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Where to Stay in Colombo, Sri Lanka → 5 TOP Areas & Hotels

A panoramic view of Colombo’s skyline, showcasing a blend of modern high-rise buildings and lush green spaces, with the iconic Lotus Tower standing out against the clear sky.

Colombo is one of the top destinations on my Asia bucket list, so I spent days looking at everything the city offers! I’m happy to report that I came up with a list of recommendations on where to stay in Colombo.

I can safely confirm that the best area to stay is Kollupitiya, which has a convenient location that allows easy access to Colombo’s attractions and the rest of the city. But I added 4 more areas, and hotels in each one, in case you don’t find what you’re looking for in the best area.

If that’s still not enough, see the bonus of hotels near the Colombo coast.

Therefore, if you are planning a trip to Colombo, Sri Lanka, go through my list of Colombo areas and hotels, pick one, and book before you go!

If you are in a hurry

If you’re eager to discover the best hotels in Colombo, check out this list of accommodations in Kollupitiya, the ultimate area for your first visit to the city.

Consult the map of Colombo to get a sense of the city and better navigate the areas.

1. Kollupitiya – where to stay in Colombo for the first time

A serene row of golden Buddha statues in meditation pose, overlooking a tranquil lake with a white stupa in the background, under a bright blue sky, evoking a sense of peace and spirituality.A serene row of golden Buddha statues in meditation pose, overlooking a tranquil lake with a white stupa in the background, under a bright blue sky, evoking a sense of peace and spirituality.

Nestled in central Colombo and bordering the coast of the Indian Ocean, Kollupitiya is the ultimate tourist spot in the city. The area hosts some of the best hotels in Colombo, like the Granbell Hotel Colombo and the Cinnamon Red Colombo, as well as some boutique hotels and other unique accommodations.

In addition, Kollupitiya is home to many restaurants. If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, head to The London Grill, but if you want to try authentic Sri Lankan food, the Nuga Gama is a great choice. Besides restaurants, there are quite a few locations offering mouth-watering street food nearby, an excellent opportunity to try some local snacks.

One of Kollupitiya’s main advantages is the ease of navigating the city due to the proximity to public transport. The Kollupitiya Railway Station goes through this part of town, and several bus stops are scattered throughout.

After immersing oneself in Kollupitiya’s urban buzz, you may want to explore the country more. If that’s how you feel, check out this Sri Lanka itinerary, and there’s part 2, and discover all the fantastic destinations you can visit!

Luxury hotel

The Granbell Hotel is one of several eco-friendly hotels for the green traveler in Kollupitiya. Guests at the hotel can enjoy the infinity pool that offers a marvelous ocean view, have dinner at the on-site Minori Japanese Restaurant, or relax in the spa and wellness center.

Other accommodation options in Kollupitiya

Mid-Range

This 5-star hotel boasts an indoor and an outdoor pool and offers the city’s best seafood at The Lagoon restaurant

Budget

The Cinnamon Red Colombo is renowned for the rooftop outdoor pool but offers other practical services like currency exchange

Airbnb

Only 5 minutes away from the ocean, this private studio apartment has air conditioning, cable TV, and free Wi-Fi

Things to do in Kollupitiya

  • Visit the Buddhist temple Gangarama Sima Malaka
  • Go on a day tour to Sigiriya and Dambulla
  • Book a tour of Kandy’s viewpoint
  • Explore the shops at the Crescat Boulevard shopping mall
  • Venture out to the Gangaramaya Temple

2. Wellawatte – where to stay in Colombo on a budget

Commuters in Colombo hang onto the sides and doorways of a brightly colored train moving along the tracks, with the backdrop of a developing urban skyline under a hazy sky, capturing a dynamic moment of city transport.Commuters in Colombo hang onto the sides and doorways of a brightly colored train moving along the tracks, with the backdrop of a developing urban skyline under a hazy sky, capturing a dynamic moment of city transport.

Explore the hidden gems of Wellawatte’s coastal strip by booking one of the budget hotels in this area of Colombo. Although you won’t find any luxury hotels in Wellawatte, you will discover many authentic homestays for cultural enthusiasts that won’t empty your pocket.

