Things to do in Colombo

The Steuart by Citrus is surrounded by some of Colombo’s grandest buildings; Colonial buildings dating back to the Dutch empire to soaring modern skyscrapers. The Steuart by Citrus is nestled amongst iconic landmarks of Colombo such as the Dutch Hospital complex, Galle Face Green, the Colombo Harbour and the bustling city streets of Pettah. Being in Colombo’s limelight also means easy access to tourist sites in Colombo, The National Museum, Cricket grounds, historical temples and churches, lakes and parks, a tour of which the Hotel’s guest relations Manager will be obliged to organize.

National Museum of Colombo

Situated in Colombo 7, it is a must-visit place to experience Sri lanka’s inheritance of great rich history over a period of 2500 years. The Museum was established in 1877 by the Governor of Ceylon at that time; Sir William Henry Gregory. The museum holds many artifacts from different eras of much importance to Sri lanka such as the throne and the crowning of the Kandyan monarch. The Museum holds three main sections for Natural science, Cultural and library and natural section consists of four main sub sections as Entomology, Zoology, Botany and Geology. The Museum is opened daily from 9am to 5pm (excluding National and Public holidays)

Galle Face Green

Laid out in 1857 by then Governor Sir Henry Ward, the Galle Face Green is a popular spot for locals and foreigners to experience the beautiful Sri Lankan sun set, whilst indulging in other fun activities such as kite flying, cricket, nice walks along the green and even try the famous, mouthwatering, “isso wade”. The Galle Face Green is accessible at any time of the day or night.

Gangaramaya Temple

The Gangaramaya temple, headed Galboda Gnanissara Thera, includes a library, museum and an extraordinarily eclectic array of bejewelled and gilded gifts presented by devotees and well-wishers over the years (plus one lonely and chained temple elephant named Ganga). Gangaramaya is the focus of the Navam Perahera on the February poya (full-moon) day each year. This is the centre for the most extravagant Vesak celebrations in Colombo.

The Old Dutch Hospital

The Old Colombo Dutch Hospital is considered to be the oldest building in the Colombo Fort area dating back to the Dutch colonial era in Sri Lanka. It is now a heritage building and a shopping and dining precinct. The Dutch Hospital is located right next to The Steuart by Citrus Hotel.

St. Lucia’s Cathedral

This glorious Catholic church stands tall with its rich history and architectural value – with the majesty of its dome, the gracefulness of its vault and its breathtaking stained glass windows. Established in 1760, this enormous cathedral lies in the Catholic heart of the Kotahena district. The biggest church in Sri Lanka has an exterior inspired by St Peter's in Rome. It can hold up to 5000 worshippers.

The Royal Colombo Golf Club

Founded over 130 years ago and being the second oldest Royal Golf Club outside the United Kingdom, a wide range of historic golf possessions is found available on display in the club house. The scenic landscape and a glimpse of the rare species of flora and fauna on the course all contribute to this countrified environment set within its 96 acre land. Holes - 18 holes | Length – 6560 Meters Black Tees, 6303 Meters White Tees, 5186 Meters Ladies Tees | Fairways - Buffalo Grass (Crab Grass) | Greens – Tifeagle | Practice Facilities - 20 Bay covered driving range.

The Colombo Dutch Museum

This can be found just north of the Colombo Fort Railway Station in the heavily built up area called Pettah. In the late 1600's it was the Dutch East Indies Company VOC Governor's official residence in Colombo. It is one of the few building examples left standing from that period in history. You will find it at 95 Prince Street. It is very identifiable as it is a tall building painted white and has a row of classical columns holding up the red tiled roof facing the street. The Museum is opened daily, except on Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

Beira Lake

In 1521 the Beira Lake was constructed by the Portuguese to protect Colombo Fort against inland invasions. The original Beira Lake was much bigger and it entirely encircled a land space, then becoming an island (Slave Island). Now Beira Lake consists of four parts, the biggest and smallest lakes are not easy accessible to the public, while the Beira Lake on the Sir James Peiris Mawatha is a pleasant place to relax. It is surrounded by a pedestrian way and a walk around the lake with its big trees is enjoyable. There are two islands situated in the lake, one is the water temple Sima Malakaya, designed by the most famous Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, a modern wooden pavilion, covered with a blue tiled roof and surrounded by a banister with Buddha statues. The silence of the lake makes it an excellent meditation place. Next to the water temple, connected by a suspension bridge, is Lover’s Island.

