Buddhist temples, colonial architecture and modern skyscrapers, with colourful markets and bazaars in between: if you want to discover the beauty of Sri Lanka, you should come to the unofficial capital Colombo. Fly with SWISS or one of our partner airlines from Zurich to Colombo and get enchanted by the lovely harbour city on the west coast of Sri Lanka.
As a major port in the Indian Ocean Colombo has been a magnet for travellers and merchants from all over the world. A goof overview over the eventful history of Sri Lanka can be found in the National Museum, which is housed in magnificent Palace. The multicultural influences can be seen in the different styles of architecture in the city.
If you take a stroll along the inner city lake Beira Lake in the business quarter, you can marvel at colonial buildings as well as hypermodern skyscrapers like the World Trade Center Colombo. If you walk down the beach promenade Galle Face Green in the southern direction, you will find the famous Galle Face Hotel with its white Victorian façade, which is a popular motive for photographers. The city hall of Colombo, called the Independence Hall, is styled after the Capitol in Washington, D.C., while the Buddhist temples look decisively un-western. The most famous temple in Colombo is the Gangaramaya-Temple with its Buddhist monastery.
If you want to find the special charm of Colombo, you might find what you look for in the traditional market area of Pettah near the harbour. In the small alleys of the Bazar, you can find everything, from aromatic spices to clothing to fresh coconut water, which you can drink right from the coconut. A little quieter is the Floating Market on Lake Beira behind the train station Fort. Here you can find many street food vendors selling the local specialties like filled Kothu Roti pancakes, String Hoppers made from rice noodles or Curries in endless variations. But watch out: like the weather the food in Colombo is HOT.