While you’re staying here, you can feel some of the old-world allure of Mount Lavinia by venturing out to this beach retreat. However, if you’re not in the mood for a day trip, Wellawatte Beach is within walking distance of most accommodations.

As this part of town has no significant attractions, the best way to spend your time is by walking along the coast and stopping by the Wellawatte Fishing Pier to admire the views.

Luxury hotel

The boutique hotel welcomes its guests in clean, comfortable rooms and provides free parking, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, toiletries, and dry cleaning services. Even though this is not as luxurious as other hotels in Colombo, it offers all the necessary amenities for a pleasant stay.

Other accommodation options in Wellawatte

Mid-Range

Enjoy a drink at the bar while at the Fair View Hotel Colombo. Turn to the concierge for everything else

Budget

The property has a shared lounge, but each of the rooms has a private bathroom stocked with complimentary toiletries

Airbnb

A spacious 2-bedroom apartment with soft feather beds and a private balcony, perfect for dining outdoors

Things to do in Wellawatte

  • Go on a private half-day tour of Columbo
  • Spend the day at Wellawatte Beach
  • Grab a bite at Sweet Chilli
  • Drive down the coast to Mount Lavinia beach
  • Take a few hours to tour the Dehiwala Zoological Garden

3. Galle Face – where to stay in Colombo on a luxury vacation

A vibrant scene along a coastal promenade with a large Sri Lankan flag waving, overlooking a bustling pier and modern skyscrapers against a clear blue sky.A vibrant scene along a coastal promenade with a large Sri Lankan flag waving, overlooking a bustling pier and modern skyscrapers against a clear blue sky.

The first thing you need to know about the Galle Face area is that it abounds with luxury hotels. You can enjoy contemporary luxury at 5-star resorts like the Shangri-La and find retreats offering traditional Ayurvedic treatments. The Christelle Luxury Wellness in the Galle Face Mall is a great choice!

Walking along Galle Road, you’ll find the eponymous Galle Face Hotel and the Galle Face Green, the famous ocean-side park. Shangri-La’s Shang Palace or Capital Bar & Grill are 2 of your best options when in the mood for food.

I suggest you spend the rest of your time at Galle Face Beach, one of Colombo’s best beaches. And if you don’t like the sand, you can enjoy the view of the Indian Ocean while walking along the promenade.

Luxury hotel

The Shangri-La is one of the most romantic retreats for couples in Colombo. When booking a room here, you can choose whether you want a view of the ocean, Beira Lake, or Colombo City. While here, you can also grab a drink at the pool bar or go for a holistic treatment at Chi, the on-site spa.

Other accommodation options in Galle Face

Mid-Range

The Galle Face Hotel is a historic, colonial-style hotel with a saltwater pool overlooking the ocean

Budget

Enjoy the convenience of serviced apartments and the garden view. Remember to make use of the picnic area

Airbnb

The rental offers 2 bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. Guests can access a shared terrace, pool, and gym

Things to do in Galle Face

  • Enjoy yourself at Galle Face Green
  • Bask in the sun at Galle Face Beach
  • Spend the day on the Galle and Bentota tour
  • Go shopping at One Galle Face Mall
  • Grab dinner at the Hungry Mart

4. Cinnamon Gardens – where to stay in Colombo on a family trip

Visitors stroll around a tranquil park with a prominent golden Buddha statue seated atop a pedestal, flanked by lush greenery and palm trees, under a clear blue sky.Visitors stroll around a tranquil park with a prominent golden Buddha statue seated atop a pedestal, flanked by lush greenery and palm trees, under a clear blue sky.

When traveling with family, opting for Cinnamon Gardens’ serene environment is best. In this part of Colombo City, you can enjoy the charm of renovated colonial mansions like the Paradise Road Tintagel Colombo and the De Saram House.

Besides family-friendly resorts with all amenities, the area offers plenty of activities for the whole family. The Viharamahadevi Park will keep you entertained for at least a few hours, and the Colombo Museum will provide insights into the city’s rich history.

