Being the capital of Sri Lanka, it is also its largest city and has the kind of nightlife in the five-star hotels that can be found in most countries around the world. Besides the hotels there are also a few popular pubs that can be recommended.
Clancy's Irish Bar
Clancy’s is located on Maitland Crescent a short distance from Independence Square in Colombo Area 7. It may not be very Irish besides the shamrock above the door, but it has a great ambience. Lots of music, drinks and fun, including a half price happy hour in the evening. There is also live music and local band Wildfire is a popular crowd puller. There is even a shooters pool hall upstairs should you be interested. The food is reasonably priced and the menu is spiced with names of celebrities.
The bar is named after the song 'Sweet Molly Malone' and has a genuine Irish landlady, named Annette. She runs the place with her friendly Sri Lankan husband. The place is rather similar to Clancy’s and is popular with both the locals and expats. It is tucked away in Nawam Mawatha in Colombo area 2 near Beria Lake around the back of Crescat Shopping Centre. Hunting for it is a bit difficult if you are unfamiliar with the area, but ask for directions and you’ll be there in no time.
If you are looking for a spot of gambling, head over to the casinos in town. Bellagio’s, MGM and Bally’s are classy places to visit. You will find the Ritz cheaper, but it can also seem somewhat sleazy although you will still have fun there. Stardust is somewhat unfriendly. You can expect to place minimum bets of 20 to 50 Sri Lankan rupees and the crowd is usually a mix of expats, and Asian businessmen; there will be very few Sri Lankan women around – probably part of the staff.
Cascades is located behind Colombo Plaza next to Crescat Boulevard on the landside of Galle road in Colombo Area 3. It is a popular night club with an ambience similar to any in a western country. Dancing goes on till 05:00 in the morning to hip hop, R&B and other dance music in the restricted space available. It can get crowded and you might step on a few toes. It is supposed to be for couples and members only, but the rules are not that strict although you do have to adhere to the dress code and no shorts and sandals are allowed.