Eco-friendly travel guide to Colombo advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 4 / 5
- Public transportation: 4 / 5
- Parks: 5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$11 - $150
- Budget per day: US$40 - $100
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Colombo is a beautiful city located in Sri Lanka. It is not only the capital city but also the largest city in the country. The town is famous for its rich history and culture that attracts people from all over the world. Situated on the western coast, it is a financial and political hub of Sri Lanka. While exploring the city, you need to act as a responsible tourist to travel eco-friendly and reduce your impact on the environment. Here are a few ways by which you can travel responsibly;
- Right after landing in Colombo, you will find many taxis, tuk-tuks, and other rental car services. Rather than using these services, prefer the use of public transports such as buses and trains. Private vehicles cause a lot of harm to the environment, and the drivers often overcharge tourists. Public transports are not only cheap but eco-friendly.
- Learn about the various laws that a tourist should keep in mind to travel as responsibly as possible. There are many laws regarding recycling and waste disposal that you need to follow. If you are unable to follow such rules, you will be fined.
- To get the best Sri Lankan experience, prefer buying products from small and local businesses. These businesses provide products that are friendly to the environment and are relatively cheap and are of good quality. The big and retail businesses' products are not affordable and not at all eco-friendly.
- Avoid using disposables and plastic items like water bottles, coffee cups, tissues, and plastic food containers as they are not recyclable and harm the environment.
Other than these necessary things, make sure not to indulge in any illegal activities, or you might be banned from revisiting the country. As a tourist, try to befriend some local Sri Lankan people so that you can get the best experience while staying in the city. Also, don't forget to play your role as a responsible tourist while exploring the town's culture, history, and beauty.
Air Quality and Pollution
Air pollution rates in Colombo are relatively high than any other type of pollutions in the city. Air pollution's primary source is the vehicular emissions that contribute to more than 60% of Colombo's total emissions. Many specific measures have been taken to control the air pollution rates like the introduction of Euro emissions standards for vehicles, mandatory annual vehicle emission testing rules, ban of import of two-stroke engines, etc. Even after such measures, air pollution remains relatively high Colombo. Here are some statistics as of August 2020 by the World Health Organization:
- PM10 – 64
- PM2.5 – 36
- PM10 Pollution Level – High
- Pollution Index – 60.71
- Pollution Exp. Scale – 104.91
Respect the Culture
While visiting a city, you need to behave respectfully towards the locals and the environment to avoid your travel's negative impact on them. You can respect Colombo's culture by learning the locals' way of living and the historical and cultural significance of the various sites in the city. Also, suppose you want to get an in-depth knowledge of the local culture. In that case, you can attend the various cultural festivals and events that are ideal for learning about Sri Lankan people's livelihood, culture, and traditions. By learning about these things, you will feel respect towards the culture by yourself and act as a responsible tourist.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Sri Ponnambala Koneswaram Kovil: It is a famous Hindu temple in Colombo that is admired for its traditional architecture and design. The temple not only attracts Hindus but also all types of travelers. The temple is made with south granite and is named after a patriot, martyred during the National Independence War in Sri Lanka. It is open for visitors from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.
- Old Parliament Building: It holds a lot of significance when it comes to Sri Lankan history. Constructed in 1930 and announced as the country's parliament in 1977, it is a must-visit place that will give you in-depth knowledge about Sri Lanka's history and democracy.
- Beira Lake: It is located in the city's heart and offers some of the most fantastic views at sunset. You will find that many people who visit the lake are nature lovers who are there for bird-watching and boating. You will also find many couples in this place. The lake is open for public use from Monday to Sunday, with an entry fee of 125 Indian rupees.
- Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple: It is located on Thimbirigasyaya Road and is one of the best places in Colombo for tourists. The temple's exterior may not look exciting, but the interior is the main attraction. The inside of the temple showcases the Lord Buddha's life and stories by several paintings. The temple is open for visitors from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.
