Wattala is a lively beachside neighbourhood with a local flavour. Gold-sand beaches attract sunseekers from Colombo. Laid-back hotels dot the coast and are popular with Sri Lankan families. Enjoy the local beach scene or head into Colombo to sightsee in the capital.
Things to do in Wattala
Swim and sunbathe on Preethipura Beach. The honey-coloured stretch of sand is popular with local families looking to escape the heat. Palm trees fringe the beach and add to the tropical atmosphere. Further up the coast is Uswetakeiyawa Beach, another great place to swim and enjoy the sunshine.
Stroll around Hamilton Canal Park and enjoy the beautiful waterfront space. Cross the pedestrian bridge and watch the Kelani River flow into the Laccadive Sea. Walk along the waterside path shaded by lush palms and banyan trees or hire a boat and enjoy a scenic cruise along the canal.
Use Wattala as a base to sightsee in Colombo. The Sri Lankan capital is known as the “Garden City of the East” and features spacious boulevards lined with enormous trees. Café hop in the trendy Dutch Hospital precinct, admire ancient artefacts at the National Museum and stroll around flower-filled Viharamahadevi Park. Visit the park at sunset to see thousands of flying fox bats perched in the trees.
Head to Galle Face Green to watch locals flying kites and stroll along the seafront promenade. Street stalls will tempt you with local favourites like fresh-squeezed lime juice and “isso wadey” deep-fried prawns.
Getting around Wattala
Parts of Wattala are pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. Taxis are a fast and affordable way to cover longer distances, while Tuk-tuks are a cheaper option. Both can be hailed on the street or booked using local rideshare services. Wattala is a 30-minute drive from Colombo and 45 minutes by train. Bandaranaike International Airport is a 45-minute drive away.