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Colombo Culture & history

Our most recommended Colombo Culture & history

3-Day Trip to Sigiriya Kandy Ella Udawalawe with Train Ride

1. 3-Day Trip to Sigiriya Kandy Ella Udawalawe with Train Ride

Day 1 : COLOMBO – SIGIRIYA – KANDY Sigiriya Museum This decent museum has a fine diorama of the site, providing an excellent overview and explaining Sigiriya's cultural importance beyond the obvious natural beauty. The theory that Sigiriya was a Buddhist monastery is given here, although the established position that it was a palace or fortress prevails. Dambulla Cave Temple Dambulla cave temple also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. This site is situated 148 kilometres east of Colombo and 72 kilometres north of Kandy. Dambulla is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka Sigiriya The Ancient Rock Fortress Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka's single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization, thought to be once the epicenter of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa, and there are spellbinding vistas across mist-wrapped forests in the early morning. Overnight Stay at Royal Kandyan or Similar Hotel Day 2 KANDY-NUWARA ELIYA- ELLA Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic The golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha. During puja(offerings or prayers), the heavily guarded room housing the tooth is open to devotees and tourists. However, you don’t actually see the tooth. It’s kept in a gold casket shaped like a dagoba (stupa), which contains a series of six dagoba caskets of diminishing size. As well as the revered main temple, the complex includes a series of smaller temples, shrines and museums. Glenloch Tea Factory Glenloch Tea Factory situated in Nuwara Eliya District at Katukithula on the way to Nuwara Eliya from Kandy. Glenloch tea plantation at Katukithula are been maintain using all the correct method of planting, Soil conversation and Maneuvering. Sri Lanka Become the bets land of most renowned beverage of the world. Sri Lanka silvering water falls process naturally the beauty of nature Ramboda Waterfall Ramboda Falls is 109 m high and 11th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and 729th highest waterfall in the world. It is situated in Pussellawa area, on the A5 highway at Ramboda Pass. If intrested can be do an Train Ride from Nanu Oya - Ella Overnight Stay at Ella Gap hotel Ella City Tour – Udawalawe National Park - Colombo Little Adams Peak whether considering the word ‘Little’,it is named after the sacred Adams Peak Nine Arches Bridge The Nine Arch Bridge in Ella is on the Demodara loop and spans 91 meters at a height of 24m. The beautiful nine arches make it a very picturesque spot especially as it is located in a dense jungle and agricultural setting Udawalawe National Park This park is home to several hundred elephants and other rare plants and wildlife We can arrange Drop Colombo Or Negombo or Airport

Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip from Colombo

2. 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.

Colombo: Sightseeing Day Trip with Gangaramaya Temple

3. Colombo: Sightseeing Day Trip with Gangaramaya Temple

Explore the top sights in Colombo on this day trip. Take a walk at Galle Face Green beach, Viharamahadevi park, and through the modern port. Admire religious sites like Kopanna Vidiya temple, Gangaramaya temple, and Wolvendaal Church. Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from your Colombo accommodation. Sit back and take in the scenery as you drive through the Cinnamon garden district where rich colonial rulers once lived. Stop at Gangaramaya temple on Beira Lake. See hundreds of Buddha statues at the temple and visit a museum with a large collection of valuable artifacts. Travel to the Independence Memorial Hall which is built in the Sri Lankan Kandyan style. Admire its gigantic pillars and elegant stone structure.  Continue to a Hindu temple in Kopanna Vidiya. View its large and ornate gate tower. Head to Galle Face Green beach and feel the sea breeze. Go to Viharamahadevi park which is in front of the colonial-era town hall. Walk in the newly built port, which is the biggest modern development project in Sri Lanka. Make a stop at the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct. Pass Pettah market, the railway station, and the Dutch Colonial Wolvendaal Church. Return to your accommodation in Colombo. 

Sri Lanka: Five-day Multi-City Sightseeing Tour

4. 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 plantations in Ella, the chance to see wild elephants in the Udawalawa National park. 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 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 4-star 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 4-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 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.

Pinnawala & Kandy Day Trip from Colombo

5. Pinnawala & Kandy Day Trip from Colombo

Benefit from pickup at your hotel in Colombo, and then relax in air-conditioned comfort on the journey to Kandy. Visit the Temple of the Tooth on arrival to see the sacred tooth of Buddha, a symbol of status that proved the worthiness of the ancient kings of Sri Lanka. Admire the beautiful architecture of the palace and look at the golden figurines in the shrine. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage You never miss the elephant gathering in river Then, explore some of the ancient crafts by traditional artisans, including gems, wood carving, and batik. Watch craft demonstrations and buy souvenir gifts before lunch at a local restaurant at your own expense. Continue to the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, and go for a stroll in the 147-acre grounds. See over 4,000 different species of plants, including an exclusive collection of orchids, spices, and medicinal plants. Learn the history of the 19th-century gardens, and see famous plants such as the cannonball tree, giant fig tree, and 40-meter tall Burma bamboo.

