I stayed several weeks in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. I didn't really enjoy the city's nightlife, which is very limited, male-oriented, and conservative.

Before writing about the negatives, I will start with a few positive points:
- Sri Lankans are almost always very friendly and helpful. They speak good English too.
- Colombo is a rather clean and safe city, especially in the tourist and expat areas. New construction is happening everywhere, for instance near the Fort (5-star resorts, waterfront apartments, etc).
- There are several interesting things to do (parks, museums, markets, etc).
- You can go to the beach in less than 30 minutes.
- Most prices (except accommodation) are reasonable: Transportation, mobile internet, food and drinks.

When it comes to nightlife, Colombo is disappointing for several reasons:
- Unlike Southeast Asians, Sri Lankans don't have the habit of going out at night. By 10 PM, the streets are empty and you may have to walk a long time just to find something to eat.
- Bars and nightclubs are hidden and they are spread out. They have an early curfew, usually midnight. After that, only a few places are still open. 
- Colombo nightlife during the week is extremely quiet.
- There are barely any women in clubs or bars. It is similar to India where it is frowned upon for them to have fun with their friends at night. The ones you see in nightclubs are either "Westernized" Sri Lankan girls, girls who come with their husbands/boyfriends, or prostitutes/escorts.
- Some nightclubs give commissions to tuk-tuk and taxi drivers. As a result, the latter will pressure you to visit them and you'll have to pay an overcharged entrance fee.

Update Colombo Nightlife 2023
Since I wrote this article, Sri Lanka has been through a long economic crisis that led to mass protests in 2022. Together with the terrorist attacks of Easter 2019, this has had a deep impact on tourism in the country and in Colombo. Only 719,978 people visited the country in 2022 vs 2.3 million in 2018. Logically, you can expect the nightlife to be even more quiet now than it used to be.

Colombo Nightlife Areas + Best Hotels
Most of Colombo's nightlife is located near one of these 3 neighborhoods: The FortKollupitiya or Cinnamon Gardens (near the Town Hall). I recommend you to stay in either of them as they are also close to the city's main attractions.

The Fort (Tourist area)
This area is expensive but very convenient for tourists traveling by train or for businessmen working in the Central Business District.

In particular, this is where you will find the Dutch Hospital Precinct. This complex is a good place for dinner and for after-work drinks. If you are new to the city, this is probably where you should start your night out as you will be sure to find places that are open and busy.

Where to drink and party in The Fort?
The current popular spots in the Fort are Botanik RooftopRe.Pub.Lk, and TapHouse.

Where to stay nearby?
→ Backpacker: CityRest Fort. It has an ideal location within the Dutch Hospital Precinct but average facilities considering the price (20$/night for a bunk bed and shared bathroom). A cheaper alternative is C1 Hostel.

If you can afford to spend a bit more, you can check the following properties in the Fort:
→ 50$ per night: Zest Metropole (rated 8.9 on Agoda)
→ 80$-90$ per night: The Steuart by Citrus (rated 8.1) or Fairway (rated 8.8). Both have a bar/café.
→ Over 150$ per night: The Kingsbury (rated 8.4)

Kollupitiya (or Colpetty)
This is the trendy and modern area in central Colombo. It has a large beachfront spreading from the Fort in the north until Bambalapitiya in the south. Also called Colombo 3 or Colpetty, this is one of the main expat areas in the city (with Cinnamon Gardens) and as such, it is more diverse culturally and less conservative.

Where to drink and party near Kollupitiya?
The current popular spots are The Chiller Room (one of the best nightclubs in Colombo), Playtrix Sports Bar, Liv Karaoke and Bar, Floatz, or Irish Pub.

Where to stay nearby?
→ Budget hotel - Clock Inn, a friendly hotel with both dorms (15$ per night) and single rooms (45$ per night). The location is great, walking distance from a few restaurants (including a McDonald's) and malls.
→ 80$ per night: Hotel MaRadha (rated 8.7)
→ Over 100$ per night: Movenpick (rated 9.1, home of the nice Vistas Rooftop Bar) or Radisson Hotel (rated 8.1)

Cinnamon Gardens
This is an affluent neighborhood with a central location, but the choice of hotels is limited. Prices are higher than average.

