Sri Lanka Nightlife
Most of the nightlife in Sri Lanka is concentrated in the capital city of Colombo. Outside of the capital, the best chances for a fun night out are to meet some younger people and get invited to a house party to try the local favorite drink called “Coconut Arak.”
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Local Bars in Colombo
Some local bars cater to tourists from different parts of the world. Others are for friends (mostly males) to hang out. Single women rarely go out alone. There are plenty of bars on the beach around the area called Bentota. You can try one and if you don’t like it, just try the next one.
The Zaza Bar is at the trendy hotel Casa Colombo near Lumala bike city. This is an intimate, relaxing place that does not get crowded. The ambiance is stylish and comfortable. It is a nice place to have some drinks with friends; however, it closes at midnight.
Clancey’s pub features live music every night of the week and is open from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. It allows for casual dress and is right in the heart of Colombo.
Margherita Blue Nightclub
This nightclub is at the Galadari Hotel. It has great bands, great music, great food, and inexpensive drinks. The crowd is friendly.
Rhythm & Blues Nightclub
This is another club with good food, nice music, and live bands. It has been open for over 15 years and caters to those who like alternative rock or oldies and like to play pool.
This is a German-style beer pub with good food and live, acoustic entertainment by a couple, who encourage the customers to sing-along.
Zouk, H2O, Nuovo, D’s
The dance clubs start to get lively around 11:00 p.m. and go on until 4:00 a.m. or 5:00 a.m. You should dress to impress to gain easy admission.
The casinos in Colombo operate 24 hours. Most are clustered around the Liberty Plaza area. They cater to a wealthier clientele, so expect to pay much higher prices than you will find in the local bars. However, drinks are free for gamblers.
Every resort has a bar. The prices are much higher than you will find in the local bars and you will soon get bored of seeing only other tourists. Even if you are on an “all-inclusive” package deal at a resort, take a night and go out to mix with the locals. The people in Sri Lanka are very friendly and it is fun to get to know them.
Using recreational drugs in Sri Lanka is extremely dangerous. Jail sentences are long and in some cases, you will face the death penalty. Even if you can bribe your way out of trouble you will pay a huge sum of money. The street dealers, called “touts” or “beach boys” will sell you stuff, and then turn you into the police to get part of the bribe. Sometimes these advances can be very aggressive, so be aware of this scam.
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Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Sri Lanka nightlife.