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In the past Colombo has been little more than a stop-off point for visitors passing through on their way to the beaches. However the Sri Lankan capital is now coming into its own as a city break destination! Colombo boasts beautiful temples, tranquil parks and well-kept colonial buildings, and has the added bonus of being on the coast; a fact that makes it a perfect beach and city combination break.

Things to Do

Galle Road is Colombo’s busiest street, connected to a pleasant seafront promenade with food stalls and local goods on offer. There are also a range of modern shopping malls in the city centre, or you can escape the city noise in the peaceful Viharamahadevi Park. Treat yourself to a luxurious massage at a Sri Lankan spa, or feed your inner child with a visit to Leisure World, a theme and water park.


Colombo has a colonial past that is still obvious today in the historic buildings around the city, and visitors can learn all about the city’s history at the National Museum. The Museum is housed in a pristine white colonial building surrounded by spacious grounds. Sri Lankan culture is most evident in the beautiful temples – Gangaramaya is the most well-known and is decorated with intricate Buddhist art.


You don’t need to go far from the city centre to hit the beach! Mount Lavinia Beach is just 30 minutes down the coast, and easily accessible by train. The beach has a long stretch of golden sand lined with palm trees, and the sea is calm enough for swimming. The beach is backed by restaurants to suit every budget and plenty of bars, so you could end up staying well into the evening.

Location of Colombo

Key Facts

  • Language: Sinhala, Tamil
  • Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
  • Time Difference from UK: 5
  • Flight time: 11 hours
  • When to go: January - April