Colombo is the commercial capital and largest city in Sri Lanka. The city is getting more popular and is no longer just a gateway to enter of leave the country. The city is a mix of colonial houses, a modern business district and you'll find lots of cafes, restaurants, temples and mosques. It is multicultural, you can do some great shopping here when you have an interest for colored handlooms, spices, gems and jewelry.
Colombo was our first Sri Lanka stop coming from Bangkok - Thailand. Funny detail: when arriving on the airport you can buy fridges, washing machines and guitars.
From here we took a 20 USD taxi to our hotel in Colombo, which is a 30 minutes ride from the airport.
Colombo Hotel by Ceilao Villas, what an amazing place is this. We are doing a luxury tour the first 2 weeks in Sri Lanka and we could not have started better. The rooms aren’t over luxurious but have all you need. They are spacious, the beds are the best, there is a big tv, you can plug in your iPod/iPhone for some music, there are plenty of closets and planks to store your belongings, a spacious bathroom and good shower. There’s even a bathtub.
There are two swimming pools. One tiny one on the first floor, and a bigger one on the ground floor. They have sunbeds and big comfy towels and while you are enjoying the sun you hear the traffic in the far distance. This reminds you that you are in a big crowded city, but these noises are overruled by the singing of the birds. A great place to recover from a long flight, or in our case, apply for an Indian Visa and arrange a tuktuk!
The staff is really friendly and helpful. They helped us finding a tuktuk, getting a Sri Lankan simcard and more little stuff. And if you don’t want to, you don’t have to leave the premises, or even your room. They serve breakfast, lunch and diner and if you want they will bring it to your room. Or you can enjoy it while sitting on the lovely terrace.
** You can find them on booking.com
To be honest, we didn’t really do that much in and around Colombo. We came here to apply for our Indian Visa and to arrange a tuktuk. Both worked out well. After that we didn't have that much time left so we did a quick drive around Colombo in our tuktuk. Great way to get used to the Sri Lankan traffic, which can be quite crazy in Colombo. During our ride we saw the Galle Face Green, The Fort area, Grand Mosque, the Pettah Floating Market and the Jami UI Alfar Mosque, which looks like a big striped icecream.
There are also nice colonial buildings like the national museum which looks like the White House and the Dutch Hospital which is worth a visit.