Why Colombo is a great place to visit, even with a toddler!

We spent just a few days in Colombo but we absolutely loved it! Take a read to see why Colombo is a great place to visit, even with a toddler!

Why Colombo is a great place to visit, even with a toddler

It gets a little bit of a bad rep as a tourist destination, but for us it was super exciting! Coming from our little island in the Seychelles and never having been to Asia before, Colombo had a lot to offer us!

Compared to the rest of the places we booked for our Sri Lanka trip, accommodation in Colombo was fairly pricey (but still so cheap compared to the Seychelles).
For this reason we opted to stay in a guest house, self catering.
This ended up being perfect for us, it really made us get out and explore our options and see the real Colombo not just a nice shiny hotel.
We stayed at the Cheritan Residences and it was really very lovely.  A recently refurbished colonial house, our room was huge, and very reasonably priced.
Why Colombo is great to visit even with a toddler!

We were in a very safe part of town, in walking distance of banks (good reliable places to exchange money!), the lovely Viharamahadevi park, the very pretty town hall, art gallery and national museum.


A couple of recommends for restaurants in Colombo:
Upalis: a Sri Lankan restaurant. I’m almost loathed to recommend this as our service was very poor compared to any we received throughout our whole Sri Lanka trip (our only negative experience with this) but the food was truly delicious. We had the sampler dish where we got to try lots of the different traditional dishes.

The Mango Tree: a North Indian restaurant. We had this as a take away after we had been to the cricket, Arthur was very tired and needed to get home to bed. The food was absolutely amazing. We loved it. Mark picked it up from the restaurant and said that it looked very nice to sit down and eat too.

Barefoot Cafe: This place is awesome, a hotspot for tourists and locals alike!  Food was great and the atmosphere was cool and relaxed!  Sunday afternoons they have live music, a must visit!  The outside eating area was great for Arthur to run around in. The Barefoot shop is amazing too, they sell really lovely stuff!!
Barefoot Cafe, Colombo Sri Lanka

Something that pleasantly surprised me every day was just how friendly the Sri Lankan people were. I think Arthur was a big help with this, everyone loved him! We didn’t really notice a lot of tourists, particularly in the area we were staying. I think a lot of westerners tend to avoid Colombo as they feel there’s not much to offer, possibly another reason why people were so friendly to us!?The few tourists that we did see were all there for the Cricket. England were playing Sri Lanka for the last match of a 1 day cricket tour. We had tickets to see that too. I don’t like cricket but after going I TOTALLY get the appeal of going to see it live. We had so much fun!



I’m aware this is such a ‘Mum’ thing to say but being able to easily use a pushchair was fantastic, pavements are 100 x better than we are used to in Seychelles.

Tuk Tuk drivers. Where to start? These guys may be the biggest reason why I loved Colombo so much. The traffic there is definitely crazy, but these guys cut through it like a hot knife through butter!! They find gaps that every time I was sure we would never fit through, there was definitely more than one occasion where I just had to put my hands over my eyes because I was sure we were going to hit someone! Seriously these guys have got balls, there’s no patiently waiting, it’s GO GO GO all the time!!
Tuk Tuk Colombo Sri Lanka
Arthur absolutely LOVED going in Tuk Tuk’s. We would put him in the Moby wrap whenever we went in one so that he was nice and secure!
Tuk Tuk In Colomb

I think what I loved best was the drivers trying to push their luck with the prices. Apparently you are supposed to use a meter in Colombo but not all did and we learned very quickly that the prices they set were easily knocked down….we found it quite addictive and found ourselves often haggling over 50 rupees, which is about 25p!! It wasn’t the price that really mattered to us it was the fun in the bargaining!!

There is lots to see and do in Colombo, in the short time we were there as well as what I’ve already mentioned we also squeezed in:

Two Buddhist temples: Gangaramaya a massive temple and Buddhist museum. A rather amazing place with some gorgeous and some rather strange things inside, overall the best description we decided on is ‘Wonderfully Kitsch’

Gangaramaya temple Colombo Sri Lanka

Gangaramaya temple Colombo, Sri Lanka

The other temple we went to was the beautiful Seema Malaka, the temple on the water. This place was really peaceful, I loved it. Well I did, until I got pooed on by a Crow, then I liked it less!