- Sri Lanka Planetarium: Established in 1965, it is the only planetarium in the country and is quite popular amongst people who have interests in astronomy. The building is located in Prof. Stanley Wijesundera Mawatha and is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for visitors. The entry fee for children is 10 Indian Rupees, and for adults, it is 40 Indian Rupees.
- Slave Island: It used to be a Dutch prison where the Dutch kept their slaves. It is one of the oldest structures in Colombo and consists of a military base, a botanical garden, and Beira Lake. It is a great way to learn about the history of the city and spend some peaceful time.
- Diyatha Uyana: It is located on Kaduwela Road and is a great place to explore the city's local culture, traditions, and wildlife. It consists of a lake, an aquarium, local eateries, and handicraft stalls. It is free to access and is open all the time.
- Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque: Famous for its candy-like exterior of red and white stripes, it was constructed and designed by Habibu Labbe Saibu Labbe. Although it is a mosque supposed to be a religious place only for Muslims, the mosque has a mix of Indian, Gothic, Neo-classical, and Indo-Islamic architecture. It is located in Second Cross Street and is open from Saturday to Thursday between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Seema Malaka: It is an Island temple that is located in Sir James Pieris Mawatha. It is an excellent place for those who seek for some peaceful time away from the city. It is designed by a Sri Lankan architect named Geoffrey Bawa and has a striking mix of Indian, Chinese, Thai, and Sri Lankan architecture. It is free for access and is open all the time for visitors.
- St. Lucia’s Cathedral: It is one of the most significant parishes in Sri Lanka and is dedicated to St. Lucy's the patron saint. It is not only the largest church but also the oldest church in Sri Lanka. It is located in Kotahena, and there are no entry charges. You can visit the church anytime from Monday to Sunday between 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country that holds an enchanting vibe because of the many temples, urban parks, beaches, unique structures, and lovely weather. Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka, offers many culturally and historically significant places to be revisited while exploring the city.
- Crow Island Beach Park: It is one of the most popular parks in Colombo that gives fantastic views of the sea. It covers more than 17 acres of land and offers cycling tracks, swings, a lake, and many shops. It is an excellent place to spend some peaceful time alone or with your friends/ family. It is free to access and is open all the time.
- Galle Face Green: It is a public area that is located right next to the ocean. It is quite popular amongst the locals and the tourists as a great place to relax and enjoy sunset views in the evening. The park is often crowded in the peak season, as it is an excellent place to cool off during the summers. There are many games played by the locals, such as volleyball matches in which you can take part.
- Diyatha Uthana: It is located on the edge of Diyawanna Lake and is an urban park with amenities like walking paths, playgrounds, aquarium, food stalls, open green spaces, and souvenir shops. The park is a great way to explore the local culture as many cultural events and fairs are often held in the park.
- Independence Square: It is located around the Independence Memorial, which is found in the Cinnamon Gardens. The park is open for all and offers vast green areas where you will often see locals strolling, jogging, and riding bicycles. You can also visit the memorial building and the museum located inside the park.
- Beddagana Wetland Park: It is located on the shores of the Diyawanna Lake and is an excellent place for nature lovers. The park is filled with many paths that are a great way to explore birds' diversity and other wildlife present in the park. Bird-watching and guided tours also take place and can be very enlightening.
- Viharamahadevi Park: Also called Victoria Park, it the largest open green space inside the city. The park has many amenities such as strolling paths, green grass to lounge or picnic, a playground for children, a water fountain, and snack huts. You will be able to spend some peaceful time away from the hustle-bustle of the city.
- Attidiya Bird Sanctuary: It is located at Boralesgamuwa and is home to more than fifty species of birds. You can also spot many beautiful butterflies, insects, and water monitors. You will be able to spend a fantastic time in this sanctuary exploring the Sri Lankan biodiversity. There is no charge for entry and is open till 9 p.m. every day.
- Dehiwala Zoo: It is also called the National Zoological Gardens and provides shelter to a wide diversity of animals and birds. The main attractions of the gardens are the sea lions, chimpanzees, and elephants. You will also find many exotic fishes and reptiles in the gardens. The gardens are open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day with an entry fee starting with 100 LKR.
