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Stroll the park of two Queens

Viharamahadevi Park

Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo | © Alexey Komarov/Wikipedia

Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo | © Alexey Komarov/Wikipedia

Walk through the sprawling Viharamahadevi Park in the heart of the city, right in front of the Town Hall building (currently presided over by the country’s first female mayor, Rosy Senanayake). Named after a legendary princess who saved the country from a malignant storm, the park is a beautiful spot for a walk or a lazy read in the shade of a leafy tree. You’ll also find a statue of Queen Viharamahadevi, as well as a statue of Queen Victoria (who the park was initially named after).

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Enjoy the work of local Sri Lankan artists

Saskia Fernando Gallery

Courtesy of Saskia Fernando Gallery

Courtesy of Saskia Fernando Gallery

The Saskia Fernando Gallery is a carefully-curated space for artists. Drop by to experience their ongoing collections, or head to their website to view and purchase art by incredible artists like Sujeewa KumariRajni Perera, or Hanusha Somasunderam, who in their unique ways all explore the existences of women. If performance art is more your vibe, check out the Musicmatters page for updates on their many events, some LGBTQ+ and femme-focused.

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Shop sustainably while supporting women

Selyn

Courtesy of Selyn's Instagram

Courtesy of Selyn's Instagram

Colombo is currently enjoying a sustainable revolution, with plenty of brands adopting wholly eco-friendly policies that empower and celebrate women. You can begin by checking out thoughtful and chic women-led stores like Selyn (other options include: The Design CollectivePendi, and Urban Island) that are collectives for a myriad of local female fashion and interior designers. 

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Lunch on a post-colonial delicacy

Dutch Burgher Union

Packed Lamprais | © Indi Samarajiva/Flickr

Packed Lamprais | © Indi Samarajiva/Flickr

One of the island’s most iconic dishes, lamprais, is a Dutch hand-me-down recipe that has become a lazy Sunday family lunch staple. Head to the Dutch Burgher Union (dating back to 1908) and opt for their mixed meat lamprais made by Mrs. Boteju, and a sugary glass of homemade ginger beer for the full experience.

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Support grassroots female chefs

Hela Bojun

Women at work at the Hela Bojun stall in Battaramulla | © Thiva Arunagirinathan/Courtesy Roar Media

Women at work at the Hela Bojun stall in Battaramulla | © Thiva Arunagirinathan/Courtesy Roar Media

If you’re staying in Colombo’s suburbs or don’t mind the 20 to 30-minute journey, Hela Bojun in Battaramulla serves up excellent, authentic, and incredibly low-cost vegetarian Sri Lankan fare all made by female entrepreneurs who keep 100 percent of their profits. You can expect a full meal for as low as Rs. 100 ($0.55).

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Grab a latte at this female-owned coffee shop

Cafe Kumbuk 

Mornings at Cafe Kumbuk | © Tavish Gunasena/Courtesy Cafe Kumbuk

Mornings at Cafe Kumbuk | © Tavish Gunasena/Courtesy Cafe Kumbuk

Colorful, charming, and usually al fresco, Colombo’s cafes are cozy and offer up free Wi-Fi and good coffee. Try the women-owned and run Cafe Kumbuk for healthy daytime meals, Black Cat Cafe for great reading atmosphere and a badass Bahuchara Maa mural by local artist Isuri, or the Barefoot Garden Cafe for good souvenir shopping and a cold mug of Lion beer.

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Stay at this woman-run hotel

Colpetty House

Courtesy of Colpetty House Facebook Page

Courtesy of Colpetty House Facebook Page

A comfy bed and breakfast with excellent service and A/C rooms, the Colpetty House is owned by a woman and is also often a venue of fun, inclusive events for women and feminists.

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Book a budget hotel that's safe for female travelers

Drift BNB

Courtesy of Drift BNB Facebook page

Courtesy of Drift BNB Facebook page

Drift BNB is a funky, design-led hostel that is perfect for younger travelers who are looking for low-budget accommodation in the city center. The staff is also used to solo female travelers, and apart from having women-only dorms, are able to help you find safe drivers and tips on where to go in the city. Other options include Bunkyard Hostels and Island Hostels.

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A Luxury Stay at a Female-Run Hotel Chain

Jetwing Hotel 

Rooftop views at Jetwing Colombo Seven | © Jetwing Hotels

Rooftop views at Jetwing Colombo Seven | © Jetwing Hotels

The Jetwing Hotel chain is helmed by a woman, and also has quite a few stringent policies that ensure training, safety, and opportunities for women in their workforce. Apart from all that, their city hotel rooftop pool boasts one of the slickest sunset views in the city, gorgeous interiors, and stellar fusion cuisine.

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Stay at the home of the world’s first female Prime Minister

Tingatel

Courtesy of Tingatel's Facebook page

Courtesy of Tingatel's Facebook page

Former home to the world’s first female Prime Minister, Srimavo Bandaranaike, as well as her daughter Chandrika Bandaranaike (who went on to become Sri Lanka’s first female President), Tintagel has seen history unfold on its steps. In its current incarnation as a boutique luxury hotel, it features 10 decadent suites and a sunken indoor pool. If not for a stay, at least pop by for an afternoon cocktail.

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