Sri Lanka’s commercial capital and major port – Colombo, is a fine amalgamation of all the hues and cultures within this paradise isle. This chic metropolitan that accommodates skyscrapers, sandy beaches and a collage of markets and gardens, brings together the many facets of this island nation. If you are on a tight schedule, you would definitely appreciate the many opportunities Colombo offers for fine-dining and shopping, not to mention the overarching beauty of the city’s rapidly developing landscape; a perfect combination of well-preserved colonial architecture and urbanity. Meanwhile, if you are free to spend a few days in the city you will be amazed by the many cultural and historical wonders located within locales such as Fort and Cinnamon Gardens. The bustling market streets of Pettaha also make up for an interesting place of visit.
The oldest districts of the city, which are nearest the harbour and north of Beira Lake, are known as the Fort and the Pettah (a name deriving from the Tamil word pettai, meaning “the town outside the fort”). The Fort is still a focal point of government and commercial activity, although less so than in the past. The Pettah has become a district of small shops, markets, and sidewalk stalls, with all the characteristic features of an Oriental bazaar. The built-up area of Cinnamon Gardens, which is south of Beira Lake, was an important cinnamon-growing region during the Dutch period.