Colombo homes many beautiful beaches because it is located on the shore. These beaches are an ideal way of getting away from the crowded places of the city.
- Arugam Bay Beach
- Galle Face Beach
- Crow Island Beach
- Wallawatte Beach
- Colombo Port City Beach
- Khan Clock Tower: It is located in Main Street in Colombo and is found right before the Pettah market. It is a massive clock tower erected after the demise of Frame Bhikajee Khan in 1878. The building bores the last name of a Paris family that resided in Colombo in the 20th century.
- Wolvendaal Church: It is a Dutch church that dates back to 1749. The name of the church is in the Dutch language, which means 'Dale of Wolves.' The church is built in the Greek cross's shape, making it one of the top Dutch architectures in Sri Lanka. It is located in Wolfendhal Lane, and there are no charges for visiting.
- Colombo Lotus Tower: It is one of the most exciting landmarks in Colombo and has a height of 350 meters. It is primarily a transmission hub that is built for improving the broadcast quality and clear communication. It is a must-visit tower while exploring Colombo city.
- Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara: It is located on Biyagama Road and is one of the most important cultural landmarks in the city. Destroyed twice by Indian and Portuguese invaders, the Dutch restored it in the 18th century. It is said to be the place where Lord Buddha visited. It is open to access all the time without any charges.
- World Trade Centre: It consists of two twin buildings that stand at 152 meters in height. The center has been given various awards for its good energy management and other recognizable activities. It is Sri Lanka's most eco-friendly business complex and is located in Echelon Square.
- Colombo Port Maritime Museum: It is located near the Colombo Port and is quite a popular place as it used to be a Dutch prison and showcases many historical artifacts relating to the maritime history of Sri Lanka's port and industry.
- National Art Gallery: It is located in Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha and is one of the best galleries in Sri Lanka. It showcases the history, art, and culture of Sri Lanka with the display of many ancient and contemporary artworks. The gallery also consists of many classical paintings and modern statues by local artists. It is open for visitors from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.
- Colombo Dutch Museum: It is found right in the heart of Pettah Market and is a unique Dutch Museum that served as the residence of a Dutch Governor in the late 17th century. The museum is located on Prince Street and showcases Dutch architecture. It is open for viewing from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5.m every day with an entry fee that starts from 300 Indian Rupees per head.
- National Museum of Colombo: It is located in Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha and showcases the art and work of many renowned artists. The museum exhibits 18th-century galleries with intricate carvings, unique demon masks, swords owned by knights, and many other collections from the colonial era. It is open from Monday to Sunday between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the entry fee varies for locals and foreigners.
- Traditional Puppet Art Museum: It is located in Dehiwala and close to Galle; it is a great museum where puppet shows are held. Puppet shows have a lot of importance in Sri Lankan culture. You can learn a lot of things about the culture and history by attending these puppet shows. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day with an entry charge that starts with 50 LKR.
Colombo serves some of the most mouth-watering Sri Lankan food in the country. You can easily find many restaurants, cafes, and street food vendors serving dishes ranging from traditional to modern cuisines. While visiting the city, your trip will be incomplete if you don't try-out the local dishes and explore the flavors.
Traditional Local Restaurants
These restaurants serve traditional Sri Lankan dishes that are made following the decades-old traditions. A few restaurants serve dishes that have a modern twist as well. By visiting these restaurants, you will learn about Sri Lankan cuisines' rules and cultures and broaden your tastebuds.
- The Lagoon
- Nuga Gamma
- Curry Leaf
- Kaema Sutra
- Raja Bojun
Vegetarian and Vegan
These restaurants and cafes are for those health-conscious people who prefer eating plant-based dishes that are grown organically. These restaurants and cafes serve a wide variety of dishes from Indian, Sri Lankan, Chinese, American, Italian, French, and Thai cuisines. Some cafes and restaurants serve exotic vegan dishes that are a mix of different cuisines in the world.