West coast Beach, River Mangroves lagoon, Wildlife boat Tour

6. West coast Beach, River Mangroves lagoon, Wildlife boat Tour

The tour starts from your hotel in Colombo or the west coast beach resort. You will be traveling along the beautiful west coast beaches while passing coconut plantations, fishing villages, and towns. You will be stopping at a few places at regular intervals. Your first stop will be at the sea turtle conservation center, where, you witness the sick and handicapped sea turtles are been treated. Later stop at Madu river for the mangrove lagoon tour. Mangroves Mangrove is one of the most important and fragile ecosystems in the world and they grow only in tropical countries such as Sri Lanka. This valuable forest cover is depleting all around the world, including in Sri Lanka, due to many factors such as climate change and human activities. Madu River estuary is a "RAMSAR wetland" and is declared a protected riverine forest. Boat safari Madu Ganga is one of the most important natural assets of Sri Lanka. It is located 70km south of Colombo on the Colombo-Galle main road. Madu Ganga is the second-largest wetland on the island, consisting of 28 islands. The number of families living on the islands is estimated to be around 250. Madu Ganga spreads over 915 hectares of wetland and harbors vast biodiversity and ecosystem. Madu Ganga wetland is fed by seven tributaries and forms the body of the wetland. The water runs through a course of land that spans 2300 hectares. It was declared a national sanctuary in 2006. A cruise on a modern motorboat is the best way to explore the natural wealth of Madu Ganga, the islands in the wetland are largely inaccessible by road. The inhabitants are also using boats and more often paddle boats as the means of transport. This tour offers a particularly appealing boat trip around Madu Ganga. The Ramsa Wetland is one of the most visited natural attractions of Sri Lanka’s west coast, with riverscapes amongst quiet thick grown islands and mangrove forests with sites of immense natural interest. There are plenty of opportunities to spot fascinating wildlife in the aquatic environment, throughout the tour. The most important asset of the fragile ecosystem of Madu Ganga is its mangrove forests. These mangrove forests provide protection for a large number of aquatic bird, animal, and plant species. The ecosystem in Madu Ganga is the home of many different kinds of aquatic plants, crabs, shrimp, fish, insects, amphibians, and other animal life including crocodiles. While on the boat tour you'll visit one of the oldest temples on the west coast of Sri Lanka, located on a secluded island. You will also get a chance to visit the mask museum and see hundreds of ancient masks and learn about their history, folklore, and use in rituals. You'll also visit a sea turtle conservation center run by volunteers. Learn about why Sri Lanka is a prime turtle nesting site and how important it is for turtle conservation. Before your tour is over, you'll get to enjoy a leisurely stroll on Bentota beach, one of the nicest beaches on the west coast. Buddhist temple, Bentota beach, spice herbal garden, Mask museum After the mangrove lagoon tour, you will be visiting the mask museum and mask carving center. Later visit Bentota beach spice and herbal garden and your tour ends with a visit to one of the most sacred Buddhist temples on the west coast.

From Colombo: 2-Day All-Inclusive Kandy & Nuwara Eliya Tour

7. From Colombo: 2-Day All-Inclusive Kandy & Nuwara Eliya Tour

Take a 2-day adventure and tour Sri Lanka and see the many natural and rural sights. Discover popular destinations and take a boat ride on Gregory Lake. Visit St. Clare and Devon waterfalls, tour a tea factory, enjoy the botanical gardens in Kandy, and much more. Enjoy an early pickup from your hotel in Colombo, Negombo, or Mount Lavinia and head towards Nuwara Eliya. En route visit St. Clare and Devon waterfalls and taste a delicious lunch at Nuwara Eliya. After lunch, proceed to the Pedro tea factory and tea plantation. If you wish, you may also pluck tea with estate workers. Arrive back to Nuwara Eliya and check in to your hotel. Later, ride by boat on Gregory lake and enjoy a city tour in Nuwara Eliya. Enjoy your dinner with one complimentary beer per person. Afterward, enjoy an overnight stay at a 3-star hotel in Nuwara Eliya. Wake the next morning and eat breakfast before you drive to Kandy. En route, visit the Ramboda waterfalls. Then, find yourself at the Peradeniya botanical gardens, one of the best in all of Asia. Afterward, eat lunch at Oakray Restaurant, then proceed to tour the city of Kandy. Make a visit to the Kandy Temple and Kandy itself, the hill capital of hill country. It is known as the last stronghold of Sinhalese kings after the Portuguese, Dutch, and British ruling periods. For Buddhists of Sri Lanka, Kandy is a sacred site, known to the home of Dalada Maligawa. After witnessing the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, depart back to your hotel, arriving in the evening.

From Colombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Full-Day Private Tour

8. From Colombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Full-Day Private Tour

Explore two of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO-listed highlights on a privately guided day trip to Dambulla and the Sigiriya Rock from Colombo. Start with an early morning pickup from your hotel in Colombo. Make your first stop at the Dambulla Cave Temple. View Sri Lanka’s countryside and villages as you journey to the atmospheric Dambulla Cave Temple, a Cliffside cave complex packed with Buddha images and frescoes. Enter the historic caves of the Golden Temple of Dambulla, dating back to the 1st century BC. View the ancient murals depicting the life story of Lord Gautama Buddha. Look at the hundreds of figurines of Buddha and other deities scattered throughout the five main caves. Visit the Cave of the Divine King, Cave of the Great King, and the Great New Monastery. See the giant golden Buddha Statue just a little distance outside the cave complex. Go to Sigiriya to visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Climb the 5th century AD rock fortress, Sigiriya, where King Kassapa ruled. Walk through the entrance framed by the paws of a lion that is quite appropriate for its name, the Lion Rock. View the beautiful unfading murals that brought Sigiriya its fame. Climb the steep staircase to see the terraced gardens and still-working cisterns. Go through the tunnels leading to the palace as you get a feel for times long past.

From Colombo: Hikkaduwa Village Tour with Boat Ride & BBQ

9. From Colombo: Hikkaduwa Village Tour with Boat Ride & BBQ

Start your tour from Colombo at 9:00am where you will begin the 2 to 3 hour drive to Hikkaduwa. Stop on the way at Kosgoda where you will visit a sea turtle farm run by a non-governmental organization and maintained by volunteers. Next, visit the Ariyapala Mask Museum where you can learn about ancient masks and their part in ancient rituals, followed by the Mask Factory where you will see how these masks are brought to life through the hard work of artisans. After this, you will visit a family run gem and jewellery store and find various items at very affordable rates. Then, visit the agriculture and coir industry of Hikkaduwa, meeting a family that makes various products using coir and see the hard work they put in to make various valuable items. A very important ecological asset of the region is the Hikkaduwa lagoon. Take a boating trip on which you will discover the many avian fauna species of the region. Next up, visit one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the area. The temple is virtually free of tourists and mostly frequented by the local people. Here you can learn all about Buddhism with our local guide. After a busy day full of discovery head to Hikkaduwa beach to have a leisurely stroll and take in the sunset. Taste the most popular Sri Lankan alcoholic drink, Arrack, distilled from 100% coconut syrup.  End your tour with a barbecue dinner, consisting of fish bought from the nearby fishing harbour.

Colombo or Negombo: Temple of the Tooth Kandy Day Trip

10. Colombo or Negombo: Temple of the Tooth Kandy Day Trip

Your day will begin with pickup from your Colombo or Negombo hotel from where you will transfer to Kandy. En route to Kandy you will visit a tea factory and a tea plantation. You will later visit the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden, which was formed by Alexandar Moon in 1821 during the British colonial period. He used the garden for coffee and cinnamon plants, and the garden includes more than 4,000 species of plants including orchids, spices, medicinal plants, and palm trees. Following the gardens you will enjoy lunch at a recommended restaurant, after which you will visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy. This is the site that Lord Buddha’s sacred tooth relic calls home. The Kandy Temple of Tooth Relic is the most sacred and venerated temple in Sri Lanka, and is a must-see when visiting Sri Lanka. You will then enjoy a Kandy city tour which will include time for shopping. Following that you will transfer back to Colombo to be dropped off at your Colombo or Negombo hotel.

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Colombo?

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What people are saying about Colombo

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 75 reviews

We started our tour directly from our hotel in Colombo, our guide was very kind, helpful and always very attentive, helping to make the tour special. Sigiriya is a breathtaking place and it was definitely my favorite of the tour but Dambulla and Polonnaruwa also satisfied me. We have added the Village Tour thanks to our guide, this is also an unforgettable experience!!! It's been two demanding days it's tiring but it's definitely super recommended!!

Aaron was very professional and made sure that we were comfortable throughout the trip, and also stopped at a cafe because we had not had any breakfast before the trip started. He also suggested different places to go to besides the two trips and recommended suggestions for us to do in Colombo. Strongly recommend this trip and Aaron as a tour guide!

Beautiful and interesting tour, Sigiriya my favorite but all was amazing with good mix ! Our guide Kaarthe and conductor very professional and always ready to give you a help

The tour was excellent. I liked a lot the hotel in Sigirya and in Colombo. Keerthe, the driver, was very nice, respectful and always on time.

It was a nice day spent in Sigiriya and Dambulla. Very flexible upon request. Good experience that I recommend