Colombo, the capital and port city of Sri Lanka, is home to sandy beaches, wildlife parks, vibrant markets, and interesting landmarks. It boasts of Sri Lanka’s busiest and largest port – the Port of Colombo (earlier known as Port of Kolomtota), located on Kelani River’s southwestern shores. One of the most popular tourist destinations, Colombo is a busy place with a blend of colonial heritage and modern lifestyle. You can find various things to see and do in Colombo; from going on a tuk-tuk (three-wheeled vehicle) ride, visiting the National Museum, and unwinding at the Crow Island Beach, to savoring delicious seafood in Mount Lavinia area, and shopping and eating at Pettah Market. Get a glimpse of Sri Lanka’s charm while you explore the best of Colombo.
Useful Tips for Tourists Flying to Colombo
Where to shop
You can easily find local and international treasures in the markets and malls of Colombo. Majestic City Mall is one of the oldest in the country and has numerous international brands in the premises. For exquisite Sri Lankan and colonial homeware products, head to Paradise Road. It is a homeware store and also a major attraction, with stone walls and a rustic look. Their products range from furniture pieces to porcelain items. If you want to buy authentic Sri Lankan tea, then Sri Lanka Tea Board Shop is your best bet. They sell all kinds of flavorful tea from different regions of Sri Lanka.
Taste the flavors of Sri Lanka’s signature dishes and scrumptious street foods. Take a tour of the popular markets and streets of Colombo, namely Galle Road, Mount-Lavinia area, Pettah Market, etc. Galle Road is famous for String Hoppers (made from steamed rice noodles). Mount-Lavinia is where you’ll find a variety of seafood; the dishes are made from fresh prawns, squid, butterfish, etc. If you want something exotic that is native to the area, try Wood Apple, a local sweet-and-sour fruit which supposedly has medicinal properties. You can find it in Pettah Market, a busy commercial area.
A Few Sinhalese Words
Sinhalese is the language spoken by 75% of the population of Sri Lanka, while the rest speak Tamil. Here are some of the common words in Sinhalese, which you can use to converse with the locals in Colombo.
• Thank You:
• Where is the toilet?
• Where can I find a taxi?
Koheda mama ?æksi soya gata hæki?
• How much does it cost?
eya?a kotaram væyavenava da?
Dos and Don’ts
• Women should cover their shoulders and legs, while visiting the religious sites.
• It is considered impolite to open a gift as soon as you receive it.
• In Sri Lanka, it is highly offensive to take a picture with your back facing the Buddha statue.
Emergency contact numbers
• Police Emergency Hotline:119
• Ambulance / Fire & Rescue: 110
• Government Information Center: 1919
• Which airlines offer cheap air tickets to Colombo?
The airline offering cheap air tickets to Colombo is AirAsia
• What is the time zone used in Sri Lanka?
The time zone of Sri Lanka is GMT+5:30.
• What are the most popular airlines flying from Phuket to Colombo?
From Phuket to Colombo, the most popular airlines are Thai Airways
, Bangkok Airways, and Malaysia Airlines
• What is the shortest time for a Phuket to Colombo flight?
The shortest time for a connecting Phuket to Colombo flight is 6 hours and 15 minutes.
• What are the top tourist destinations of Colombo?
Some of the must-visit tourist destinations in Colombo are National Museum, Old City Hall, Viharamahadevi Park, Gangaramaya Temple.
• What is the currency of Sri Lanka?
The currency of Sri Lanka is Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR).
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