Sri Lanka’s largest city—Colombo, is the financial capital and the most popular tourist destination in the country. Essentially a port with an all-around harbour, Colombo was known to ancient traders nearly 2000 years ago. The city’s 19th century alias ‘the garden city of the East,’ seems true in the tree-lined roads and shaded junctions. In the heart of the city lies a large lake known as the Beira Lake, which is also a popular landmark in Colombo. This multi-ethnic, multi-cultural city is livelier than ever with its many festivals, commercial centres, and entertainment hubs.
Due to its cosmopolitan nature, Colombo sees many festivals being celebrated with much joy and fervour. Regarded as the most beautiful in the country, Vesak, the festival celebrating the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha has the entire city decorated with pretty lamps and lanterns. People from around the country flock the city of Colombo to witness lantern competitions and decorations, and partake of food and drinks distributed for free across the dunsals—charity booths. Similarly, Eid-Ul-Fitr and Christmas both are celebrated with enthusiasm, and provide the high for people to indulge in commerce. Apart from festivals, plenty of other sightseeing destinations make Colombo a city worth visiting. The National Museum—the country’s best cultural institution, greets visitors with an enormous 9th-century statue of Buddha with his mystifying smile at the gates. Ancient and colonial artefacts, paintings, weapons and more are housed inside this pearl-white structure. The Galle Face Green is the city’s popular beach-side promenade to rendezvous, spend leisure time, and indulge in street food. Colombo’s streets are also popular for their many stores offering Sri Lanka-inspired collectables, art, souvenirs, stationery, and other gift items.
Explore Sri Lanka’s nerve centre, and lose yourself in the myriad experiences that make up this bustling city. Stay at the Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts and Safaris and experience luxury accommodation and dining as well.