City Orientation Walk I (Self Guided), Colombo

Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, the country ruled successively by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British, has a long history reflected in the city's architecture – a mixture of colonial buildings, modern skyscrapers and shopping malls. The majestic Colombo National Museum borders the sprawling Viharamahadevi Park and its giant Buddha. These and other attractions of Colombo make up this orientation walk.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

City Orientation Walk I Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk I
Guide Location: Sri Lanka » Colombo (See other walking tours in Colombo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 Km or 4.3 Miles
Author: Linda
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Hall
  • Independence Memorial Hall
  • The National Museum of Colombo
  • Town Hall
  • Viharamahadevi Park
  • Cenotaph War Memorial
  • Gangaramaya Temple
  • Galle Face Green
1
Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Hall

1) Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Hall

The Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), is a convention center located in Colombo. Built between 1970 and 1973 the convention center was a gift from the People's Republic of China in memory of Solomon Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) from 1956 to 1959.

The construction of the Hall was carried out by a joint Sri Lankan and Chinese workforce with a considerable portion of the exquisite building materials being imported from China. In 1998 a small Exhibition Centre was built on the grounds, once again a gift from the People's Republic of China it is named the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre.

With over 16,000 square feet (93,000 m²) of space, the BMICH is located in the Cinnamon Gardensarea in the heart of Colombo. An up-to-date library with volumes of literature on almost all subjects is available for the use of research for delegates visiting the BMICH. To facilitate with banking and postal needs, a Bank and a Postal Office are located on the Ground floor. Due to the high profile events taking place within the venue the Sri Lanka Police maintains a permanent detachment and the Mount Lavinia Hotel has a restaurant. The Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre has floor area covering 4500 sq. m. consists of two exhibition halls, lobby, dining room, lounge, kitchen and other amenities.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Independence Memorial Hall

2) Independence Memorial Hall (must see)

Independence Memorial Hall is a national monument in Sri Lanka built for commemoration of the independence of Sri Lanka from the British rule with the establishment of Dominion of Ceylon on February 4, 1948. It is located at the Independence Square (formally Torrington Square) in the Cinnamon Gardens. It also houses the Independence Memorial Museum. The monument was built at the location where the formal ceremony marking the start of self rule, with the opening of the first parliament by the HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester occurred at a special podium February 4, 1948.

Located at the head of the monument is the statue of the first prime minister of the country Rt. Hon. Don Stephen Senanayake "The Father of the Nation". Most of the annual National Independence Day celebrations have been held here. Apart from a monument it served as the ceremonial assembly hall for the Senate of Ceylon and the House of Representatives of Ceylon until the parliament was moved to the new parliament complex. Currently it is the venue for religious events and annual national day celebrations.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
The National Museum of Colombo

3) The National Museum of Colombo (must see)

The National Museum of Colombo opened its doors on January 1, 1877, when it was founded by the British Governor of Ceylon at that time, Sir William Henry Gregory. Its purpose is to present the historic and cultural development of the country, that was achieved thanks to the large amount of antiquities and specimens. The collection on the ground floors are arranged according to the historic changes and those on the upper floors are based on different themes; this fact helps the visitors to better understand and follow the sequence of events.
4
Town Hall

4) Town Hall (must see)

The Town Hall of Colombo is the headquarters of the Colombo Municipal Council and the office of the Mayor of Colombo. Built in front of the Viharamahadevi Park, it is the meeting place for the elected municipal council. The foundation stone was laid on May 24, 1924 by T. Reid, CCS the Mayor of Colombo at the time and the work was completed in 1927. Designed by S.J Edwards, it was originally meant to house the office of the mayor and the council chamber, and as a venue for functions with large Ballrooms. Today it houses the administrative staff of the municipal council. Its garden is the venue for many rallies and concerts all year round.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Viharamahadevi Park

5) Viharamahadevi Park (must see)

The Viharamahadevi Park (formerly Victoria Park) is a public park located in Colombo, next to the National Museum in Sri Lanka. It is the oldest and largest park of the Port of Colombo. Situated in front of the colonial-style Town Hall building, the park is named after Viharamahadevi, the mother of King Dutugamunu. The park was built during the British rule of Sri Lanka, and was originally named "Victoria Park" after Queen Victoria. The park features include a huge Buddha statue and a series of water fountains. It also includes a mini zoo, a children's play area and a BAC Jet Provost. The Viharamahadevi Park is the only large-scale public park in Colombo, and is maintained by the Colombo Municipal Council. The Vihara Maha Devi Park Open Air Stadium is a venue for concerts and public events.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Cenotaph War Memorial