If you are here on the weekend, take the kids to the Planetarium or go out for a meal. If you’re wondering where to eat, try the pizza from Arthur’s Pizzeria or grab some Korean from Kang’s Kitchen. And if you’re traveling with your four-legged friend, don’t miss out on the dog café Tayo Bear.

Luxury hotel

To experience the charm of colonial-era hotels, make a reservation at the Paradise Road Tintagel Colombo. In the style of a boutique hotel, Paradise Road offers lavish suites with private balconies or, in some cases, an intimate courtyard. Spend a day relaxing by the indoor swimming pool or unwind in the serene atmosphere of The Library.

Other accommodation options in Cinnamon Gardens

Mid-Range

De Saram House is one of the hotels that blend art, culture, and comfort, offering amazing views and luxury amenities

Budget

The hotel rooms are spacious, well-lit, and comfortable. There’s both a garden and a terrace, plus a complimentary breakfast

Airbnb

The apartment is one of the most unique Airbnbs offering localized experiences, with antique furnishings and a lovely porch

Things to do in Cinnamon Gardens

  • Go on a day trip to Kandy and Pinnawala
  • Spend a few hours exploring Viharamahadevi Park
  • Visit the Colombo National Museum
  • Stop by Independence Square
  • Check out the show at Sri Lanka Planetarium during the weekend

5. Colombo Fort – where to stay for a local experience

A bustling street scene in Colombo with a blend of modern and colonial architecture, featuring a prominent clock tower standing against a backdrop of high-rise buildings and clear blue skies.A bustling street scene in Colombo with a blend of modern and colonial architecture, featuring a prominent clock tower standing against a backdrop of high-rise buildings and clear blue skies.

Fort is the heart of Colombo City, strategically located to cater to the city’s harbor and provide easy access to the rest of Colombo. This is the perfect area for exploring Colombo and nearby attractions, as there are many accessible stays near the Colombo Rail Station.

Business travelers also recognize the allure of Fort area accommodations, as this is the central business district of Colombo City. But if you’re not there on business, you’ll be happy to hear that this part of the city is a melting pot of different cultures, so you’ll see everything from Buddhist temples to colonial monuments.

While here, stop by the Colombo Port Maritime Museum and the President’s House or enjoy one of the many good restaurants like SunsetBlu and LAB. As for shopping, The Dutch Hospital – Shopping Precinct will meet all your needs!

If Fort seems too crowded, look for accommodations across Colombo Port Main Road in Pettah. Here, you can experience the eclectic energy of Pettah’s lodgings and explore local markets.

Luxury hotel

The Kingsbury boasts a variety of room types, from luxury penthouses with panoramic city views to deluxe rooms overlooking the Galle Face Green. The modern design, the outdoor pool, and the 7 on-site restaurants make this the perfect stay when you visit Colombo.

Other accommodation options in Colombo Fort

Mid-Range

Zest is one of the most romantic hotels, great for a romantic dinner, and ideally situated to explore Colombo

Budget

Boasting amazing city views, the C1 is also close to public transport stations, providing easy access to the city’s attractions

Airbnb

A 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom luxury apartment offering access to an infinity pool, heated jacuzzi, and a gym

Things to do in Colombo Fort

  • Book a day tour to Ella
  • Stop by the Colombo Port Old Lighthouse
  • Take a Tuk Tuk city tour 
  • Pay a visit to the Parliament Building
  • Check out the Lighthouse Clock Tower

BONUS 1: Best hotels near Colombo’s coast

Guests enjoy an infinity pool on a rooftop terrace overlooking the ocean, with the edge of the pool creating a seamless visual extension into the blue sea under a clear sky, offering a luxurious and tranquil leisure experience.Guests enjoy an infinity pool on a rooftop terrace overlooking the ocean, with the edge of the pool creating a seamless visual extension into the blue sea under a clear sky, offering a luxurious and tranquil leisure experience.

I know, I know…I already recommend 5 areas for your stay in Colombo. But the city is so wonderful that I couldn’t help but mention some beautiful hotels along the Colombo coast.

Check out my list of best Colombo hotels in the area, ordered from most luxurious to most affordable.

