this date, be seen in all its glory after having been restored in the 18th century. It is one of the true upholders of culture and tradition amongst all other tourist attractions in Colombo.


    Timings: Open 24 hours

    Price: No entry fees

    Location: Biyagama Road, Kelaniya, Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 10 km (approximately)

  • 26Leisure World

    Leisure World

    Leisure World is a wonderful, extensive theme park, and one of its kind in Sri Lanka. Blessed with magnificent biodiversity, the park collates the experiences of an amusement park, water park, and a national park. Spread over 52 acres of land, Leisure World is armed with well-trained personnel, instructors, lifeguards and attendants, ensuring as much safety as entertainment. 

    With enough rides to satiate the adrenaline carvings of all age groups, Leisure World is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Colombo.


    Timings: 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM on all days except Mondays.

    Price: LKR 200 onwards

    Location: Avissawella Road, Seethawaka, Kaluaggala, Hanwalla, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 31.6 km

  • 27 Colombo Port Maritime Museum

     Colombo Port Maritime Museum

    Located next to the Colombo Port, the Colombo Port Maritime Museum was built in the year 1676, inside a former Dutch prison. Having been renovated once, the museum is home to a variety of important historical artefacts, items, and information associated with Sri Lanka’s ports. In addition to information on the ports and maritime industry, it also houses sculptures of important historical characters, including King Vijaya. 

    You can also find a number of models of the ships used by the country here. Not as popular as other attractions in Colombo, this is a must-visit for patrons of history, culture, and for those with a penchant for sailing!


    Timings: 09:00 AM to 04:00 PM. Closed on Sundays.

    Location: 19 Chaithya Rd, Colombo 00100, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 2.4 km

  • 28Royal Colombo Golf Club

    Royal Colombo Golf Club

    Ranked amongst one of the top golf courses in Asia, the Royal Colombo Golf Club comes to the rescue when you’re craving some sporty vibes. You can dust off your golf skills at a number of golf courses catering to both, amateurs as well as pro golfers. Believed to be second only to India’s Royal Calcutta Golf Club, the one in Colombo is extremely popular almost travellers.

    After you’re done trying your hand at golf, indulge in some savoury delights at the resident bars and restaurants, or go on a shopping spree! The Royal Colombo Golf Club is one of the most stately places to visit in Colombo.

     

    Timings: 06:00 AM to 11:00 PM everyday

    Price: LKR 5,000 to 10,000

    Location: Model Farm Road, Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 5.7 km

  • Places to Visit in Colombo at Night

  • 29Bellagio

    Bellagio

    Bellagio is another great casino that belongs to the group owning MGM and Bally’s casinos. While the latter are more high-end and opulent, Bellagio caters to the middle-class, making it one of the most widely visited casinos in Colombo. Ranked as the leading gaming joint by countless travellers, Bellagio is furnished with a great variety of games, including Poker, Three Card Poker, Roulette, Back Jack, Slot, and many more. 

    During festivals, Bellagio hosts a large number of promotion events and performances to entertain guests.


    Timings: Open 24 hours

    Location: Bellagio Casino, No. 430, R. A. De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 5 km

  • 30Number 11 - Geoffery Bawa’s Home

    Number 11 - Geoffery Bawa’s Home

    The Number 11 - Geoffrey Bawa’s residence is one of the most well-designed residences in Colombo. Designed with brilliant architecture, several elegant art pieces and old artefacts from the personal collection of the Late Geoffrey Bawa adorn the interiors. Note that the residence does not function as a normal hotel. 

    It has two rooms available, both of which make up a suite. Only a single party or family may be given a room at a time, unlike a regular hotel. So, if you are up for a party, this can be the best place.


    Timings: 10:00 AM to 03:30 PM

    Price: INR 1,000 per person

    Location: 3, 11 33rd Lane, Colombo 00300, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 6 km

  • 31Bally’s Casino

    Bally’s Casino

    One of the hottest attractions in Colombo, Bally’s is arguably the biggest and finest casino in Colombo Located just behind Colombo Fort Station, the casino offers a variety of packages and deals to travellers, according to their budgets (packages start at USD 4,000) You will also be cosseted with a variety of complimentary drinks and food. The casino houses a luxurious spa where you can indulge and rejuvenate your senses. 

    Talking about games and entertainment, Bally’s casino remains unrivalled. Whatever kind of entertainment you can think of, it is likely that you’ll find them all here at Bally’s!