6) Cenotaph War Memorial (must see)

The Cenotaph War Memorial in Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo is dedicated to the men and women from Ceylon died during the two world wars, it comprises a towering Cenotaph and Memorial Walls. It was originally built in the 1920s to remember both Ceylonese and Europeans from Ceylon who were killed in the World War I, was constructed at the Galle Face Green. It was dismantled and re-erected at Victoria Park, during World War II after fears that the Japanese might use it as a marker to direct their artillery.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Gangaramaya Temple

7) Gangaramaya Temple (must see)

Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo. The Navam Perahara, which started in 1979, attracted more than a million spectators this year to the Gangaramaya Temple, at Hunupitiya, Colombo-02 on the banks of the picturesque Beira Lake. President Mahinda Rajapaksa placed the relics casket on the tusker before the commencement of the Perahara. Chief incumbent of the Gangaramaya Temple, Venerable Galaboda Gnanissara Nayaka Thera also participated in the occasion.

The annual event of Gangarama Navam Perahara is Colombo's grandest outdoor parade on the events calendar. It is one of the most colorful and prestigious Buddhist cultural pageants held in Sri Lanka. The event has as many as 1000 performers. Dancers and drummers from around the country join together to take part in a magnificent procession of more than 100 beautifully decorated elephants to displays of Sri Lanka's traditional forms of art and dance. All the participants add colour and vibrancy with their colourful traditional costumes.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Galle Face Green

8) Galle Face Green

The Galle Face is a promenade which stretches for half kilometre along the coast in the heart of financial and business district of Colombo. The promenade was initially laid out in 1859 by the British Governor of Ceylon, Sir Henry Ward, and was also used for horse racing and as a golf course. It was known as the Colpitty Race Course.

The Galle Face Green is currently a 5 hectare ribbon strip of land between Galle Road and Indian Ocean which is now the largest open space in Colombo. This is a popular destination for children, vendors, teenagers, lovers, kite flyers, merrymakers and all those who want to indulge in their favorite pastimes next to the sea under the open sky. On Saturday and Sunday evenings, the land is busy with day trippers, picnickers and food vendors.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Create Your Own Walk in Colombo

Create Your Own Walk in Colombo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Colombo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Tour of Fort and Pettah in Colombo

Tour of Fort and Pettah in Colombo

Colombo's main districts are Fort and Pettah, which represent the financial and business centres of the city. The most impressive hotels and corporations are situated here, yet there are many spiritually valued spots that have been preserved. Take this tour and discover this lively region.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.2 Km or 4.5 Miles
Religious Sights in Colombo, Part 2

Religious Sights in Colombo, Part 2

During its history, the city of Colombo was dominated successively by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, each of them having left significant marks in all aspects of life, including the religious one. Churches, Hindu Kovils, Buddhist Temples and Mosques can be found in the city and its suburbs. This tour will help you discover them.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles
Cultural Tour of Colombo

Cultural Tour of Colombo

The cultural life of Colombo is developed and maintained by a large number of venues such as museums, theatres, galleries, temples and exhibition centres. According to your tastes and wishes you can choose between watching a movie or a play, going to a live concert or to a contemporary exhibition, or learning about the history and culture of the city. This tour will guide you through the spots...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
City Orientation Walk II

City Orientation Walk II

The capital and the largest city of Sri Lanka, Colombo is a busy and vibrant metropolis with a mixture of modern life, colonial architecture and ancient ruins. Galle Face Green, Old Parliament House, Khan Clock Tower and many other notable attractions make up this orientation walk.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles
Religious Sights in Colombo, Part 1

Religious Sights in Colombo, Part 1

Religious life in Colombo was influenced by historic events and different nations such as Portuguese, Dutch and Indian. Here one can see places of worship belonging to Islam, Catholicism and Methodism, each of them revealing the beauty and importance of their religion. This tour will guide you through the most interesting religious spots in the central part of the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles