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5 Romantic Things to do in Colombo

Colombo is one of Sri Lanka’s largest and most cosmopolitan cities. It may not be the world’s ‘City of Love’, but there’s no shortage of romantic destinations and activities here. From tours of astoundingly beautiful architecture to beaches that make the heart sing, there’s something here for every couple.

1. Escape into the night

Colombo has much in store for couples who want to go out at dusk and have a good time! For example, the beachside restaurants are alive with music and barbeques, so you can enjoy the cool breeze and amazing view while dancing the night away, after which you could always have a bite to eat. Mount Lavinia is quite popular for this, and a night of entertainment is guaranteed.

If you would rather take a break from the sea for a bit, there are plenty of options in and around the city. Colombo 7 is constantly abuzz with partygoers on their way to the numerous clubs in the area. If a few cocktails and dance music is what turns your day from dull to swinging, then drop a visit to any of Colombo’s notable nightclubs. A more roisterous couples’ night would be hard to come by, but do keep in mind that they usually only pick up after around 11 P.M.

2. Have a picnic

For those who prefer a date out in the sun, a blissful picnic may sound like the perfect one. Viharamahadevi Park, which is Colombo’s oldest and largest park, is a fantastic place for a brunch under sunny skies. In fact, the bicycle lanes that line it means you can even ride your bicycles there. If you don’t have bicycles, not to worry! You can rent one for Rs. 100 an hour (but you will need your ID or passport in order to rent it). The magnificent trees in the park provide ample shade, and the public library adjacent to the park is worth a visit, too.

Independence Square is another great place for a picnic. It’s about 3km away from Viharamahadevi Park, and is also where the Independence Memorial Hall is located. The park is actually quite popular with fitness enthusiasts, and bicycle rentals are also available at this location. It’s a great place for indulging in the surrounding sights while taking a stroll.

3. Go shopping

Shopping is a great way to relieve stress and relax, but there are also some uniquely Sri Lankan collectibles just waiting to be spotted. Paradise Road and Barefoot, for example, have everything from dinnerware, clothes, even toys and notebooks. In fact, you could even pick up a matching set of batik clothes—a type of artistic fabric created with a mix of inks and wax.

If you’re both feeling a little adventurous, then Pettah is the place to go. Pettah is Sri Lanka’s most important trade hub, with the hundreds of little shops dotting the dense network of byroads. Here you can find a range of cheap and interesting items, but it’s easy to get lost with the crowds and the many streets, so best take a knowledgeable guide along for the trip—and feel free to grab a faluda to go while you’re at it.

4. Paint a picture

Dabbling in a bit of art and relaxation is a great way to spend the day with your partner. You may have noticed artists selling their wares by the roadside, and the paintings are most often of Sri Lankan wildlife or ancient structures.

As a city with many scenic areas, Colombo is sure to invigorate your creativity. The Beira Lake or Galle Face Green may provide you with the perfect backdrop for your artistic venture; you could also visit a few of Colombo’s popular architecture, such as the National Museum or the Sambodhi Chaithya.

5. Learn traditional mask-making

Learning something new about a culture is always fun, whether alone or with somebody you care about. Sri Lanka is a country that revels in the aesthetics of traditional artforms, and relies on its many cultural and religious influences to produce many kinds of crafts, music, and more.

One very important Sri Lankan tradition and artform is mask carving, which is inextricably tied to its history of theatre and dance festivals. The masks are made of wood and can be found dressed in vibrant colours across the spectrum. There are many workshops that take place throughout the year where one can learn the basics of Sri Lankan traditional mask-making.