Discover the highlights of Colombo on a day-long immersion in this storied city. With the advantage of its deep natural harbor, Colombo was known to Indian, Greek, Persian, Roman, Arab and Chinese traders over 2,000 years ago. By virtue of its strategic position along East-West sea trade routes, it has held an important position among competing empires for centuries. Ruled successively by the Portuguese, Dutch and British from the 16th century forward, Colombo became the capital of the island—then called Ceylon—when it was ceded to the British Empire in 1815. Its status was retained when the nation gained independence in 1948. Today, this diverse urban hub offers a captivating introduction to the country, with its mix of colonial and contemporary architecture, shady tree-lined boulevards, grand waterfront promenade, convivial cafes and multicultural vibe.
Cultural City ExplorationSurvey Colombo's colonial highlights including the Fort, with its 19th-century British buildings, and the multicultural melange of Pettah, the city's heart of commerce
National Museum VisitTour the National Museum, established in 1877 by the British Governor of Ceylon, where exhibits provide a useful introduction to the geography and history of Sri Lanka
Multicultural MarketsSurvey Pettah on foot and peruse the bustling open-air bazaar that melds Moor, Memon, Sinhalese, Tamil, Burger and Malay architecture and ambiance
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