Sri Lanka - Getting to know Colombo
In the past, Sri Lanka’s modern day capital was 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 in for a treat as Colombo confidently marches forward into the modern era, with the arrival of modern day industry and Port City, the gleaming 'new Dubai' set on reclaimed land in the Laccadive Sea.
Amidst the skyscrapers and many upcoming international branded projects, there is still undiscovered parts of Colombo which remain very rich in history. Explore the city’s overlooked fort area and its bustling streets alongside some of the countries oldest buildings where they still remain intact. A city that truly blends old and new, much of the British influenced grandeur sits shoulder to shoulder with temples, skyscrapers, monasteries, bustling markets and mosques. No one street is the same as the next.
What to do in Colombo
- 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'.
Fancy a drink?
As sunset beckons, you may be tempted by a sundowner at one of the city’s prestigious hotels, with the Colonial-era Galle Face Hotel certainly being the pick of the bunch for us, with its views across the city or out to the Indian Ocean.
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