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Why fly to Colombo?
Colombo is Sri Lanka's largest city and sits on the west coast of the island nation. This ancient city has long been part of the seafarers travel route as it is home to a large harbor that sits on the very important trading route between the east and the west.
Modern day Colombo is a bustling colorful city with a combination of modern structures and colonial era architecture. The World Trade Center towers are a prominent part of the city skyline as is the Bank of Ceylon tower.
The Cargills and Miller building provides an example of stunning architecture along with Independence Hall located in Independence Square. The city is also home to beautiful Hindu temples, mosques and churches like St. Paul's Church which was originally introduced by the Portugese but later destroyed and rebuilt.
The city has a lively performing arts scene and is home to a number of venues including the beautiful Nelum Poluna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theater, if you can catch a show you are in for a treat or take a tour of the gorgeous site. Several important museums also sit in the city like the National Museum of Colombo and the Colombo Dutch Museum.
A favorite weekend and evening pastime for many locals is to head to the Galle Face which is a promenade sitting on the Indian Ocean and the city's largest public green area. Here you can go for a picnic or try some of the food offered by the vendors set up along the Galle Face strip.
Sri Lankan cuisine is absolutely delicious. Sure, there are touches of Southern India in the creations, however the regional food has a uniqueness found nowhere else. Fish and rice is a common dish and staple and coconut is incorporated into most meals. Savour the flavor of a holiday on the Indian Ocean in a city that is both traditional and ultra modern with a sprinkle of zen.
Colombo weather is various degrees of warm throughout the year. The summer temperatures hit the mid 30s and the high humidity can make it feel more extreme. Monsoon season hits just after the summer and lasts right through to January. Winter temperatures drop significantly but are still in the mid teens.
When to fly to Colombo
Once the spring hits, Colombo is a busy place to be. Spring temperatures are quite comfortable and the city is freshly washed after the four months of rain. May through to August is a good time to travel but your pocketbook will take a hit if you didn't plan for the trip ahead of time as flight prices are fairly high in those months.
The rainy season usually discourages travellers from visiting Colombo so flight tickets are priced fairly reasonably at this time. December can still be somewhat pricey as people head to the comparably warm city for holidays but otherwise flight deals are available from October through to March.
Getting into Colombo
Your flight will land at the Bandaranaike International Airport which is located close to 40 minutes outside of the city center. From the airport you can take the airport shuttle, bus or taxi service.
Getting around Colombo
There are quite a few practical and interesting ways to get around Colombo. You can take the city buses to get around the city or the train if you want to hit the outer regions of the island. Interesting travel choices include the tuk-tuks and auto rickshaws, which is three-wheel riding on steroids. If you are planning to go on a long trip or visiting various destinations throughout the day at different ends of Colombo than hiring a car and driver would be a good idea, especially if you are travelling with family.
- Your heart will pitter-patter with love if you take one very special day trip. Head out to the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage. It is a sanctuary for elephants who have in one way or another been left to fend for themselves in the wild. It is located approximately an hour and half drive from Colombo.
- The city has a great night scene with classy bars and restaurants in the city center. However for a truly lovely night out head to Mt. Lavinia Beach and enjoy dinner at one of the seafood restaurants followed by a cocktail at one of the cafes.
- For a lovely afternoon on the green head to the Royal Colombo Golf Club. The club has been around since the 19th century and attracts golf enthusiasts from around the world.
- Try Deviled Sweet and Sour Fish Curry, which is essentially deep-fried fish smothered in a tangy sweet sauce and then cooked up with pepper and onion. The taste explosion will leave you wanting for more. Additionally try the Beetroot Curry, which is really made up of an unusual set of ingredients and yet somehow everything seems to work.
- Compare flights to Colombo from Australia on AirfaresFlights.com.au.
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