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It seems that all stories both start and end in Colombo, it is inevitable. This 24 hour guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka will give you a taste of what you can do when you land or leave. As the major airport for getting into Sri Lanka, Colombo tends to be a layover city, with minimum time spent. Those who stay a bit longer find gems in this major city — even between the mess of tuk tuks and the never ending traffic. It’s filled with it all — incredible restaurants, cafes, and beautiful architecture. Searching out this amidst the chaos of the city is rewarding, and definitely gives Colombo a great starting point for a journey in Sri Lanka. The 24 Hour Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka

The 24 Hour Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka

The 24 Hour Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka

Come here to be surprised by a city that often gets overlooked. Merge through the traffic, look past the chaos, and be pleasantly surprised by Colombo.

The 24 Hour Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka


The 24 Hour Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka


What to Know Before Visiting Colombo, Sri Lanka.

  • Getting around is easy, with plenty of tuk tuks. (Cash only and always negotiate price before getting in).
  • Cash is best for most restaurants though bigger hotels accept card.
  • It is a more conservative city, so I would suggest being a bit more covered up then say when you’re at the beach.

The 24 Hour Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka

 


Where to Stay in Colombo, Sri Lanka

  • Moss B&B: We booked this small hotel that ended up being perfect. It was uber cheap in comparison to the other hotels, and the rooms were clean and they had a good breakfast.
  • The Kingsbury: This is a luxury option for those looking to experience one of the most historic hotels in Sri Lanka. It’s location is also footsteps from the action.
  • More hotels in Colombo here.

Where to Eat in Colombo, Sri Lanka

  • The Gallery Cafe: A beautiful space setting in an inner courtyard where the food is as good as it looks. I came here twice and it was incredible.
  • Upali’s by Nawaloka: A good choice for Sri Lankan food.
  • Nihonbashi: Who would of thought there would be good sushi in Colombo, this gem of a restaurant lands itself on San Pellegrino’s Asias Best 50 list and it’s delicious. Order the grilled rice!
  • Flamingo House: A lively restaurant and bar, for a good evening out.

The 24 Hour Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka


What to Do in Colombo, Sri Lanka

  • Visit the beautiful Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara temple.
  • Take a city tour by tuk tuk to go explore the fort.
  • See the incredible Red Masjid mosque.
  • Explore the National Museum of Sri Lanka.
  • Eat your way through Pettah Market.

The 24 Hour Guide to Colombo, Sri Lanka

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PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Car

Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


Xx,
Jessica

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