Colombo is the commercial and financial capital of Sri Lanka, and is located in the Western Province, along the coast. The temperature on average is 27C and can go up to 31C in April-May-June.
Colombo’s Area 1,2,3,4 and 10 are home to many of the banks and headquarters of most businesses in Sri Lanka. The Fort area retains the vestiges of the Dutch, Portuguese and British colonial eras, boasting a fine collection of buildings from these periods. Pettah is a criss-cross of tiny shops and stalls along narrow cobbled streets, selling a myriad of items, all at unbeatable prices. Colombo 7 is a more stylish area, with mansions, tree-lined streets, and the sprawling lawns of the Viharamahadevi park.
With Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Muslims all co-existing peacefully in Colombo, it is not surprising to find various religious sites dotted around the city. From churches to mosques to temples, each is an architectural masterpiece that draws hundreds of devotees each week.
But it is not just the religious tolerance that surprises visitors; Colombo also prides itself in offering some of the best fine-dining opportunities in the country. Restaurants such as the Curry Leaf at the Hilton takes you on a purely Sri Lankan gastronomic journey, whilst others are known to serve an eclectic mix of local and international cuisine.
The Galle Road, which is the city’s main artery, runs through many towns, parallel to the coast. Flanked by modern buildings on either side, Galle Road can be very busy, chaotic and congested with buses driving at high speeds and pedestrians crossing the road at random points and not at designated ‘pedestrian crossings’.
Colombo has been a target for many attacks by the Tamil Tiger rebels in the past, but the war has now seemingly come to an end with the defeat of the rebels by the government forces, and security has since been relaxed. Having said that, the military still conduct random checks around the city, and so it is vital to carry some sort of ID on you at all times, in case you’re stopped and searched.