Sri Lanka as a country has a lot to offer either it’s year’s old history or the coastal charm and when you are in the capital city, this list remains the same. From trying out its delicious food, visiting holy temples, looking at goods in markets, engaging in water sports at beaches, and appreciating nature's vistas and parks. Welcome to Colombo, where every corner tells a story, and every experience is an invitation to explore Sri Lanka's dynamic capital. Colombo boasts an array of amazing activities- abundance of cultural, historical, adventurous, and natural treasures, so there is never a shortage of things to do in Colombo.

Top Things to Do in Colombo: Explore, Indulge, Immerse – Your Journey Awaits!  

Top Things to Do in Colombo

Step into Colombo, a city that embraces you with open arms and a myriad of possibilities. As you navigate the bustling streets of the city, you'll be immersed in the colorful tapestry of local life through the culture and traditions. Colombo invites you to uncover its secrets, whether you're delving into the spiritual haven of temples or discovering the architectural wonders, or the thrilling safari and explorations. Your journey in Colombo is not just a visit; it's an immersive experience that leaves an indelible mark, making you a part of the vibrant city. So, on your visit to this beautiful capital city of Sri Lanka, don’t miss on these electrifying things to do in Colombo.

  1. Tea Plantation Tour
  2. Savor the Delicious Food of Sri Lanka
  3. Colombo Bird Watching Tours
  4. Seek Blessings in the Colombo Temples
  5. Experience the Tradition & Culture
  6. Exciting Tuk Tuk and Cycling Tour of Colombo
  7. Admire Underwater Life at Dehiwala Zoo
  8. Shopping for Souvenirs and Mementos
  9. Visit R. Premadasa Cricket Stadium
  10. Day Trip to Colombo Beaches

1. Tea Plantation Tour

Tea Plantation Tour

If you're searching for different activities to do in Colombo, the tea and herb excursions are a must! Sri Lanka is well-known for its vast diversity of tea, and these trips are a must-do while in Colombo. Immerse yourself in the enticing fragrances of herbs and tea amid the verdant estates dotting the Sri Lankan countryside. Learn about the intriguing production process and take home some of the most delectable teas and herbs you've ever tasted. Don't pass up your chance to sample these delicacies, which is one of the must try things to do in Sri Lanka, specially trying the famous Ceylon Tea, rich in antioxidants.

Location: Kolonnawa Tea Plantation, Tea Factory, Nuwara Eliya Tea Plantation, Pedro Tea Estate, Kandy Tea Plantation

Duration: 4-5 hours

2. Savor the Delicious Food of Sri Lanka

Delicious Food of Sri Lanka

Treat your taste buds to the diverse and flavorful street food of Colombo. Wander through local markets and street stalls, or the famous restaurants in Colombo sampling an array of culinary delights. Colombo offers a wide range of delectable culinary delicacies to cater to even the most discerning palates. Colombo's epicurean culture can be fully appreciated through its native street foods, featuring a treasure trove of tastes from String Hoppers along Galle Road to spicy samosas at Pettah Railway Station. Enjoy the exquisite Pittus and Idiappas available at every corner, ensuring your taste buds are grateful for the culinary delights that you offer while exploring one of the best things to do in Colombo city.

Places for Local Food in Colombo: Pettah Market, Galle Face Green, Dehiwala-Mount Lavina, Marine Drive, and Wellawatte

Local Foods in Colombo: Hoppers, Kothu Roti, Kola Kanda, Achcharu, Maalu Paan, Isso Vadai, and Tapioca Chips

Suggested Read: Top Restaurants in Sri Lanka: Delight in the Best Culinary Experience

3. Colombo Bird Watching Tour at Attidiya Sanctuary

Attidiya Sanctuary
Image is for reference purpose only

Attidiya Bird Sanctuary, located on the outskirts of Colombo, is home to over 166 bird species, 71 butterfly species, 44 fish species, reptiles, and marshlands. The sanctuary offers a unique blend of adventure and tranquility, making it one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka and Colombo's finest tourist destinations. Visitors can explore the marshes from the Wildlife office on Kahawita Mawatha, which is open daily and located on the east side of Bolgoda canal. The sanctuary is also home to rare species like Indian Shag, Wide Winged Purple Heron, Blue Breasted Banded Tail, Ruddy Crake, Spot Billed Pelican, Purple Coot, White Ibis, Painted Stork, and Glossy Ibis. The sanctuary also houses fishing cats, jackals, and other mammals and truly speaking watching these creatures in front of your eyes is thrilling stuff to do in Colombo. The sanctuary features several trails that provide a genuine safari feel, with the trail along Bolgoda canal being must-see. As one of the best places in Sri Lanka for wildlife photography, Attidiya Bird Sanctuary is a popular tourist hotspot.

