Galle Face Green.

Galle Face Green is the big city’s main park. It started out as a place for the British to host games of golf and horseracing, but today it’s where everybody rushes to, for some kite-flying, isso vade and ocean watching.

It’s not as green as it used to be, but it’s more frequented than ever. Watch our video of the fun and frolic that goes on here, shot by Luke Tidball.

The park is most popular among tourists and school kids. If you’re looking for bubble-blowers, beach balls, inflatable penguins and glow-in-the-dark toys, the Galle Face vendors are the ones to consult.

You also get random groups of young men who chill out here which doesn’t make it the most female-friendly space (it’s like the Majestic City of public parks) – still, it happens to be a very popular spot for family picnics.

The beach here barely has any shore, and if you’re here on the weekend, it’s insanely crowded with people dipping in for a swim. It makes for a lovely view from the rampart though, especially in the evenings. For food, you get Nana’s kottu and fried rice, the isso vade stalls and the guy with the basket of mango on his head.

Galle Face is probably the most notorious space for couples under umbrellas, Beira Lake coming in a close second. Come here any time and you’re going to see rows of umbrellas on the benches at the road-end of the park.

Galle Face Green is as plebeian as it gets, on a Sunday at 4PM it feels like literally everybody in Colombo has gathered here on cue. This is probably because it’s the largest space in Colombo with activities (food, toys, kite flying) that has no entrance fee. Still, the wide view of the ocean, the sky changing colours at sunset and the harbour lit up at night have their undeniable charm.

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