Colombo is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings. Colombo has a population of 647,100 and the Colombo Metropolitan Region has an estimated population of 5,648,000.
Due to its large harbour and its strategic position, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago.
However it was only made the capital of the island when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British Empire in 1815, and its status as capital was retained when the nation became independent in 1948. In 1978, when administrative functions were moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo was designated as the commercial capital of Sri Lanka.
Famous landmarks in Colombo include the Galle Face Green, the Viharamahadevi Park as well as the National Museum.