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Tourist information on holidaying in Colombo

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Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital, biggest city and major port, draws together all the colors and cultures that make up this island nation, condenses them into a patchwork of markets, gardens and buildings both humble and grand, and knocks them against a narrow slab of beachfront.

Colombo may not have the historical and cultural atmosphere of Kandy or the scenic beauty of Hikkaduwa, but it is a good place to start a Sri Lankan discovery. The city has its history and its beautiful places. It is the seat of government and the home of most businesses. In many ways it is the commercial and political heart of Sri Lanka.

Most who holiday in Colombo do so for a short time on their way to or from one of the beautiful Sri Lankan beach resorts, because the capital city with its frenetic traffic and general chaos is a little too much for most to handle. Colombo is, however, worth a look, offering color and some interesting attractions, like the national museum, the Pettah bazaar and some lovely temples. People who travel to Colombo also enjoy the Galle seafront and delicious local cuisine.

Many visitors will appreciate Colombo’s colonial heritage, its fine dining and shopping opportunities, and the dash of urban buzz in an overwhelmingly rural country. Others will tire quickly of the diesel fumes and the modern buildings on Galle Rd, the city’s main artery.

No matter what time of year you choose to travel to Colombo the weather will be hot and humid. It is probably wisest to avoid the monsoon rains, however: these happen between May and August, and October and January.

If you’re only on a short trip to Sri Lanka, you may wish to pass by Colombo, but if you have the time – say at least two days – there are plenty of cultural and historical attractions in areas such as Fort, Cinnamon Gardens and Pettah.

Visitors are warned to be vigilant of scams and touts during their stay in the city, however, and it’s also a good idea to dress conservatively. But as long as you keep your wits about you, Colombo is an enormously rewarding travel destination.

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