If you are looking for a memorable holiday and breaking your head finding a suitable place in the mystical South Asia? Then the ideal place to visit is Colombo, Sri Lanka. Once you discover Sri Lanka, like the hidden treasures, you will certainly keep on coming to explore the places of interest Sri Lanka has to offer.
Colombo was once known as the garden city and one of the greenest cities in the East. Even today, if you explore the city from the air, you will see the pockets of green that still present despite the rapid development. Colombo, the green city is covered with shaded trees, clean parks, safe recreation places for children, and lakeside esplanades. Anyone taking a walk will realize how much nature Colombo has to offer for the resident or the visitor, and how easily accessible its flora and fauna are. The visitor who is ecologically aware can explore the natural beauty of Colombo and certainly he or she will be amply rewarded. Colombo can be a fascinating place and has many attractions to offer for people visiting on business or as a part of a stopover with a tight schedule.
If you have few hours or a day to spare, visiting the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnewela, few hours from Colombo is a good idea. For the nature lover, it will be a memorable visit with many photo opportunities involving baby and matured elephants. Even you can have an exciting elephant ride.
If you enjoy the beaches or the coast, take a trip along the Galle Road heading south from Colombo. Perhaps visiting Kalutara, which has a spectacular Temple. If you have a full day to spend, you can go further south visiting the splendid beach at Bentota or maybe up to Galle for a visit of the ramparts of the magnificent Dutch Fort built in the 17th Century. There are many places worth stopping along the way. You will noticed how quickly this part of Sri Lanka has 'bounced back' after the devastating tsunami.
The north of Colombo is the Fort which was the centre of Dutch and Portuguese, you can still view some of the Colonial Architecture. Today, Fort is the Banking and Commercial Centre of Colombo with many leading commercial banks, and the Colombo Port is located. Sri Lanka's twin towers located in this area next to five-star Hilton, Ceylon Continental and Galadari hotels. Little further away from Fort, a place called Pettah is located. It's a highly commercial place with hustle and bustle, where you can strike a bargain on a shopping item. You will find the famous Galle Face Green towards the south of Fort, Colombo. It was a popular place for horse racing during British rule in 1859. Today, it's truly a popular playground and a recreational place for Sri Lankans. During the weekend, especially in the evening, the Galle Face Green is crowded with kite flyers, cricket players, picnic eaters, day trippers, and lovers. A visitor to Galle Face Green gives him an idea of the private and domestic life style of a typical Sri Lankan family. Immediately next to Gall face Green, you will find Raffles-like, Galle Face Hotel. You can enjoy sipping tea on the verandah of this beautiful old hotel while enjoying a spectacular sunset. The Sima Malaka Meditation Island together with Gangaramaya Buddhist temple is located at Slave Island. It will be a perfect retreat for visitors looking to avoid the busy city.
The Gangaramaya mother temple was built in the 19th century and has a small museum, Buddhist paintings and stone carvings.
Just few minutes from Galle Face Green, towards the South, you will find Crescat Boulevard, the country's popular shopping centre It is managed by renown, Colombo Plaza Hotel. If you are interested in experiencing Sri Lankan cuisine or food with cosmopolitan flavor, there are many restaurants to choose. The very famous names such as Barista, Nandos, Deli France, Pizza Hut, McDonalds and many more located at Crescat Boulevard. If you want to taste an authentic Sri Lankan rice and curry, just pop into Renuka Hotel to enjoy a sumptuous buffet.
Visitors who are in interested in wildlife and who have come with their kids, enjoy a day out at Dehiwala Zoo located south of Colombo. You have the opportunity to see hundreds of birds, animals and snakes living in simulated natural environments. The Kids will really enjoy this and it will be a memorable one. The Dehiwala Zoo is one of the best and largest Zoos in Asia. The Zoo has a fine collection of animals species, Sri Lanka's fauna and an a massive aquarium with 500 varieties of aquatic life. Also, it has a walk through aviary, a butterfly park, reptile enclosures, and daily elephant show which kids love to see.
Few minutes away from the Dehiwela zoo, you will find Mount Lavinia, where famous Mount Lavinia Hotel and wide variety of beach restaurants are located. If you are looking for sea air and refreshment on the beach, it is the nearest place to the city to visit.
The other important places to go and things to do when you are in Colombo are:
Colombo National Museum of Natural History
The national museum displays Sri Lanka's exotic flora and fauna, as well as variety of fossils. On the rear of the building, a botanical forest is located.This museum was established in 1877, and it houses many arrays of national treasures, cultural relics, and archeological artifacts coming from all parts of the world. Also, it has a well preserved library of 4000 ancient palm leaf manuscripts.
Things To Do in Colombo, Sri Lanka:
1. Visit Royal Colombo Golf Club which has attracted golfers for 129 years and enjoy a round of golf. It has a splendid and well laid green top for the discerning golfer to enjoy a round of golf.
2. Take a short trip to Negombo which is 37 km from Colombo. Here, you can find great hotels and pristine beaches, and it's an ideal stopover for a visitor coming in or leaving the country.
3. Enjoy some seafood on the Mt Lavinia Beach which houses great seafood restaurants on the golden beach.
4. Indulge in last minute shopping at many sleek department stores and shopping malls having variety of designer clothing, shoes, handbags, and handicrafts and many more.
5. Enjoy a massage at one of Colombo's spas with serene surroundings. Well trained masseurs capable of giving either Swedish or Shiatsu type massage
6. Spend a day at the Leisure World. This is Sri Lanka's premium amusement and water park offering roller coasters, log flumes, and many varieties of thrilling rides for kids as well as adults.
7. Enjoy the nightlife by visiting a chill-out bar, or a casino if you want to have some excitement by playing roulette or baccarat or blackjack, or a night club where you can party until dawn.
8.Try ever popular kothu rotti, Sri Lanka's popular snack with bits of rotti mixed with chicken or beaf or egg, onions, tomatoes and green chillies.
Besides above, there are many attractions that Colombo can offer, So Visit Colombo, you are certain to have a memorable and enjoyable stay.