In 1517 the recently arrived Portuguese built a fort in Colombo, which was to subsequently form the nucleus of the city. The Dutch expanded the fortifications and gave the city new suburbs as well as an extensive system of canals. During the British rule, the city blossomed and became an important staging post on the Indian Ocean’s maritime routes. In 1815, Colombo was declared the capital of Ceylon, and the city has grown exponentially ever since. Today, the city’s fascinating contrasts of colonial and modern create its unique character. The shopping, dining and cultural scene is constantly developing, so there will be enough to keep visitors entertained here for a few days at least. Used most frequently as a quick pit-stop en route to other areas in Sri Lanka however, most visitors do not view the city as a destination in itself in their haste to reach other parts of the island.
Best Time to Visit
October to April is the best time to visit Colombo, when the weather is driest.