Colombo, Sri Lanka's bustling capital, is located on the country's West coast and with a population of between 800,000 and one million (estimates vary) is by far the country’s biggest city, as well as its window on the world. Its natural harbour at the mouth of the Kelani River was a magnet for successive traders and conquerors - first Arab merchants, then Portuguese, Dutch and British imperialists. Colombo's cosmopolitan side supports ever-more stylish eateries, galleries and museums.
Surprises abound in its old quarters where you can find great local food and discover a characterful shop or tiny, convivial cafe. The capital is an excellent start - or finish - to your Sri Lankan adventures.