Filled with Portuguese, Dutch & British colonial architecture
The capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo, is located on the west coast of the island, around 35 kilometres from the international airport. Colombo has a history as a port and was ruled by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. The architecture in the city reflects this with a fusion of modern and colonial-style buildings. The legacies of colonial Colombo's garden roots are still intact along its verdant boulevards. The ongoing restoration of the colonial architecture, and the vibrant markets make it a great place to visit in its own right, rather than simply passing through.
Note: For stays between 1st August 2019 and 31st January 2020, the Sri Lankan government has relaxed the visa requirements, meaning you can travel there VISA-FREE!
Here we have selected a few of the sights and experiences that you really should see on a visit to Colombo.
Visit the National Museum
A large 9th-century stone Buddha greets you on the way in to the museum, and sets the scene for what's to follow. The galleries, some of which date back to 1877, are filled with art, carvings and statues from the country's ancient past, items from the colonial period, 19th-century reproductions of paintings of Sri Lanka by English artists and a collection of antique demon masks.
Stroll along Galle Face Green
This famous park and seaside promenade is a popular meeting place for locals. Kite flyers, bubble blowers, families, courting couples, and streetfood sellers, can all be found on a wander through the park.
Wander through the Federation of Self Employees Market
Stretching along 5th Cross St, this bustling must-see market is a hive of household goods and toys, interspersed with creative displays of fruit and veg.
Marvel at the Geoffrey Bawa House
At the end of a quiet street sits the house where renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa lived from 1960 to 1970. The house combines his love for traditional local forms with his stark white architectural style. You can tour the small gardens as well as the interior with its custom furnishings.
A selection of tours to Colombo
Sri Lanka & The Maldives Group Tour Culture
Sri Lanka Highlights
12 day tour from £2,099
This 12 day tour of Sri Lanka includes history, wildlife, tea and beaches
Sri Lanka & The Maldives Tailor Made Beach
Sri Lanka Tour & Beach
16 day tour from £2,295
Explore some of Sri Lanka's cultural and scenic highlights, including the Cultural Triangle, a tea plantation and a jeep safari, on this memorable 16 day tour.