Where to drink and party near Cinnamons Gardens?

For eating out, you can also visit Independence Square Arcade and Park Mews.

Where to stay nearby?
→ 100$ per night: Jetwing Colombo 7 (rated 8.7) - It has its own bar called 
→ 200$ per night: Paradise Road - Tingagel (rated 9.1)

Best Bars and Nightclubs in Colombo
Colombo nightlife is quiet on most nights except on Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday (if you go to the right venues).

On weekends, most nightclubs and bars will charge an entrance fee to men. The fare varies from 1,000Rs up to 2,500Rs and you'll get drink coupons in exchange. Before paying, try asking the bouncers if you can have a quick look inside to check the crowd situation.

Avoid wearing shorts and sandals in high-end venues. Also, be aware that it is not uncommon to be refused entry if you are a group of men without any women. This is especially true if you are Indian.

Here are the best bars and nightclubs in Colombo as of today:

This bar/club was one of the nicest I visited in the city. The indoor area is medium-sized, with a long rectangular bar in the middle, and sofas on the side. It is modern, well-designed and clean. The DJs or live bands play in one of the corners, in front of a small dance floor.

I was there on a Wednesday and it was crowded (90% Sri Lankans, 20% women). The music was commercial R'n'B/EDM/Top40 and people were dancing enthusiastically. Different themes every night (Tuesday for Backpackers, 80/90s music, etc). Ladies' night is on Thursdays (free cocktails for women).

Drinks cost around 500Rs per glass of spirit (they charge the mixer separately 200Rs) and cocktails around 1000Rs. Rs1,000 entrance for men only.

It is located in Kollupitiya in a modern and upmarket neighborhood (you will need a taxi/car to go as it is a bit isolated). Crowd is made of rich Sri Lankans and some foreigners. Entrance is 3500Rs for guys (redeemable with drinks) and you can't enter if you are not accompanied by at least one woman. If you are just guys, it's best to reserve a table in advance. Drinks inside are pricey, around 1500Rs-2000Rs for spirits and cocktails. Dress appropriately if you don't want to be rejected by the bouncers.

The place has two rooms with different DJs, usually one is playing House/EDM and the other one some famous songs from the 90s/00s. 

Republk is built on two floors with a small garden/smoking area. Good selection of food/drinks. Eclectic music (Rn'B, reggae, electro, etc). Expat crowd with some rich Sri Lankans.

Be careful as they have a strict dress code: No shorts, no sandals, no skinnies after 7 PM on weekends.

Ladies night on Wednesdays. Happy hours from 5 PM to 7 PM. Cocktails cost around 700Rs.

I went to Playtrix sports bar to watch a Champions League game and I had a great night. Most customers were young, easy-going Sri Lankans. Prices are average (350Rs for a beer). The music is from a DJ mixing EDM and Top 40 tunes. Ladies nights on Fridays from 8 PM to 11 PM and Couchsurfing meetings every Thursday.

Beware: Playtrix is hard to find. First, you need to go inside the racecourse track, and then climb the stairs of the tribune. It is at the top, just above Disques nightclub (closed already).

Love Bar and Candi Room
Both are located within the Flamingo House, a chic restaurant in Cinnamon Gardens. Love Bar is open every day and it is famous for its cocktails (around 900Rs each). The music is laidback deep house and nu disco. The Candi Room is more like a speakeasy club. It is better to visit it with a group of friends and order bottles. It is open only on Friday and Saturday.

Sopranos Karaoke Bar
Sopranos is a high-end bar with a sing-along concept, a popular feature of Colombo nightlife. Songs played are mostly classics and any customer can go on stage to sing. Usually, the rest of the crowd will sing as well. It is located about 100 meters from the Gymkhana complex. It can be quite fun, depending on who's there on a particular night. Open from Tuesday to Saturday (until 3 AM). Men must pay Rs1,000 to get inside.

