Colombo, the commercial capital of 2 million people is a fascinating modern Asian city.
It is made up of beautiful colonial government administration buildings, interposed with the modern glass towers of commerce and the sometimes-haphazard architecture of a fast growing modern city. The bustle, the traffic, street vendors, the shopfronts full of colourful cloth, spice merchants, street markets full with exotic fruit and vegetables are all make Colombo an invigorating, nerve wracking and a exciting reminder that you are now in the Asia.
The city of Colombo is bordered by the waters of the Indian Ocean, and at no time while you are in the city or its suburbs will you be more than 10 mins from it. The sea breeze sweeps the city clean of air pollution and the evening sea breezes which provide relief from the tropical humidity of the day.
Watching the sunset into the Indian Ocean while sipping sundowners in the gardens of the 180-year-old Galle Face Hotel, or perhaps at the terrace bar of the former governor’s mansion which is now the Mt Lavinia hotel are a must do while in Sri Lanka.
The city of Colombo is well worth a couple of days’ exploration if you got the time there are plenty of cultural and historical attractions, as well as a cool and vibrant café and restaurant scence. Not to mention the opportunity to do a bit of shopping.
Fort and the Pettah Districts – The bustling commercial hub of Sri Lanka interspersed with old colonial buildings is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. Visit the hundreds of merchants from spice to car parts, small Hindu temples, the Dutch Period museum for a quaint brief visit to the past and the beautifully renovated old Dutch Hospital now home to restaurants and high end Sri Lankan shopping brands.
Slave Island and Galle Face – Visit the Gangaramaya temple and the smaller Seema Malaka temple on the Beira Lake, spend an afternoon in Viharamahadevi Park and in the evening visit Colombo’s sea front playground and street food hang out that is the Galle Face Green.
Cinnamon Gardens – The great shopping, restaurants, galleries and museums in this the most exclusive of Colombo suburbs is a great way to spend the day and night.