Colombo: An Introduction
Sri Lanka’s modern day capital is all too often treated as nothing more than an arrival and departure point, with little consideration given to exploring this surprisingly cosmopolitan community. Those that do allow a little time will be pleasantly surprised by a multi-cultural city with a great deal to offer.
Aside from the best of Sri Lanka’s shopping - from department stores to spice markets and antiquities - your stay in Colombo can be spent exploring Colonial-era churches dating from the 1800s, multi-tiered Hindu temples, Parliament - both old and present day - and the Independence Hall.
Sports fans may prefer enjoying an afternoon of cricket, surrounded by a population of enthusiastic experts and often played on a typically English 'village green', although to be honest the Sri Lankans love cricket so much that it's played anywhere, from beaches and streets to the Test Match stadium.
Colombo's cuisine is a highlight - there's a good range of restaurants and styles, but for true Sri Lankan try the little eateries and cafes, which sell local favourites like Noolputtu (aka 'string hoppers', a sort of pancake made of noodles), and delicious savoury pastries known as 'short eats'. As sunset beckons, you may be tempted by a sundowner at one of the city’s prestigious hotels, with the Colonial period Galle Face Hotel certainly being the pick of the bunch for us, with its views across the city or out to the Indian Ocean.
Unquestionably worth a day of your time. Colombo is very much part of the complete Sri Lanka experience.