Sri Lanka’s largest city, Colombo, is a confusing, hot, concrete jungle of busy streets, modern office blocks, appealing coloured colonial neighbourhoods, Dutch canals and a relieving coastline strip with glitzy five-star hotels. We spend a necessary 1,5 week in the island’s capital for extending our visa’s and to work. Underneath we found enough interesting things to see and do. We ate at some of the best restaurants of the island, wandered through green parks, found a buzzing nightlife scene and beautiful Buddhist and Hindu temples.
On the streets of Pettah you’ll find the biggest market in Colombo. Wander through the authentic neighbourhood, buy yourself some souvenirs and enjoy the colourful passing locals.
This is the place to be in Colombo for wine tasting, an interesting, tasteful worldly menu, smoking cocktails and sundown jazz evenings. 41 Sugar is a rooftop Restaurant and Bar with stylish seating, designer lighting, impeccably elegant staff and a super hip crowd. The terrace offers glorious views over Colombo. Feeling hot? Have a seat in the air-conditioned music lounge. Enjoy a full three-course meal or stick to inventive tapas with drinks.
The city’s most colourful shrine, although it also looks like a second hand antique shop. We found the combination quit interesting!
Colombo City Hostel
It’s not a secret we love our rooftops. For the best price quality ratio, a great vibe and excellent rooftop with ocean view. Spend your nights in the capital at the central situated Colombo City Hostel.
Your stay includes:
- – Free fast 4G WiFi
- – Warm, friendly, professional staff
- – Fully equipped kitchen available 24/7
- – Large secure lockers with internal power point for charging personal electronics
- – Excellent and plentiful bathroom facilities
- – Indoor and outdoor lounges
- – Free basic DIY breakfast
- – (Paid) airport pick-up may be arranged
Stroll on Galle Face Green
A strip of seedy grass called Galle Face Green provides Colombo with some well-needed ocean breathing space and attracts many locals towards dusk. To pick nick, kite or just stroll for some fresh air.
The Dutch Hospital
The Dutch Hospital is considered to be the oldest building in the Colombo Fort area, dating back to the Dutch colonial era in Sri Lanka. Today it is a heritage building full of great restaurants, shops and a spa. For a perfect weekend day start out by visiting Nature’s Secrets Spa to rewind and relax. Treat yourself to a pedicure or a treatment inspired at Sri Lanka’s rich heritage of ancient natural beauty secrets.
Have lunch at Colombo Forth Café, serving delicious Mediterranean Tapas and accompanying wines. At night move over to the other side of the hospital to have cocktails and dine Japanese at the stylish Ikoi-Tei. Make sure to order the sashimi, the freshly caught fish melts on your tongue.
Gothama Thapowanaya Temple
In the suburbs of the city lies the secret Gothama Thapowanaya temple. It is a true hidden jewel of the crowded capital. Unwind and wander barefoot through the green gardens and immerse in the Buddhist culture.
Imagine yourself in France in the heart of Colombo’s central business district. Cafe Français offers a typically French traditional menu in stylish decorated surroundings. Enjoy a platter of French cheese, a delicious ratatouille and a tarte au chocolat noir et caramel de beure salé. All accompanied by a remarkable and unique selection of wines that will transport you through the beautiful regions of France. We’re in love.
Dance the night away
Every once in a while the Best Western Hotel has a great rooftop party organized by Colombo’s hipsters. Visiting a party guarantees you of good music, a fine crowd, fresh cocktails and sweeping views over the capital while you dance the night away.
The coffee bean & Tea leaf
This is your spot if you are looking for good coffee or fine hand-plucked tea. There are several branches spread over the city where you can sit down, meet up or work. There is Wi-Fi and multiple power points. Are you hungry? On the menu is a variety of delicious cakes, sandwiches, wraps and healthy salads