Top things to do

Top Choice Museum in Colombo

National Museum

A large 9th-century stone Buddha greets you with an enigmatic smile as you enter Sri Lanka’s premier cultural institution. In galleries dating back as far as 1877, you’ll encounter all manner of art, carvings and st…
Top Choice Crafts in Colombo

Barefoot

Designer Barbara Sansoni’s beautifully laid-out shop, located in an old villa, is justly popular for its bright hand-loomed textiles, which are fashioned into bedspreads, cushions, serviettes and other household ite…
Top Choice Historic Building in Colombo

Old City Hall

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 v…
Top Choice Museum in Colombo

Dutch Period Museum

This unique museum was originally the 17th-century residence of the Dutch governor and has since been used as a Catholic seminary, a military hospital, a police station and a post office. The mansion contains a love…
Top Choice Park in Colombo

Viharamahadevi Park

Colombo’s biggest park was originally called Victoria Park but was renamed in the 1950s after the mother of King Dutugemunu. It’s notable for its superb flowering trees, which bloom in March, April and early May. El…
Top Choice Seafood in Colombo

Ministry of Crab

Crabs are a major income earner for Sri Lanka’s fishing industry but most are exported. This high-profile restaurant (two owners are former captains of the Sri Lanka cricket team plus there's famous chef Dharshan Mu…
Top Choice Historic Building in Colombo

Old Dutch Hospital

Centrepiece of the ever-more vibrant Fort, this colonial-era complex dates back to the early 1600s. Lavishly restored, it is home to shops, cafes and restaurants run by some of Colombo’s best operators. Enjoy a paus…
Top Choice Park in Colombo

Galle Face Green

Immediately south of Fort is Galle Face Green, a long stretch of lawn facing the sea. It was originally cleared by the Dutch to give the cannons of Fort a clear line of fire. Today its broad lawns are a popular rend…
Top Choice Sri Lankan in Colombo

Yaal Restaurant

The unique spicy cuisine of Jaffna’s Tamils features at this simple yet very tidy restaurant across from the seashore. The speciality is the truly unique odiyal kool, a famous Jaffna dish consisting of vegetables an…
Top Choice Religious in Colombo

Vesak Poya

The birth, enlightenment and the death of Buddha is celebrated across Colombo (and Sri Lanka) but the festivities around Gangaramaya Temple and South Lake Beira are mind-blowing. Huge eruptions of coloured light dis…