- The VOV
- Dwarka Indian Vegetarian Restaurant
- Sri Vihar Restaurant
The best way to enhance your experience in any city is by exploring the local street food. Colombo’s streets serve some of the most mouth-watering dishes that will make your taste-buds dance.
- Egg Hoppers: These are thin and crispy pancakes that consist of a bowl-like shape and a fried egg at the center. It is one of the most popular breakfast street foods and is often served with chutneys, coconut sambal, and chili sauce.
- Kottu: A popular street food dish made with chopped Godhamba roti, vegetables, spices, eggs, or meat is often accompanied by a masala sauce, creamy in texture, and takes it to another level. Many vendors also serve a cheese variant, which is also quite popular amongst Sri Lankans.
- Roti: Unlike the Indian roti, the Sri Lankan roti is stuffed with fillings that include vegetables, eggs, meat, or fish. They are served in cubical shapes and go along with chutneys and chili sauce. A roti variant without any fillings is also popular amongst the locals and is found in many hawker stalls in Colombo's streets.
- Vadei: It is a fried lentil patty that is usually made with urad dal. It is a vegetarian dish, but you can find some vendors also serving vadei made from fried prawns. It is often served with chutneys and chili sauces that enhance its flavor.
- Thosai: It is an Indian dosa variant that is made with ulundu flour. It is shaped like a thin pancake and is a mouth-watering street food served with hot coconut sambol and chutney. You can easily find it in the morning and evening as it is usually eaten as breakfast or dinner.
- Samosas: It is inspired by the Indian street food dish Samosa and a Sri Lankan variant is available that is a triangular-shaped fried snack that is stuffed with vegetables, meat, chicken, and many other filling options. Samosas are quite popular in the world and are great for a cheat day or evening snack.
While exploring the food culture of Colombia, don't forget to explore the drinking culture. The local drinks and liquors of Sri Lanka are some of the most exotic drinks that will make your experience in Colombo quite enlightening and enjoyable. You will learn a lot about the city's local culture, people, and traditions by exploring the drinking culture.
- Tea: It is Sri Lanka’s national drink and is quite popular all over the world. It is one of the most expensive drinks in the country because of the harvesting process. It comes in three main variants; black tea, green tea, and white tea.
- Toddy: It is a refreshing and organic drink that is tapped from palm trees. It is a quite popular drink not only in Sri Lanka but also in India. It is mildly alcoholic and is a fermented drink that gives it a bubbly taste.
- Arrack: It is potent liquor made from palm tree's sap. It is a quite popular drink in Sri Lanka that can be easily found in the local bars, pubs, and clubs.
- Fresh Coconut Water: With a vast availability of coconut trees, coconut water can be found in all city areas. Often sold by street vendors, it is an excellent drink during the summers to cool off and fresh yourself. It is served straight in the shell and is a must-drink drink in Sri Lanka for tourists.
- Lion: It is the country's national beer that is sold by Lion Brewery in Sri Lanka. It is a popular beer amongst locals and tourists and can be found in almost all bars, restaurants, pubs, and night clubs in Colombo.
Sri Lanka's tap water isn't entirely safe to drink directly or even indirectly. You should always prefer purified or filtered water, but be careful about the source of those waters as it can upset your stomach. Most tourists prefer mineral water bottles that are the safest water sources in Sri Lanka but are not friendly to the environment. Try looking for places that offer to refill of mineral water. These places are the best way to avoid the use of mineral water bottles.
These organic cafes are the best place to eat dishes that are made organically and sourced from local ingredients. They serve some exotic food dishes that look exceptionally delicious and will make your taste-buds dance. Here are some popular organic cafes in Colombo that you can visit and detox yourself.
- Milk & Honey Café
- Indo Ceylon Café
- Trees and Leaves Limited
- Uyir Organic Farm
- Pages & Coffee
There are only two prominent breweries in Sri Lanka that are the primary producers of beer and other liquors. There are many bars, pubs, and nightclubs in Colombo that serve local liquors. Still, you can also visit these breweries' outlets to get quality products without paying extra charges of the bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants.
