Exploring Colombo

Colombo, what a fascinating capital city filled with character and charm. I wasn’t really sure what to expect of Colombo prior to my visit but wow did it exceed my expectations!

Firstly, this is a city that has been witness to many different rulers and moments in history that have not only shaped the city but the people who call it home. Evident today in the buildings of Colombo is the influence that the Portuguese, Dutch and British left in the wake of their rules of Colombo over many centuries. Leafy tree lined boulevards are home to colonial style architecture while shiny new skyscrapers are beginning to pop up all over the city, a symbol of Sri Lanka’s newfound independence and growth. That was one thing that stuck out to me during my time in Colombo, the amount of development happening in the city centre with an abundance of new skyscrapers under construction.

Galle Face Hotel, Sri Lanka

Galle Face Hotel, Sri Lanka

I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect home base for my time in Colombo – the iconic Galle Face Hotel. Built in 1864, the Galle Face Hotel has been restored to its former colonial glory and its grandeur and charm is infectious. Located next to the popular Galle Face Green, the hotel is the perfect base to explore everything Colombo has to offer from. Did I mention it’s also located on the coast, so the ocean views are aplenty!

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Getting around the bustling city streets can be chaotic, but what an experience! Our go-to mode of transport to get around the city were tuk tuks. Readily available throughout the city, tuk tuk drivers will get you where you need to go pretty quickly, just be prepared to barter the price! One of my favourite experiences in Colombo was touring the city streets in open-top World War II jeeps, a special experience on our Sri Lankan Journey small group tour. Our convoy of jeeps meandered through the streets (and the traffic) of Colombo, giving us a unique way to see the city. The other way to get around Colombo is walking of course! We walked through the streets and immersed ourselves in the local Colombo culture as we passed by shop vendors, restaurants and temples.

Jeep Ride, Colombo

Colombo, Sri Lanka

For a lot of us, travel is about getting away from the city centres and immersing ourselves in the regions of a country; really getting to know the people, lifestyle and customs of a destination. However, a visit to Colombo during your time in Sri Lanka is not wasted. The city is full of history, culture and a whole lot of character.

- Our Marketing Coordinator Harriet recently travelled to Sri Lanka to experience our Sri Lankan Journey small group tour -