  • Hotel MaRadha Colombo – the MaRadha is one of Colombo’s stays that facilitates easy airport transit, thanks to its free airport shuttle. Plus, the hotel offers access to a rooftop bar, a swimming pool, and 3 amazing restaurants.
  • Marino Beach Colombo – you’ll find that Marino Beach Colombo offers the best of Colombo’s vibrant seaside stays. An infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean and the adjacent rooftop garden make this hotel a top pick for a beach vacation.
  • Mandarina Colombo – a little further from the beach, the Mandarina Colombo is one of the few riverside retreats offering tranquil views of Colombo and easy access to Marino Mall.

FAQs about where to stay in Colombo

A bustling local market scene with people in colorful traditional clothing shopping for a variety of fresh vegetables laid out on tables, creating a vivid tapestry of daily life and culture.A bustling local market scene with people in colorful traditional clothing shopping for a variety of fresh vegetables laid out on tables, creating a vivid tapestry of daily life and culture.

🗺️ Which area is best to stay in Colombo?

The best area for staying in Colombo is Kollupitiya, often called Colombo 03. The area abounds with hotels, most notably the Granbell Hotel Colombo, a luxury resort with modern amenities. 

🪙 Is Colombo worth staying in?

Yes! Colombo, Sri Lanka, is a worthwhile destination because of its historical significance and wonderful beaches like Wellawatte Beach and Galle Face Beach. 

🏝️ What are the best areas to stay in Colombo, Sri Lanka?

Some of the best places to stay in Colombo, Sri Lanka are Kollupitiya, Wellawatte, and Galle Face, all best for different interests. For wider areas, consult this 10-day Sri Lanka itinerary

📌 Where to stay and what to do in Colombo, Sri Lanka?

On your visit to Colombo, you should stay in Kollupitiya because that is the best area for first-timers, and Cinnamon Grand Colombo is the best hotel. For things to do, don’t miss out checking out the temples, and the beaches, learn about the country’s history, and try authentic Sri Lankan food.

Conclusion

Alt text: "A panoramic view of Colombo's cityscape, featuring a mix of high-rise buildings, urban development, and areas of greenery, with a lake nestled among the city structures, under a partly cloudy sky.Alt text: "A panoramic view of Colombo's cityscape, featuring a mix of high-rise buildings, urban development, and areas of greenery, with a lake nestled among the city structures, under a partly cloudy sky.

Colombo is a great place to start exploring South Asia, with its many attractive districts and even more alluring hotels. Seeing as I already recommend plenty of options for your stay in Colombo, all left to do is single out my 2 favorites.

  • Granbell Hotel Colombo – I’m in love with the pool overlooking the ocean, and I appreciate the on-site currency exchange.
  • Cinnamon Grand Colombo – I like that the hotel is close to the National Museum and some of the most iconic temples and offers a free airport shuttle.

With international fare prices going down, there’s no better time to visit Colombo! You can use my recommendations on where to stay in Colombo and book a room in advance. Just make sure to avoid the monsoon season (May through July and October/November)!

Leave me a comment with your thoughts and impressions of Colombo.

Have an adventurous trip,

Hristina


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Informative travel image titled 'Where to Stay in Colombo, Sri Lanka - 5 Top Areas & Cool Hotels' with an aerial view of Colombo's coastal road and skyline above, and a historical colonial building below, illustrating the diverse accommodation options, from misstourist.com.Informative travel image titled 'Where to Stay in Colombo, Sri Lanka - 5 Top Areas & Cool Hotels' with an aerial view of Colombo's coastal road and skyline above, and a historical colonial building below, illustrating the diverse accommodation options, from misstourist.com.

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Travel guide promotional image for '5 best areas to stay in Colombo, Sri Lanka' featuring a serene setting with three golden Buddha statues in meditation pose overlooking the Beira Lake with a backdrop of Colombo's urban skyline, from misstourist.com.Travel guide promotional image for '5 best areas to stay in Colombo, Sri Lanka' featuring a serene setting with three golden Buddha statues in meditation pose overlooking the Beira Lake with a backdrop of Colombo's urban skyline, from misstourist.com.

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