    Timings: Open 24 hours

    Price: USD 4,000 to 100,000

    Location: 34 McCallum Rd, Colombo 01000, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 4 km

  • 32Khan Clock Tower

    Khan Clock Tower

    The Khan Clock Tower stands at the entrance of the legendary Pettah Market. Dating back to the early 20th century, the clock tower was established by a Paris family bearing the last name Khan. The Khan family were a part of several trades in Sri Lanka and were owners of various large-scale businesses, one of which was the Colombo Oil Mills. 

    When the head of the family passed away in the year 1878, it fell on his two sons to run the family business. The clocktower was erected in the loving memory of Frame Bhikajee Khan. A four-storey structure celebrated the love and bond of the Khan family, even today.


    Location: 136 Main St, Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 2 km

  • Other Tourist Places in Colombo

  • 33Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple

    Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple

    The Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple, not to be mistaken for the one in Kalutara, is a beautiful Buddhist temple steeped in culture and religion. The temple interiors and passageways are adorned with epic paintings of Lord Buddha’s life, depicting different stories. The temple is best known for the age-old custom where devotees pledge vows and make certain donations here. 

    This has resulted in an interesting collection of items in the temple. The fact that it isn’t as popular as the other temples in Colombo may be ascribed to its seemingly uninteresting exterior, but the vibrant paintings housed inside are worth the visit!


    Location: Thimbirigasyaya Road, Colombo 00500, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 7.3 km

  • 34Wolvendaal Church

    Wolvendaal Church

    Possibly the most prominent landmark of Dutch architecture in Sri Lanka, the Wolvendaal Church dates back to the year 1749. The name ‘Wolvendaal’ translates to ‘Dale of Wolves’ in Dutch, and has an amusing history to it. In the 19th century, the area was surrounded by total wilderness. The Dutch mistook the scavenging jackals for wolves and thus the name Wolvendaal came to be. 

    One of the things that set the church apart from the rest is the fact that it is shaped like a Greek cross! The fascinating history of the church combined with the unusual architecture has tempted several travellers from all over the world. It is one of the most unusual places to visit in Colombo.


    Timings: 09:00 AM to 04:00 PM everyday

    Price: No entry fees

    Location: Wolfendhal Lane, Colombo 01300, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 2 km
  • 35Slave Island

    Slave Island

    Slave Island, as the name suggests, is an island that was once a slave prison used by the Dutch. The former slave prison has turned into a beautiful place housing a military base, botanical garden, and a handful of refreshing spots famous amongst picnickers. One of the oldest settlements in Colombo, Slave island sits in the middle of Beira Lake, one end of which was used by the Dutch to hold prisoners. It is also believed that crocodiles were released into the lake to prevent prisoners from escaping. 

    What was once a slave prison has come to be known as one of the most popular places to visit in Colombo. The incredible Sri Siva Subramaniya Kovil temple is also located in Slave Island. The interesting history of the place will compel you to visit every time you’re in Sri Lanka.


    Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 3 km

  • 36St. Lucia's Cathedral

    St. Lucia's Cathedral

    Out of the fifteen cathedrals that make up one of the main parishes of Sri Lanka, St. Lucia’s Cathedral is named after Saint Lucy. Located in the north-eastern part of Colombo, St.Lucia’s Cathedral is the official seal of the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Colombo. Besides the religious and cultural significance that the cathedral holds in Sri Lanka, it is also one of the most aesthetically pleasing places to see in Colombo. 

    You can point out prominent features belonging to the Renaissance and Baroque eras, along with colossal statues and white columns that will instantly teleport you to ancient Europe. Don’t miss the amazing choir when visiting here!


    Timings: 05:30 AM to 12:00 PM; 02:00 PM to 07:00 PM everyday

    Price: No entry fees

    Location: Colombo 01300, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 3.5 km


  • 37Shri Ponnambalawaneswaram Kovil

    Shri Ponnambalawaneswaram Kovil

    Another beautiful Hindu temple, Shri Ponnambalawaneswaram Kovil is one of the most popular places to see in Colombo. Built almost entirely with south granite, what the temple lacks in area, it makes up for in aesthetics and architecture. The temple is named after a brave patriot who was martyred in the national independence war. 

    One of the most beautifully celebrated festivals here in Pongal, during the month of January. A few steps from the main entrance of the temple is a little place where you wash your feet with water before stepping into the actual temple. Here you can admire and pray to the many idols of Hindu deities, too. 

