Colombo’s 8 Cultural Gems

You can’t avoid exploring Colombo (now Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte) if you travel to Sri Lanka by plane. You have to appreciate the delicious seafood cuisine, the amazing culture and the hospitality of the indigenous people.

Photo by Jasinthan Yoganathan on Unsplash

In addition, getting there is not too difficult. You can travel to it and have fun using Sri Lankan Airlines. There’s too much to see and discover once you get there. Holistic exploration is not possible if you are short on time. So, in this article, we will list the top attractions and things to do in Colombo.

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Exploring Colombo: Its Culture, Heritage and Coastline

1. Colombo Harbor Maritime Museum

The Colombo Port Maritime Museum is the ideal destination for those who love museums. The maritime museum, as its name implies, displays various models of submarines, ships, warships, and other miniature and antique marine equipment. The history of the development of the Sri Lankan Navy is also housed in the museum, which adds to its appeal.

2. Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque

Colombo's 8 Cultural Gemsphoto by Brian Kyed on Remove splash

It looks like something out of a fairy tale, as the contrasting white and red stripes make it look like a delicious candy house. However, don’t let the view fool you, as it is made of concrete. Believe it or not, this mosque is sure to become an important highlight of your social media feed once you upload a photo of it following your visit. Apart from that, the architectural design team did an excellent job when planning the design and appearance of the Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque. The Indo-Islamic architectural style inspired the architectural style used in creating this masterpiece. In addition, there are a few touches of Islamic, Thai and Indian architectural styles.

3. Attidiya Bird Sanctuary

Attidiya bird sanctuary is the perfect getaway for those who love to be in the abode of nature. This bird sanctuary attracts many exotic migratory birds each year from the higher latitude zones. If you want to visit this place and experience the diverse avian fauna, winter is the right time. Winter in Sri Lanka is mild and helps them escape the harsh winters of the temperate zone.

4. Old Galle Buck Lighthouse

The Sri Lankan Naval Complex is close to the Old Galle Buck Lighthouse. Both locals and visitors are welcome to visit the lighthouse. We strongly advise you to climb the stairs inside and reach the top; it will be useful. You will see the most stunning coastline and various beautiful views once you arrive at the confluence. But if you want the best views, climb after 5pm. You will witness the most amazing sunsets at this time, along with the changing color of the sky at sunset.

5. Arugam Bay Beach

Colombo's 8 Cultural Gems

Arugam Bay Beach offers a quiet place to enjoy the ocean. It is located away from the attention of the crowds and is bustling mainly by locals. You can come here if you deliberately avoid going to crowded places. Sit by the beach, feel the sun between your toes, and appreciate the beauty of nature around you.

6. Seema Malacca

Seema Malacca is a unique temple that offers a serene way to pray to the Buddha. This Buddhist monastery is located on an island, because the main temple is built in the lake. The whole environment of this temple is very calming and beautiful. Furthermore, the architecture of the temple also deserves thumbs up. It combines Thai, Chinese, Indian and Sri Lankan architectural styles, giving it a unique look.

7. Colombo Dutch Museum

The Colombo Dutch Museum complex itself is of historical importance. It was one of the residential complexes of the Dutch governor, and later became a museum. Even though it is unrecognizable by the crowd, it will shock you once seen. The Pettah Market sells vibrant decorative items, hand looms and handcrafted items in the adjoining area. You can also visit the market after exploring the museum.

8. Laksala

Laksala will be the last one, completing your visit to Colombo. Laksala has all the souvenirs you could want. This state-owned gift shop sells a wide variety of handmade goods. Shawls, knick-knacks, hand-carved wood carvings, bamboo caps, and many other types of traditional artwork exist. Laksala would be the ideal choice to do this if you like to bring back memories from your trips.


Let this list guide you to the best travel opportunities when visiting Colombo. Rest assured that your Sri Lanka diary will be among the most memorable.

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