Exploring Old Colombo

  • Port

    Colombo, Sri Lanka

  • Activity Level


  • Excursion Type


  • Wheelchair Accessible


  • Starting At


    Price between $51-$100
  • Minimum Age

    Information not currently available.

  • Duration

    Approximately 4 Hours

  • Meals Included


Meet Mark Forbes -- a native Dutchman and passionate photographer -- for this gentle walking tour through the capital of Sri Lanka. Mark is an intrepid city explorer, who will unlock the backstreets and colorful alleyways of Colombo for you on a vibrant and history-rich journey through the city. This is truly a wonderful way to immerse yourself in a bygone era and awaken your senses as you experience the city -- raw and polished.

The Pettah District is one of the oldest regions in Colombo, just east of the city center -- an absolute hive of activity. Take in the incredible bazaars, where once the streets were teeming with ox carts and alive with the sounds and smells of the sea as rubber, tea, cinnamon, kittul treacle, rope and peacocks were loaded aboard ships. Explore hidden architectural treasures such as the marvelous Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque and the Khan Clock Tower, built by the Khan family of Bombay.

You will also see the Dutch colonial mansions of the spice era, as Mark brings these buildings to life and tells the stories of the old, influential families. Your walk will take you away from the typical tourist hotspots and allow you to truly experience the history of the port town that has evolved into Colombo. Along the way, you will explore lively street stalls that sell everything from textiles and electronics to spices.

View the Old Dutch Museum to appreciate the pristine architecture of this mansion that was built in the latter part of the 17th century. It was initially the residence of Count August Carl van Ranzow -- Governor of the Dutch East India Company.

You will then proceed to the commercial hub of Colombo Fort and pause for a refreshing drink at the Grand Oriental Hotel. This is your opportunity to ask Mark any question you like regarding this wonderful city.

Your walk ends at another colonial gem -- the Old Dutch Hospital complex. A functioning hospital during the 17th century, it is now host to high-end restaurants, bars and shops. Photography enthusiasts will want to take some beautiful pictures of Dutch and English colonial architecture, portraits of persons of all religious and ethnic backgrounds, and breathtaking Sri Lankan scenes that are far from typical.