A colourful and seemingly chaotic cacophony of sights and sounds, Colombo is Sri Lanka’s lively commercial capital. A major trading port frequented by Arab traders in times past, this west coast city also attracted such colonial powers as the Portuguese, Dutch and the British who left their mark on the local culture.
One of the leading shopping hubs in South Asia, Colombo offers everything from high-end malls to colourful street markets. Crescat Boulevard and Majestic City are two major malls here, while ODEL with its designer clothing, Barefoot which features local handicrafts and garments and the Ceramic Corporation with its renowned “Noritake” brand are must visit too. Adjoining the country’s main seaport in Colombo is the Pettah area, where you can explore an outdoor bazaar with winding streets lined with shops, stalls and old buildings full of character.
Find out more about the country at the National Museum and the Folk Art Centre, while the city’s Buddhist and Hindu temples, mosques and historic churches offer an insight into the religious heritage of the nation.
Colombo is also a great place to visit with the entire family; spend the day viewing wildlife at the Dehiwala Zoo, relax amidst the lush greenery of Viharamahadevi Park, have a leisurely workout at Independence Square and take in stunning sunsets by the sea at Galle Face Green.
Once night falls, the city is transformed into an energetic nightlife hotspot. You can take in plays at the Lionel Wendt Art Centre, enjoy local artistic creations at the city’s art galleries or view musical and cultural performances at the Nelum Pokuna Performing Arts Theatre. Do not forget to visit Colombo’s many restaurants and street side eateries that let you savour the distinctive flavours and aromas of local cuisine, offering an exotic treat for your taste buds!
The beauty and charm of this spectacular Colombo city and beyond can now be easily explored with Ravana Air which operates sea planes at Waters Edge aerodrome.