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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 05 Things to Do and See in Fort, Colombo – Bustling Commercial Hub
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 05 Things to Do and See in Fort, Colombo – Bustling Commercial Hub

Fort is the axis of Colombo's commercial scene, a place which still retains most of the city's ancient trading traditions. It is also home to the Colombo Harbour and a number of culturally rich buildings harking back to colonial times.

1

Visit the Dutch Hospital

This building dates back to colonial times when it was first built in 1681. Now fully restored the Old Dutch Hospital is a chic shopping and dining venue. The place was initially established as a convalescence centre for staff belonging to the Dutch East India Company and later used by apothecaries and seafarers. The place retains its 17th century architecture, comprising of 2 courtyards, typical of Dutch buildings designed to keep tropical complexes cool. Visit the place for a taste of colonial splendour and a chance to savour delicious Sri Lankan cuisine while indulging in a spot of shopping.

2

Check Out the Old Colombo Lighthouse

This is today one of the world's most unique lighthouses, as it now sits in the middle of a busy junction at Chatham Street, Fort. The Old Colombo Lighthouse constructed in 1856 stands at a height of 132 feet above sea level. The beautiful Victorian construction quite different in style to other rugged lighthouses was designed by the Governor of Ceylon's wife, Lady Ward. At inception, the tower beamed its beacon of light 17 miles out to sea in order to safely guide vessels approaching the Colombo Harbour. As more and more buildings started to come up around the lighthouse it was turned into a clock tower in 1914; you will still find it here, within close proximity to some of the best hotels Colombo has to offer. Some areas of the lighthouse are inaccessible due to safety reasons although it still is a pretty good Instagram worthy location.

3

Head to the Modern World Trade Centre

Opened in 1997, the World Trade Centre is one of the country's tallest buildings; it was an iconic building at the time, taking Colombo into the 20th century. The place located a few minutes from Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo is a modern business hub home to a range of shops, restaurants and contemporary office complexes. Boasting 750,000 square metres and stunning views across the city, this is one place worth exploring.

4

Wander Beside the Beira Lake

The Beira Lake which is the backdrop for some of Colombo's best city hotels is a 65 hectare mass of water, running through Fort and the city centre before merging with the Indian Ocean at Galle Face. Under colonial rule, the lake was connected via a number of canals throughout the city and was a transport hub, today, the banks of the lake set-up with walking paths are ideal for an evening stroll while renting a paddle boat and exploring the lake is a popular activity.

5

Explore the Port of Colombo

One of South East Asia's busiest ports and definitely the most active in the country, the Colombo Port is under high security and not wholly active. It is, however, well worth the effort to explore the sections open to the public and soak up the hustle and bustle of naval activities and other goings-on taking place there.