Holidays to Colombo, Sri Lanka

Colombo is a port city with a rich colonial heritage, where the historic past blends with the modern present and urban streets and high-rise buildings sit opposite the open ocean on Sri Lanka's western coast.

Head to Beira Lake to enjoy a meal at a floating restaurant, wander over the lake via a pedestrian footbridge or take a boat out from its rowing pier. Keep your eyes peeled for storks, pelicans and monitor lizards, which all feed from the lake’s resident fish. 

Colombo has been independently ruled since 1948, but it was first populated by the Portuguese and then the Dutch, which is reflected in the style of architecture of many of the older buildings. The city itself is best explored on foot, or at a leisurely pace on an open tuk-tuk so that you can truly take in the attractive colonial buildings and ruins, which stand in vivid contrast to the modern shops, malls and offices that began appearing much later after the British captured and took control of the city in 1796.

Culture buffs will love Gangaramaya Temple; a stunning temple decorated with brass work, stone carvings and other Buddhist art. It features a blend of design influences from Sri Lanka, Thailand, India and China and is used as a Buddhist place of worship, as well as an education facility complete with a museum and a residential hall. If beaches are more your thing, check out Mount Lavinia Beach where you can cool off in the surf, stroll the golden sands or relax at one of the seafood restaurants along the front.

Galle Face Green is the city’s main promenade and is well worth a visit. This long, open park faces the beach and is popular with kite flyers, walkers and picnickers. Food vendors serve up all sorts of snacks, so you will never be short of options!

If you want to be assured of quality sun time on the beach and a calm and flat sea, choose a southern or western beach from December through to April. Southern and western beaches generally have good weather from late July to September, but sea swimming is rarely safe at this time.

Highlights

  • Grab a snack from the food vendors at Galle Face Green Park

  • Explore Gangaramaya Temple; a fascinating temple designed with multiple cultural influences

  • Stroll the golden sands at Mt Lavinia Beach

Colombo trip ideas

Here are some trip ideas that include Colombo. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 020 3510 5777

Things to do in Colombo

Here are some of the things you can do in Colombo. When you've chosen your favourite experiences, just give our Travel Designers a call and they'll put a trip together for you. If you need help choosing an experience, or if you want to learn more about it, our Travel Designers will be more than happy to talk to you. Just call them on: 020 3510 5777

Map of Colombo