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Sri Lanka is a great way to escape the madness of India during your sub-continent backpacking trip, although it can still be pretty manic itself. It’s a slightly cleaner, less chaotic version of it’s Indian big brother but it still supplies endless things to see and do. Let’s have a look at how to deal with your time in the capital city:


Getting to Colombo:

FLY: You can get a Kingfisher or Jet flight from India which brings you straight to the capital Colombo. You can find  cheap airfares easily in this region (around $50), and Sri Lanka offers VOA (Visa on arrival) so no stress there either. There are a lot of  travel packages available so it’s pretty easy to sort out.

-from the airport, take the bus (90 mins, $3) or a tri-shaw (60 mins, $10) to the city centre.

FERRY: Or you can be a real traveler and t ravel by boat, the boat service between southern India (Tuticorin) and Sri Lanka has recently opened again. It leaves around 6pm in the evening, and arrives around 8am in Colombo the next day – this is true traveling! Costs around $40.

India Sri Lanka Ferry

Things to See in Colombo

Sri Lanka’s capital is the financial centre of the country, so if you need anything for the rest of your time spent gallivanting around the country, buy it here or you’ll be doing without it! When you’re in Colombo make sure to check out this stuff:


Fort: Effectively the CBD, charge your camera and walk around for a couple of hours, this place is full of landmarks.

Fort Colombo

The Clock Tower: Marks the start of the pretty cool Pettah market (well worth a walk around), it’s an iconic image of Colombo.

The clock tower colombo

The President’s Residence (or Queen’s House): A big part of Sri Lanka’s (turbulent) past, make the effort to read up and check out this impressive, colonial structure.

The President's House Colombo

The Galle Face Green: An awesome long stretch along the Indian seafront, with vendors, buskers, picnickers. This is a cracking spot for sunset.

Galle Face Green promonade The Cinnamon Gardens: The richest area in the whole country, it’s a great place to walk around and with it playing host to the massive expanse of Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo’s largest green space, it offers genuine respite from the hawkers and noise!

The Cinnamon Gardens Sri Lanka Mt. Lavinia Beach: This is Colombo’s main ‘swimming’ beach and also the place to party. It’s about 10km from the city centre (20 mins, $3 in a rickshaw/tuk-tuk), if you’re ready to party hard, clubs open until around 4am at the weekends. Special mentions to Amusuem, Silk and Kama

Mt Lavinia Sri LankaColombo is a great introduction to Sri Lanka, so when you get here, chill for a couple of days, soak up the awesome atmosphere and then venture further afield. I’ve got a whole lot more sites from Sri Lanka to show you, so hold on and with so many  package deals available, you never have to miss anything. There’s a lot more of Sri Lanka to come. Happy travels!


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10 thoughts on “Backpacking in Sri Lanka – Colombo

  1. Hi johny,
    I’m a first time traveler who visit Sri Lanka actually i was enjoyed the nature and it was the best part of my journey.

  2. Hi Jonny!

    What a great List!Love all these places!
    Colombo is only one side of Sri Lanka(My country).There is a lot more things that amaze travellers all around the world!What other places did you visit in Sri Lanka?

  3. I am truly satisfied to read this web page posts which carries lots of helpful data about backpacking in Sri Lanka – Colombo. All the info. is so beneficial for me and other people. Thanks for sharing such a lot of information about Colombo most visiting places.

  4. thans for this, starting to plan my trip to Sri Lanka and your post come up in the search engine 🙂 have bookmarked it

  5. I just got back to Thailand a couple of several weeks ago from investing monthly in Sri Lanka – it was an awesome trip! I also experienced Colombo and its variety of meals.

  6. I just got back to Thailand a few weeks ago from spending a month in Sri Lanka – it was an amazing trip! I also enjoyed Colombo and its range of food.

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