I stayed at Global Towers Hotel, 11 Station Avenue (Marine Drive), Colombo. Quite pricey, but the view was priceless. The service and the meal was great as well. Satisfactory!
I only had my one day off to look around, so I took the opportunity to visit Beira lake to see Gangarama temple. I took train from the nearest station, Welawatta to Kompanna Vidiya station, then walked about 5 minutes to Beira Lake. You can take meter tuk-tuk if you really don’t want to take bus or train, but it may cost you way more than you expected.
There’s a cable bridge to a small island (Kaladuwa) in the middle of the lake. Prepare yourselves to see lovebirds on every 50cm of the island. There are also swan boats if you like to paddle around the lake. It’s a good place for picnic. There are birds (crow or raven like) everywhere, especially under the trees, so watch yourselves that you won’t be annoyed when they do number two.
If you like shopping, try Pettah market. I walked around Galle Rd, nearby the hotel and found some good stores, like Nolimits, BUT, you can’t bargain in bigger stores.
Sri Lankan food is similar to Indian food that sometimes can be very spicy. One of my favorites is Papadang, the traditional crackers.
Prices in Rupee (1 USD = ± 132 Rupee):
SIM card/phone card (Dialog) 300. 1.5 GB internet 300 rupee. Free calls and text messages to other Dialog users.
Train / bus tickets ±10.
Gangarama temple 100.
Swan boat 100/30 minutes for adults, 50 for children below 12.
Naan bread 80/ 2 pcs.
Sri Lankan milk tea 90.
Fresh fruit juice 180.
String hopper biryani 300.
Hopper / egg hopper / other snacks 20-50.
KIK cola (medium bottle, tastes like coke) 90.
Ice cream (2 scoopes) 130.