    The vibrant colours of the temple, coupled with the calming fragrance of flowers and garlands, make an intoxicating mix to relax your senses. If you’re even remotely interested in religion, there is hardly a more beautiful place to visit!


    Timings: 05:00 AM to 08:00 PM

    Price: No entry fees

    Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 3 km


  • 38Temple of Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil

    Temple of Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil

    The Temple of Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam, more commonly known as Kapikaawatha Shiva Temple is the oldest temple in Colombo. Built as a tribute to the Hindu gods Shiva and Ganesha, the temple is one of the most culturally beautiful places to see in Colombo and says a lot about the city’s heritage. This 200-years-old temple exhibits the quintessential Hindu architectural style, a rarity in the country. 

    The vibrant building of the temple is adorned with stone sculptures and intricate carvings, including a lotus carved into the main door. If you like exploring culture and heritage, you should not miss a visit to this temple.


    Price: No entry fees

    Location: Sri Murugan St., Colombo 00200, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 2.3 km

  • 39 Colombo Lotus Tower

     Colombo Lotus Tower

    One of the most unique structures in Colombo, the Lotus Tower is nearly 350 meters tall and towers over Slave Island. The top of the structure closely resembles the namesake flower. The tower serves as a transmission hub, which aims at improving the quality of transmission communication and broadcast. 

    While that is the primary aim of Lotus Tower, it also features observation decks, shopping centres, restaurants, and banquet halls. It is one of the lesser-known tourist places in Colombo.


    Location:  Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 3.4 km

  • 40Crow Island Beach Park

    Crow Island Beach Park

    Sprawled across 17 acres of land just beside the river Kelani, Crow Island Beach Park is a fresh addition to the public parks in Colombo. Opened to the public in the year 2006 for the first time, the park is replete with lush greenery, and features walking and cycling tracks, play area, shops and a beautiful freshwater lake. There are several benches under the shade of trees where you can lay back and unwind for a while. 

    There are a few shops here for you to satiate your hunger pangs, too, along with a handful of restaurants. The highlight of the park may be the huge deck area which opens up to the sea! You know where to head to watch that beautiful sunset!


    Timings: Open 24 hours

    Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 6.8 km

  • 41National Art Gallery

    Art meets culture at the beautiful National Art Gallery, making it one of the best attractions in Colombo. It is one of the finest art galleries in Sri Lanka, exhibiting a collection of statues, idols, portraits, and landscapes. It is the place to be if you want to explore Sri Lankan culture and heritage, both old as well as contemporary. 

    The National Art Gallery is also a great place to discover young talent and is frequented by several famous artists. The walls carry several hundred paintings and canvases you can admire for hours on end.


    Timings: 09:00 AM to 04:00 PM. Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

    Location: 106 Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 4.4 km

  • 42Sambodhi Chaithya

    Sambodhi Chaithya

    One of the most iconic tourist places in Colombo, Sambodhi Chaithya is a magnificent Buddhist stupa which is built in the shape of a space rocket! The stupa is supported by colossal twin arches, and the structure is visible even from the sea. All surrounding towers and skyscrapers dwarf in comparison with the 80-meters-tall stupa, which dominates the horizon. The temple is 11 storeys high and there are 258 steps to reach the top. 

    When you enter the dome, you can see a shrine with four statues of Lord Buddha in the middle of the floor. The dome is decorated with 31 murals which play out different scenes from Buddha’s life. The significance of Sambodhi Chaithya, both religious as well as aesthetic, attracts travellers from all over the country.


    Timings: 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM

    Location: Chaithya Road, Colombo 00100, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 2.5 km

  • 43Beddagana Wetland Park

    Beddagana Wetland Park

    Beddagana Wetland Park is a fairly new addition to the list of famous places to visit in Colombo. It was built by the Sri Lankan Government with the intention of protecting the land from floods, besides uplifting the quality of life lead by the locals. Covered in beautiful grasslands and lush greenery housing several wildlife species, it is no surprise that Beddagana Wetland Park is also popular for being a great romantic retreat.


    Timings: 06:30 AM to 05:30 PM

    Price: LKR 100 per head; LKR 50 for kids

    Location: 139 Rampart Rd, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte 10100, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 10.5 km

  • 44Sri Lanka Planetarium

    Sri Lanka Planetarium

    Sri Lanka Planetarium has earned quite a reputation amongst stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts, both local and travellers alike. Founded in the year 1965, it is the first and only planetarium in the country. The unusual, lotus-shaped architecture of the planetarium is simply incredible. After a well-earned reconstruction in the year 2014, the planetarium is equipped with 570 seats facing an amazing 4D projector that guides you through a truly vivid and breathtaking journey through the universe. 

