Colombo

Stepping off the plane in Colombo will be a sensational experience altogether.

The commercial capital and principal city of Sri Lanka harbors an immense spirit tucked away in the humming alleyways amidst several ultra-modern skyscrapers and a thriving cultural scene. Its days as the garden city of the East might be long gone. But, Colombo rises in importance now more than ever as the country’s gateway to the world. It is a forever-popular destination among travelers who are yearning for a mix of modernity and authenticity. The city’s heart host typical South Asian marketplaces, relics from the Dutch, Portuguese, and British colonial eras, and a motley collection of cafes and eateries appealing to every taste.

Although traces of Portuguese and Dutch rule are still visible in most of the coastal districts, the British had the last say in Colombo’s planning and landscape. You will see tram tracks and granite flooring all around. The administrative buildings dazzle with British splendor. The Old City Hall and Dutch Period Museum are some of the places to experience Colombo’s colonial flair.

Don’t get too accustomed to modern Colombo’s ever-charming shine and neatness. Once you arrive at the vivacious Pettah Market, you will know that you are in Sri Lanka. A sensory overload awaits as you stroll among boisterous sellers. All sorts of goods await on the stalls along with mouth-watering street food. In walking distance from the marketplace is the center; a little world unto itself with a myriad of fine-dining restaurants. From here, you can find your way to Independence Square and have a moment’s rest from the city’s pulsating ambiance. The square represents the monumental history of Colombo, sheltering the picturesque dynastic Memorial Hall and verdant parks.

Places to see in Colombo

Old City Hall

Independence Square

Pettah Market

Colombo Gallery

Tours visiting Colombo

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Splendours of Ceylon

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Splendours of Ceylon Small Group

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