Colombo, the coastal capital of Sri Lanka is an often avoided stop when visiting the spice island. But as more entrepreneurs of the newer generation open more businesses and create interesting things to do, Colombo is fast becoming an unmissable stop. Read on to find out what you can see and do in just five days.
Getting around in Colombo can be done via tuk-tuk, taxi, Uber or bus. From bus being the most “local” but also the most complex, next in terms of authenticity is the tuk-tuk. These are easy to find and easy to grab, just make sure the tuk-tuk has a meter so you don’t get overcharged. Also try and know exactly where you are going, like the street name and number. Showing a pin on Google Maps won’t always work. Taking a taxi is easy with Pick.me or Kangaroo Cabs or Uber.
Check in at a nice city hotel like the Jetwing Colombo Seven with a rooftop pool so you can see the city from above. The first area to check out is the Colombo Fort, and there are two really cool ways to do that, either with Mark Forbes and his Colombo City Walk or with a Tuk-Tuk Safari. If you can’t pick then do one on one day and the other on another day! There are different times of day for each option so it’s easy to find the right one for you.
After a day of exploring, have dinner at Kaema Sutra in the new Shangri La Hotel for some authentic Sri Lankan food.
Jetwing Colombo Seven, 57 Ward Place, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 112 550 200
Kaema Sutra at Shangri La Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 117 888 288
For your second day why not have a yummy breakfast at the Black Cat Cafe before taking a stroll around the Cinnamon Gardens neighborhood and visiting some of the temples in the city like the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple at Beira Lake and the Temple of Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil.
You should also visit the National Colombo Museum to see lots of ancient artifacts and learn more about Sri Lankan culture and history. For a night cap or maybe a night out, go check Park Street Mews for some drinks and Colombo nightlife.
Black Cat Cafe, 11 Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 112 675 111
Gangaramaya Temple, 61 Sri Jinarathana Rd, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 112 435 169
Have breakfast at Barefoot Garden Cafe and do some unbeatable shopping for handmade crafts and woven sarongs for yourself or friends and family back home. After some gorgeous gift collecting, move hotels to the Galle Face Hotel for a historic Colombo experience.
After checking in, take a tour of the hotel and then spend the afternoon poolside until the sunset bagpipe show and have cocktails seaside. If you are into some sightseeing, take a stroll along the Galle Face Green.
Barefoot Garden Cafe, 704 Galle Road, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 112 589 305
Galle Face Hotel, 2 CGHW Hwy, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 112 541 010
Have the legendary breakfast at the Galle Face Hotel, either western food or the delicious Sri Lankan breakfast with pol roti and dahl.
Why not spend a day at the beach at Mt. Lavinia? You can either go to pool at the Mt. Lavinia Hotel and then explore from there or go have a seafood lunch at one of the lovely little beachside cafes and restaurants. One of the all time favorites is Buba Beach Club and Restaurant.
Getting in the ocean isn’t always a great idea, it depends on the weather. Try the fresh thambili (King Coconut), and some fresh prawns on the grill.
For the last day why not go for a spa treatment in your hotel or at the White Spa by Spa Ceylon. Treat yourself to Ayurvedic massages and a facial. Load up on marvelous Ayurvedic products manufactured here on the island and take it easy exploring the parts of the city you still haven’t seen. Have lunch at the yummy Cafe Kumbuk or go for some incredible crab curry at the Ministry of Crab.
Pack your bags to go back home or keep on exploring Sri Lanka!
Cafe Kumbuk, 60 Horton Place, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 112 685 310
White Spa by Spa Ceylon, 13 Ward Place, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 112 680 800
Ministry of Crab, Old Dutch Hospital, Fort, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 112 342 722