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Maria Asaad
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Colombo, the former capital of the island, lies on the west coast of Sri Lanka and is a charismatic and colourful place, full of energy and character. This large city is filled with brilliant and exciting things to do, from top shopping spots and restaurants to cultural museums and historic tourist attractions. So, if you are passing through this stunning city on your way to one of Sri Lanka’s beautiful beaches, here are a few of the things you can do to really make the most of this city.  



Independence Memorial Hall

The Independence Memorial Hall was built in the early 1950’s to commemorate Sri Lanka’s independence from Britain It is a great place to visit in Colombo as it is surrounded by gorgeous landscape gardens and has an impressive structural design that’ll catch your eye from a distance.

Aside from the wonderful outward architecture, this national monument is also home to the Independence Memorial Museum. The museum holds a lot of historical memorabilia to mark Sri Lanka’s independence and is well worth a visit too.

In front of the Independence Memorial Hall stands the statue of Don Stephen Senanayake, the first prime minister of Sri Lanka. He is also referred to as the 'Father of the Nation’ and is an important symbol in Sri Lanka’s history. 


Seema Malakaya Temple

If you’re after the super scenic and photo-worthy place to visit in Colombo, then you must pay a visit to the picturesque Seema Malakaya Temple. Set in the middle of the beautiful Beira Lake, this historical temple sits amongst stunning shimmering water and is surrounded by impressive bronze Buddha statues.

Seema Malakaya Temple was rebuilt in 1976 after the original infrastructure sank into the lake. It is used today as a place for meditation and rest, rather than a place of worship with many tourists stopping by during their travels.

It is part of the famous Gangaramaya Temple, which is located very close and is on solid ground. Seema Malakaya provides some breath-taking and delightful views when illuminated underneath the dark night sky.  


Viharamahadevi Park

If you’re in the mood to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and retreat to a place of nature, then Viharamahadevi Park is the place to go during your time in Colombo. It is the oldest and largest park in the city and provides acres of natural and serene beauty.

It was originally built back in colonial times by the British and was once named after Queen Victoria. It has since been renamed following Sri Lanka’s independence.

Viharamahadevi Park is a lovely place to wander around and take in some nature with its leafy lanes, perfectly trimmed lawns and luscious lakes. It is also a great family day out as it has a zoo, children’s playground and a grand Buddha statue on display. 


Independence Square

One of the most famous spots in the city, Independence Square is lined with old colonial-era buildings and flourishing boulevards leading the way around the Square. It is a grand and spacious Square where many of the main city’s important festivals and cultural events happen.

It attracts big crowds of tourists and locals for that reason, as well as being filled with lovely ponds, grand statues and a gorgeous fountain. It is also surrounded by scenic gardens that makes it a haven of nature.

It is home to the Independence Memorial Hall as well as the Arcade, a modern shopping mall that is filled with a tonne of trendy places to eat and shop. 


Gangaramaya Temple

Known as one of the most impressive sights in Colombo, Gangaramaya Temple exhibits a massive range of architectural styles, including Thai, Chinese, Indian and Sri Lankan artifacts. The temple is made up of various shrines and halls for visitors to walk around.

Gangaramaya Temple also contains a museum, library and a relic chamber for visitors to explore. The complex has elegant carvings, statues and sculpturs scatted all around it, as well as a Bodhi tree which is great for some wonderful photo opportunities.

It is one of the most important temples in the city and hosts the most extravagant and vibrant full moon celebrations every year for locals and tourists to take part in and enjoy. Located just a short distance away from Seema Malakaya Temple and Beira Lake, it is the highlight of a lot of people’s visit to Colombo.