Things to do in Colombo

Our most recommended things to do in Colombo

Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip from Colombo

1. Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip from Colombo

Depart Colombo and travel by a shared vehicle, in a small group, to the city of Sigiriya, and head directly to Sigiriya Rock on arrival. Gaze in awe at the massive column of rock that, according to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle The Culavamsa, was selected by King Kasyapa as the site of his new capital. Admire numerous paintings of historic queens, princesses, and maids inside the rock fortress before getting a break for lunch at your own expense. Then, explore some of the traditional crafts of the region, such as wood carving and batik textiles, with time to purchase souvenirs before departing. Start the journey back towards Colombo via Dambulla to explore the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Discover the magnificent Buddha images and rock paintings of vivid colors and different shapes, painted from around the 2nd century B.C. up to the 18th-century Kandyan era.

The True Essence of Colombo:Private Highlights & Hidden Gems

2. The True Essence of Colombo:Private Highlights & Hidden Gems

Ayubowan! Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of the heart of Sri Lanka’s capital: Colombo! Experience the sights, sounds, and smells of this vibrant city together with your private host. The very best must-sees, hidden gems, and local snacks await! So, hop on a colorful Tuk Tuk and let your private guide take you from one highlight to another. The Independence Square is a must visit and a great place to kick off your tour. Stroll through the spacious green lawns and marvel at one of the islands' longest standing colonial buildings. Your host can tell you all about Sri Lanka’s historic past and how the city has changed to the modern city of today. Do as the Sri Lankans do and grab some delicious hoppers and vegetable roti. Locals simply love to start the day with this tasty morning snack, especially when heading to Colombo’s biggest park! Filled with lush vegetation, 100-year-old trees and a replica of the White House, this park is a tranquil gem away from the city buzz. Tuk Tuk your way to the oldest Buddhist temples in Colombo with a beautiful lake. Check out an amazing collection of Buddha statues, take a look at a holy tree and admire a relic of Buddha’s hair. Feel free to ask your host any burning questions! Get immersed in real local life and visit one of the liveliest markets. See where locals buy and sell everything from vegetables to electronics. Wander through the labyrinth streets and follow your nose to a nearby cassava chip vendor. See how this yummy snack is made and make your taste buds dance! Head to the banana market and try as many different bananas as you fancy! Curious what else awaits? How about a visit to a mosque in the shape of a pomegranate, followed by a beautifully minimalist Hindu temple? A visit to Sri Lanka’s last King’s jail cell is also a unique gem! While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the stunning view from the lighthouse. What better way to top off your tour than at the relaxing ocean side of Galle Face? Unwind and relax with a cold drink, a delicious prawn cake and a marvelous sunset over the western coast of Sri Lanka!

Yala National Park All-Inclusive 2-Day Safari

3. Yala National Park All-Inclusive 2-Day Safari

Spend the night in a treehouse at the 2nd largest national park in Sri Lanka and look for wildlife on an evening and early morning nature trek. Benefit from the expertise of a game ranger as your personal guide. Day 1: Following pick-up at your hotel, journey towards Yala National Park in southeast Sri Lanka. Upon arrival at Tissamarama, head to the luxurious Leopard Nest campsite and check in to one of the treehouses. Enjoy lunch at the campsite's main restaurant or at one of the many outdoor locations before some time to relax. Get back to nature with an evening game drive and look for wildlife, such as leopards in their natural environment. Return to the campsite to freshen up before drinks and appetizers around the campfire. Dinner will be served at one of many locations throughout the camp. Day 2: Enjoy breakfast at a private location by a lake whilst listening to the singing of birds and feeling the fresh breeze. Start to trek through thick bushes with a pathway access to a wonderful lake which offers breath-taking views and bird watching opportunities.

Udawalawa National Park: Private Safari

4. Udawalawa National Park: Private Safari

Explore Udawalawe National Park, one of the most undisturbed and pristine natural ecosystems on the planet enriched with a wealth of Sri Lankan elephants. See huge herds of elephants, and enjoy glances of water buffalo, wild boar, spotted deer, jackal, and more. Discover an area of 30,821 hectares, which embodies the true essence of a tropical paradise. See a rich variety of exotic flora and fauna and enjoy the perfect getaway for bird-watchers. Enjoy ample opportunities for spotting endemic and migrated birds. This Udawalawe safari might even present you with the sighting of the Sri Lankan Jungle Fowl, Spur Fowl, and Green Pigeon.

Transfers From Bandaranayake Airport

5. Transfers From Bandaranayake Airport

Get picked up from Bandaranayake International Airport and proceed to the destination of your choice. This service includes the costs of highway tickets and drinking water. You will be looked after by an English-speaking, experienced, and friendly driver. Get transferred directly to your destination and avoid any hassle trying to arrange your transport at the airport. Once you have booked, you should send the supplier your arrival time and the number of passengers that will be travelling with you. Your chauffeur will be in the airport lobby waiting for you with a placard.

Galle and Bentota Day-Tour From Colombo

6. Galle and Bentota Day-Tour From Colombo

After being picked up at your hotel, hop onboard your Madu Ganga Magrove boat safari and explore the Madu River. See the mangrove forests and marshlands that surround the river. Stop at a cinnamon garden, and try some of the area’s famous cinnamon. The Madu Ganga River region is home to some of the best quality cinnamon in the world as well as a flourishing cinnamon industry. Afterward, marvel at the fishermen who stoically sit atop large branches planted in the middle of the water waiting for their catch. Continue to a local Turtle Hatchery, where your guide will introduce you to the many local varieties of turtles. End your tour with a visit to the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fort illustrates the unique interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries. After discovering the fort, you will be returned to your hotel in Colombo.

