Colombo, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has a few big cities. Colombo is the capital and biggest city. Most travellers start here since it is one of the few airports in the country.
Many people like Colombo just as much as people dislike it. We think it shows both the best and the worst of the country. It can be crowded and polluted but at the same time it can also be relaxing and peaceful.
Colombo is divided into several areas with area codes. Colombo 01, 02 and 03 for example. Were to stay really depends on what your plans are for Colombo.
Galle road is the main road that runs through the whole city along the coastline and here is also where you will find most upscaled hotels and shops.
If you like to get the real feel of Colombo and the hazzle then get right in the middle of it and stay in the Pettha area just next to the Colombo Fort Railway station. Hotels here are not exclusive and no five stars but you can get a room for arund 1700 Rupees/night with shared bathroom. New Colonial Hotel is one of the best in this area in our opinion.
Colombos government has put price standards on hotels so that all star class hotels are prced the same. SO all three star hotels have the same price and all five star hotels have the same price. If you want more value for money then Negombo might be a good idea if you don’t want to do any sightseeing or are leaving for the airport. Negombo is also closer to the airport than Colombo and only a 40 minute trainride away from the capital.
Sights & Attractions
Colombo has a few highlights. But for us the city was more a headstart to Sri Lankan way of life than an attraction.
When the sun starts to set many locals come down to the beach promenade just next to the old British Parlament to play football, eat, exercise, or just hang out. Many street food vendors are gathered here so that you can eat some good classic Sri Lankan seafood while you are at it.
At six o’clock the national guard puts on a small display to take down the Sri Lankan flag that has its own monument here.
Eat some local food
We like food and we like do eat it local. Stroll along the streets and you will stumble upon small “hole in the wall” cafes and diners where you can sit down and have a cup of tea and a samosa or two.
Colombo is like an explosion of goods. You have everything from upscaled fashion stores and exclusive brands to wholesale blamkets and ornaments.
A good place to start if you want to buy classic Sri Lankan fabric you can visit the famous Barefoot sop and Cafe located on Galle road. They stock handmade Sri lankan duvet covers, tablecloths and more for you to bring home to your loved ones. If you are in the mood for browsing the wholesale area around main road and ……….road are a bonanza of fabric and, well, just about everything.
Around this area the whole salers and tailors crowd and compete for customers with one more beautiful Sari then the previous shop on display.
Pettha market which is linked to the wholesale area are one of the more famous markets in Colombo. Here you can find anythng from fake thsirts to Sri Lnakan leather goods and souvenirs.