Located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, the name Colombo derives from the term ‘Kolon Thota’ which means port on the River Kelani. Today the port is still an integral part of Colombo albeit juxtaposed with the modern skyscrapers that form the skyline. The highlights of the city include some of the Buddhist temples, especially Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, which is one of the most sacred temples in Sri Lanka, containing relics of the Lord Buddha. The Sea Street area also has Ganeshan, New Kathiresan and Old Kathiresan temples and within Viharamahdevi Park, the cities largest and most elegant, you will find the National Art Gallery. The National Museum is also found in this area, housing excellent examples of antique furniture, royal artefacts and demon masks.
The seafront area of the city, known as Galle Face Green, is a great place for an early evening stroll and witnessing local life, with its main green once the location for horse racing, cricket and other activities. Six miles further down the coastline, Mount Lavinia is almost its last southern suburb and is the closest ‘resort’ to Colombo.
You may also be keen to explore the markets of the city for souvenirs, where you can choose from batiks and silks, artisania or simply take in the sights and aromas of the spice markets.