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Colombo is the largest economical city in Sri Lanka with a mixture of modern and colonial buildings. It is busy and vibrant with a population of 4.6 million living in the metropolitan area. Back in 7th Century, it was a small fishing town back. When Arabic traders started coming to Sri Lanka for its natural resources such as spices and precious stones, it became one of the port towns for trading. First, Portugal took a power and built a fort and named Colombo in 16th Century that was the beginning of colonization. Later, Colombo was continued to build and became a larger city under the control and influence followed by Holland, and England.

Since civil war ended on May 18, 2009, the country has opened up to many foreign investors and the city is going through a rapid growth with many restaurants, hotels, shops and shopping complexes. Now, it is attracting a lot of tourists and business people from all around the world to get a benefit of the massive economic growth.

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  • approx. 32km from Bandaranaike Int’l Airport (CMB)
  • approx. 20 min. by highway to Colombo


  • Province
  • District
  • Area
    37.31 km2
  • Population

Key Point

  • The largest economical city in Sri Lanka
  • Many hotels, restaurants, bars, café, department stores, and shops
  • Many historical colonial buildings as well as temples and local markets
To do and see
  • Dutch Period Museum

    This is an old government building during the colony of Holland which later became a museum. There are displays of various things from the documentations when Europeans first came to trade in Sri Lanka, to furniture from the period.

  • Number 11

    This was a house of Geoffrey Bawa, the pioneer of resort architecture. The tour lasts for 1 hour and need a reservation.

  • Galle Face Green

    Facinating green land strip along the ocean line in Colombo

    This is an ideal place to witness the sunset over Sri Lanka. Galle face green is a green land strip along the ocean line. This stretched about 700 meters along the Galle road. This was initially laid by Sir Henry Ward, the governor of Sri Lanka, in 1859.

    It is an unforgettable experience of spending an evening sink in the crimson red in Galle Face Green when the sunset. People gather to play, fly kites and have walk while feeling the sea breeze.

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  • Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple

    It is the most famous and iconic Buddhist temple in Colombo. This is a place of worship, a school of Buddhist, as well as a museum and a collection of Buddhist relics.

  • Pettah Market

    It is the largest open market in Colombo. The streets are busy but you can find everything from fresh food to wholesale clothing, tools, electronic, etc. Shopping area of the market stretched to about 4 acres. Mostly streets are divided to cater more specific set of goods which make shoppers easy to find the items.

  • The National Art Gallery

    This is a three wing gallery space is situated in Colombo 7. The main gallery has a permanent collection of portraits and landscapes. The other two wings have a change of temporary exhibitions by Sri Lankan artists.

  • Colombo National Museum

    It is the first and the largest museum created in 1877 by Sir William Gregory, the British Governor of Ceylon at that time. There are large number of artifacts and displays which depict the social, cultural and historical value of Sri Lanka

  • Dehiwala Zoological Gardens

    It is one of the largest zoological gardens in Asia with a total area of 168,000m2. There are over 2,000 animals, aquarium, facility for nocturnal species. The famous for this place is an elephant show with 6 elephants.

  • Viharamahadevi Park

    Viharamahadevi park had been known as Victoria Park formerly.

    Viharamahadevi park had been known as Victoria Park formerly. This is the only large scale public park in Colombo. This is a fenceless area, where anyone can walk in freely.

    There is a war memorial to the west corner of the park. Also have little seating spaces, paved paths for both riding and walking/jogging, children play area, horse ridding facility, etc

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  • Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall

    An international grade exhibition and conference centre.

    This is a convention centre (shortened as BMICH) located in Colombo. BMICH is a gift from China in remembrance of late Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. Later a small exhibition center was built to cater the need of an exhibition hall which is named as Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre.

    High level international conferences were held in the venue since its establishment. Further, annual exhibitions such as book fair, bridal fairs, architectural fairs, motor shows and many more have been held in the premises, where in most occasions, shoppers can purchase items with significant discounted rates and special benefits.

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  • Pettah Market

    It is the largest open market in Colombo.The scene is quite chaotic and you can find everything from fresh food to wholesale clothing.

  • Jami-UI-Alfar Mosque

    It is a historical and the oldest mosque in Colombo built in 1909 by the Pettah Muslim Community. This is also known as The Red Mosque.

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