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Colombo Travel Guide - Colombo Tourist Attractions

Colombo, Sri Lanka


Green Colombo, Sailing Regattas, Ceylon Tea

The largest city in Sri Lanka, Colombo is the commercial capital of the country.  It was the political capital of Sri Lanka till 1978, when its satellite township of Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte was designated as the country’s capital.  Because of its large harbour, Colombo played a pivotal role in the East-West sea trade route from about 2,000 years ago.   

Tourist Attractions
Our Colombo Tour Package will lead you to a city that is a mixture of land and water, as Colombo has lakes and rivers.  River Kelani makes up the north and north-eastern border of Colombo.  Lake Beira, a huge lake in the heart of Colombo, hosts sailing regattas and theatrical events on its shoreline.  It has a small island inside the lake – the Gallery Island – as well as the Seema Malayaka temple, which are popular sites.   The Supreme Court of the country is housed in a quaint pagoda-styled building, while the Presidential Secretariat and the Town Hall in the Cinnamon Gardens are beautifully structured.  The attractive 40-storeyed twin tower complex in the Fort centre is the city’s business hub.  The Jami ul Alfar mosque in Pettah, which is outside the Fort area, is a much sought-after tourist attraction.  One of Sri Lanka’s oldest churches, St Paul’s Church Milagiriya is worth visiting, as is the famed Cargills & Millers complex in the historic, protected Fort area.  

Colombo’s largest and best promenade, the Galle Face Green lined with palm trees, adjacent to the coast, is an attractive spot and frequented by families and young romantics, especially on Fridays and Saturdays.  A picnic spot for families, it has children flying kites and playing various games, the health-conscious come here for their daily walks, while people often crowd the small beach to get the spray on their faces.  The Galle Face Hotel – Asia’s ‘emerald on the green’ – is adjacent to Galle Face and has hosted the British and other royalty.

Shopping
There are several shopping areas, including street and outdoor markets as in Pettah, where you can pick up good bargains. Colombo’s speciality stores and malls sell fashionable goods that are reasonably priced. The best buys are the world-famous Ceylon Tea, indigenous designer clothes and, gems and jewellery, especially the blue sapphire. Beverly Street has fashionable clothes; Romafour has a variety of men’s and women’s clothing; Odel sells high-quality and ‘branded’ goods at low prices; House of Fashions has many things including clothes and accessories; and, Paradise Road is a trendy boutique selling unique handicrafts and home furnishings. Christmas sales start from the beginning of December, when all the streets and shops are decorated and lit, and nativity plays as well as carol singing are a common sight. The Liberty Plaza is a large shopping centre with a supermarket; Majestic City has the Cargills supermarket, several clothing stores and a cinema theatre; while Crescat Boulevard is an upscale shopping centre with a grocery store and a food court.

Cuisine
There are several restaurants in Colombo catering to an international clientele serving diverse cuisine.  There are cafes, coffee shops, bars, pubs and fast food joints.  Chinese, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Italian and German food is served in restaurants located here.  Besides, there are dedicated restaurants serving grilled food, seafood or ice-creams; there’s fine-dining and even semi-fine-dining.  Some places serve purely vegetarian food.   Of the Indian restaurants, there are some that serve North Indian cuisine, and others that serve only South Indian fare.  Agra, Big Bite Biryani, Chicken Tikka, Grand Indian Restaurant, Indian Spice, Maharaja Palace, Mango Tree and Rice Bar, Navratna and Tandoor are some of the popular ones serving North Indian fare.  Chutneys provides authentic South Indian food.

Climate
With a tropical rainforest climate, Colombo’s climate is almost the same all through the year.  April-May and October-November see very heavy rainfall.  The average temperatures during April-May are:  maximum of 31oC-32oC and minimum of 24oC-25oC; while the average temperatures during October-November are:  maximum of about 30oC and minimum of 23oC-24oC.


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