The essence of a walking tour of Colombo
Enjoy this relaxed walk through a bustling and vibrant city punctuated with nuggets of Dutch history. Explore historical Old Colombo, known as Pettah, during a leisurely 3-4 hour guided walk that takes you through the city’s ancient heritage. Discover how the city grew under Portuguese, Dutch and English rule and how several traditions remain in how people conduct their day-to-day business. Discover stunning examples of Dutch architecture with buildings that date back to the 17th century. The Dutch ruled the Sri Lankan coast from about 1640, when they defeated the Portuguese, until 1796 when the British took over after Napoleon’s forces controlled the Netherlands.
Meet your guide and head off on foot through the busy trading centre of Pettah. The walk starts from Wolvendaal Church completed in 1758 with a belfry that called the faithful from the bottom of the hill to service. Stop at the Colombo Dutch Museum in the 17th century residence of a Dutch Governor on Prince Street and visit the country’s largest wholesale bazaar where you are encouraged to haggle and decide on a price before purchasing anything.
Have a drink in a local café and continue to York Street past British colonial buildings into the fort area. The tour ends with a visit to the Dutch Hospital, the oldest surviving Dutch building in Colombo believed to date back to at least 1681, where you can grab a drink or a meal at one of the many excellent restaurants.