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Gangarama| © Lkzombie/WikiCommons

How To Spend 48 Hours In Colombo

Picture of Jayani Senanayake
Updated: 8 May 2017

From taking a stroll in the sunset to relaxing with some traditional tea, there is plenty to keep visitors to Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, occupied. Here are some suggestions on what you can do with 48 hours on your hands and the whole of Colombo at your feet.

Sri Lanka’s bustling trade capital, Colombo is a melting pot of culture woven into modern comforts, touched by a sense of festivity. It is hard to keep up with the pace of this city because in and around Colombo there exists a magnitude of experiences just waiting to be explored.

So 48 hours and the whole of Colombo. Here’s how to reap the best out of it.

Taste the local food

For tourists looking to experience the full width and the breadth of local cuisine, Colombo is the place to be. Either opt to experience the full range of street food on Galle Face Green or simply grab a lunch packet, about LKR 150 from any of the roadside boutiques and dine like the locals on generous amounts of rice and spice infused curries.

Seafood fans can try the Ministry of Crab at the Dutch Hospital, while those in the mood for a full blown Sri Lankan buffet (because Sri Lankans love a buffet!) can try Raja Bojun at Liberty Arcade, 282 R A De Mel Mawatha, Colombo.

An ice cream and a sunset stroll

Wander down Galle Face Green with an ice cream in hand and sit down to watch the sun go down. Visitors can feel right at home among the locals and their families and the warm chitter chatter that flows around. This is a slice of Sri Lankan life you wouldn’t want to miss.

Gaze at the old buildings in the heart of Fort

The Fort area features within it a number of relics from the colonial era. Some of the most unmistakable and most beautiful ones remain the old colonial buildings located at the heart of Fort. Grand and majestic, the buildings stand tall and patient and policemen on horseback will be guiding the traffic in this busy hub. Take a step back in time. And take plenty of photos.


Stroll about in the Dutch Hospital, a beautifully renovated Dutch colonial building converted into a shopping complex. Simply wander the cool corridors or shop at the many boutiques available. You can even opt to have a drink at one of the many cafes and restaurants offering unique creations.

Majestic City, Crescat Boulevard and the Liberty Plaza are also some shopping malls to check out for people interested in doing some serious shopping.

Blend into the local life

Take a fun tuk-tuk ride into the heart of Pettah to brush elbows with the locals. Gaze on as Sri Lankan life rushes by as merchants and laymen alike bustle about doing their daily shopping in the busy streets of Pettah. Meanwhile, the Old Town Hall in Pettah allows for a glimpse into the life of years past and maybe a sneak peek into the old construction vehicles exhibited within the premises.

Have some tea

If in Sri Lanka, never leave without experiencing a taste of Sri Lankan tea. Visitors can opt for a cup of sweet milky tea from any roadside boutique as Sri Lankans love to have it or head towards t-Lounge by Dilmah or Heladiv Tea Club which not only offers a range of tea-inspired goodies but also offers a choice range of teas to take home.