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Colombo is the capital and the largest city of Sri Lanka. Found in the western coast of the country, Colombo is 14.4 square miles of colonial ruins and modern establishments. The name Colombo was given by the former Portuguese colonizers, in 1505. It is thought to have been derived from a classical Sinhalese word meaning “port on the River Kelani.” There are yet other theories as to how the capital city’s name came about. Colombo is home to 6.5 thousand people!

Colombo at present is a mix of several cultures and ethnicity. The most populous city in Sri Lanka, it is a real melting pot of races and cultural influences. This is because it has been under three countries at various points in history. It has been under Portugal, the Netherlands and the British Empire. The people of Sri Lanka were already made up of several ethnicity; the colonial periods added Europeans to the mix. In the end, it is great for tourists: modern and colonial thriving side by side. Though troubled in the past, Colombo now welcomes visitors; this is made possible by peace talks.

If you really want to visit Colombo, you will have to book interconnecting flights ending at Katunayake. From there, you can take a taxi to Colombo; the journey by land will last about an hour. To get around the city, you can travel by bus, train or taxi. Do not take the bus if you cannot understand Sinhalese, however; you may not get to where exactly you want to go. As for the weather, expect steady temperatures all year round ranging from 74 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit on average.

If you are visiting Sri Lanka, you will need a passport valid for at least six months. You also need to present your return ticket from Sri Lanka. Make sure you have other pertinent travel documents ready, just in case. However, you are not required to get a visa if you are from the United States and staying for only up to 30 days. If you want to extend your stay, you have to consult the nearest embassy for a visa.