“Colombo, the bustling capital city of Sri Lanka, is gritty, crowded but super charming.”
It has all the colourful quirks you’d find in India but with a more calming atmosphere. We felt like we were receiving a spiritual cleansing just by walking down the streets!
Colombo is bursting with Buddhist temples, markets and smiling Sri Lankan faces. Every corner is steeped in history and culture. We found ourselves torn over what activity to tackle next, what to see, what story to unravel, who to speak to, where to eat. It never gets dull for a moment!
As tourists with passing interests in history, it more than satisfied our needs. Everything from the museums to the many temples helped unravel the story of this great nation. As gay travellers, we still felt relatively comfortable to be ourselves (more about this below!) and find sparks of queerness in the city tapestry. Whether it be in the fabulous display of masks and costumes we found in the museums or the underground gay scene where we found our fellow brothers and sisters of the gay community.
We’ve put together this guide to Colombo for you to check out all the tips and tricks of exploring the city as an LGBTQ traveller. We also recommend you check out our gay guide to Sri Lanka alongside this guide if you’re exploring more of the country.
Is Colombo safe for gay travellers?
While homosexuality is still illegal in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankans are very welcoming people and super curious towards foreigners whether straight or gay. We never felt in any danger for being gay, nor ever experienced any homophobia. Put it this way, we never thought twice about booking a double bed anywhere in Sri Lanka. In fact, there is even a growing number of hotels targeting gay travellers in nearby Negombo.