Location: 114b Colombo - Horana Road, Boralesgamuwa, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours: 9 am to 5 pm


  • Carry first-aid kits
  • Stay hydrated
  • Wear gumboots
  • Bring along mosquito repellent
  • Compass for personal convenience
  • Use sunscreen lotion
  • Carry camera and binocular
Suggested Read: Best Islands in Sri Lanka: The Pinnacle of Natural Beauty

4. Seek Blessings in the Colombo Temples

Colombo Temples

Colombo's temples, including the Gangaramaya Temple, Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam, and Sri Ponnambalam Vanesar Kovil, are popular places to visit in Colombo for spiritual seekers and peace lovers. These temples, which belong to various religions, showcase stunning traditional architecture and design. They also provide insight into the rich culture of the city. The Gangaramaya Temple and Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara offer a serene atmosphere and a glimpse into the life of Lord Gautama Buddha. The Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam and Shiva Temple, dedicated to Hindu god Shiva, feature beautifully carved sculptures. Visiting these temples is among the best Colombo things to do.

  • Famous Temples in Colombo: Gangaramaya Temple, Sri Dalada Maligawa, Isipathanaramaya temple, Vajiraramaya Temple, Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam, Sri Ponnambalam Vanesar Kovil, Koneswaram temple, Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple, Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil
  • Best Time to Explore the Colombo Temples: December to March

5. Experience the Tradition & Culture

Experience the Tradition & Culture

Experience the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lankan traditional dance through live performances featuring intricate costumes, rhythmic drumming, and mesmerizing choreography. This visually stunning experience offers a deeper appreciation for the island's history and folklore. And if you are an art lover, visit the National Art Gallery to explore the evolution of Sri Lankan art, from ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, offering a comprehensive journey through the country's artistic expressions.

  • National Art Gallery

Address: 106 Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday- 9 am to 4 pm, Saturday & Sunday Closed

Entry Fee: Free

Sections: Permanent Exhibit Hall, The East Hall, and the West Hall

Suggested Read: Sigiriya Sri Lanka: Where Legends and Landscapes Meet

6. Exciting Tuk Tuk and Cycling Tour of Colombo

Tuk Tuk Tour of Colombo

The Colombo tuk-tuk city tour is a thrilling way to navigate the city's streets and explore its charm. Your local guide will lead you through popular attractions, hidden gems, and forts in Sri Lanka, providing insights into the city's rich history, culture, and daily life. For a more active experience, consider a guided cycling tour of Colombo, where you'll pedal through the city's streets, uncovering hidden alleys, historical landmarks, and scenic parks. Your knowledgeable guide will share anecdotes about the city's past and present, creating a dynamic and informative journey that combines physical activity with cultural discovery.

  • Attractions: Gangaramaya Temple, Independence Square, Pettah, Galle Face Green, Temple of Sri Kailawasa, Colombo National Museum, Colombo Fort
Suggested Read: Galle Fort Sri Lanka: A Journey Through Centuries in a Coastal Oasis

7. Admire the Underwater Life at Dehiwala Zoo

Dehiwala Zoo
Image is for reference purpose only

Experience the wonders of marine life at Dehiwala Zoo's aquarium which is surely among the best things to do in Colombo Sri Lanka with family. This attraction showcases a diverse array of underwater creatures, providing a unique opportunity to observe and learn about the rich biodiversity of Sri Lanka's coastal waters. It's an engaging and educational experience suitable for visitors of all ages, making it a perfect family-friendly outing.

Address: 120 Galvihara Rd, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka (10 km from Colombo)

Notable Animals: Sanju, Joe, Tony, Bandula

Opening Hours: 9:30 to 6 pm

Number of Animals: 3,000

Main Animals: Mammals, reptiles, aquatic animals, birds

Suggested Read: Best Museums in Sri Lanka: Unravel History, One Exhibit at a Time

8. Shopping for Souvenirs and Mementos

Shopping for Souvenirs and Mementos

Colombo offers a luxurious shopping experience with its luxurious lifestyle and markets dedicated to art, handicrafts, apparel, and jewelry. These markets provide trendy and attractive styles, making them worth the time and money spent. Famous for gemstones, moonstone carvings, traditional clothing, and more, these markets offer a variety of attractive artefacts, designer batiks, and handicrafts at best prices. Colombo's quirky shops and malls provide a unique shopping experience for tourists, which can be one of the best things to do in Colombo.

Famous Markets in Colombo: The Pettah Market or Manning Market, good market, The Pettah Floating Market, Lakpahana Handcraft (Private) Limited, The Gem Museum

What to Buy from Colombo: Antique, spices, tea, handicrafts, clothes, decor items, printed textiles, precious jewels

Suggested Read: Best Shopping Malls in Sri Lanka: Rediscover a Great Shopping Tradition

9. Visit R. Premadasa Cricket Stadium

Cricket Stadium
Image is for reference purpose only

Indulge in the fervor of Sri Lanka's favorite sport by attending a cricket match at the iconic R. Premadasa Stadium. Surrounded by passionate fans, you'll feel the electric energy of the game as players showcase their skills on the field. Whether you're a cricket enthusiast or a casual observer, the stadium's lively atmosphere promises an unforgettable sporting experience. If you are in Colombo and making a list of the top 10 things to do in Colombo, this stadium has to be on the list. Imagine the vibes of visiting this majestic stadium which has witnessed the highest Test Cricket Score of the native team, 952/6 d against India in 1997.

