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Colombo is the capital and biggest city in Sri Lanka in terms of population. Located on the west coast, just south of Kelani River, the city is the financial and commercial center of the island country of Sri Lanka as well as its principal port, thanks to its location right by the Indian Ocean. For the longest time, the city has been considered simply as a gateway to the island and all its beautiful beaches, nature, and other popular sites. However, over the years, Colombo has become a destination in itself, not just an entry point into Sri Lanka.
The metropolis is a melting pot of cultures, races, and religions with a deep colonial heritage. Colombo mixes both old and new, with colonial-style buildings blending with high rise hotels and fancy skyscrapers. More and more people are starting to appreciate Colombo and all it has to offer, which is evident by its booming tourism industry.
People arriving or flying into Colombo will usually have a heavy bag or luggage with them. Whether you’re in the city for a short while or an extended stay, you'll benefit from using Bounce. Locals can take advantage of the service, too, for briefcases, backpacks, and more. By depositing your gear with Bounce, you get more freedom to wander the city.
Whether you’re a local or tourist, it’s safe to stay that exploring Colombo is best done luggage-free. With Bounce, this is a possibility. Several Bounce partners are strategically placed all over the city. Conveniently store your stuff whenever you need, so that you can move around without any hassle.
Top Things to Do
The gateway to Sri Lanka is a melting pot of culture. With attractions that highlight both the past and the future, travelers and locals alike will be enthralled. Enjoy the beauty of the parks, the uniqueness of the markets, and the incredible architecture of buildings old and new.
Colombo has towering buildings, noisy tuk-tuks and busy traffic, and an oceanfront development dubbed a “mini Dubai.” It might seem like the ordinary, chaotic city that you need to skip through. However, it actually has plenty to offer for history buffs and culture vultures, starting with its collection of unique museums.
Colombo National Museum: One of the city’s major attractions, Colombo National Museum is the oldest and biggest in all of Sri Lanka. Established in 1877, this colonial-style building houses an extensive collection of ancient artifacts. View traditional masks, royal regalia, palm leaf manuscripts, temple frescoes, and a whole lot more. (Bag policy: Oversized bags or backpacks won’t be allowed inside. Instead, store your bags with Bounce.)
Dutch Museum: The Dutch manor house where the museum is housed in has been around for centuries and has served a variety of purposes. Explore and imagine it as the residence of the Dutch Governor to a military hospital, seminary, police station, and a post office. Nowadays, it serves as the Dutch Museum, which exhibits several Dutch artifacts such as maps, swords, porcelain, and furniture. (Bag policy: Luggage storage is limited in the Dutch Museum. Find a Bounce location nearby and drop off your things there.)
Traditional Puppet Art Museum: One of the more interesting and uncommon museums in Colombo, this facility was created to preserve the puppet heritage of the country. Puppeteers now have a venue to showcase their craft. Guests can see puppet creations on display and may even watch puppet workshops and shows. (Bag policy: Bringing big bags or luggage aren’t allowed, especially if you’re going to catch a show. Opt to deposit your items at a Bounce location in the area.)
The shopping scene in Colombo may not be as big as other Asian cities but there are plenty of cool finds here that may surprise you. After all, this is the best spot in Sri Lanka for retail therapy. Expect to find everything from clothes and jewelry to spices and tea.
Pettah Floating Market: This shopping hub got its name because it is built on top of wooden bridges over a body of water. A popular spot and somewhat a tourist destination within the city, Pettah is lined with numerous shops that are clustered according to what products they sell. If you want cool stuff at the best prices, shop at Pettah.
Majestic City: This 7-story building is one of the oldest and most popular malls in Sri Lanka and carries a wide selection of stores. Expect to find everything you need here; there are shops for clothing, electronics, jewelry, household needs, and children’s items. The mall also has a food court, supermarket, a Cineplex and a kid’s playground.
Paradise Road: Located off Viharamahadevi Park is this beautiful white mansion, turned into a shopping spot known for an abundant amount of home products, such as house linen, hand-painted mugs, crockery and more. At Paradise Road, you can also buy spices, tea, curry mixes, and other ingredients.
Colombo is a melting pot of culture, and this is highlighted through the dining scene in the city. From local Sri Lankan food to international cuisine, expect to find something that will suit any traveler’s palate.
Sri Lankan food: When you’re on holiday, it only makes sense to try the local cuisine. Luckily, Sri Lankan cuisine is one of the most flavorful and unique flavors that you’ll find. For some authentic Sri Lankan dishes, one of the most popular restaurants is The Gallery Café. Other great choices for Sri local food cuisine are Curry Leaf, Kaema Sutra, and Upali’s. If you want to try some excellent Sri Lankan tea, Zaza is the place to go.
Seafood: The city’s prime location by the Indian Ocean is a reason why seafood restaurants are a big hit in Colombo. Perhaps the most popular place to try some fresh catch is Ministry of Crab, which specializes in crab dishes such as spiced crab curry and Singaporean chili crab. Other noteworthy seafood restaurants include Beach Wadiya, Seafood Cove and Lagoon.
Asian cuisine: The city has plenty of restaurants that take inspiration from the cuisines of other nations in the Asian region. As its neighboring country, Indian food is prevalent in the city, and the best place to get some would be Chutneys and Navratna. If you’re looking for some Chinese, check out Shang Palace and Noodles Restaurant. For other Asian food, visit Fat Panda, CE LA VI, Nara Thai, and Ramen Misoya.
How much does luggage storage cost in Colombo?
The price for luggage storage in Colombo is just $5.90/bag for the entire day.
Where are there luggage storage locations in Colombo?
There are multiple locations all around Colombo which can be booked through the Bounce platform including near Galle Face Green, Gangaramaya Temple, Pettah Market and many other areas.
Is it safe to store your bags in Colombo?
Yes. Every bag is tagged with a security seal and comes with the $5,000 Bounce Guarantee. Every location is required to uphold tight security precautions. You may be asked to show ID and you will be required to use a credit card to book through Bounce in advance. With hundreds of thousands of bags stored, you can count on Bounce to handle your baggage in Colombo.
Are there storage lockers in Colombo?
Yes. There are storage lockers and many other luggage drop off points in Colombo. Bounce has multiple locations throughout Colombo where you can conveniently store your luggage with full security and the $5,000 Bounce Gurantee.
Where are the best places to stay and eat while in Colombo?
The most popular restaurants to visit are Ministry of Crab, Gallery Cafe, and Graze Kitchen. Additionally, the highest ranked hotels within Colombo are Mount Lavinia Hotel, Galle Face Hotel, and Steps Backpackers Hostel.
Where are the best parks and nature attractions in Colombo?
Colombo offers several scenic parks including Galle Face Green, Viharamahadevi Park, and Gallery Island.
Where can I find tourist information and guideposts in Colombo?
You can find local tourist information at Muthurajawela Visitor Centre.
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