- Heineken Lankan Limited
- Lion Brewery Ceylon PLC
As a coastal city and the Capital city, there are many things you can do in Colombo while visiting the various tourist spots. These activities will surely enhance your Sri Lankan experience and enable you to get unique experiences and in-depth knowledge about the city. Some popular activities in Colombo include;
- Visit the Royal Golf Club and play golf
- Visit the Casinos and try your luck
- Visit the Leisure World Water Park
- Get an Ayurvedic Spa
- Try Scuba Diving
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga is quite popular in Asia as a practice that enables you to live peacefully and maintain your mental health and physical health. Many Yoga centers and recreational institutes are equipped with experienced and talented teachers and offer locals and tourists services. Here are some yoga and recreational centers in Colombo that are quite popular amongst the locals and tourists;
- The Om Space
- Prana Lounge & Home Holistic Health
- Abhyasa Yoga Studio
- Body Bar
- Zumba Sri Lanka
There is a wide variety of options for accommodation for tourists based on their travel in Colombo. You can opt for hotels, hostels, guest-houses, rental apartments, and even couch-surfing. You can select accommodation based on your budget and preferences. The minimum cost of living in Colombo per night is US$ 30. You can also opt for camping, which is the cheapest accommodation option and will also enable you to explore the local culture on a first-hand basis.
Green Hotels are gaining popularity because of eco-friendly practices that minimize their impact on the environment, but you will not find many Colombo eco-hotels. It is a relatively new concept, and only a few hotels have adopted eco-friendly practices. Eco-hotels are the best options if you prefer eco-friendly practices. Here are the two green hotels in Colombo where you can stay;
- The Rainforest Ecolodge
- MaOya Eco Lodge
Hostels and Guest Houses
Hostels and Guesthouses are the best options for solo travelers and people traveling in groups. These are cheaper than hotels and provide better amenities that are eco-friendly. Many of these hostels and guesthouses also hold special events in which you can learn about other people's Colombo experience. Here are some famous hostels and guesthouses in Colombo;
- Bunkyard Hostels
- Steps backpackers Hostel
- Groove House Colombo
- Tuk Tuk Hostels
- Fife Residencies
If you are looking for renting out an apartment in Sri Lanka for your visit, you will be able to get loads of options. While deciding on a flat, make sure that it is not located too far away from the city center. Also, make sure that the property is legal as many people rent out rooms illegally, and you will get in lots of trouble. Also, don't make any initial or advance payments as there is a chance of getting cheated. You should prefer visiting the property and verifying it properly before paying any amount. If you are on a tight budget, prefer renting out an apartment with a group of friends to reduce the total cost.
Couch-surfing is a relatively new concept that has gained popularity in western countries but not in Asian countries. You may find a few couch-surfing hosts on the couch-surfing websites, but most of them might not agree. Often, couch-surfing hosts cannot let you stay because of prior engagements, causing you a lot of trouble if you haven't made any other accommodation arrangements. You can try looking for couch-surfing hosts offline in the streets of Sri Lankan by befriending a local person and asking him or her about the best options. By doing so, the person might help you out by letting you stay at his or her house while you are in Colombo. This way, you won't have to pay anything for your stay at someone else's home.
It is the best option for those travelers that prefer getting an outdoorsy experience rather than staying at a hotel. There are many camping options in Colombo city where you can get an outdoor experience. There are some campsites located in nearby areas which are under an hour away from the city. Many camps offer adventure tours where you can participate in extreme sports, wildlife exploration, hiking, mountain climbing, and many more adrenaline-filled activities that will make your Sri Lankan experience quite memorable. Here are some well-known campsites located inside the city as well as in the nearby areas.
- Mahoora Tented Safari Camps
- S.T.F. Camp
- Eco Events Adventure
- Senses of Sri Lanka
How to Get There
Colombo has the best transportation network in Sri Lanka because it is the country's capital city. There are many options for travel that range from public to private transport services. These transport services include; public buses, trains, taxis, tuk-tuks, boats, and many other options. You can select a transport based on your budget and make the best of your trip to the city.
