Colombo’s eclectic mix of cultural offerings makes it one of the most diverse and interesting places to visit in Sri Lanka. As the country’s commercial and financial capital, the seaside city offers a wide range of things to do, and its tropical climate makes it pleasant to visit any time of year.
You’ll find a unique blend of religious architecture in Colombo, with mosques, Buddhist temples and churches dotted throughout the city. Eye-catching offerings include the Red Mosque, Gangarama Temple and St. Anthony’s Shrine. Other famous sites include the century-old Khan Clock Tower and the World Trade Centre – the country’s tallest building at 152 metres high.
Colombo’s street-food scene offers a real treat for your taste buds, with many vendors operating in the waterfront urban park of Galle Face Green. Try some kottu roti, a classic Sri Lankan snack of shredded flatbread mixed with vegetables, meat, eggs and fragrant spices. Other popular dishes include isso-wadey (prawn-filled fritters) and bowl-shaped crepes known as ‘hoppers’.
Colombo’s retail options range from trinket-filled markets to upscale shopping malls. Pettah Market – Sri Lanka’s biggest market – is a great place to soak up the hustle and bustle of this energetic city. Pick up a box of local Ceylon tea to take home, browse electronic accessories or fill your basket with fresh fruit and vegetables. For a more relaxed shopping experience, you can explore the Dutch Hospital precinct. Each street is arranged according to specialities, such as jewellery and clothes.