Old City Hall

Top choice in Colombo

Colonial Town Hall in Colombo - Sri Lanka

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Dating to 1865, this municipal building from the British era is mostly empty today, save for some old trucks and municipal equipment on display in the ground-floor galleries. But let the attendants lead you up the vintage mahogany stairs (tip them Rs 100) and you’ll discover something of a waxworks in the old council chambers. There, covered in dust, are replicas of the town’s first councillors in 1906.

It’s slightly comic and ghoulish, especially given the green glow from the stained glass. Views from the windows put you above the hubbub outside. Note the battered old firetrucks that were once gifts from Japan.