Viharamahadevi Park

Colombo’s biggest park was originally called Victoria Park (after Queen Victoria) but was renamed in the 1950s after the mother of King Dutugemunu who is believed to be one of the greatest kings in the Sri Lankan history. It’s famous for its splendid flowering trees, which bloom in March, April and early May. The park has a huge Buddha statue, series of water fountains, a mini zoo and a children’s play area.

Old Parliament Building

The Old Parliament Building is a home to presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka. It is situated in Colombo fort facing the sea and is in close proximity to the President’s house, Colombo. The building houses the legislature of the island for over 53 years until the opening of New Parliament Complex at Sri Jayewardenepura in the year 1983. The building was designed by A. Woodson and was opened on January 29, 1930. The front garden of the Old Parliament building has hosted several bronze statues of eminent statesmen including Rt Hon D.S. Senanayake, the first prime minister of Ceylon, Honorable Dudley Senanayake and General Sir John Kotalawela- Prime minister of Ceylon.

Experience Colombo’s Nightlife

Colombo has a buzzing scene, with chill-out bars, casinos if you want to try your hand at roulette or baccarat, or cool clubs where you can party until dawn. Start at &Co Pub and Kitchen – located at the lobby level of the Hotel.

Take a tuk tuk (Trishaw) ride

These motorised three-wheeled chariots are the backbone of Sri Lankan transport – just remember to hang on for dear life! The experience is certainly one of a kind.

Shopping in Colombo

In Colombo, you can shop almost anywhere. But just to give you some assistance, here are a few places to visit for the best shopping experience in Colombo.

  • Majestic City- The multi storey Majestic City is an air-conditioned shopping mall that provides maximum and modern conveniences to shopaholics. Offering everything from clothes, electronic items and various handicrafts and furniture items, visitors to Majestic City are sure to find everything that they could possibly seek. It features supermarket on the ground floor, a food court and a range of state-of-the-art cinemas.
  • Crescat Boulevard – Crescat Boulevard is one of the finest up market shopping malls in Colombo. The air conditioned Crescat is also popular for its food court with food counters of diverse cuisine.
  • Liberty Plaza – Liberty Plaza is a multi-storey shopping complex located in Colombo 03; it offers a range of retail stores selling attractive products at affordable prices. There are also ideal souvenir items found here that will be a perfect gift for your friends and family back home.
  • House of Fashion – House of Fashion is located in Borella (in Colombo), where the most affordable ready-to-wear clothes can be purchased. Ideal place for shopaholics of clothes and accessories.
  • The Pettah Market – The Pettah is ‘the’ place to be if you wish to buy goods at lowest prices. Pettah is an experience in itself being a very typical, busy, loud and crowded oriental market place full of all sorts items.
  • Duplication Road, Colombo – Where a vast collection of men’s and women’s clothes are found together with shoes, bags, purses, and even toys are found. There are discounts stores that sell designer items with its very low prices ever!
  • Laksala – A perfect place to buy souvenirs and handicrafts from all over Sri Lanka. Prices are very reasonable and fixed. Laksala is a state corporation under the Ministry of Rural Industries and Self Employment Promotion is set up to preserve and develop traditional skill of the craftsmen. They accept credit cards here making everyone’s shopping very accessible.
  • Odel – It is a mansion made into a shopping store in Colombo. The department store is complete with cafés and bars where shoppers can rest for a while after a whole day of busy shopping. Odel offers an unrivalled choice of fashion and lifestyle products in an ambience that is elegant, cosy, casual and definitely stylish. Odel offers an extensive range of clothes, accessories, bags, perfumes, cosmetics and shoes for the ladies. The gents too have a good selection of branded clothing of shirts, casual wear, sportswear, suits, watches and shoes. There are also special sections for winter clothes and swimwear for children, ladies and gents.
  • Gem and jewelry at the World Trade Centre.
    Choose from a wide range of gem stones and jewelry, or even get an exclusive set made especially for you, from the Gem and Jewelry section (3rd floor) of the world Trade Centre situated in the heart of Colombo – just a minute of walking distance from The Steuart by Citrus Hotel.