Private Transfer: Colombo International Airport to Galle

7. Private Transfer: Colombo International Airport to Galle

Enjoy the convenience of a private airport transfer from Colombo International Airport to your accommodation in Galle. Travel with an English-speaking driver in an air-conditioned vehicle with airport meet and greet included. Meet the driver in the designated waiting area and learn about Sri Lanka's culture, traditions, and customs from a local's perspective on your way to the hotel.

From Colombo: Udawalawa National Park Wildlife Safari

8. From Colombo: Udawalawa National Park Wildlife Safari

Benefit from early morning pickup at your hotel in Colombo, and then relax on the 5-hour drive to Udawalawa National Park, created in the 1970s to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir on the Walawe River. Upon arrival, go for a safari drive by jeep and look for the thriving elephant population in its natural habitat. Search for other indigenous wildlife, such as buffalo, wild boar, sambhur, and hare. Now the third most visited park in Sri Lanka, Udawalawe is also an important nature reserve for 50 species of butterflies and many species of birds. Enjoy an authentic lunch at a local hotel in Udawalawe, at your own expense. Then, journey back to Colombo and get dropped off at your hotel on arrival.

Sri Lanka: Five-day Multi-City Sightseeing Tour

9. Sri Lanka: Five-day Multi-City Sightseeing Tour

Explore the best of Sri Lanka with this tour to the Golden Temple of Dambulla, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, rolling tea tea plantations in Ella, the chance to see wild elephants in the Udawalawa National park. Have your hotels, dinners, and breakfasts arranged for you in this fantastic tour package. Day 1 - Be welcomed by your guide at the Colombo International Airport where your guide will take you to your hotel in Colombo. Day 2 - Journey from Colombo to Sigiriya after getting your negative test results and eating a filling breakfast. Visit the Golden Temple of Dambulla, the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Relax before heading to the ancient rock fortress Sigiriya before having dinner and staying at a 4star hotel in Sigiriya. Day 3 - Travel to Kandy after a hearty breakfast to visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic which holds the most important Buddhist relic in Sri Lanka. Take some time to unwind in your hotel before proceeding to see the amazing flora at the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens. Eat dinner and stay overnight at a four star hotel in Kandy. Day 4 - Next, have a full breakfast before heading to Ella to walk among the lush tea plantations. Learn more about the colonial history of Sri Lanka and take in the stunning landscape views. Return to your hotel in Ella for dinner and to rest. Day 5 - After breakfast, drive to Udawalawa National park where you can spot elephants in their natural habitat.

From Bentota: Elephant Transit Camp and Udawalawe Safari

10. From Bentota: Elephant Transit Camp and Udawalawe Safari

See many dozens of wild elephants at close proximate to your safari jeep on the Udawalawe safari. You will never get so close to wild elephant-like in Udawalawe. Udawalawe national park is a haven for wildlife lovers, and it is one of the best places for watching elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, buffaloes, deer, and many other creatures. On your return journey visit the Elephant transit camp, where dozens of orphan elephants gather for feeding. Take a walk along the cobbled stone alleys of Galle Fort and discover medieval-period Dutch-styled constructions. Most buildings in this medieval city are now converted into restaurants, galleries, museums, hotels, and shops. Later stroll along the south coast beach and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze while taking a glimpse of endangered sea turtles. Round out the day with a visit to one of the island’s most famous mask-making cities, and learn about exquisite Sri Lankan masks for an activity-filled, full-day tour. Be picked up from your hotel in Bentota or Kalutara in the early morning and drive for around 3.5-hours to Udawalawe National Park. Get up close to spectacular wildlife as you spend 3-hours on a 4x4 jeep safari tour spotting a large array of wild animals in this animal sanctuary. Sightings include wild elephants, crocodiles, jackals, deer, buffalo, and sloth bears. The next stop is Galle Fort, a Dutch fortification and UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the houses, palaces, galleries, restaurants, cafes, and shops in this historically rich town. Take some time to look at the local stores and find typical Sri Lankan handmade products and souvenirs. From here, head to Unawatuna Beach. Enjoy a swim in the warm water or relax on the beach. Discover the cultural heritage of the island at Ambalangoda, a coastal town famous for its mask-making. Visit a mask museum and learn about the meaning of these colorful works of art and their role in traditional dance rituals and festivals. Pass by local fishing villages, harbors, and fish markets and be dropped off at your hotel between 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM.

Frequently asked questions about Colombo

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Colombo?

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Kandy

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Other Sightseeing Options in Colombo

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What people are saying about Colombo

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 307 reviews

We enjoyed our tour with Muditah a lot! He is an incredibly knowledgable guy, speaks flawless English due to his studies in the US, brought us to some fantastic places and shared some valuable tips with us. Now we feel even better prepared for our 4-week-trip through Sri Lanka! Thanks a lot, Muditah, and hopefully we see each other again at the end of our trip for your street food tour! :)

Very reliable tour pickup operator. No drama, I been contacted via WhatsApp 1 day before , driver was already at my hotel lobby 15 mnt before the pick up time. Good condition and nice car and the driver are polite and good at communication and everything are clear and reliable. Must book when you are in Colombo

A great tour! I was lucky enough to be there outside of mass tourism, as there is currently a travel warning. On site, however, the situation is completely relaxed. The tour was absolutely fantastic and was great fun!

Had excellent time, tour operators are second to none Driver Chris excellent fit for the job we are lucky to have him as driver and guide Me and my wife thanked Chris thousand times

It was a great tour and the guide explained and showed a lot. We have learned a lot from him gladly again