    Located on the campus of the University of Colombo, the planetarium has also been known to run free shows on Sunday! If you’re a stargazer or are travelling with kids, this is one of the most exciting places to visit in Colombo.


    Timings: 08:00 AM to 04:00 PM. Closed on Mondays.

    Price: LKR 100 per adult; LKR 30 per child

    Location: Prof. Stanley Wijesundera Mawatha, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 5.5 km
  • 45Arugam Bay Beach

    Arugam Bay Beach

    If you’re looking to take a refreshing detour from the city and into the wild, Arugam Bay Beach is the place to be! The tropical paradise of Arugam is the ideal place to indulge in adventures, or even just to sit back and soak in the radiant sunlight. The Beach is free from the mindless city chatter and allows you the peace and quiet you need while keeping your adventurous spirit alive. 

    Pamper your taste buds with some lip-smacking rice and curries at the famous Tsunami Hotel after a thrilling surf ride. If you have enough time, a trip to the Kumana National Park is almost obligatory when travelling to the Arugam Bay Beach.


    Timings: Open 24 hours

    Price: No entry fees

    Location: Arugam Bay Beach, Sri Lanka

    Distance from Colombo bus stand: 340 km

Sightseeing in Colombo

Adventure in Colombo

Attractions in Colombo

Attractions

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Galle Face Green Beach

Situated in the middle of the busy stretch of Galle Road and the Indian Ocean, this open space, established during 1859 on 5 hectares, is a huge hit among tourists of all age groups. During weekends, the place is abuzz with vendors who attract kids with their bright toys and bubbles. This area is open all through the year. Entry into the park is free.

While you are here, do not miss to taste the lip-smacking delicacies that are prepared by street vendors.



Location: This is located right next to the famous Galle Beach.

Highlights:
 The magical and golden rays of sunset, fresh air and the positive ambience of the place make Galle Face Green one of the must-visit places in Colombo. The place is currently taken care of by the Sri Lanka’s Urban Development Authority. 

Timings:
This park is open 24/7 all through the day.

Price: Entry into this park is free of cost.
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Mount Lavinia Beach

Mount Lavinia is a heritage hotel, which was predominantly a huge place during 1806. There are various ocean view rooms up for taking here, provided you book early. During special festivals and peak tourist seasons, the heritage hotel offers great deals for the benefit of tourists.



Location:
 With a spending view of the Laccadive Sea, Mount Lavinia offers luxurious services and facilities for its guests. It is located in close vicinity to the National Zoological Gardens. 

Highlights: Sunset deals, wedding packages, national holiday deals, offers on cards of certain banks etc. are some of the promotional offers advertised by Mount Lavinia throughout the year.

Timings: The hotel is open all through the year. It also has a children’s park, where children are treated to a variety of outdoor sports till 4PM.

Price: 
Approximate price starts from 1000 LKR
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Gangaramaya Temple

Gangaramaya Temple is not only one of the most beautiful but also one of the most iconic Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. It is more than a century since this temple was constructed; however even today, the temple doesn’t stop to surprise tourists and devotees. The pathways and doors that lead into the main sanctum sanctorum contain intricately carved sculptures that are simply breath-taking.

Highlights: The ceilings and walls contain pictures and miniature paintings that explain stories from Buddhism religion. In the main sanctorum, a huge Buddha statue exudes a brilliant sense of calmness in the devotees. Built in a mix of various architectural styles including India, Burmese, Thai and Chinese, this temple also houses a museum.



Location: The temple is located right on the Jinaratana Road in the heart of Colombo city.

Timings: The temple is open from 5.30AM to 10PM.

Price: Entry fee is LKR200 per adult.
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Dehiwala Zoo

Dehiwala Zoo or the National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka was set up during 1936 with the sole ambition of providing ultimate protection to a wide range of wild animals and birds. . When you are here, do not miss the impressive performances from elephants, chimpanzees and sea lions.

  

Location: This zoo is located at 
Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, Dehiwala.

Highlights:
 This place is one of the members of WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums). In order to encourage breeding, this zoo is actively involved in animal exchange programs. The place is known for its exotic varieties of mammals, birds, fishes, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and marine invertebrates

Timings: The zoo is open from 8.30 AM to 6:00 PM on all days.

Price: 
Approximate price starts from 100 LKR for adult and 30 LKR for child, for foreigners 500 LKR for adults and 250 LKR for child.