You can also try Liv Colombo which is similar but more trendy.

This minimalistic pub is one of the main expat hangouts in Colombo (You also have a fair amount of backpackers and locals among the customers). Good for watching football, cricket or rugby. You can order Indian food from the excellent Agra restaurant next door.

Busy quiz night on Wednesday. Open mic on Tuesday. Live music on Thursday and Friday. Closes very early at 11 PM.

Sky Lounge
Famous rooftop bar with a stylish setup, good drinks and perfect view. It is located in the 5-star Kingsbury Hotel, in the Central Business District area.

Happy hours from 5.30PM to 7 PM (usual price for a cocktail around 1200Rs each). Live music on Thursday.

Honey Beach Club
Also part of the Kingsbury Hotel, it is actually more of a pool club than a beach club. Live DJ every day starting at 5 PM. Open from 10 AM until midnight.

Previously known as The Kama, it looks fine but there weren't any customers when I visited. It seems to cater to a more local crowd. Music is Bollywood.

Cleopatra Bollywood Club
Cleopatra is a bit complicated to find as it is hidden in the basement of Liberty Arcade. You won't see any signs indicating it from outside so you should ask one of the security guards for directions.

I was charged 2,000Rs to get inside, without any drinks. I accepted to pay because I had read on the Internet that it was the "ultimate underground nightclub" in Colombo. What a disappointment!

It is more a sad bar with horrible music and staff who tried to short-change me. Crowd is mostly older local guys and prostitutes. The only positive thing is the belly dancer show every hour.

Address: Basement, Liberty Arcade Mall, R A De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka

Meeting Sri Lankan Girls
My spontaneous advice would be "Forget about it" as there are very few Sri Lankan women in bars/clubs and also on dating websites/apps.

There are some foreign girls on Tinder/Bumble/Hinge, but you'll have better luck going directly to clubs like Chiller Room, Re.Pub.Lk, Rhythm and Blues, Floor by O, or Love Bar.

You may also want to look at Seeking.com, the world's most famous luxury dating site. There may be more profiles there.

40 comments to '' Colombo Nightlife 2023 - Best Bars and Nightclubs (Sri Lanka) "

  1. You could not have described any better than this the nightlife and the girls of Sri Lanka.
    It is just way too pathetic for the nightlife lovers and the tourists.

  2. What a narrow minded view of the world at large.you obviously do not respect a diverse cultural existence.there are unattractive women of all races.just because you went looking into the dumpster,you feel that your opinion is akin to a judge in a beauty pageant. The nightlife industry in global travel is only a small fraction of the market.Frankly speaking countries can do without visitors like you.Developing countries need more quality tourists,not hippies.You should be a shamed of yourself for lambasting a small developing island.

    1. Hehe whats up your ass idiot, I am a Sri Lankan and been living all my life in Colombo. Whatever said in this article is 100% true. 98% of Sri Lankan women are not attractive but they act really hard to be with fake accents, makeups and vulgar wear. Take a girl from Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, OMG your jaws will drop for their beauty. I got so fed up with fake beauty here, I am getting married to a beautiful Filipino who looks 1000 times prettier and sexier than miss Sri Lanka. What the hell do you know about Tourism, dude young tourists come to Asian developing countries to know the culture and to relax from their busy lives and to have some fun with Asian beauties. You must be a old grumpy grandpa who thinks you know it all. This guy is not the hippie, it is you. Get out of your stinky old room and look around whats happening in the world, this is not 1950!!!

    2. dumb f*, read the damn title before you comment. This isn't about travel Sri Lanka program, my country is beautiful, foreigners love it, no doubt about that. This is all about the night life.Godzi is correct in my opinion.

    3. Godzi has spoken absolutely true. Sri Lankan women are the most unattractive women in the universe. I am also a Sri Lankan and going to marry a beautiful Russian lady. Your Lankan women are just bunch of make ups. My girlfriend is so natural without any make up.

