Top Things To Do in Colombo and Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte

This webpage contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through our link, we receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Sri Lanka owns two capitals: the economic capital, Colombo, and the administrative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, commonly known as Kotte. Kotte is located within the broader Colombo city. Tours can take you all around Colombo city, including Kotte. Fulfill your passion for culture and history while appreciating the beauty of many sights in the city.
From the range of parks, the most beautiful and majestic buildings to the historically significant sites, Colombo covers a lot of interests. Here are some exciting things for you to enjoy.

Take a walk in Beddagana Wetland Park

This wetland is rich in beautiful biodiversity opened in 2016 for the public. If you are an early riser, this is a must-see place in the morning dew, especially for local and foreign visitors for bird watching and butterfly watching. However, you won't regret visiting in the evening either.

Take a Boat Ride at the Diyasaru Park

Group of grey-headed swamphens with little chicks walking in the swamps in Diyasaru park

Diyasaru Park, meaning "Water-rich," was established in 2010. This landmark consists of a study center with an open study area, broad walking paths, butterfly gardens, and a bird-watching tower. If you hop on one of the boat rides here, it can be an excellent escape from the bustling city.


Find Traditional Tranquility at Ape Gama

The scenic place of tradition, formerly called "Battaramulla Janakala Kendraya," accurately displays the Sri Lankan village life from olden times. You can experience the culture, ancient village lifestyle, and traditional craftsmanship brought back to life in the modern-day. Along with a mini zoo-like concept with bird watching, you can also find fantastic food stalls nearby. You also can hire a private tour guide to do a day trip around Colombo that starts at Ape Gama.

Walk Through Diyatha Uyana

A whole bundle of must-visit parks when you are in Colombo, built in the banks of Diyawanna Oya, opened in 2012, is the excellent "Diyatha Uyana." As one of the top parks in the area, Diyatha Park attracts many locals and foreigners. You can easily spend half a day here with great restaurants, shops, relaxing spots, and walkways. The most amazing part is the boat ride which also brings you to Diyatha station, a restaurant hub built-in the train station.

In addition, you can also try out the romantic swan boat ride. If you go in the evening, there's a fantastic water fountain at the park that lights up with vibrant colors throughout the night. It's an excellent location for the whole family too! Kids will never feel bored at the park with the children's play areas and the aquarium.

Majestic Parliament Grounds

Sri Lanka Parliament, Colombo

With the grandeur of the building standing in the middle of a small island in the Diyawanna Oya stands the New Parliament of Sri Lanka. But, of course, if you plan to visit inside, you must have a pass issued by the Serjeant-at-Arms. The small island is home to many species of birds, and the scenery surrounding it makes for a fantastic viewing experience. The previously mentioned tour drives by the Parliament Building and stops at the Diyatha Uyana park too.

Stop by the National Sandalwood Garden

Adjacent to the Ape Gama grounds, a new eco-friendly project has been established, the "National Sandun Uyana." With more than 1000 sandalwood plants and various other flowering plants, the garden makes for a serene place to walk through. Many come here for general exercise, yoga and different meditation programs. In addition, it's a fantastic spot to have picnics with friends and family and enjoy the evening.

A Brew of Sri Lankan Tea

Woman picking tea in Sri Lanka

Experience Sri Lankan culture's famous hospitality with handpicked tender leaves and top buds of the tea plants blended to form the splendid cup of tea. The "Tea Avenue" was established in 1936 provides you with that world-famous Sri Lankan tea taste. You can try out a wide variety of tea here and purchase some to bring home.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at the Bakery at the Edge

If you pass by the parliament premises, the Bakery at the Edge is an elegant place with various baked goods. The café-style bakery is an eco-friendly module that introduced the first "oxygen bar" in Sri Lanka. In addition, the pedal-powered blender named "Cycle to Blend" gets you doing some cardio by cycling before enjoying your fresh drink.

Visit the Past at the Archeological Museum of Kotte

The Archaeological Museum of Kotte is situated upon a cliff overlooking Ethul Kotte road. Originally it was established as a residence of Edward Walter Perera, famous for his role in the Sri Lankan Independence Movement, and was later converted into a museum in 1992 and opened to the public in 1995. The place contains the artifacts such as ancient monuments, photographs, flags, swords, knives, guns, statues, ceramic ware, clay vessels, coins and other relics mainly discovered around the Kotte area and within the western province.

