Capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo is a dynamic city filled with good hotels, restaurants, shopping and the charming legacy of colonial beginnings. Just off the north end of Galle Road, the city's main road and centre of activity, is the Fort, once a colonial stronghold but now the site of many government buildings. To the south is Galle Face Green, a seaside expanse where informal cricket games are played out amongst city folk. Just east of the Fort is the Pettah, the traditional bazaar where you can enjoy a colourful retail experience.Read More
The two World Trade Centre towers used to be the most recognized landmarks of the city. Before these towers were completed in 1997, the adjacent Bank of Ceylon tower was the tallest structure and the most prominent landmark of the city. Another important landmark of the city is the Independence Hall at Independence Square in Cinnamon Gardens. Even before the parliament was built, the Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque was recognized as the landmark of Colombo by sailors approaching the port. Another landmark is St. Paul's Church Milagiriya, one of the oldest churches in Sri Lanka, first built by the Portuguese and re-built by the British in 1848.
Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was used by ancient traders some 2,000 years ago. However, it was only made the capital of the island when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British Empire in 1815. Today the influence of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British is clearly visible in Colombo and architecture from all three eras stand in their glory as reminders of the turbulent past.
Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Colombo. Alternatively, if you would like to include a visit to Colombo on a bespoke touring itinerary to Sri Lanka, take a look at our tailor-made holiday planning section.