Updated on 26/09/2022
Colombo, Sri Lanka’s commercial capital might not be considered the most attractive of all the fabulous places you can visit in the paradise island. However, if you happen to find yourself in the city wanting a night out on the town you will have access to a selection of refined rooftop bars and nightclubs – something you won’t find in the small beach side towns.
Our team at srilanka-villa.com have put together a selection of rooftop bars, nightclubs and local establishments off the beaten path for the more adventurous traveler.
ROOFTOP – LOUNGE BARS
Perched above the Kingsbury Hotel and open from sunset to sunrise this rooftop bar offers guests live entertainment, meals and amazing views of the Indian Ocean. Guests can enjoy two happy hours: Sundown from 5.30pm – 6.30pm and late night happy hour from 11.30pm -12.30am!
Part of the Radisson Hotel building, this spot is one of the trendiest in the city. You can sit by the wooden deck, dipping your feet in the infinity pool, while you sip your drink and enjoy the beautiful coastal view.
A little bit different from the other bars on this list, Breeze bar is the poolside bar of the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. It’s relaxing ambiance and soothing live music would be a lovely calm start to a long crazy night in Colombo.
This beautifully designed rooftop bar is definitely the ‘it’ place to be in Colombo right now, the good drinks, live music and great ambiance make for the ideal place to start your night out. Craving the food but not ready to go out? Don’t worry, if you stay in Colombo, you may be able to order delivery from the restaurant.
Spacious venue, catchy beats, great food; what’s not to like? W Lounge is better experienced with a large group of friends. Its weekly deals on food and drinks gives you more than your money’s worth. Make sure to keep an eye on those promotions.
R&B is another Colombo staple when it comes to the tail end of the night and where you’re likly to find most of the city’s club-goers congregating. With a recent face lift, R&B is looking bigger and better and the perfect way to wind down, or wind up the end of your night.
If you are looking for a young, hip place where you will be dancing, or maybe just jumping to some latest pop music or electro dance music, then Disque is the places to be. Located inside the newly restored Colombo Race Course building, it should definitely be part of your club hopping itinerary.
This night club creates one of the best clubbing experiences, partly due to its unique lighting system. The venue itself is a two-storey building, with (separate) air conditioning systems for both its guests and employees, so no room in the vicinity is ‘stuffy’. The DJ plays an eclectic mix of catchy tunes, matching it to the crowd’s atmosphere.
Kama has a favorite in the Colombo nightclub scene for a long time, changing locations several times but True to its name, The Unicorn proved to be the town’s hidden gem, with its great food, drinks, and atmosphere. With various events being held and generous discounts and promotion on drinks on selected days, and great customer service, it’s no wonder the Unicorn remains to be one of the best-kept secrets in Colombo’s nightclub scenes.
LOCAL NEIGHBORHOOD BARS
Last but not least, we are keeping it real and offering up some local neighborhood (dive) bars in Colombo which will open up a whole new side of the city for those wanting to rub shoulders with the blue collar workers. For ladies, we’d recommend traveling with a male companion to these classy establishments.
Located right opposite the Colombo Fort Railway station, this dive bar which is more than 80 years old is a perfect location to grab some local beer or some local liquor: Arrack.
Part of the budget-friendly Juliana Hotel, this dive bar offers a very unique pub crawl experience. There are garden chairs and umbrellas placed in the lobby, contrasting with the 2000s decor around the hotel. The wi-fi is free in the lobby area, and there’s a Korean Restaurant next to it, if one feels hungry.
Famous for its delicious fried Hadallo, the Government Service Sports Club is a good place for small groups to enjoy each others’ company, without going into the overcrowded, overpriced clubs in the area.
Some friendly advice:
- bars and clubs in Colombo are pretty empty on most days of the week, Friday and Saturday being the crazy party nights.
- except for the ‘Local Neighborhood bars’, if you’re a guy, make sure you’re wearing pants and shoes because there’s a dress code that the bouncers are quite strict about.