Travel information about Colombo (Sri Lanka)

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Travel information about Colombo

Коломбо, Шри-Ланка Colombo Fort

Colombo (Colombo) – the largest city, financial and cultural centre of Sri Lanka. Despite the fact that officially the country's capital was moved in 1982, the neighboring city of Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte, Colombo is still considered the most important city of the country and is seen by many as the capital. Still many website in the Internet can be found incorrect information (since 1982! :- )) that Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka. The population of the metro area of 5.6 million people, the city slightly more than 700 000. Actually the city with the suburbs is huge in size, and if you stay in the heart of the suburb of mount Lavinia to center by bus will be reached in around an hour. Is Colombo on the West coast, closer to the southern tip of the island (see Colombo map Sri Lanka).

Historically, the development of the city had a hand in the Greeks, Persians, Romans, Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch and British. Almost all of these cultures are reflected in the architecture and attractions.

Коломбо, Шри-Ланка The view from the window of old town hall Colombo

Like most Asian capitals, Colombo is a bustling city, partly built up with modern high-rise buildings. At the same time, the city has retained a distinct identity and flavor, not turned yet into a concrete jungle. Quite the contrary, most of the city consists of low-rise buildings, and sometimes just these shacks.

Tourists often stay in Colombo. It is usually used as a temporary shelter for travelers on arrival in the country through the Bandaranaike international airport, or before you decide to leave the country. And some tourists completely miss Colombo as a transit point using the closest airport Negombo town, or even going directly to the main place of rest.

However, the entire tourist infrastructure in the city there, there are even conventional tourist area, where in the evening you can walk. Places to eat and spend plenty time in the evening, there are even night clubs. Shopping can be enjoyed in shopping malls and, what is much more interesting, a lot of markets. For entertainment there is even theatres. Fans of gambling will find in Colombo casinos that operate only specially for tourists. There in Colombo even the beach in the suburban area of Mt Lavinia (the town is on the coast), and you can actually stay in a hotel in Colombo , overlooking the ocean, and even swim at the beach.

Центр медитаций Seema Malakaya, Коломбо, Шри-Ланка The meditation center Seema Malakaya

Attractions abound in the capital. This is mainly architectural attractions there are several museums, many temples, some of which are known all over the country. If you study Colombo no expense is spared to fast travel (taxi or tuk-tuk), all sightseeing Colombo will be able to see for two or three days. Well, if one of your goals is also shopping, then have to add another day.

Unfortunately, public transport in the city is not particularly developed. There are only buses, but to deal with them is not easy, so basically have to navigate by taxi, tuk-tuk or on foot. The size of the city is very large, and, for example, to get from the beaches of mount Lavinia in the center, it would take almost an hour. To get from the airport to the city is not very convenient and fast: a choice of either a local bus or taxi. The plans of the construction and launch of high-speed railway connecting the city with the airport, but its implementation has been postponed for many years.

Weather, seasons Colombo

Коломбо, Шри-Ланка The beach at mount Lavinia in Colombo

In Colombo all year round is hot, and you can visit it in any season. The temperature rarely drops below 25 degrees. The humidity is very high.

High and low tourist seasons in Colombo are influenced by rainfall and periods of holidays.

During the year there are two rainy season: April-June and September-November. It's not the most comfortable time to visit, as there may be heavy rains, but not a reason not to go to Colombo.

The driest time of year and peak season is December – March. In the summer months of July and August rainfall too little.

The tourist seasons in Colombo by months*

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

* best time to visit;
appropriate time to visit;
not a recommended time to visit

Current weather in Colombo and the forecast for the near future:

The time in Colombo

Time difference between Colombo and Moscow is +2.5 (two and half) hours in winter and summer.