    4. Pathetic guys I see. Hope the Russian girl and Filipino girl open their eyes and see how dark you guys are in the inside. Doesn't mean you don't get turned on by Sri Lankan ladies, they are unattractive. What you guys are doing is called body shaming! STOP seeing us women as an asset. We are human like you. You are also different like us Asians, Westerners, Middle Eastern, African and Oceania ladies! We don't write blogs about how big cocks guys have and how we are to avoid them. So man up and respect all women!

    5. You should be ashamed of your fucking self for even talking this way. One should love and be proud of their country. FYI dear I have visited Sri Lanka, and Sri Lankan men ain't shit either... So I don't know why you are shaming Sri Lankan women in the first place, cuz most of you Sri Lankan guys are not worth shit either and not good looking nor appealing. So before throwing dirt on your own kind, maybe you should try and think about how other nationalities see you Sri Lankan men too. You are a disgrace to your nationality you idiot!

  3. Hella sad but 100% on point bruh

    1. Godzi you are a real dum fuck.Ha ha you are so proud of you self getting married to a Filipino do you know she has gone around the globe and now marry you are you only thinking with your head or your dick I fk them all the time only good for deep throat blow jobs

    2. Don't try to give negative opinion about our country ladies or what ever the things in the country this is the weak point of srilankans for period of decades.

  4. I'm born in Sri Lanka and 32 now, lived in USA my early twenties and have travelled to many countries in late twenties. I used to be a party guy, so having experienced lots of night clubs/bars/etc I can well claim that Sri Lanka doesn't have a pop-culture night life. This depends on why girls go to the club in different countries. In USA its,
    - to show their new outfit, skin, makeup, mini-dress, etc and get attention and validation
    - to get hit by lots of guys which make them feel good, making them feel precious
    - to dance with a random guy, grind on him and to make out with him at end of the night and if the things escalated well enough to go home with him and to have casual sex

    why girls go to the club in Sri Lanka,
    - to add a Facebook checking that they are in that club
    - to tell other friends that they went to a particular club to celebrate someone's b'day
    - to come with their secret lover/bf(where the guy is already married and have kids) and to feel good that they are somewhat in public and to feel how would they feel if they are legit
    - coz the guy that her BFF seeing, asked the BFF to come to the particular club(the poor guy thinks that he can show how cool he is) and she carries 3 of her best friends to feel safe(those 3 girls have no idea how to dance or have never tasted alchohol or annoyed by the loud music)

    So the Sri Lankan womens-night-club-community has different intentions to go to the club and none of them being to make out with a random guy.

    Said that it doesn't say USA girls are better than Sri Lankan girls or vise-versa. Different cultures, different insecurities. Just none of them are optimal.

    If you are a guy and come to Sri Lanka, don't seek for night-life, Sri Lanka is not built for that. It has different values, unless gonna end up loosing money and time.
    If you are a girl and come to Sri Lanka, well you can have night-life anywhere in the world, but remember if you make out with a guy in the club the whole club is curious to watch that. So not the best experience for you. Go for a hike or to the beach and have some different vibes :)

    1. Well the truth? no Sri Lankan girl (who is coming form a respectable place) is out of her mind to hook up with some random stranger, dance with him and go home and have the "casual sex". They are from a different and a better culture and brought up in an environment which made sure that they are not a girl with insecurities or wild sexual fantasies. also sri lanka could do less with the hippy who come looking for a girl and do more with legit tourist who are not sex driven morons with atleast an general view on the difference of customs and traditions in the different parts of the world. these sorry ass guys are just sad cuz they couldn't hook up with a girl cuz they simply don't want.

    2. What are you talking about Peter. Who the hell want to hook up with Sri Lankan ugly women. They are black skinned and most of them are overweight. They are not even close to the beautiful European ladies and East Asian ladies (girls from countries like Thailand and Phillipines). Sri Lankan women are rare to see in such places because they are not getting any attraction from any foreigner or even from a local. They are never admired like girls from Thailand and Europe. Even local guys from Sri Lanka don't like Sri Lankan girls. They always want to marry a beautiful white skinned girl from another country. Som people may get hurt but this is the bitter truth.

