Colombo City is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka and lies alongside the present administrative capital Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte filled with a rich colonial heritage, religions and cultures. The original Sinhalese name “Kolontota” which means Kelani ferry was corrupted to Kolambu by Arab traders and was changed to Colombo by Portuguese. The city is a contrast itself with mansions, lush gardens, fine dining options, shopping malls packed with expensive designer brands and with boutiques filled with international brands and local art as well as fabrics standing next to urban slums, congested roads and street markets.
Colombo is the gateway to Sri Lanka for most travellers and you cannot not simply pass through this diverse and interesting city without exploring. The main business section is near the port in what is known as the Fort. The buildings in this area are typically British and Dutch colonial and the streets are generally congested as it consists of narrow, crowded streets and small shops and stalls.
Despite its small size, Colombo offers a wide range of different activities to explore this diverse, beautiful city of Colombo. These include,
- Colonial architecture
- Historical monuments
- Festivals and events
- Fine dining
- City tours
Colombo is also known for its gem cutting and ivory carving. Other industries include food and tobacco processing, textiles, metal fabrication, leather goods, engineering, and the manufacture of chemicals, glass, cement, clothing, jewellery, and furniture. This relaxed coastal city has a colourful history. By spending a couple of days here you will be able to discover its charm and unlike many South Asian cities, Colombo has its heart at a relaxed and genial air.