Current time in Colombo:

Current time in Colombo*
The time difference with the cities:
Moscow: +2.5 Samara: +1.5
Kazan: +2.5 Nizhny Novgorod: +2.5
Ekaterinburg: +0.5 Novosibirsk: -1.5
Irkutsk: -2.5 Vladivostok: -4.5
* - if time is incorrect, refresh the page Ctrl+F5:

Helpful information

Коломбо, Шри-Ланка In the Pettah district sell everything!
  • Currency exchange. If you arrive at Colombo airport and from there immediately travel down the country, it makes sense to change money at the airport, because in small towns of the country, the exchange rate may be disadvantageous, or even will be hard to find.
  • Currency exchange. Exchanging money at the airport or in the city, you should ask for small bills (change), you will need them.
  • Where to change currency in Colombo. To change money in Colombo can be everywhere, exchange offices and banks very much. The best rate we (the authors) met in the exchange offices in Colombo fort to the streets of York Street and its perpendicular lanes. But change there is no need in banks and authorized offices.
  • Hotels. If you are staying in Colombo only to sleep and to go further, it makes sense to stay in a hotel near the center (closer to the Pettah area and the railway and bus stations)
  • Transport. If you plan to continue the journey from Colombo around the country by bus, it is better to rise early (5 am) to 6 a.m. have to be at the bus station. Start vehicle and human traffic.
  • Shopping. In Colombo there are several large shopping centers where you can find almost everything: clothes, shoes, electronics, perfumes, toys, Souvenirs, tea departments, etc., in some of them there are supermarkets, cafes and cinemas. Among the famous: Odel, Liberty Plaza, Majestic City, House of Fashion. The Pettah district (Pettah), almost all represents a huge market. Here, everything everywhere and sell something. Read more about shopping in Colombo here.
Comments / recent posts on the topic on the forum
vitalka787 December 9, 2016
Thank You So Much)) ...
Alexa 13 January, 2017
Good day! how are the flights in connection with the repair of the Colombo airport? There is a delay? Queue? Thank you. ...
Chita Vyacheslav 12 November, 2017
Hello, pliz tell me where to look for the bus with номер187 . Everywhere is different information , some people write after leaving the airport, turn left , turn right others write . How to look for bass . Thank you! ...
admin 12 November, 2017

Hello Sheri! All information is different, because at various times he apparently was sent from different places or simply different tourists caught it on the way. Three years ago he was left at the site, ogorojennaja fence from stacks, netting, car Park. If the situation has not changed, look for it there. But for reliability it is better to ask on the spot, not on the street, the taxi drivers, they immediately say that there is nothing, and inside the airport at the employees at the front Desk and tourist information for example. Make sure you double check/ask again information from several people. ...
ZNAdejda January 14, 2019
Input Board obsolete. Now many churches have tickets (they cost 300-400 rupees per person) plus the cost of photo/video shooting and helpers remuneration for additional services. And donations for the development of the temple a separate issue to the discretion of the individual, and for this purpose there are special boxes. ...
admin 15 January, 2019

Hello! Thanks for the info, we at the Colombo detour last time I did about four years ago. So if you have specific information at a cost to the temples, will share it here. ...
mirobell 18 October, 2019
Please tell me, as at Colombo airport is the situation with queues at the inspection and registration of PI flight?
The memories of Goa covers the horror of possible traffic jams and the need to arrive 5 hours to do everything ...
admin October 18, 2019

Everything is absolutely fine with it. This year I flew immediately after the attacks, while strong security measures are stepped up, a lot of the checks was starting in the street in front of the terminal. But all passed in a matter of minutes. The bigger issue was that due to inspections are not passed to the terminal of the machine, carefully inspect them, so there were huge traffic jams. In the end, simply let go of the taxi and walked the last half kilometer on foot. so quickly turned. But I think now everything has calmed down. ...
Ana 27 October, 2019
Tell me, please, how much time is spent on passing inspection on arrival?
What to take plenty of time from arrival to ordering a taxi? ...
admin October 31, 2019

Hello! Sorry for the delay in response, myself on the trip, do not always have time to answer. All very quickly, I always passed for about 15-20 minutes and in this time have Luggage on the ribbon, was waiting. But I on e-visa drove always, and now you can get free visa on arrival. So add another 30 minutes for a visa if suddenly the queue will be, and to change money, buy SIM card. I would 40 minutes in the end all planned. ...