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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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Travel Tips to Colombo – A City of Many Encounters

One of Asia's most fascinating destinations, Sri Lanka will wow you in an instant. And while the island is chock full of experiences, the commercial capital Colombo is quite the grand old lady, harbouring colonial charms, modern splendours and a melting pot of cultures. Read on for details.


Travelling Around Colombo

Colombo is a bustling centre of pedestrians always in a hurry and traffic-congested streets but take that away and you get to savour plenty of laid back vibes, especially in the suburbs of Mt Lavinia where places like Berjaya Hotel Colombo, are a hop-step and jump away from the Indian Ocean. Colombo is a small city and getting about is easy, the bus network is extensive with buses plying to all parts of the city and arriving on a regular 5 to 10-minute break. The tuk-tuks are three-wheeled little 'devils' that will whizz you through the traffic to your destination in double quick time, make sure to hail one that has a meter. There are also taxi services such as UBER and PickMe which you can call up once you download the apps on to your smart phone. Head over to Fort aka Colombo 1, main bus stand and railway station to catch a train or bus to just about any part of the island.


Turn On Your Foodie Instincts

Colombo is your best bet for savouring a variety of cuisine, including Sri Lankan delights. You will notice that as you go out of the city your choices are limited to rice and curry, but not so in Colombo, the place is jam-packed with a variety of food outlets. So here goes, for night owls there's a bevy of roadside food kiosks offering favourites like 'kottu' and 'hoppers'. Then there are beach cafes; the best seafood restaurant in Mt Lavinia, Colombo's most popular beach suburb, will be located overlooking the ocean, some may be right on the beach while others like 'The Peacock' offer Sri Lankan delights in classy settings; either way Mt Lavinia is best for beachside dining on fresh seafood. Colombo as a modern hub boasts a range of international restaurants too, so whether you are hankering for Japanese, Italian, Indian, Mediterranean, French etc. this city will deliver. Do check out the fine buffet spreads at the star class Colombo hotels.


Sightseeing in Colombo

Colombo offers a beautiful amalgamation of attractions; ranging from colonial relics to religious shrines and modern splendours to iconic allures. Best of all most of these are located within easy walking distance of each other. The Gangaramaya Temple, Independence Square, the Old Dutch Hospital now a chic shopping and dining venue, the Dutch Museum, the Colombo Museum, Independence Square, Galle Face Green, and lush Vihara Maha Devi Park are just a few of the city's many appeals.


Enjoy the Entertainment

As one of Asia's most modern cities, entertainment in Colombo is varied and of a high standard. Your trip may coincide with the time an international singer is visiting, or a world-famous festival is being held; if not check out the comfy multiplex cinemas where the latest blockbusters are screened, catch a local musical or drama (the comedies at Lionel Wendt theatre come highly recommended) as well as exploring places like Ape Gama in the suburbs of Battaramulla.


Plan on Loads of Shopping

Plan to complete your holiday shopping in Colombo as the place offers an excellent choice in local handicrafts available at Laksala and Lakpahana outlets, branded clothing and accessories at stores within the ritzy malls such as Independence Arcade, Crescat Boulevard, Colombo City Centre, ODEL and Liberty Plaza. You can also indulge in budget shopping at mega-malls such as House of Fashions

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    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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