Colombo Trip..Part 2..Culture..Shopping..History.. Sri Lanka

This post is a continuation of the previous post on  Colombo trip where I had written about the city, places to visit, hotels and other info about this place.
Lion statues @ the Independence square Colombo
As part of our Sri Lanka Itinerary.. we traveled to Colombo from Kandy by car (this took us about 3-4 hours) and stayed in Steward hotel. We had booked a car for our entire trip - starting from Colombo Airport and ending back at Colombo.
**Many people have reached out to me asking about the car booking, you can ping me on fb or connect with me on my gmail id, I will send you the driver's / agency phone number.

The first day in Colombo we visited the Gangaramaya temple and Galle Face green where we did lots of kite flying. (Details on Part 1 blog)
The next day we headed after breakfast to tour the city and also planned some time for shopping.
Colombo Town Hall
Colombo Town hall :
This is the Mayor's office, which houses the administrative staff of the Colombo Municipal Council. The building is impressive and worth a photo-stop. It is not allowed to go inside, and if you take too many clicks or spend more that a few minutes, the security guards will start questioning you.

Viharamahadevi Park : This part is just opposite to the Townhall building, so you can visit both these places together. This is very green and quiet. Despite of being a weekend, we did not find any tourists or locals in this place - serene, quiet and very clean.
Viharamahadevi Park
National Museum : Very close to the Viharamahadevi park, the National museum of Sri Lanka. This is one of the top listed places to visit on Tripadvisor - However, we always get bored in museums, so we decided to skip it.

Nelum Pokuna (Lotus Art) Theatre : This looks very beautiful - and my camera could'nt do justice to the actual look of this place. This is a performing arts center, and there are shows held for which you can buy tickets and visit this place.
Lotus Art Theatre
Road-side Painters :
All the above attractions are very close-by within 1 kms radius. As you leave from this theatre, you will find a street which is full of Paintings. There are painters who can also make portraits of you. These look very beautiful and in-fact we even got down to see if we could buy them. The prices are reasonable - they will give the canvas roll to you. However, for international tourists, the concern is how do you carry this without getting crushed in the flight.
Paintings of Sri Lanka
Independence War Memorial (Also known as Independence Square) : This is indeed the best place I found in Colombo. Vast empty gardens, greenery spread wide, and beautiful memorial hall. The best place about Sri Lanka is that it is extremely clean and not crowded at all (except some of the Buddhist temples). You can sit here for hours exploring the ponds, flags and green landscape.
Totally Loved it.
Independence War memorial
Lush Greenery at Independence sqaure
Water ponds at Independence memorial
Memorial Hall
Shopping : The first question is what to shop from Sri Lanka for your family and friends. Before I went there, people told me it is a Shopping haven. There is a currency advantage, so you can almost afford anything and shop a lot. Let me break the myth - I did not find Sri Lanka cheap or my currency being an advantage.
Things are reasonably priced, but they are definitely not cheap. Infact, many of the clothes are labelled as "Made in India" - so why buy it from Sri Lanka??
Nonetheless, we did end up exploring Shopping outlets and ended up stocking something for our family.
Odel Mall : This is a Hi-fi mall, with all the branded stuff. Clothes, Shoes, Designer bags, Food, Souvenirs everything is here. But the cost is equally high - I did not find any local Sri Lankans shopping at this place, all were tourists especially western tourists.
The food outlets outside this mall are pretty good, they have some Indian thali also which was quite nice.

Paradise Road : You will find lots of Off-beat stuff here for Homeware, designer items, collectibles, candles etc. This is good for buying small gifts for your friends back in India. This is a small store, so you can wrap this in half-hour.

House of Fashion : Have you been to Mega-mart or Big Bazaar in India. Yes, this is the Big Bazaar of SriLanka. This is on the way to the Airport, so we wrapped up everything, and on the way to the Airport, stopped by here and stocked the shopping bags. Lots of stuff, from toys, to candles, to specialized soaps, organic spices, Clothes, stolls, shoes, bags everything. It is reasonably priced. Look for the labels before you buy (as lots of stuff says 'Made in India').

Tea: When in doubt what to buy, the Sri Lankan tea is very popular. Some of the key brands being Dilmah, Ceylon tea, Zesta and many more. These can be purchased from any Supermarket in Sri Lanka. I brought lots of Dilmah tea for my family and myself. It is very good.

Post this, we headed to the airport and back to India. So this is the last in the Sri Lanka Series. I might write some more about the Budget of the trip and how to self-plan the Sri Lanka itinerary in a different blog post :)

Other Articles in the Sri Lanka Series :

1. Sri Lanka Itinerary
2. Bentota - Beach town
3. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
4. Kandy
5. Sigiriya.. Ravan's fort
6. Dambulla.. Caves and Golden temple
7. Colombo Trip Part 1

P.S : All pictures in this article are original and clicked from my DLSR D5300 camera and iPhone 6 :)


  1. OMG <3 Love those pictures!

  2. Beautiful photos :)
    Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Lots of pictures and very nice description, town hall of Sri Lanka looks alike mini White house.

  4. Lovely pictures. I have been to Colombo but I didn't have an opportunity to explore the city. Enjoyed your post!

  5. amazing blog and informatory content. I just read it when I was searching for Bali Tour Packages

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your Colombo trip experience with us! It sounds like you had an incredible time exploring the rich culture, indulging in some shopping, and delving into the fascinating history of Sri Lanka.

    Colombo truly offers a blend of experiences that cater to every traveler's interests. From vibrant markets filled with local crafts to historical sites that tell stories of a bygone era, it's a place that leaves a lasting impression.

    Your post has definitely sparked my interest in planning a trip there soon. Thank you again for sharing your adventures!