Colombo is usually a starting off point for most travelers as the airport is located close by. It is a pretty busy city with a strong sense of community. There is so much to do and see here, I highly recommend that you stay a few days before heading down the coast or to the mountains.
LANGUAGE: Sinhala, Tamil, English
CURRENCY: Sri Lankan Rupee
CLIMATE: Tropical, Rainy season is April – December
DRESS CODE: Slightly conservative, Might feel more comfortable covering shoulders and legs (up to you)
GETTING AROUND: Train, Tuk-Tuk, Local Taxi, Bus
TIPPING: Tipping is not expected
SAFETY: Generally a safe city, Use same precautions as you would in any other bigger city
FROM BANDARANAIKE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Bandaranaike International Airport is located in Negombo, which is about 20 miles north of Colombo. From the airport, you can order an Uber or take a local taxi. The trip will take around 40 minutes to an hour depending on traffic.
WHERE TO STAY
One of my favorite hostels to stay in. This new hostel offers pod like beds giving you maximum privacy. There is an amazing outdoor space, kitchen, pool, and free breakfast. Plus rooms start at only around $5 per night! A steal for this boutique location. They also have a location in Mount Lavina (directly south of Colombo) and are opening locations in Galle, Kandy, Ella, and Mirissa. Met some amazing people here as well.
WHAT TO EAT
WHERE TO EAT
The food in Sri Lanka is the BEST. I say this quite often, but please, eat as much as possible. Otherwise you will keep thinking back to that time in Sri Lanka when you wish you would have eaten more food.
An open air restaurant located on Galle Face Green. Nana’s is popular with locals and tourists alike. An excellent spot to try cuttlefish, chicken, or mutton Kottu.
I am not really one for expensive restaurants but wanted to include this on here because it is the one of the most reviewed restaurants in Colombo on Trip Advisor with over 2,100 reviews and 4.5 stars. Also an art gallery, this restaurant was formally the office world renowned Sri Lankan architect, the late Geoffrey Bawa. The cafe is open from 10am to midnight daily.
Another one I didn’t try due to my budget but this one has almost 4,000 reviews and 4.5 stars. Known for excellent seafood.
A great place to come listen to live music and enjoy the local cuisine.
A courtyard garden cafe, also home to an art gallery and bookshop. They offer live jazz music on Sunday afternoons and a Colombo Pub Quiz every Wednesday evening.
WHAT TO EAT
MUST TRY FOODS IN SRI LANKA: Roti Triangles, Coconut Pancakes, Kottu, Dahl Curry, Hoppers, Isso Vadai
WHAT TO DO
TAKE A STROLL
Galle Face Green is a large green open field along the waterfront where people come to fly kites, play soccer, or eat food from one of the many vendors who set up here in the evenings. A perfect place to grab a bite and watch the sun go down.
OLD DUTCH HOSPITAL COMPLEX