COLOMBO, SRI LANKA

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Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka and with a population of 647,100, it is the largest city in this country.  Located on the west coast of the island, it is adjacent to the administrative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte.  Colombo is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern life, colonial buildings and ruins.  Being the former administrative capital of Sri Lanka, it is home to the majority of the country's corporate offices and offers a huge variety of restaurants and entertainment.  Famous landmarks include the Galle Face Green, the Viharamahadevi Park, as well as the National Museum.

The name "Colombo", first introduced by the Portuguese in 1505, is believed to be derived from the classical Sinhalese name Kolon thota, meaning "port on the river Kelani".  It has also been suggested that the name may be derived from the Sinhalese name Kola-amba-thota which means "Harbour with leafy mango trees".

Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago. However it was only made the capital of the island when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British Empire in 1815 and its status as capital was retained when the nation became independent in 1948.


Useful info

srilanka map

Best time to be there

During our winter months, when the humidity is lower and the temperature more comfortable for sightseeing and exploration. However, the monsoon season of May to September should not be discounted for travel as the whole of Sri Lanka is bursting into lush greenery due to the rainfall showing you a side of this island not everyone sees.

Fly to

Colombo (Sri Lankan Airlines daily)

flying time

10 hours non-stop

time difference

GMT +6 hours

Visas

Required for British Nationals from 1st January 2012.

Health Requirements

Yellow fever if arriving from endemic area

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Holidays Click to change

Our experts can tailor-make the perfect holiday to suit your individual requirements, however, if you need inspiration or a starting point, below are some of our suggested trips and experiences:

Uncovering the secrets of Sri Lanka

Nights: 17 | from £4,995pp

This indepth journey of Sri Lanka takes in the all the key attractions including the Cultural Triangle, visit historic Kandy before heading to the tea... Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

Call 01242 547 755 Enquire

Family Sri Lanka

Nights: 14 | from £2,995pp

A magical 14 night family trip to Sri Lanka where you’ll enjoy the beaches of Sri Lanka's southwest coast and visit Polonnaruwa by bike. Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

Family Holidays

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An Introduction to Sri Lanka

Nights: 8 | from £3,217pp

This journey takes in the key sites of Sri Lanka, combining history and culture. This short itinerary can be extended to include wildlife or time on the... Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

Call 01242 547 755 Enquire

Classic Sri Lanka

Nights: 13 | from £2,475pp

The tear-drop isle is ideal for a two-week trip – that’s enough time to pack in ancient forts and temples, world-class wild-life, hill walks, historic... Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

Call 01242 547 755 Enquire

Highlights of Sri Lanka

Nights: 8 | from £1,995pp

This journey takes in the key sites of Sri Lanka, combining history and culture. This short itinerary can be extended to include wildlife or time on the... Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

Call 01242 547 755 Enquire

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Below are some of our suggested places to stay:

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Taj Samudra

With 300 rooms and suites spread among five hectares of landscaped gardens, it's hard to imagine you are in a capital city. Choose from city or ocean... Find out more

Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge

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The Wallawwa, Ja-ela

Conveniently located just 15 minutes from Colombo airport, the Wallawwa at Ja Ela is the ideal property to start or finish your Sri Lankan journey. This... Find out more

Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge

Call 01242 547 755 Enquire

Tintagel, Colombo

Tintagel Colombo has been redefined as a contemporary boutique hotel from the family home of the former president, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga... Find out more

Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge

Call 01242 547 755 Enquire

Uga Residence

For a slice of cosmopolitan city living The Residence offers a sophisticated slice of luxury in a leafy region of Colombo, nestled close to one of the... Find out more

Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge

Call 01242 547 755 Enquire

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Annie, Brandon, Debbie, Margaret, Vicky Hamlin, Vicky Smith and Rachel - are experts in designing travel experiences across the region to suit your personal needs, interests and budget. Their intimate knowledge of every hotel and resort featured in our Orient, India, Australasia and Indian Ocean portfolio, together with our own network of offices throughout these areas, allows us to offer unique in-depth knowledge, unparalleled insider access and the VIP service for which Abercrombie & Kent is renowned.

Read about our lastest experiences in our Travel Blog pages.

To find out more about our Orient team, click on the consultant links below or call them on 01242 547 704 or enquire online


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Guest Testimonial

We had an outstanding guide, Mr Upali Guneratne. His expert knowledge about the temples and ancient sites we visited, Sri Lankan history and customs, and the Island’s flora and wildlife made it a memorable experience for us both.

- AM, Hampshire


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