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National Museum

If you are a history lover and have a keen eye for architecture, the National Museum is probably one of the first few places that you need to visit, when you come to Colombo. Established during 1877, this is the biggest museum in the island nation and is undoubtedly the pride of Sri Lanka. The place houses some of the best and personalised collections of the ancient Kandyan dynasty rulers.



Location:
 The museum built in Italian architecture style, is located right in the heart of the Colombo city. 

Highlights:
 The museum’s library deserves special mention as it contains rich manuscripts in palm leaves in languages like Burmese, Sinhala, Telugu, Tamil and much more. 

Timings:
The museum is open on all days except national holidays from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Price:  Approximate price for local adults and kids are 35 LKR and 20 LKR respectively, whereas, for foreign adults and kids, the prices are 600 LKR and 300 LKR respectively.
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Viharamahadevi Park

Named after Queen Viharamahadevi, this park is the largest and probably the only public park in Colombo. It is one of those places that never cease to excite you irrespective of the number of times you come here.

Highlights: There are lots of places to visit here like the aquarium, mini zoo, children’s play zone, war memorial, lake and the dangerous-yet-adventurous suspension bridge above it. When you and your kids are tired of running round the park, you can just relax on the cool resting places on the park, eating local delicacies like candy floss, corn and ice-creams from the sellers here. A canopy of green trees lends a beautiful ambience to this place.



Location: The Park is located right next to the famous National Museum in the heart of Colombo.

Timings: This Park is open all through the year.

Price: Entry into the park is free of cost.
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Old City Hall

This is definitely a place that will interest any architecture or history lover. Constructed over two centuries ago, the Old City Hall is one of the brilliant architectural marvels from the bygone British era. The months of January, February, March, November and December are the best when it comes to visiting Colombo. The entry price is free of cost.


 
Locati
on: The hall can be found on Main Street in Colombo amidst various famous tourist spots.

Highlights
: There are a few attendants working in the hall, who will gladly take you around the building, provided you tip them a reasonable amount of money. The hall is literally a treasure island that contains old government equipment, transport machinery and other council chambers that were present during the earlier times.

Timings: The place is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM ll days of the week except Sundays.
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Dutch Period Museum

During the period between 1656 and 1796, Dutch rulers ruled over Sri Lanka. The Dutch Museum which tourists get to watch today was once the official residing place of Thomas Van Rhee, the former Dutch Governor of Sri Lanka.

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Location
: The place is located at Prince Street in the city

Highlights
: The museum contains two floors and it houses around 3000 personal collections of Dutch rulers who reigned over the place. This place was converted into a public museum during 1977, thanks to the able support rendered by the Government of Netherlands.

Timings: The museum is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Tuesday to Saturday.
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MGM Colombo

Replete with the usual casino and other table games, MGM Colombo is quite a famous gaming joint in the city. It is smaller than Bally’s or Bellagio; however, it is quite famous among its guests for the services and hospitality that it offers. While the regular players occupy the ground floor, the first floor is taken by players looking for privacy.

Highlights: There is a dedicated floor for VIPs here as well. Music bands and cultural dance performances from international artists are performed every day at this joint. 


Location: In the remote outskirts of Colombo.

Special features: The cuisine is a mix of Asian and international in order to cater to the taste buds of foreign nationals who come here in plenty. Some of the table games that are highly popular here are Roulette, Baccarat, Poker, Mini Flush and Texas Hold’em. The minimum stakes at this casino are highly affordable. 

Timings: Open 24/7.

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The Ritz Club

Ritz Club is the largest casino in Sri Lanka.

Highlights: There are totally 16 table games (6 baccarat, 6 black jack and 4 roulette tables) at this place.

Location: Galle Face Terrace.



Special features: The casino witnesses a healthy mix of local and foreign tourists. The choice of games that this casino houses and the customer service of the place is highly lauded by people who come here regularly. Entry is free into the Ritz Club Casino. During the evening hours, this place is occupied by a diverse mix of people who engage in their regular banter with complementary food and beverages. It is one of those of places that provide you the much-needed rejuvenation after a hard day’s work at office. The ambience of the club goes up several notches higher, thanks to its highly courteous staff.

Timings: 24/7
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Independence Memorial Hall

Independence Memorial Hall in Colombo, as the name indicates, was constructed to commemorate the occasion of Sri Lankan Independence from British Rule. The construction of this memorial was completed during 1953.

