Preface : Colombo is the capital city of Sri Lanka and rather small. Hence you will see most of tourist attractions in 3 days or even 2 days.
In my opinion;
Public transportation : ✪ ✪
Getting around on foot : ✪ ✪ ✪
Daytime safety : ✪ ✪ ✪
Nighttime safety : ✪ ✪
✪ = poor, ✪ ✪ = fair, ✪ ✪ ✪ = good, ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ = very good
Don’t forget to bring these; a hat or a cap and sun screen lotion for summer time
- Drink only water from a sealed bottle
- Eat only well cooked food !
- Bring a small bottle of disinfection with you
First of all, if you are en route to Maldives, you will be interested to make a transit in Colombo for 48 hours. It means, you can, for example, book a ticket like New Delhi – Male via Colombo with Sri Lankan Airlines. In this case, you will not need to pay for a regular visa, but only to register online for a transit visa at Sri Lankan Electronic Travel Authorization. The border control officer may fuss that you don’t have a regular visa, but only a transit one. Anyhow they will let you in if you have a hotel booking and won’t let you sleep on a conveyor belt or in transit hall.
How to get to the city from Bandaranaike Airport [CMB]
There are 2 ways;
- With bus, it costs 125 Sri Lankan Rupee per person and takes about 60 minutes. You can simply look to the sign “Colombo Fort” in front of the bus.
- Taxi services with set prices for a late arrival, it should cost not more than 3500 Sri Lankan Rupee including everything to anywhere in Colombo. It takes about 45 minutes.
What you can see in Colombo
Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque
Location : 2nd Cross Street in Pettah
You will not miss this place, due to its candy cane like design with red and white striped exterior. This extraordinary Mosque was design under Indo-Saracenic style [Indo-Gothic, Mughal-Gothic, Neo-Mughal], and built in the early 20th century. It is one of the oldest mosques in Colombo and has become a popular tourist attraction.
Seema Malaka Temple at Beira Lake
Location : Sir James Pieris Mawatha
It is another must see place in Colombo. It was constructed in the late 19th century and is part of Gangaramaya Temple. The temple is surrounded by trees and water. It contains lots of Buddhist statues placed beautifully all around. The atmosphere is very serene and the view is breathtakingly beautiful. You will feel like you aren’t inside a temple.
Location : 61 Sri Jinarathana Road
This iconic temple is one of the most important and beautiful temples in Colombo. It was completed in late 19th century and is influenced by various styles namely; Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese architecture. Hence, it is one of the best tourist attractions in Colombo. The temple consists of various beautiful elements e.g. carved wooden panel at the entrance, ceilings and walls with pictures and paintings that explain stories of Buddhism, lots of Buddhist statues.
The Temple of Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil or or Kapikaawatha Shivan Temple
Location : Sri Murugan Street
It is situated behind the Fort Railway Station. This fabulous Hindu Temple is the oldest Hindu Temple in Colombo, dedicated to the gods Ganesha and Shiva. Its design maintains the classic Hindu temple look. The colorful main tower is decorated with detailed sculptures which make the temple a beautiful sight.
The Independence Memorial Hall
Location : Cinnamon Gardens
It is an important, a historical landmark, and a national monument for commemoration of the independence of Sri Lanka from The UK. It was designed by Tom Neville Wynne-Jones and completed in the mid-20th century. This open hall building contains stories of Sri Lankan’s independence, depicted beautifully inside and also magnificent pillars.
Other than these mentioned above, you will see various Colombo’s Colonial Buildings around the city center.