Seema Malaka Buddhist Temple Colombo Sri Lanka

Seema Malaka Buddhist Temple, Colombo, Sri Lanka

In both the temples Arthur stayed in the moby wrap. He definitely wasn’t bored at either one, lots of unusual things to look at!

The Dutch Hospital: a lovely place to eat and do a bit of shopping

The Pettah: a huge outdoor market selling a wide variety of very random things. It’s crazy there, really noisy! In the Moby wrap, Arthur slept through the whole lot!

Of course we did lots of wondering around and just taking in the sites.


After Colombo we headed to Unawatuna near to Galle on the south coast! I’ll write soon about how we got on there!

Seychelles Mama

28 thoughts on “Why Colombo is a great place to visit, even with a toddler!

    • Thank you! It really is amazing, and we found it way easier than we thought it would be 🙂 you guys will love it I’m sure!! X

  1. WOW it looks completely stunning and like you had a fantastic time. It looks like its had such a mixture of cultures shaping it all and its so interesting to see all the colonial aspects that are still very much left. Ooh I feel like I should add this to my list.
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…Parties and ProcrastinatingMy Profile

  2. Beautiful pictures luvvie – I really want to go now!! It’s so lovely seeing some sunshine too, after all the grey, cold weather at home. I’m very jealous (as usual!) 🙂 xx

  3. I have to say this is not somewhere I have ever thought about visiting, but it looks so beautiful I would definitely rethink,and looks like Arthur loved it too. Its easy with a toddler to just stick to ‘safe’ places, places that are easy and you know what to expect so good for you for going somewhere a bit different! Xx
    Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) recently posted…How Ferber’s “Progressive Wait” approach helped our children sleep betterMy Profile

  4. What a lovely write-up and really informative. I love how you managed to pack so much in! I don’t like cricket, but I reckon I would be game if England were playing! And the temples look wonderful. I am with you on tuk tuks. They are such a fab way to get around and Arthur looks like he had such a wonderful time! I didn’t realise Colombo got such a bad rap – I’d definitely stay there if/when I get to go to Sri Lanka! xx
    Ting at My Travel Monkey recently posted…A visit to Box Hill, SurreyMy Profile

  5. WOW WOW and more WOW hunny I can’t believe it. What an adventure. Your photos are absolutely stunning. I bet you took loads. Love all the amazing things to see and it’s a trip you will never forget. Glad it was toddler friendly as well. I have always wanted to visit Asia. Too scared though. Great post. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme
    jenny recently posted…Share With Me ~ #1My Profile

  6. Sounds like you had a wonderful time – definitely now on our ‘to visit’ list. Kids are a passport aren’t they. My husband calls ours the family ‘PR’ department.
    Ersatz Expat recently posted…New YearMy Profile

  7. It sounds like Colombo was an amazing place to visit. I love your comments about the tuk tuk drivers and Seema Malaka. I miss-read the bit about the crow and thought you said cow!! I almost spat out my tea 🙂 #sharewithme
    Tin Box Traveller recently posted…Travel Timehop #2My Profile

  8. A girl after my heart! We love travelling with kids and always have done, took our first born abroad when he was 3 months old and long haul to Asia and Australia when he was 6 months old and have never looked back. (He’s 15 and about to go to his 27th country at the end of the month). I see travelling with kids as opening up a whole different experience rather than closing it down. I’d love to go to Sri Lanka, I keep reading about it recently, and look forward to your follow up posts.
    Phoebe @ Lou Messugo recently posted…Snapshots of StrasbourgMy Profile

    • Oh you should definitely go, it’s a great place!!! It’s amazing travelling with kids, you’re definitely right about it opening new experiences! Xx

  9. It looks like you had an awesome time! It’s so exciting that you took a toddler travelling – just think how these experiences will inspire him as he grows up. It looks like a fantastic place to explore. I love your description of the Tuk Tuks – I remember it well from our time in Thailand! Scary but fun! I’m glad you had a great holiday. xx
    Karen @ TalesofaTwinMum recently posted…Travel with kids: How to survive long haul travel with three under five (including twins!)My Profile

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  11. Pingback: Family Travel Guides From Around the World - Multicultural Kid Blogs

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