Best area to stay in Colombo

What is the best area to stay in Colombo?

The city of Colombo is the commercial capital and largest city of the amazing island of Sri Lanka. With a total population of 753,000 inhabitants, spread across a total territory of 37 km2, it is one of the island´s busiest commercial and financial areas.


One of the best areas to stay in Colombo is the Kollupitiya neighbourhood. This area has undergone recent changes, transforming from an area predominantly known for its colonial brewery, to what is now one of the most important commercial neighbourhoods in Colombo, full of restaurants, hotels, shops and street venders. This multi-cultural district offers a unique opportunity to experience the real Colombo.


The Kollupitiya market is one of the largest in the city, offering all sorts of goods at reasonable prices, such as vegetables, meat, clothes and even electronic devices. In terms of its cultural offering, the Kollupitiya neighbourhood is home to Sri Lanka´s largest museum; the National Museum, which covers more than 2500 years of history and offers a brilliant insight into both the local culture and the country´s colonial history.


The Kollupitiya neighbourhood is also strategically located in terms of visiting Colombo´s other attractions, as the majority of them are within walking distance or easily accessible via public transport.

Hotel   Price per night
My Little Island Hostel
594/1 Galle Rd
20€ - 22$
Bunky Monkey
31a Sea Ave
49€ - 55$
Hotel   Price per night
Cinnamon Red Colombo
59 Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha
82€ - 92$
Hotel   Price per night
Movenpick Hotel Colombo
No. 24, Dharmapala Mawatha
121€ - 136$
Galle Face Hotel
2 Galle Road
168€ - 188$
Taj Samudra
25, Galle Face Centre Road
173€ - 194$


On the map, which shows the most convenient area to stay in Colombo, you can see a selection of some of the best located hotels.


If you are interested in where to stay in Colombo, you may also be interested in where to stay in Mumbai and where to stay in New Delhi.

Kollupitiya, the best area to stay in Colombo


The newly revitalised city of Colombo attracts tourists for its multi-cultural atmosphere, rich history, vast commercial markets, diverse restaurants, and raging nightlife. The neighbourhood of Kollupitiya marks the epicenter of these attractions. The city of Colombo is divided into 15 zones. Kollupitiya, in zone 3, is the best area to stay for those looking to experience Colombo’s unique atmosphere in the midst of it’s best cultural offerings.


The neighbourhood of Kollupitiya is densely populated with some of the cities best shopping centres, cultural sights, and restaurants. The central market of Kollupitiya features countless vendors, selling a wide array of goods, including produce, meats, souvenirs, electronics, crafts, clothes, and antiques. Locals and tourists alike frequent the market to bargain for goods. For those intimidated by the bustle and haggling of the market, head to Laksala, a fair-trade souvenir shop run by the state.


The Gangaramaya Temple is a must see in understanding the multi-cultural influences of Colombo. The temple holds a library and museum, with traditional Sri Lankan architecture influenced by Thai, Chinese, and Indian design motifs. The Colombo Museum features important national artifacts. For some sea and sand, head to the park of Galle Face. Set along the the Indian Ocean, this half a kilometre stretch of coast is the largest park space in the busy and densely populated city of Colombo.


Kollupitiya’s nightlife scene is the best in the city, with many seaside bars and rooftop lounges. Restaurants in the area offer traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, as well as international fare. Dinner and drinks along the sea make a perfect end to an exciting day in the bustling hub of Kollupitiya.


Other areas to stay in Colombo




Creative types will enjoy the neighbourhood of Wellawatte, located in zone 6 of Colombo. Wellawatte is the best area to stay for access to the city’s artistic community. This region is heavily populated with jewellery and textile shops. Visitors are especially encouraged to check out Gandhara Shop, a lifestyle concept store with unique artisan crafts and home wares. A Colombo city icon, the Savoy Cinema is set in a beautifully renovated older building in Wellawette. The Wellawatte Beach on the coast of its namesake neighbourhood, is one of the most popular beaches in Colombo and is especially known for high-quality seafood restaurants lining the shore. Located just 10 minutes by car from the popular Kollupitiya neighbourhood, Wellawatte is an artsy alternative area.





Located inland in zone 8, Borella is the best area to stay for a quieter visit in Colombo. This region of the city has many boutique hotels and is less commercialized with shops and restaurants. This relaxing respite of a neighbourhood is only 15 minutes from Kollupitiya, making it incredibly accessible to the busy centre’s cultural activities, shopping, restaurants, and nightlife.