Why choose a cruise to Colombo?

Colombo is Sri Lanka’s capital and the gateway to many of the country’s most exciting destinations. Once you dock at the port, you’re immersed in the laid-back, welcoming culture that Sri Lanka is famous for. From lounging on palm-tree-fringed beaches and eating fresh seafood to exploring Buddhist temples and bustling market stalls, Colombo has plenty to do. Sri Lanka has some of the best beaches in the world, and just south of Colombo is a variety of secluded coastal towns and villages, where you can while away your days gazing over the sparkling Indian Ocean.

A guide to Colombo’s hotspots

There’s plenty to see and do in Colombo, so set time aside to explore its markets, historical buildings and lush green areas. From the iconic buildings that adorn the pages of travel brochures to the aromatic, fresh seafood, Colombo is a treat for all of your senses. The old colonial buildings of the Town Hall and the Old Parliament are must-sees, as are the markets in the Pettah district.

The iconic Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple is nestled into the city centre and is the best place to go to understand more about the religion and its importance to the country. The temple has a sacred Bodhi tree and more Buddha statues than you can imagine.

If you have more time, head out to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, an hour from Colombo. This charity reserve rehabilitates orphaned elephants to be reintroduced into the wild, and its tropical scenery is breathtaking.

You’ll want to fit some beach time into your trip too. Mount Lavinia is half-an-hour south of Colombo and offers panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. You can eat at the historical neighbouring hotel or spend your day on the golden sands or swimming in the warm waters. And the bright waters, pale sands and swaying palm trees at the beach at the northern town of Negombo are heaven for those wanting somewhere secluded to relax.

colombo sunriseCruise lines that sail to the port of Colombo

The best time to visit Colombo

Apart from the monsoon season – June to September – Colombo has a temperate climate. The most popular time to visit is between January and March, where Colombo gets a lot of sun and very little rainfall. From May onwards, the crowds lessen and the rainfall increases – just in time for the rainy season. By November and December, the weather gets hotter and more humid, perfect for enjoying some winter sun. Temperatures vary between 25°C-30°C, with more humidity after the rainy season.

Did you know?

  • Sea-turtle hatcheries on Sri Lanka’s beaches have helped more than two million baby turtles safely make it to the sea
  • The Royal Colombo Golf Club was founded more than 130 years ago, making it the second-oldest Royal Golf Club after that in the UK
  • Mt Lavinia is named after Lavinia – a dancing gypsy girl who had a secret romance with one of Sri Lanka’s governors