Visit the magnificent Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya

Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya temple

Are you a seeker of historical religious places? Then the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya is the top place for you to visit. This was the main spiritual center in the Kotte kingdom near the Royal Palace. The site holds several historical monuments that bring an impressive, majestic sight. You can easily visit the monument on your own or arrange for a tour guide to pick you up at your hotel and bring you there for a half-day trip.

Peaceful Meditation at Mahamevnawa

Malabe street view with Mahamevnawa Amawatura Monastery

The Mahamevnawa Amawatura Monastery is a modern four-story shrine built to pay respect to four groups of important figures in Buddhism. The first floor is reserved for the fully Enlightened Disciples of The Lord Buddha, where the second floor is based for Pacceka Buddhas who attained enlightenment without the teachings, as well as the third floor is for the last seven Buddha's that came to the world. Finally, the fourth floor is an open space with a stupa built for the Buddha's relics on behalf of the Brahma Gatikara.

You can take a tour of the four-story religious shrine and meditate. It's okay even if you are not into meditation. You can get the instructions from the monks and even talk with them and learn a lot about Buddhism and meditation. Also, you can have the blessing threads and even join the evening chanting at 6.00 pm. In addition, there is a place for readers to browse a variety of books at the bookstore.

Escape to the Gangaramaya Temple

Gangaramaya Temple Colombo Sri Lanka

An escape from busy roads and lifestyle is a must every once in a while. The Gangaramaya Temple, built in the 19th century, is located in the city, making for a blend of modern and traditional. Locals and foreigners are attracted to this site, whether for worship or viewing. Also, another most famous attraction of the temple is the museum, with several halls filled with beautiful artifacts and paraphernalia, all relating to the Buddhist and local culture of ancient Sri Lanka. You can find a massive collection of ivory and wood carvings, famous ola leaf writings and some glorious statues. The aforementioned full-day tour of Colombo also stops at this temple.

Another Buddhist Temple Worth Visiting

Statues Of Seema Malakaya At The Gangarama Temple

A smaller Buddhist temple is known as "Gangarama Seema Malakaya," built on water over the pillars in the lake, creating a small island of the temple. You will be entering a great location with a blooming outdoor environment and an incredible skyline for photography, especially at night. This site is mainly used for meditation and resting rather than worshiping, unlike the Gangaramaya Temple.

Play at the Royal Golf Club

Seen from the side of the Royal Colombo golf club going towards Colombo city

The green lands with a breathtaking view of nature give gold-lovers a fantastic course to play on. It's 18 holes in the royal grounds located in the ridgeway links, also known as Anderson Golf Course since its establishment in the 19th century. If you're a big golfer, there are entire tour packages centered around golfing in Colombo along with sightseeing.


From the tons of pizzerias like Pizza hut, Michaelangelos Pizza, Harpo's Pizza & Pasta to the deliciously perfect Dolce Italia, and Shandong the Chinese kitchen, Grill kitchen, The flamin' Barn, Chinese dragon café, LeeSH Sandwich bar, Bro pub & Restaurant, Café Beverly, Waters edge and Sri Lankan style culinary with Thuna Paha, Nelum Kole to the street carts and food courts, you will never have to worry about finding good restaurants throughout the city while you journey around the Jayawardenepura landscapes.

Independence Commemoration

Independence Memorial Hall in Colombo

In restoring the country's full governing responsibilities to its people, the independence memorial hall was built in the area where gaining freedom from the British took place on 4th February 1948. Except for the annual ceremony, the site is most lively, with joggers and families outings viewing its majestic historical sight. The mornings and the late evenings are best to visit the national monument. The full-day Colombo tour covers this destination as well if you want to get the most out of your limited time in the city.

In Conclusion

View of the Colombo city skyline

With the wrap-up of our virtual journey to boost your knowledge and interest in the walk-through Colombo and Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, you will now have to go out and see for yourself what this historic city has to offer. We hope our article has inspired you with new ideas for your trip, and we want to wish you all the best on your journey!

Scott and Yanling Contact Us Photo


Need some assistance for your trip?
Send us a message and we will do our best to help you out.

Try to be as detailed as you can with exactly what you need help with so we can best serve you.

Please complete the reCAPTCHA challenge