Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]

March 9, 2021


Read our Colombo travel guide to help you have an idea with your next journey to this wonderful capital in the country of Sri Lanka.

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by ILO Asia-Pacific CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If it’s your first time in Sri Lanka, Colombo is the ideal place that you should visit first. It will help you understand the Sri Lankan culture. And since Colombo is the capital city of the said country, it is more modern and sophisticated compared to other cities. You can visit unique temples, beautiful mosques, peaceful parks, and many more. To give you an idea of what Colombo can offer, here’s our travel guide for you.

Colombo Travel Guide: Places to Visit in Colombo, Sri Lanka

1. Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by mehlam CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In this rather large temple complex, everything up to vintage cars has been collected and exhibited for decades. Numerous niches and shrines give the complex its special charm. This place is also home to a sacred Buddha, tree, and many Buddha figures, as well as other art objects. A visit is definitely worthwhile.

Suggested Tour: Colombo: Half-Day City Tour

2. Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Jorge Láscar CC BY 2.0

The majority of the visitors here are devoted Buddhists and monks. A lot of interesting things can be done here. You can watch believers circling the tree with offerings, watching monks pray, or marveling at the wonderful murals and the reclining Buddha statue inside the temple.

3. Colombo National Museum

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Iris Liu CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Colombo National Museum gives a good overview of the historical development, country, and people. Many antique exhibits are provided with information boards in English and in the national language that gives a good insight into the history of Sri Lanka. It is worth it if you want to see at least something historical.

Suggested Tour: Full-day Sightseeing Tour of Colombo, Sri Lanka

4. Viharamahadevi Park

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Alexey Komarov CC BY 2.0

Here at Viharamahadevi Park, you can go pedal boating on a mini lake, horse riding is also possible, you can watch many birds, or just relax and admire the area. The park is very clean and you can take some very nice photos.

5. Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Dan Lundberg CC BY-SA 2.0

The mosque itself already looks very impressive. It is is located in the heart of Pettah and you can see it from a distance as it is very pretty to look at in its unusual design. Remember that it is important that you have to wear long clothes if you plan to enter.

6. Galle Face Green

Galle Face Green is a must in Colombo, here you can meet in the evening, you can see families, fly kites, many food stalls with delicious dishes of all kinds, and feel the breeze from the sea. If you are looking for contact with locals, you can have a drink in the small restaurants and socialize!

7. Temple of Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil

From the outside, the temple is more than impressive. A beautiful temple with many figures and great colors, you can take your time to study the figures carefully. It is easy to reach and offers a nice insight into the temple culture of Sri Lanka.

Colombo Travel Guide: Sample Weekend Itinerary to Colombo, Sri Lanka

Day 1 – Weekend Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka

Colombo National Museum
Temple of Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil

Day 2 – Weekend Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka

Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple
Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara
Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque
Galle Face Green

Day 3 – Weekend Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka

Viharamahadevi Park

Colombo Travel Guide: Where to Stay in Colombo, Sri Lanka

*All prices are subject to change.

Where to Stay in Colombo, Sri Lanka if you’re a Backpacker

Anula Inn 

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]

Anula Inn offers accommodation with a shared lounge and as well as free private parking for guests who drive. Arcade Independence Square is 2.8 km from the hostel, while Alliance Française is 3.7 km from the property. The nearest airport is Ratmalana Airport, 14 km from Anula Inn.

Price: Starts at $3 per night for 4-Bed Male Dormitory Room, includes taxes and charges, and it offers a free cancellation.

Haven Fort Hostel 

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]

Haven Fort Hostel features rooms with city views and free WiFi. At the hostel, all rooms are fitted with a desk. The hostel provides complimentary tea/coffee to guests. A buffet or Asian breakfast is available daily at the property.

Price: Starts at $4 per night for Bunk Bed in Mixed Dormitory Room, includes taxes and charges, and it’s non-refundable.

Udara’s Colombo Residences 

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]

Udara’s Colombo Residences offers accommodation with a garden and free WiFi as well as free private parking for guests who drive. The nearest airport is Ratmalana, 17 km from Udara’s Colombo Residences, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.

Price: Starts at $11 per night for Double Room with Private Bathroom, includes taxes and charges, and it offers a free cancellation.

