As the largest city of the island nation, Colombo is located on the west coast of Sri Lanka and serves as its capital. Like Galle and other cities along the western coast, Colombo also endured a turbulent past under the rule of the Portuguese, Dutch, and British. But even before Europeans dug their claws into Sri Lanka’s strategic port city, seafaring traders were using Colombo as a major trade hub over 2,000 years ago. It seems even ancient societies like the Greeks, Romans, Persians and Arabs understood the value of trading goods with one another and the Sinhalese kingdom along the east-west trade routes in one of Sri Lanka’s largest natural harbors.
Nowadays Colombo is an international city and Sri Lanka’s commercial center that possesses a truly unique mix of natural, colonial, and modern features. Almost every British governor that held office in Colombo has a street named after him. The city itself is not that large in comparison to other Asian cities, and it takes just 40-45 minutes to travel from one side of town to another. In just one day you could see various colonial buildings, explore the harbor, visit elaborately decorated mosques and temples, and enjoy a refreshing dip at the beach. Visitors can get a crash course in the island’s history and culture at the National Museum. Its exhibits range from prehistoric to modern, and chronicle the island’s natural, political, and artistic history. The Gangaramaya Temple and the Dehiwala Zoo are also must do’s while in Colombo. The city also features tons of outdoor public space like the Viharamahadevi Park, Beira Lake, Galle Face Green, Independence Square, Pettah, and the Colombo Fort.
While most visitors stop over in Colombo for just a few days before heading out to explore other parts of the country, there is something to be said about the culture of this lively capital. While most everyone you’ll meet is friendly, the city is hectic, backed up with traffic, quite warm, and noisy at times. But with a well-devised plan to experience the sights and sounds efficiently, comfortable walking shoes, and an open mind you will conquer Colombo and encounter a magical city unlike any other in the world before departing on your next adventure.
To learn more about Colombo, Sri Lanka click here http://www.davidsbeenhere.com/guides/39