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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for List of Reasons Why One Should Visit Colombo – Quintessential Asian City
Joanna James Joanna James
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List of Reasons Why One Should Visit Colombo – Quintessential Asian City

Colombo is a modern yet vintage haven of many experiences, attractions and allures. The place is a typical 'something old-something new' kind of place which most tourists take delight in exploring.


Savour the 'Chaos' of Pettah

Pettah is chaotic, there is no doubt about that, the place is also overflowing with local flavour. Scour the crowded streets, of people, vehicles and busy labourers pulling heavy trolleys, and you will find just about anything. Watches, garments, fabric, sarees, baggage, 'techy' gadgets and much more are sold here, although authenticity and quality are not always guaranteed. Head over to the fruits and vegetable market and watch in fascination as crowds jostle one another and vendors shout out their wares. Get yourself a map and you can explore some colonial relics, like the Dutch museum and canal.


Enjoy the Expanse Known as Galle Face Green

Don't forget Colombo is a seaside city; hence right smack in the heart of the city centre is this huge expanse of green facing the Indian Ocean. The place is named Galle Face green and is a stretch of land bombarded with refreshing breezes off the ocean 24/7. Once a horse racing track and front lawn of a British Governor, the land is a favoured recreational spot, with many locals choosing to spend their evenings relaxing there. Kite flyers, food kiosks and happy crowds greet one at Galle Face, a mere 10 minutes from Mandarina Colombo.


Visit the Old Dutch Hospital

The oldest building in Colombo built in 1677; the Old Dutch Fort which was a derelict old place is now part of the city's pulse. Refurbished to retain its colonial splendours, the place is home to large open courtyards and some of Colombo's best restaurants. Easy to reach from a well-placed city hotel Colombo has to offer, this precinct is home to popular eateries such as the Ministry of Crab; it tends to be a bit pricey but is well worth a visit. The Old Dutch Hospital is also home to shops selling top spa treatments and boutiques for designer clothes while offering classic dining. You can even grab a slice of pizza or just relax with a cup of the best Sri Lankan tea.


Enjoy Clothes Shopping

Shopaholics will love a shopping spree in Colombo; the place is a haven for garments and accessories, with most malls, department stores and boutiques offering international labels as well as, local designer wear. Places like ODEL Unlimited are popular department stores for designer clothes, shoes, handbags, watches, homeware, perfumes and cosmetics, while the likes of House of Fashion will offer you departments in pretty much the same categories at budget rates. There is Avirate for local designer wear and Cotton Collection for cool summer clothing as well as, a Kelly Felder for chic new designs.


The Barefoot Gallery

An iconic attraction in Colombo, the well-established Barefoot Gallery is a gallery and shop designed and set up by artist Barbara Sansoni, over 40 years ago. The shop section offers a range of hand-woven fabrics that promise to lend panache to your wardrobe. Available in vibrant hues these fabrics can be bought by the metre or as colourful tops and sarongs for men and women. Children's toys turned out of wood and the handloom fabrics are popular too, while the gallery has regular exhibits of local vintage and modern art.