Where to Stay in Colombo, Sri Lanka if you’re on a Budget

Hostel At Galle Face

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]

Hostel at Galle Face is a beachfront hostel that features free WiFi throughout the property. Grocery delivery is available. Common areas include a shared kitchen and a terrace at the property. Bandaranaike Airport is 28 km away.

Price: Starts at $8 per night for Bed in 4-Bed Female Dormitory Room, includes taxes and charges, add $3 for breakfast, and it offers a free cancellation.

Colombo Hotel by Colombo Village

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]

This 4-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms. The rooms include a microwave, a coffee machine, a bath or shower, free toiletries, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and a DVD Player. All rooms are equipped with a seating area. Full English/Irish breakfast can be enjoyed in the breakfast area.

Price: Starts at $14 per night for Economy Double Room, includes taxes and charges, and it offers a free cancellation.

Steps Backpackers Hostel

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]

Steps Backpackers Hostel offers accommodation with a shared lounge and free WiFi throughout the property as well as free private parking for guests who drive. The units at the hostel come with a seating area. At Steps Backpackers Hostel all rooms are equipped with a shared bathroom with a shower. The accommodation also offers a continental or Asian breakfast.

Price: Starts at $14 per night for Economy Double Room, includes taxes and charges, and it offers a free cancellation.

Where to Stay in Colombo, Sri Lanka if you want Luxury

Shangri-La Hotel Colombo

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]

Shangri-La Hotel Colombo offers the various collection of guestrooms with stunning views of the Indian Ocean, Beira Lake, or cityscape. There is a Pool Bar overlooking the Indian Ocean and it is perfect for light refreshments. The hotel also offers direct access to the most extensive international shopping mall in Sri Lanka, Shangri-La’s own One Galle Face Mall. Daily buffet breakfast and dinner are served at either Capital Bar & Grill or Kaema Sutra.

Price: Starts at $150 per night for Deluxe Lake View King, add $30 for taxes and charges, $20 for breakfast, but it offers a free cancellation.

Jetwing Colombo Seven

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]

Jetwing Colombo Seven boasts a year-round rooftop pool. The hotel has a sun terrace and spa center, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar. Each room at this hotel is air-conditioned and comes with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. All rooms have a seating area where you can relax. Tea/coffee making facilities can be found in the room. Guests will also find a 24-hour front desk at the property.

Price: Starts at $203 per night for Deluxe Double Room, add $22 for taxes and charges, $15 for breakfast, but it offers a free cancellation.

Paradise Road Tintagel Colombo

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]

Paradise Road Tintagel Colombo features boutique-style suites with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs with cable channels. It also offers massages by appointment, a pool, steam room, and fitness room. All suites are equipped with DVD/CD players, a minibar and kettle with tea/coffee making facilities. Selected suites come with a private courtyard or a balcony. Free internet access is available at The Library, which features a variety of 500 leather-bound books.

Price: Starts at $292 per night for Executive Suite, add $32 for taxes and charges, includes breakfast, and it offers a free cancellation.

Colombo Travel Guide: List of restaurants that you can try while in Colombo, Sri Lanka

1. King of the Mambo

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]

Operating hours: 5:00 PM – 02:00 AM (Mon-Fri) / 12:00 PM – 02:00 AM (Sat-Sun)
Address: Galle Face Hotel, Colombo Sri Lanka

2. Noodles Restaurant

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]

Operating hours: 6:30 PM – 11:30 PM (Sun-Sat)
Address: Galle Road A2 Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Colombo Sri Lanka

3. Nuga Gama

Address: 77 Galle Road, Colombo Sri Lanka

4. Lagoon

Address: 117 Sir Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Colombo 00100 Sri Lanka

5. Chutneys At Cinnamon Grand Colombo

Travel Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka [with Sample Itinerary]

Operating hours: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM (Sun-Sat)
Address: 77 Galle Road, Colombo 00300 Sri Lanka

And that’s our Colombo travel guide for you! We hope we’re able to give you enough insights about this city. Have you been here? Or are you planning to go here? Share with us your experience!

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About the Writer

Fatima Turla2Hi there! I’m Fatima. My first major travel was in 2016 in the beautiful city of Cebu. After that, I got interested in traveling. Now I enjoy learning languages and other country’s cultures. My goal is to visit at least one country each year and to share my experiences with other people through writing or blogging. Witness my journey by following me on Instagram.​​





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