The Sri Lanka has some of the best coffee shops, nightclubs, casinos, stylish restaurants, glitzy bars, chill-out pubs, and a liberal environment with friendly locals. There are also many places that serve exotic flavors of Shisha (Hookah) and tea – a perfect way to pass time with friends. There are several pubs as well that host a wide range of entertainment options such as quizzes, open mic nights and live jazz and rock bands. Karaoke bars are also popular here and a great way to unwind and meet new people. Casinos are another form of nightlife entertainment option – visitors can try their hand at roulette, poker, blackjack in addition to complimentary food and alcohol.
Colombo has the most westernized shopping and night life environment in all of Sri Lanka. This includes modern shopping malls, bustling markets, designer boutiques, cinemas, roadside restaurants, fine dining restaurants, clubs and much more. The Pettah Bazaar is the most commercialized area where you would find almost anything and everything. Apart from Colombo, almost every town around the island has its own markets that sell daily essentials as well as other items such as clay pots, hand-woven fabrics and traditional dresses.
Galle and Ambalangoda are popular for antique purchases while Negombo is known for its gem stones. While driving around Sri Lanka, you will find shops that cater to the sale of special items such as handicrafts, straw hats, authentic Lankan spices and items made of ceramic, wood, clay and cane. Fabrics such as cotton, batik, fine lace and silks are also popular in busy cities like Colombo and Kandy.
Nightlife is not the main attraction in Sri Lanka. Bars, discos, and casinos are fairly busy in the bigger cities but in smaller destinations, there is not much to do at night apart from having a drink in a hotel bar.
Most Popular Places to Visit
Being the largest casino and one of the best nightclubs in Sri Lanka, Bally’s Casino boasts prime location, free entry, warm hospitality, buffet dinner, and various types of table games. Going by customer reviews, some found it so enjoyable that they tell tales of spending 75% of their holiday in Colombo inside Bally’s Casino only. It also has an option of availing pick & drop service for its customers.
Majestic City Colombo
Majestic City is a seven-storey commercial and shopping complex which is located in Bambalapitiya, Sri Lanka. Majestic City is a unique destination center where you can shop, dine and watch a movie all under one roof.
Liberty Plaza Colombo
This is the country’s first shopping complex and dates back to the late 1980s. The mall is slightly old fashioned with its timings as it closes at 7pm on weekdays. Also it’s closed on Sundays, making it difficult for weekend shoppers.
Kandy City Centre
Kandy City Centre is the most modern commercial and shopping complex in Dalada Veediya, Kandy, Sri Lanka near the Temple of Tooth Relic. Construction of the centre was started in 1993 and it was opened in 2005. Under the management of Thusitha Wijayasena and the ownership of the PFIK, the complex is one of the most successful projects in Sri Lanka
ODEL Shopping Mall
ODEL is a public retailing company in Sri Lanka. It’s the Sri Lanka’s first example of retailing company. Starting out as a single company, focusing on the retail garment trade, ODEL has over the years developed and become the first department store in Sri Lanka and it is popular shopping destination in Colombo.
Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct
The Old Colombo Dutch Hospital (known as The Dutch Hospital ) is considered to be the oldest building in the Colombo Fort area dating back to the Dutch colonial era in Sri Lanka. It is now a heritage building and a shopping and dining precinct. The building is centred around two courtyards, which sometimes host live music. It has a few cafes, restaurants, shops and bars. It’s a nice place to stop and enjoy the shade, and with low slung tiled roofs and attractive colonades.