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The historical centre of Colombo is Fort Colombo (district 1). During the Dutch and British occupation this was an actual fort. Build to defend the colonising powers from any local forces. Fact is that the Portuguese started to develop this area. Later when the Dutch took over they developed this area. During the rule of the British the wall were torn down and this was made into a high end heart of the island with more British names and brands you could imagine. Although today the architecture is crumbling, it is still a reminder of colonial powers and their influences.
Fort Colombo, Colombo
Just 1,5 km east of the port we find Pettah (district 11). This is without doubt the liveliest place in town. Hundreds of men and women come here every day to do hard labour to make an honest living. It is unbelievable what a chaos it can be in this part of town because of it. Traffic jams like you see on this picture are daily business. It is truly the district you cannot skip while visiting Colombo. It gives you a sense of local life and much respect for the locals!
This temple complex is a must see in Colombo. It is the most prominent buddhist temple of Colombo. Find several halls for worship, see the buddha wall and the large collection of things in the museum.
61 Sri Jinarathana Rd, Colombo 00200, Sri Lanka
This is a national monument in Sri Lanka. It was build for the commemoration of the independence of Sri Lanka from the British rule with the establishment of the Dominion of Ceylon on Febraury 4th, 1948. It also houses the Independence Memorial museum underneath.
Independence Memorial Hall, Colombo
Originally named Queen Victoria ,this public park located next to city hall is the oldest and largest park of the city. Find this huge buddha statue, several water fountains and a children’s play area inside.
Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo
Just a few hundred meters from the ship you can spot this Stupa. On top of a huge yellow arch is a giant dazzling white Buddhist bell or Stupa. It is open for the public and you can even go up if you like.
Sambodhi Chaithya Stupa, Colombo
Beira lake is a set of 2 lakes in the middle of the city centre. The smaller one is quite interesting. Here you will find several temples and religious sites and also this bridge. It connects to a small island in the middle of the lake officially called Children’s Park, but also known as lovers island. Showing affection in this country is still taboo and something young lovers come here to hold hands. Therefore you can also nickname this bridge “lovers bridge”.
Beira Lake, Colombo
Visit Sri Lanka’s best attraction: the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. The facility was established in 1975 for orphaned baby elephants that were found in the wild. Today the facility is open for you to visit en befriend one of the hundred elephants that stay here today. The elephant orphanage is about 2,5 hours drive from the Colombo cruise port.
B199, Rambukkana 71100, Sri Lanka
According to many the best restaurant in town and therefore reservations are highly recommended. You’ll find this superb fish restaurant in Dutch Hospital.
Old Dutch Hospital, Fort,, Colombo, Sri Lanka
At the spot where the Central Bank bombing of 1996 took place is where nowadays you can find at the Economy History Museum. Step into its beautiful atrium from where you can explore the interactive exhibitions.
Chatham St, Colombo, Sri Lanka
This is the largest and most important museum in Sri Lanka. The collection was established by Willian Henry Gregory in 1877 and it has grown to a superb selection or historical artefacts. Wander the halls of the museum to get an inside look in the different civilisations that lived here at one point or another.
Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka
In the middle of Fort Colombo (district 1) we find this famous landmark. It is the original lighthouse that used to guard the entrance of the port. Nowadays it stands here in the middle of the historical district as a clocktower.
Old Colombo lighthouse, Colombo