Tour of Fort and Pettah in Colombo, Colombo

Colombo's main districts are Fort and Pettah, which represent the financial and business centres of the city. The most impressive hotels and corporations are situated here, yet there are many spiritually valued spots that have been preserved. Take this tour and discover this lively region.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Tour of Fort and Pettah in Colombo Map

Guide Name: Tour of Fort and Pettah in Colombo
Guide Location: Sri Lanka » Colombo (See other walking tours in Colombo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.2 km
Author: Linda
1
Galle Face Green

1) Galle Face Green

The Galle Face is a promenade which stretches for half kilometre along the coast in the heart of financial and business district of Colombo. The promenade was initially laid out in 1859 by the British Governor of Ceylon, Sir Henry Ward, and was also used for horse racing and as a golf course. It was known as the Colpitty Race Course.

The Galle Face Green is currently a 5 hectare ribbon strip of land between Galle Road and Indian Ocean which is now the largest open space in Colombo. This is a popular destination for children, vendors, teenagers, lovers, kite flyers, merrymakers and all those who want to indulge in their favorite pastimes next to the sea under the open sky. On Saturday and Sunday evenings, the land is busy with day trippers, picnickers and food vendors.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Old Parliament House

2) Old Parliament House (must see)

The Old Parliament is one of the most impressive buildings in the city, located just a few meters from the Indian Ocean. Visitors will be amazed by its resemblance to the Greek Temple of Goddess Athena, both of them designed in the Ionic style. Its history began with Sir Henry McCallum, who proposed to build a single building for the Legislative Council. The idea was accepted by the Government and on January 29, 1930, the Parliament was opened. Now it hosts the Presidential Secretariat and the Finance Ministry.
3
Regal Cinema

3) Regal Cinema

Opened in 1930, Regal cinema, situated in the Slave Island district, is one the oldest entertainment venues in the city and the first Sinhala theatre of the country. It is appreciated for its diverse film repertory, good quality, Dolby digital sound, comfort and the pleasure it provides. Many film festivals take place here. There is a choice of either house or balcony seating.
4
Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre

4) Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre

Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre is the main, multi-functional centre in the city and the first venue where exhibitors can hold their works and presentations. In this huge centre of around 40,000 sq ft, are organized all kinds of events such as exhibitions of contemporary artists, meetings and conferences as well as shows and trade actions.
5
Cargills

5) Cargills

Cargills is one of the most developed food corporations in Sri Lanka, providing the best traditions and ethical standards. It was established in 1844 with the purpose of linking the farmers and entrepreneurs, given that it was the first department store in the city. The building of Cargills situated on York Street is of great interest, thanks to its amazing colonial architecture. It impresses by its red and white stripes, ancient brass signs and wooden cabinets.
6
Khan Clock Tower

6) Khan Clock Tower (must see)

The Khan Clock Tower was built in Colombo, Sri Lanka by the Khan Family of Bombay. The Clock Tower is a popular landmark and marks the entrance to Pettah Market. It was built in the early 20th century by the family of Framjee Bhikhajee Khan. This Parsi family hailed from Bombay, India and also owned the famous Colombo Oil Mills as well as other business interests in Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was then called.

The clock tower also provided a working water fountain, but this no longer functions. The plate on the clock tower carries the inscription: "This clock tower and fountain was erected to the memory of the late Framjee Bhikhajee Khan by his sons Bhikhajee and Munchershaw Framjee Khan as a token of affectionate gratitude and dedicated through the Municipal Council to the citizens of Colombo on the fourth day of January 1923, the 45th anniversary of his death." The Tower is roughly four storeys high and is situated on a landscaped roundabout that marks the entrance to the famous market.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
The Dutch Period Museum

7) The Dutch Period Museum (must see)

The Colombo Dutch Museum is a museum that covers the history of the Dutch colonial rule in Sri Lanka. The old Dutch House on Prince Street, Pettah which houses this museum was built in the latter part of the 17th century and was initially the residence of Count August Carl Van Ranzow along with five other houses of the elite. Today, the sides of the street are choc-a-block with boutiques and stores of Moor traders. The restoration of this building commenced in 1977 and was completed in 1981. This museum was opened to the public in 1982. This building embodies the unique architectural features of a colonial Dutch town house. The museum while displaying the Dutch legacy with the artefacts viz. furniture, ceramics, coins, arms etc. portrays facets of contemporary life and culture.

The museum is open daily except Fridays from 9 am – 5 pm.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Elphinstone Theatre

8) Elphinstone Theatre

One of the most important cultural spots is Elphinstone Theatre. It was established in 1925 and is the second oldest Theatre Hall in the city. It was recently redecorated in order to provide better conditions for a relaxing and pleasant rest. The theatre provides live performances, plays and has facilities for running films.
9
New Olympia Theatre

9) New Olympia Theatre

Established in 1926, New Olympia Theatre is the oldest cinema hall in the city, yet it keeps high standards of comfort and a good acoustic and quality level. New Olympia is managed in cooperation with Liberty Cinema LTD, and shows the same movies for different ages and tastes, so everyone can enjoy spending time here.

Walking Tours in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Create Your Own Walk in Colombo

Create Your Own Walk in Colombo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Colombo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Cultural Tour of Colombo

Cultural Tour of Colombo

The cultural life of Colombo is developed and maintained by a large number of venues such as museums, theatres, galleries, temples and exhibition centres. According to your tastes and wishes you can choose between watching a movie or a play, going to a live concert or to a contemporary exhibition, or learning about the history and culture of the city. This tour will guide you through the spots that worth seeing.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Religious Sights in Colombo, Part 1

Religious Sights in Colombo, Part 1

Religious life in Colombo was influenced by historic events and different nations such as Portuguese, Dutch and Indian. Here one can see places of worship belonging to Islam, Catholicism and Methodism, each of them revealing the beauty and importance of their religion. This tour will guide you through the most interesting religious spots in the central part of the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
City Orientation Walk I

City Orientation Walk I

Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, the country ruled successively by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British, has a long history reflected in the city's architecture – a mixture of colonial buildings, modern skyscrapers and shopping malls. The majestic Colombo National Museum borders the sprawling Viharamahadevi Park and its giant Buddha. These and other attractions of Colombo make up this orientation walk.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 km
Religious Sights in Colombo, Part 2

Religious Sights in Colombo, Part 2

During its history, the city of Colombo was dominated successively by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, each of them having left significant marks in all aspects of life, including the religious one. Churches, Hindu Kovils, Buddhist Temples and Mosques can be found in the city and its suburbs. This tour will help you discover them.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
Nightlife Tour of Colombo

Nightlife Tour of Colombo

During the last few years, the night life in Colombo has become more active and now presents a bigger interest for locals and visitors. The majority of clubs and bars are situated inside the big hotels and aside from good music and stylish interiors, they also provide tasty food and drinks. Take this self-guided tour and discover the best night venues.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 km
City Orientation Walk II

City Orientation Walk II

The capital and the largest city of Sri Lanka, Colombo is a busy and vibrant metropolis with a mixture of modern life, colonial architecture and ancient ruins. Galle Face Green, Old Parliament House, Khan Clock Tower and many other notable attractions make up this orientation walk.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Colombo for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Colombo has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Colombo, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.