There are two airports in Colombo, but the Bandaranaike International Airport is the main airport that only handles international flights. The airport handles flights from various airlines such as flydubai, GoAir, Gulf Air, IndiGo, etc. The other airport in Colombo is the Ratmalana Airport that handles domestic flights. The airport operates flights to different cities located inside the country like Kandy, Galle, Trincomalee, Jaffna, etc. Since the country is an island country, the best way to travel to the mainland is by airplanes only.
There are three main bus terminals in Colombo; the Gunasinghapura Bus Terminals, the Bastian Mawatha, and the Central Bus station. There bus transport systems are quite extensive and provide quality services. The bus services of Colombo come under the Sri Lanka Transport Board that governs both private and public operators. If you are traveling in a group, then buses are the best way to explore the city.
Unlike other Asian cities, there is no metro station or subway in the country yet. The only train network present in the city is used by the locals to travel from one town to another. The rail network in Sri Lanka is quite good and convenient. You will hardly face trouble in traveling to other cities from Colombo.
Hitchhiking is quite popular in Sri Lanka as it is a hilly island with lots of green spaces. The truck drivers and local people always help out tourists that need lifts on the highway. Hitchhiking is the cheapest way of travel as you won't need to pay any charges on transportation.
There are other modes of transport in Colombo city different than these basic ones. Other vehicles include; rental cars, tuk-tuks, rickshaws, taxis, and boats. These options aren't the best ones as they are not eco-friendly and can be quite expensive. Always avoid traveling to the country via ships as there are many smugglers in the Indian Ocean, and it is illegal to travel to the mainland by boats. You can opt for electronic rickshaws or tuk-tuks, which are not only cheap but also eco-friendly.
As a tourist, you will hardly face any problem moving around the city or areas outside the city. The city is equipped with an efficient transportation network which you can use at your disposal. The most common transport mode in the town is the tuk-tuks and rickshaws, but they aren't friendly. You should prefer transportation modes that are not only convenient for you but also eco-friendly.
The best way to explore the beauty of the city is by walking. By walking, you will be able to experience things that are usually ignored or overseen when traveling by buses or bikes. It is the only way of traveling that requires no charges, and you can reach areas that are narrow or can't be reached by vehicles such as cars, buses, and bicycles. Also, exploring the city by walking is a great way to keep yourself fit and healthy.
It is the best mode of transport for people who find it exhausting to explore areas by walking. You can quickly locate many rental bicycle services in the city that offer both mechanical and electric bicycles. You can cover areas faster and discover the hidden gems of the city to enhance your Colombo experience. You will need to pay some charges for renting out a bicycle as they are not free, but these charges are relatively low if you opt for public bikes.
The pollution levels are relatively high in Colombo as it is the capital city. The use of tuk-tuks, taxis, rickshaws, rental cars, and boats is relatively high, leading to extreme pollution levels. Because of such a difficult situation, the government of Sri Lanka has started to promote the use of electric vehicles such as cars, motorbikes, and bicycles. These vehicles are eco-friendly and also relatively cheap. To make the people prefer these vehicles, the local government has provided specific amenities to the vehicles' users, such as free parking, reduced tax payment, etc.
The public buses are an efficient way of traveling to different parts inside and outside the city. The locals usually use these buses as they are relatively cheap and help them maintain their monthly budgets. The public bus services charges start from 10 to 50 Indian Rupees, depending upon the distance and traveler.
Tram, Train and Subway
You will not find any trams or metro system in the country as it is a poor one and is yet to implement their metro system. The best way of traveling from one city to the other is by trains. The railway system is quite efficient and convenient. You can easily travel to different towns in Sri Lanka at low rates.
