Colombo city walk

previous arrow
next arrow


Colombo is Sri Lanka’s multifaceted commercial capital; a city with an intriguing mix of history, colonial buildings, ruins, modern developments and a vibrant yet chaotic nature that often confuses first-time visitors. The Fort area of the city is often overlooked by modern-day travelers, but having once been the initial landing place for colonial powers it has a long and colorful history. For many years the secrets of bygone eras stood locked in time within the Fort area as it was partially cordoned off during the rule of the last government. At the start of 2015 these forgotten parts of the Fort area were opened up and some of Colombo’s oldest buildings were once again revealed. This walk lets you explore Colombo’s most historical area, the Fort, before introducing you to one of its most notoriously misunderstood districts, Pettah, with a host who knows the city like the back of his hand.

Experience Overview

This walk begins in Colombo’s Fort area at the old Dutch Hospital, which is the first of many beautifully restored colonial buildings that you will see on the walk. Your host is a local history buff and he will begin by giving you a quick introduction to the area before you begin the walk. The walk places focus on photography, architecture and history in two stages; stage one covers the Fort while stage two covers the Pettah markets. You’ll start by taking a big loop through the entire Fort area, stopping to visit the currency museum, passing several notable landmarks such as the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the Old Post Office, and the historical Cargills Building. Your host has a story about each building and his energy and passion for the city are infectious – you’ll be drawn into the experience. Once you’ve finished in the Fort, you’ll stop for tea with a spectacular view overlooking the harbor and then you’ll head towards the bustling Pettah markets to try street snacks, chat with the local ‘Bombay sweet’ sellers, and perhaps even try drinking a ‘falludah’. Water will be provided if required along the way. The walk ends back where you started at the Old Dutch Hospital.

We provide a guide, water, snacks and vehicle.

2 hours.

Not for small children, but a walk tailored to suit the interests of children can be organized

Anytime in day time.

Cool, light clothing and a cap

Important to know:

Sunday is not the best day, as the markets are closed.

Making the most of it:

Remember to bring your camera!