Dawn breaks through and progresses into morning, gently touching the beautiful skyline of Colombo, painting it in a pale yellow light. Even at that time, the capital city of Sri Lanka is wide awake and bustling with hundreds of people rushing to work and kids travelling to school, buses honk their way through the almost non-existent traffic at this time, street lamps go off one by one, crows caw-caw looking for fresh scraps and the dedicated municipal workers get down to their daily grind. It’s a series of sights that is synonymous almost, with how a typical day starts in the ever-evolving city of Colombo.

Home to a plethora of attractions, cultural sites, iconic landmarks and now, some serious new additions that has changed the skyline such as the Lotus Tower, the busy and vivacious capital city of Sri Lanka is a place that feels likes home to a Sri Lankan who was born and brought up here. Even the constant honking of horns during rush hour is a little like the background music that pushes the city along as it goes about its day. There may be gridlocks and the blistering heat, but there are a hundred different reasons to fall in love with this darling city.

Its home to some of the most incredible hotpots of culture and ethnicity with people from many different backgrounds living together harmoniously. In the same spirit, it is also multi-faceted and will change in a couple of minutes from the bustling atmosphere surrounding the Beira Lake and the Townhall, to the serendipity of the historic Gangaramaya; a beautiful Buddhist temple, built among the waters of the Beira Lake. The very same city houses the iconic St, Anthony’s Church Kochickade, the stunning Red Mosque or Jami Ul-Alfar and the staggeringly intricate Sri Kalaiwasanathan Swami Dewasthanam Kovil. It just shows how much love Colombo has for all its people, regardless of who they are and where they come from.

Travel a bit more into Central Colombo and you can catch a glimpse of the Galle Face. The landscape has changed so much within the past few years but this place is still something that any Sri Lankan would think of when they contemplate taking their families for a walk, some ice cream and isso wade. It’s the best place to take your kids, younger siblings or nephews and nieces to fly kites with.

One more reason to love Colombo is that it has something for everyone. From tiny joints serving yummy dishes at unbelievably cheap prices to the new, chic eateries that have popped up with their hipster renditions on menus for the slightly high market audience, Colombo’s spirit is so diverse yet so unifying that it won’t let you down no matter what your budget is on a day out.

There is just so much to do here. You can take a stroll through the Independence Square lawns, shop at the Racecourse Promenade, go for a movie at any one of the cinemas in Colombo, dine from a collection of places that offer everything from Sri Lankan to Mexican culinary styles, browse through the many book stores in the city and guess what? With a tuk tuk always around you can get from one place to another in minutes (if you can avoid the rush hours).

As the day goes on and the dawn transforms into dusk, so does the city. It almost feels like Colombo has had yet another really happening day and is ready to catch up on some rest. If you happen to be in Central Colombo around 6.30pm, you can almost feel the shift around you. You can sense the city settling in for the night as the sounds reduce and the light dims down and the roads begin to empty out somewhat. Birds fly in hundreds back home as the last rays of the sun hide beneath the horizon and the moon takes its place in the sky.