Colombo is a metropolitan commercial city and the largest city in Sri Lanka by population. Historically, the strategic position of Colombo had made it a trading center for the Asians and Europeans, before the invasion of Portuguese and British. The heritage can be seen around Colombo, where the cityscape is a mixture of old colonial remains and modern architecture.
Bandaranaike International Airport is the main international airport in Colombo. The airport was originally a Royal Air Force base during World War II and was upgraded and opened for civil aviation in the year 1967. Bandaranaike International Airport is located 32.5 kilometers north of the Colombo city center. Currently, over 40 international airlines are operating in the airport, including the national carrier SriLankan Airlines and Cinnamon Air. No direct flight is available from Manila, but you can travel to Colombo by taking transit flights. There are three terminals at the airport. All international flights depart and arrive in Terminal 1, while all domestic flights are in Terminal 3. Terminal 2 is expected to open in the year 2019 to support international flights. If you want to reach the city from the airport, you can get on a bus, taxi or rail from the terminal.
Ratalana Airport was originally the main international airport in Colombo until the opening of Bandaranaike International Airport. The airport is located 15 kilometers south of the Colombo city center. Now, Ratmalana Airport serves primarily domestic flights as well as small international commercial flights in its two terminals. Four local airlines are operating in the airport which are Air Senok, FitsAir, Helitours and Millenium Airlines.
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Colombo experiences a tropical monsoon climate. Colombo is generally warm, with temperature ranging between 22 to 31 degrees centigrade. Rain is expected throughout the year. Heavier rainfall usually occurs during the two monsoon season which happens from May to August and October to January. This city is vibrant in various cultures. The people in Colombo embraces different faiths like Buddha, Islam, Christian and Hindu. If you visit Colombo in mid-May, you can join the Vesak Festival celebrated by the Buddhist where you can see decorations of lanterns and lights display in the city. Muslims in Colombo celebrated Eidul Fitr after the fasting months and Eidul Adha during the Hajj pilgrimage season. The city will also be filled with Christmas decorations throughout December. You can also see Colombo’s cultural displays during the Sinhalese and Hindu Aluth Awurudda' celebration, which are the Sinhalese and Hindu New Year.
Colombo is one of the most visited cities in the world. Many attractions can be found in Colombo.
1. Beira Lake – Beira Lake is located in the Colombo city center. The manmade lake was originally used for military purposes, and later on, converted for recreational purposes like rowing and yachting. Colombo Rowing Club is now active in this lake. You can enjoy the view of the cityscape including the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre and the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited building.
2. Viharamahadevi Park – Viharamahadevi Park, formerly known as Victoria Park, is the oldest and biggest park in Colombo. This park was used as a cricket ground in the early 20th If you visit the park between March and May, you can see blooming flowery trees here. You can take a stroll in the park while viewing the fountains, a Buddha statue, a mini zoo and a lake.
3. National Museum of Colombo – If you appreciate the history of Colombo, this is a place to visit. This museum has an Italian architecture style is the largest museum in Sri Lanka and home to various collections from the ancient Kandyan dynasty. You can also look at old manuscripts written in the local languages on palm leaves. The entrance fee to the museum for foreigners is 600 LKR (179 PHP) and 300 LKR (90 PHP) per person for adult and child respectively.