Colombo Nightlife Tips by mafi_moya Top 5 Page for this destination
Colombo Nightlife: 28 reviews and 26 photos
Named after the song "Sweet Molly Malone" this is the other Irish pub in Colombo. And this one even has a genuine Irish landlady - the very friendly Annette, who runs it with her equally friendly Sri Lankan husband.
In terms of food and drink it's pretty similar to Clancy's and there's the standard live music, pub quiz and early evening happy hours during the week. It gets very busy at weekend nights and like most bars in Colombo is popular with both locals and expats.
Directions: It's tucked away on Nawam Mawatha in Colombo 2, near Beira Lake, and is quite tricky to find. Walk around the back of Crescat shopping centre, take the road down the left side of the lake, and it's behind an office building on your left hand side.
Theme: Eating and Drinking
Clancy's Irish bar
It seems Irish bars get everywhere these days. Even a relative international backwater like Colombo has two pubs claiming to be genuinely Irish. Of course all that's really Irish about them is the name, the shamrock above the door, and a general attitude of lots of drink, lots of music and lots of fun. Nothing wrong with that!
Clancy's is a few years old now although it had a refit and new design last year. It serves good food (international stuff and a few surprisingly decent attempts at proper Irish grub) at reasonable prices - and dishes are named after various Irish celebrities with vastly differing inputs to world culture (Oscar Wilde chips with Ronan Keating prawns anyone?)
Drinks-wise there's a wide range of local and imported stuff, including a not-too-bad attempt at a local dark bitter and a good cocktail menu. Irish stuff like Guinness and Caffreys comes in expensive cans. Upstairs is Shooters pool hall.
There's a half-price happy hour in the early evening and then later on it sometimes gets very busy - the main attraction is the live music. International bands you've never heard of play regularly but popular local bands such as Wildfire draw the biggest crowds and play here regularly during the week.
Directions: It's on Maitland Crescent, not far from Independence Square in Colombo 7. There's a very convenient ATM right outside.
Theme: Eating and Drinking
Buy a trip here with your winnings!
Even determined non-gamblers tend to find themselves in a casino at some point while in Colombo as they form an integral part of the city's nightlife. Many of the signs say 'Foreigners Only'. In reality of course this means 'only people with money' but Sri Lankan casinos can still be a cheap night out, even if you lose a bit (as I tend to do!)
Free food (if you get there early enough it's surprisingly good) and more importantly unlimited free alcohol (and cigarettes) is reason enough to come itself! But there's also the gambling, with the usual roulette, blackjack, poker and so on. For degenerate gamblers such as myself, several are open 24 hours.
The minimum bet varies from 20 rupees to 50 rupees. Bellagio's, MGM and Bally's are among the classier places; the Ritz is cheap, sleazy and fun; Stardust can be downright unfriendly. My favourite haunt was definitely the Ritz where friendly dealers laugh and joke with an interesting mix of drunken expats, Chinese hookers, unsmiling Asian businessmen and the occasional contract killer!
It's very unusual to see Sri Lankan women in casinos (other than as staff) but non-Sri Lankan women don't have any problems.
Dress Code: Most places insist on trousers rather than shorts (for men), but will lend you a sarong if necessary.
R&B - music, pool and tequila!!
Rhythm and Blues (commonly known as the R&B) is the best late night bar in Colombo, consistently hosting very good covers bands almost every night and staying open till about 5am or whenever everyone leaves.
There are two pool tables as well, a small dancefloor, and space to sit outside. It attracts the young and fashionable of Colombo but also older drinkers, expats and pretty much everyone else. It has a bit more of a seedy down-to-earth, spit-n-sawdust vibe than the nightclubs (I mean that in a good way!) and it's the kind of place where you hustle on the pool table, down half a bottle of tequila and sing along drunkenly to the old classics. No wonder it's my favourite place!
Dress Code: If anyone has ever been refused entry on the basis of their clothes I would love to hear about it! This isn't the kind of place to have a dress code.
Directions: Head down Duplication Road in Bambalapitiya towards House of Fashion. It's on the right, next to and almost hidden by the old Atlantic casino.
Crescat and Colombo Plaza
Cascades is probably the Colombo nightclub most similar to Western clubs. Dance music, hip hop and R&B is turned up extra loud till about 5am. You can dance if you can find the space - this place is fairly small and as one of the most popular venues in the city it gets extremely crowded. Too crowded in fact and you'll lose count of the number of times people step on your toes.
Like most Colombo nightclubs the clientele is rich young powerful Sri Lankans, some not too friendly. Spill someone's drink and you might be best off getting out quick - many of these rich young powerful Sri Lankans like to drink with their very large, heavily armed bodyguards. Conspicuous consumption is what it's about - buying bottles of the most expensive champagne and cuban cigars and hardly touching them. If you like your nights out to be unflashy this isn't really the place!
Still, trouble is very rare and it's a good night when you want a bit of clubbing like back home - as long as you can get in that is. Technically it's couples and members only, along with a strict dresscode, but that's not always enforced.
Dress Code: No shorts, no sandals. Trainers and jeans are ok but dress to impress. The quieter the night the more flexible the dress code, and as always it helps if you know the doormen.
Directions: Behind Colombo Plaza hotel (formerly the Lanka Oberoi), next to Crescat Boulevard on the 'landside' of Galle Road, Colombo 3.
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