Highlights: When you come here, you ought to visit the Independence Memorial Museum as well, which honours the people who fought for Sri Lankan Independence. Currently, this hall is the venue where Independence Day celebrations and other national events are being held. Prior to the construction of the Sri Lankan Parliament, this memorial Hall served as the ceremonial assembly as well. This place currently caters to the needs of fitness enthusiasts as the open spaces here are used for jogging, cycling, public gym, aerobic sessions and other relevant activities.



Location:
The hall is located in Cinnamon Gardens and was formerly known as Torrington Square.

Timings: This hall is open all through the year.

Price: Entry into the hall is free of cost.
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Beira Lake

If there is one place where you can get the combined benefits of adventure, pilgrimage, picnic and fun, it is the Beira Lake. This is one of the hot tourist spots in Colombo as well. One can enjoy duck paddle boat rides on the lake.

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Location: Located quite close to the famous Gangaramaya temple, Beira Lake offers an excellent view of the temple, especially in the evenings, when the temple is fully illuminated. 

Highlights
: There is another temple right in the middle of the lake – Seema Malaka Temple. This temple contains lots of Buddhist statues and a few Hindu idols.

Timings: The lake is open all through the year to enable visitors; however evenings are the best to come here to get a panoramic view of the temple.

Price
Approximate price is 300 LKR however if you have paid for entry into the Gangaramaya temple,that will suffice here as well.
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Bally's Casino

Bally’s is one of the respected names in the casino business in Colombo. It has been around for quite a long time and it provides complete security to its guests, members and regular players.

Highlights: Biggest casino in Colombo.

Location: Right at the back of Colombo Fort station.

Special features: Bally’s treats its guests with complementary drinks and snacks. Its restaurant section provides international breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Members can choose from various packages (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Infinity) as per their budget constraints. In these packages, the minimum checking amount starts from $4000 and the maximum goes up to $100,000. Members can also get themselves rejuvenated at the spa at Bally’s. All members who opt for these packages get complementary air transfers, food, five-star hotel accommodation and free local commute from Bally’s to their hotels.

Timings: Bally’s is open 24/7 on all days except Poya (Full Moon day).

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Continental Club

Continental Club is one of the well-respected casinos in Colombo as it has been in the business for 18 long years.

Highlights: One of the major highlights of this casino is that it is mostly visited by foreign tourists. There are hardly any natives found here. However, the hotel-cum-casino, upholds strong Sri Lankan values when it comes to the attire of its staff and management of table behaviour.



Location: Galle Road.

Special features: People enjoy this chilled-out yet professionally strict place as they know that they can enjoy their game in peace here. Due to its large number of international visitors, the hotel manages to churn quite a large variety of tasty, international cuisine. Today, the Continental Club is known as much for its food as much as it is known for its casinos.

Timings: Open 24/7.
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Bellagio Casino

Bellagio is yet another excellent casino that is brimming with foreign and local tourists always in Colombo.

Highlights: Bellagio is owned by the same group that owns Bally’s and MGM casinos. The only difference is that that Bellagio caters to middle-class visitors. It has been named as the leading nightlife gaming joint in Colombo by its guests. Some of the table games offered are Asia Poker, Roulette, Slot, Black Jack, Baccarat and Three Card Poker.



Location: Located on the shopper’s paradise of Duplicate Road.

Special features: During important festivals, many events and promotions take place here. These events witness performances from global artists that keep their members enthralled. Silver, Gold and Platinum membership cards are available at Bellagio for guests. Members are eligible for free airport transfers, accommodations in 4 star hotels and unlimited food and beverages from partner restaurants and hotels.

Timings: Open 24/7.
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Arugam Bay Beach

Welcome surfers! 320 km away from Colombo Arugam Bay is waiting for you to unveil your adventurous side. An ideal place to be when you want to break free from being just mundane. The bay will definitely fill in some adrenaline rush making you feel all charged up for the biggest challenges of life.  The most popular surfing break is ‘Main Point’ which is towards the south of the bay. This adventure spot is well complemented with a relaxing atmosphere. Although one might not find many inhabitants in and around the place as it was once victimised by Tsunami which caused a lot of damage to the bay.



Highlights:
Although, it’s quite ironic to its name but a visit to the Tsunami hotel is a must which serves some of the best rice and curries. If you are a nature lover you can also check out the nearby Kumana National Park which will be equally exciting.

Getting There: The easiest way to reach the Arugam Bay is to take a can from the airport.

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