Sustainable shopping is a new trend that promotes local and small-scale businesses that use local ingredients. It has become quite popular because with the widespread awareness regarding environmental protection; many eco-friendly products are gaining popularity. These products are made using organic and cruelty-free products. Rather than buying branded items that cost so much but last for a short time, eco-products promise a cheaper price range and lasts for a longer time. While visiting a different country, you should always prefer buying these products as they cost relatively less and are the perfect souvenirs. You will also learn about the local culture, people, and livelihood by indulging in sustainable shopping.
These food markets are the best places to buy locally produced and quality products sold by local businesses. These markets operate on selective days to provide the customers with the best quality of produce.
- SA Fruit Center
- The Dairy Market
- Pettah Floating Market
- J’s Wok
These markets are ideal for low-income groups and people who are on a tight budget. You will find that the items sold in these markets are cheaper than the retail ones. You can also try your luck in finding antiques and collectible items at such markets.
- Nugegoda Station Market
- Norris Canal Street Market
- Fort Fruits & Vegetable Market
Second Hand Stores
These stores are quite popular among low-income people. You will find many used items that are kept in mint conditions and can be used again. Because they are second-hand items, these items are cheaper and friendly to the environment.
- Charity Shop
- Deen The Bookman
- Janaka Motors
- Walk-in Shalwar Closet
Eco-fashion or sustainable fashion is a relatively new concept where clothing items are made using organic substances and are eco-friendly. These clothing items are usually sold by local businesses to promote environmentally friendly practices to the general public. You will find beautiful clothing items that you can use as souvenirs for your friends and family back home.
- House of Lonali
- Buddhi Batiks
- Wax Raqqs
Sri Lanka is one of the leading countries that is recycling waste properly and efficiently. There are many proper measures taken by the government for appropriate recycling. There are many plants set up in different regions of the country for maintaining the recycling of waste. There are many recycling stores available in Colombo that you can visit for disposing of your recyclable items. Because of the high pollution rates, the government makes sure that the locals strictly follow the recycling rules and waste disposal. Anyone, whether local or tourist, who is found to be violating the law, is fined.
For proper waste management, the Colombo Municipality has allotted different colored bags for different types of waste. These include;
- Green Bags – These bags are assigned for organic scraps such as vegetable peels, food waste, etc.
- Blue Bags – These bags are allotted for paper wastes such as food-soiled paper, magazines, old notebooks, newspapers, paper scraps, etc.
- Red Bags – These bags are allotted for recyclable products like glass items and bottles.
- Brown Bags – These bags are allotted for metal waste and coconut shells.
- Orange Bags – These bags are allotted for non-degradable waste made of plastics and polythene.
By promoting such bags, the municipality can sort waste properly to recycle and re-use and reduce its negative impact on the environment.
Work and Study Abroad
Sri Lanka is a developing country in Asia, which is relatively low. The best education facilities in Sri Lanka are available in Colombo as it is the capital city. The education and professional fields aren't as good as in other Asian countries. If you want to study or work in Sri Lanka, you can apply for such things, but it might not be the best decision because of the not so good conditions.
There are many educational institutes in Colombo that are part of the Student Exchange Program. These institutes are of the national and international level and provide the best educational facilities in Sri Lanka. If you want to opt for studying in Sri Lanka by becoming an exchange student, all you need to do is enroll yourself in the program. It is an excellent way of learning about the country's different cultures, traditions, and history.
Au pairs are referred to as helpers from a foreign country. If you are looking to work as an Au Pair in Colombo, you will be able to find many opportunities. There are many websites where you can register yourself and work as one.
Many volunteering agencies and NGOs in Colombo aim to provide their help in certain areas like cleaning public regions, humanitarian aid, animal protection, etc. These agencies play a vital role in helping the city resolve such issues correctly by promoting awareness and asking more people to join them. As a tourist, it is your responsibility to help out the local communities and the environment. Some of the volunteering agencies and NGOs in Colombia are;
- Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
- Habitat For Humanity
- Mother Sri Lanka
- Save the Children in Sri Lanka
By helping the local communities in such volunteering activities, you will understand the locals' living conditions and hardships. This way, you will offer your valuable help and ideas to help these communities develop.