Colombo is the largest city and the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. It is located in the west coast of the Island and a most popular tourist destination. It is a place with a combination of modern busy life and colonial era buildings and ruins. It was the legislative capital until 1982 when government moves administrative functions to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte a suburb of Colombo. Large and main harbor in Colombo known to ancient traders for 2000 years. There are various famous landmarks in the city, Galle Face Green, Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo Racecourse, Mount Lavinia and Dehiwala beaches, National Museum, Beira Lake, Seema Malakaya and so on.
The National Museum was established on 1st January 1877. It was founded by the British governor, Sir William Henry Gregory. Designed by the architect JG.Smither and construction of the building was completed in 1876 and the Museum started in following year. It displays cultural and natural heritage of the country since then.
Galle Face Green is a 12 acre ocean side park in the heart of Colombo. The walkway was first laid out by Governor Sir Henry George Ward in 1859. It was originally used for horse racing and as a golf course. Not only that it was using for many sports like cricket, football, tennis, polo and kiting. Nowadays it is mainly using as a place to relaxation and gathering as well as public meetings. Sunset in the Galle Face Green is magnificent.
Former Victoria Park or Viharamahadevi Park is a public park located in Colombo central next to the National Museum, Public Library and in front of the Town hall building which is from colonial era. The park was built by British during the World War 2 on a land donated by Charles Henry de Soysa. It was named after Queen Victoria. When war ends the park was restored and opened to public in 1951. From 1927 to 1995 it was used as a first class cricket ground. The park is famous for its unique Buddha statue and water fountains. There is a separate children’s play area as a part of the park. The open to air theater in the park is using for public events.
If you go to Pettah, then you will see so many colonial era ruins. The Dutch museum is one of them. It was constructed by Dutch during 1656 – 1796. Since then the building has been used for many purposes. Once there was an orphanage operated in the building. It has provided so many uses during its lifetime, a teaching school, Police training institute, Post office and so on. It was collapsed during heavy rain in 1971 and restored in 1981 to the present status and the museum was opened in 1982.
Colombo Zoo (National Zoological Gardens) was founded in 1936 in Dehiwala. A suburb, south to the Colombo city. The zoo has over 3000 animals and 350 species to exhibit.
The old Dutch Hospital is situated in Colombo Fort. It is believed to have existed since 1681. Dutch establish the hospital to treat their officers as well as ship crews because it is very close to the Colombo Harbor.
There are tons of places you can visit around Colombo. Number of churches, temples, historical places as well as so many places to have fun. Shopping and dining opportunities are outstanding. Movies, parks and beach experience in Mt Lavinia or Dehiwala is amazing. As Colombo is in the west coast, you can relax on the beach while having breathtaking view of sunset. It will fulfill your journey to Colombo.
Attractions Places & Activities for Tourists Colombo
- Galle Face Green
- Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple
- National Museum of Colombo
- Viharamahadevi Park
- Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara
- Beira Lake
- National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka – Dehiwala
- Colombo Dutch Museum
- St. Lucia’s Cathedral
- Colombo Port Maritime Museum
- Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque
- Diyatha Uyana
- Beddagana Wetland Park
- Diyawanna Lake
- Water World Lanka
- Mount Lavinia Beach
- Attidiya Bird Sanctuary
- Sri Lanka Air Force Museum