Address: Khettarama Temple Rd, Colombo 01000, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours: 6 am to 5 pm

Also knows as: Khettarama Stadium (until June 1994)

Established Year: 1986

Named After: Former Sri Lanka president Ranasinghe Premadasa

Capacity: 35,000

End Names: Khettarama End, Maligawatte End

Flood Lights: Yes

Home Teams: Sri Lanka

Pitch: Grass

Highest Total: 952/6 (271 Ov) by SL vs IND

Lowest Total: 86/10 (27.4 Ov) by BAN vs SL

Suggested Read: Best Cafes in Sri Lanka: Experience the Perfect Blend of Culture and Coffee

10. Day Trip to Colombo Beaches

Colombo Beaches

Escape the urban hustle for a day of relaxation at the beaches in Colombo that includes these top 5 beaches in Sri Lanka- Hikkaduwa Beach, Negombo Beach, Kalpitiya Beach, Unawatuna Beach, and Bentota Beach. Sink your toes into the golden sands, enjoy the soothing sound of waves, and take in the panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. With opportunities for adventurous things to do in Colombo, fresh seafood dining, and a laid-back coastal ambiance, Negombo Beach provides a tranquil getaway from the city's hustle and bustle.

Beaches in Colombo: Hikkaduwa Beach, Negombo Beach, Kalpitiya Beach, Unawatuna Beach, Bentota Beach

Best Time to Visit Colombo Beaches: November to April

Activities at Negombo Beach: Sunset, Sunrise, Ocean safaris, surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing, kayaking, canoeing, scuba diving, snorkeling and much more

Suggested Read: Romantic Honeymoon in Sri Lanka: Start Your Blissful Journey of Love

As you may see, on your visit to Sri Lanka, you will get to experience an array of things to do in Colombo that will leave a mark on your heart and soul. While exploring this charming capital city, don’t miss out on any of the above-mentioned activities. The tour of Colombo starts to offer action-packed time from morning till the time you get tired yourself as the list to enjoy things in Colombo does not end. So, explore more, shop more, eat more, and learn more, and all you need to do is, get yourself one of our best Colombo tour packages, and book yourself impeccable and exceptional days in the heart of Sri Lanka.

Things to Do in Colombo FAQs

Q1. What is the best time to visit Colombo?

Visit Colombo after the Monsoon season, during November to mid-April. This is the peak season to explore heritage ruins, ornate temples, and magnificent nature nooks, basking in warm sunshine and cool breeze, while basking in the warm sunshine.

Q2. What are the top 5 things to do in Colombo?

One may get an opportunity to enjoy a plethora of things to do in Colombo. Few of them are:

  • Colombo Bird Watching Tours
  • Seek Blessings in the Colombo Temples
  • Experience the Tradition & Culture
  • Exciting Tuk Tuk and Cycling Tour of Colombo
  • Day Trip to Colombo Beaches
Q3. Is there water activity in Colombo?

Colombo boasts of few of the best beaches in Sri Lanka and these beaches offer many things to do in Colombo. The water activities in Colombo include Ocean safaris, surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing, kayaking, canoeing, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

Q4. What is Tuk Tuk Tour in Colombo?

Tuk Tuk tour is very famous in Colombo, and one should definitely try it as it takes only a couple of hours and covers most of the attractions. You can also book a tuk tuk for the complete day and experience exploring the sites, foods, and activities.

Q5. What is Colombo famous for?

Colombo is a bustling capital city and a true gateway to the captivating Sri Lanka. Colombo is famous for its colonial charm with red-tiled colonial-era buildings and religious and cultural convergence.

Q6. What to buy from Colombo?

Sri Lanka is known for its unique souvenirs, and on your Colombo trip you must buy Ceylon tea, handcrafted items, gemstones, jewelry, batik clothing, and Ayurvedic products. All these products reflect the island's culture and heritage.

Q7. Where to go for street foods in Colombo?

Sri Lanka is famous for its street food options like Hoppers, Kothu Roti, Kola Kanda, Achcharu, Maalu Paan, Isso Vadai, and Tapioca Chips. One can go to Pettah Market, Galle Face Green, Dehiwala-Mount Lavina, Marine Drive, and Wellawatte to savor these delicious foods

Q8. What are the best places to visit in Colombo?

The best places to explore in Colombo includes the following attractions:

  • Galle Face Green
  • Gangaramaya Temple
  • Mount Lavinia Beach
  • Colombo National Museum
  • Attidiya Bird Sanctuary