    3. You are such an asshole and a dumb fuck to even say that. That sounds so racist and so shallow...what is wrong with dark skin girls? This is not called being honest, this is just plain old rude and being mean... Everybody is beautiful in their own way! Stop body shaming these women and being so damn shallow.

    4. Who the f*** is this nigga!! Trying to shame and put down us proud Sri Lankans!!! Bitch u have no say in telling our women are ugly!! Who the f*** knows where u come from!! Probably from a shit Nazi hillbilly family who are uneducated and

    5. Everyone knows beautiful white girls date Sri Lankan guys. But white men do not even like to touch Sri Lankan ugly girls. This is the bitter truth about Lankan girls. Sri Lankan men are beauties but not Lankan women.

    6. i realy dont get what kinda fucking morons are bringing on this discussion. first thing is, beautiful sri lankan girls dont wanna hang out with white ass guys, cause they prefer manliness. so because you guys are dead like white ass dumbs shits and beautiful sri lankan girls dont hang up with you, it doesnt mean that there are no beautiful girls. Narrow minded as little teenage girls from europian high schools.

    7. LMAO, who is this delusional Sri Lankan dude on here? I hate to burst your bubble, but Sri Lankan men are definitely not more desirable than the women. Women of other races (White, Asian etc.) don't really go for South Asian men like that. Be thankful that at least Sri Lankan want to marry your ugly asses instead disrespecting them like this. Your mother must be really proud of you.

  5. Sri Lankan women may be ugly from outside appearance. But, they are beautiful from inside. They will not hook up with a guy to have sex, but will die to protect her kids and family

    1. Are you Sri Lankan? Sri Lankan women are ugly from both inside and out. They are much lazier and weaker than Western women.

  6. Replies
    1. I love Sinhalese women. They are sexy and very interesting women.

  7. Well as a woman myself, I find this very disturbing. Even at the comments section. As if the MAIN intention of people going to nightclub is to have sex. And to have sex you need attractive woman based on your imagination.

    Grow up boys. Grow up. It is bad to shame or categorize women of any race. Hope the author of the article changes the way he sees women.

    1. What's wrong with having casual sex? I don't understand :O

  8. This is depressing to hear...lol

  9. this topic has gone far beyond best nightclubs and bars to sex and racism. y'all need to get a life first. dont hit back at me while u all still visiting clubs and bars i own them.

  10. After reading the above comments I thought of putting my own opinion as well as the common opinion of most Sri Lankans. I am a Sri Lankan who is dating a beautiful Russian girl. I know a lot of Sri Lankan guys dating European ladies. But you can't find any European man dating a Sri Lankan girl. I think this is enough to explain what above Anonymous has expresses. Sri Lankan men are absolutely beautiful. I am not telling this because I am a Sri Lankan guy. I am telling this because this is the absolute truth. Sri Lankan women are no where near to the beauty European ladies. So Sri Lankan men always try to find foreign ladies to marry. It is not a secret in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka you are considered a loser if you can't date a beautiful foreign lady. Today most Sri Lankan guys don't even like to stare at Lankan ladies. Sri Lankan women are considered big headed with a bunch of makeups. They don't have the natural beauty that European ladies have. I am really proud to have a Russian girl as my life partner. Sri Lankan ugly women cannot even come to close to her. She is beautiful and strong. Sri Lankan women are ugly and lazy. So we consider white women are matching ladies to us. Not Lankan women. This may hurt some people but this is the truth.

  11. I am a Sri lanken/Australian grow up overseas all my life.

    I was at ODEAL the other day with my overseas girlfriend and a stupid young Sri Lankan B**** who works there thought I was looking at the ugly shit !! And when to her friends to say chichen ( looking at er I wanted go and abuse her . But then I though why bother! !!! Ugly shit is desperate !!!

