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Colombo Shopping

Duration: Full Day

colombo shopping

Spend a day exploring Sri Lanka’s bustling commercial capital on this memorable tour of Colombo, the island’s largest city and major port. Stroll through the streets, passing a blend of old colonial buildings, ruins and modern high rose hotels, to get a feel for the history and culture of this vibrant cosmopolitan city. Free time is available for shopping afterwards.

Your day begins with a tour of Colombo on the west coast of the island, where we will explore both old and new parts of this fascinating city. The heart of the city is the historic area, known as "Fort" because both the Portuguese and Dutch built a fort at this point. Here stand most of the gracious old buildings from the Dutch, Portuguese and British colonial eras, including the famous clock tower, a former lighthouse and the Presidential Residence (also known as Queen's House).

This area is also the commercial district of Colombo and a focal point of government and commercial activity. The World Trade Centre twin towers, Central Bank, the Old Parliament building, Prime Minister’s Office and General Post Office can be found here, as well as offices, hotels and numerous department stores and shops. This district lies closest to Colombo harbour, which has been used as a trading port for centuries, and the popular Galle Face Green, an elegant, palm-lined promenade that stretches half a kilometre along Sri Lanka’s western coast.

After the city tour you can enjoy free time for some serious shopping. From colourful outdoor markets and street vendors to speciality boutiques and modern, air-conditioned shopping malls, Colombo offers the best shopping in Sri Lanka and you can be sure of grabbing a bargain here.

The city’s main shopping area is the noisy but exciting Pettah bazaar district, located east of Fort. The narrow cobbled streets are crammed with hundreds of shops and stalls selling all sorts of merchandise – from fruit, vegetables and meat to gemstones, jewellery, clothing and many other high quality items at very affordable prices. Even if you’re not in the mood for shopping, this district is certainly worth exploring anyway.

Soak up the bustling atmosphere and watch life unfold on the streets. If you have time to explore Colombo during your holiday in Sri Lanka, you will be pleasantly surprised to discover a wealth of hidden gems.

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