  12. Ah, I am planning a 7 days trip To Sri Lanka in January 2019. The way you guys are torching each other is not too nice. Anyway what could be a nice night club to drink and chat ? Can spend around USD 200 for a evening.

  13. Wow guys, I am srilankan and living in usa, the guys who say srilankan girls are ugly it can be only one reason bcz u guys are blind. Srilankan girls are some of the cutest and sexiest girls I have ever seen in my life, one more thing every country has ugly and cute girls its depends on that particular person. FYI 2017's most beautiful women is a dark skin girl, she models for $20000 per hour,

  14. White guys who travel to South East Asia are always pathetic losers who were social rejects in the west, depressing.

  15. Totally agree to the above comments, every country has beautiful and ugly women but the ratio is what differs. In central Europe area, you might have a 50/50 ratio of beautiful to ugly girls but in Sri Lanka, the ratio is more like 10% beautiful cute pretty girls to 90% wannabe crap make up ugly girls. Unfortunately and sadly, saying this as a Sri Lankan.

    And for people saying it's body shaming, that's just a stupid SJW thing feminists have come up to cover up their own insecurities, because if you're ugly, you're ugly no matter what; whether it's impolite to say or even illegal to mention. It's just fact and trying to hide it in the modern society calling it "body shaming" is a whole other level of stupid. If I'm ugly as a guy even, that's a sad fact I have to face, maybe in the next life I'll look better if I don't sin much in this life.

  16. I want to share my experience too. I am sri lankan and i have travelled countries like Hong Kong, thailand,china, qatar and India. I have tried girls in those countries , tried nepali and Filipino in qatar not qatari lady. To be honest, I felt really disappoinment abt sri lankan women due to their laziness and fake proud of being homely.In bed, they are so selfish but not all. found some amazing ladies who really in love with partner but most of them are dumb asses.Thai was the best, ranks are Filipino, hongkoHong , indian, nepali, i even dont want to try sri Lankan lady again.Now dating a HK girl. This is the truth. They are bad for sex but good for family life but nowadays cant trust most of them abt that part also..

  17. If you like to experience cultural family life without getting divorced Sri Lankan women are more suitable than western women.They are beautiful for their family, husband or boyfriend. So you guys don't have to worry about them. The Sri Lankans who commented above may have ugly Sri Lankan mother.But my mother and my sister are beautiful for me.

  18. A lot of no senses comment....every country as ugly and beautiful ladies...the only thing I know that only in Colombo local girl are approachable, forget the countryside....plus nowadays local girl are thirsty of white man, because open minded girls realize how idiots and disrespectful are Sri Lankan man...now is our turn, continue do bang white ladies tourist, now is time for white dick for Sri Lankan Ladies :)

  19. All said but truth be pain ALL is say it again ALL srilankan neither men nor women are attractive i dont like there dressing codes always in slippers u can find a man wearing good clothes or suit and down put on slippers what heck pliz change yo dressing code though srilankans are more friendly and kinded hearts cleoptra club is such a disgusting club i have ever met in my life

  20. The reason you won't find attractive women in clubs is because most of our women don't subscribe to the whore culture that most of your western women do, the good looking ones don't go to clubs to shake their ass, only the ugly kalu suddiyo (wannabe whites) and kalu suddo (same thing) go to clubs to pretend they are in america. If you want good looking Sri Lanka Sinhalese girls, try Kandy (not clubs) or rural villages, you aren't going to find many in trying hard to be western colombo.

  21. Guys I am not a Srilankan and many of you visited different countries and learned different culture and some of you are living in different countries and experienced multiculturalism. But after reading this one thing is sure that the guys who are srilankan and have srilankan mothers, and they are saying that the girls in srilanka are ugly or making fun of them they are at the lowest level of their character. They are saying that their sisters, daughters and mothers are ugly and not goid looking. A men who cannot respect their country women hie he can be good for a women of any other country. I think the only bad thing happened in Srilanka is youf birth.

  22. Aw be quiet. All of you.

  23. As a Sri Lankan boy I can say Sri Lanka sucks.