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Colombo National Museum Tours

Colombo National Museum
Founded in 1877, the Colombo National Museum in central Colombo chronicles the history and cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. Also called the Sri Lankan National Museum, the institution occupies a 19th-century Italianate-style building and attracts visitors eager to view its wide collection of treasures.

The Basics
Circled by lawns, the Colombo National Museum is fronted by a statue of Sir William Gregory, the museum’s founder and island governor from 1872 to 1877. Inside, visitors are greeted by one of the museum’s standouts—a large 5th-century statue of the seated Buddha. Spread over two stories, displays chart Sri Lanka’s ancient, medieval, and colonial past with everything from Bronze Age artifacts to coins, weapons, and art and include a library and natural history collections. Highlights include prehistoric cave paintings and the ornate golden throne and crown jewels of Kandy’s last kings.
 
Most Colombo city tours include the museum, with half-day tours giving time to view the must-sees and longer tours allowing you to explore in more depth. The museum also features on Colombo Jeep and afternoon tea tours for an added dose of fun and local culture.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Colombo National Museum is a must-visit for history fans and anyone interested in Sri Lankan culture.
  • History buffs should choose a tour that provides two hours at the museum: There’s more than enough to fill the time.
  • The museum has restrooms, a café, and a gift shop.
 
How to Get There
The museum stands on Albert Crescent in central Colombo, with its back to Viharamahadevi Park (formerly Victoria Park). The easiest way to get there is by cab or tuk-tuk—most drivers will know the way. If you’re going by bus, the nearest stop is the Glass House bus stop on Albert Crescent, just a short walk from the main entrance.

When to Get There

The Colombo National Museum is open from 9am to 5pm daily, but closed on public holidays such as full-moon days and Christmas Day. Be aware that many of the exhibition halls are shut around 30 minutes before closing time and last entry is an hour before full closure.
 
Get the Most from Your Colombo National Museum Visit
If your schedule is flexible, make time to enjoy the museum’s lovely café and gift shop after exploring. Also, take a stroll in the gardens to see their huge banyan trees—their shade will be welcome after touring the non-air-conditioned museum.
Address: Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka
Admission: Varies
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127 Tours and Activities to Experience Colombo National Museum

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Shore Excursion Colombo Port Terminal To Colombo City Tour Highlights

Shore Excursion Colombo Port Terminal To Colombo City Tour Highlights

When your ship docks in Colombo's port, explore the city on a full-day comprehensive tour. After convenient pickup right at the cruise port, set out for the city to see all the highlights and landmarks in just a single day. This tour is perfect for those cruise passengers short on time, and the carefully crafted itinerary makes sure you don't miss a thing. Between sightseeing and listening to guided commentary, you'll stop for an included lunch to keep you energized.
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  • 4 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$44.00
Price varies by group size
From
$44.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Colombo Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Tour

Colombo Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Tour

star-4
When your cruise calls at Colombo, avoid the hassles of exploring Sri Lanka’s capital independently by booking this private tour. See all Colombo’s highlights, including the Seema Malaka Buddhist temple and Old Parliament; take photos of the Old Lighthouse Clock Tower and Independence Square; dive into Pettah’s street markets, and more—all with a guide to handle logistics and shed light on the city’s history and culture. Includes port pickup and drop-off and air-conditioned transport.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$56.00
Price varies by group size
From
$56.00
Price varies by group size

Shore Excursion Colombo Port Terminal To Colombo City Tour Highlights

Shore Excursion Colombo Port Terminal To Colombo City Tour Highlights

star-1
Go on a comfortable and in-depth exploration of Colombo from your cruise ship on this shore excursion tour. Depart from the port in an air-conditioned vehicle with a driver and learn about the history of the city. Spot many of the city’s highlights, including the National Museum, Old Parliament, Independence Memorial Arcade, Beire Lake, and more.
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  • 4 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$30.67
Price varies by group size
From
$30.67
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Highlights Colombo Day Tour with Afternoon High Tea in Kingsbury Hotel

Highlights Colombo Day Tour with Afternoon High Tea in Kingsbury Hotel

star-5
The ideal introduction for first-time visitors to Colombo, this private tour ticks off top sights in the laid-back, history-packed Sri Lankan capital. Highlights include Gangaramaya Temple, one of the city’s oldest temples, ancient and colonial relics in the Colombo National Museum, and a traditional high tea in Kingsbury Hotel. Travel comfortably between locations in a private, air-conditioned vehicle.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$52.00
Price varies by group size
From
$52.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Colombo Day Trip From Hotels or Cruise Port

Colombo Day Trip From Hotels or Cruise Port

Private Colombo City tour, Head on to the Dutch Hospital, an ancient Dutch colonial building converted into a shopping complex after which you can gaze at the old lighthouse just a kilometer away. See the ornate exterior of the old Parliament as you head towards the Gangarama , a scenic temple famous for its multitude of bronze Buddha statues overlooking a wondrous lake. Head towards the Colombo Museum housing some of the nation’s most treasured artifacts and afterwards,Sivasubramania Swami Kovil hindu temple has a long history of about 125 years and was built to worship Lord Muruga, otherwise known as God Kataragama, and look forward to a flavorsome Sri Lankan Banana Leaf Lunch. and Visit Finish your day with a leisurely stroll along the Galle Face Green mingling with the locals and enjoying the myriad street food choices available along the beach.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$80.00
From
$80.00
Taking safety measures

Interactive Museum Walk: Beginners Guide to Sri Lankan History

Interactive Museum Walk: Beginners Guide to Sri Lankan History

The best way to start exploring the island is to gain an sight into it's history and culture. This tour will give you a unique perspective into the collection of Colombo National Museum with a Museum Expert. The tour will be interactive and will give an overview of Sri Lankan history to a newcomer and a seasoned visitor alike within two hours and in one location. Highlights: Learn about the Buddhists and Hindu gods and goddesses Discover the prehistoric burial urns Inspect the Greek, Roman and Chinese artifacts found in the island Enjoy the collection of Masks
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.00
Price varies by group size
From
$45.00
Price varies by group size

Shore Excursion Colombo Port Terminal To Colombo City Tour with Lunch

Shore Excursion Colombo Port Terminal To Colombo City Tour with Lunch

When your ship docks in Colombo's port, explore the city on a full-day comprehensive tour. After convenient pickup right at the cruise port, Head on to the Dutch Hospital, an ancient Dutch colonial building converted into a shopping complex after which you can gaze at the old lighthouse just a kilometer away. See the ornate exterior of the old Parliament as you head towards the Gangarama , a scenic temple famous for its multitude of bronze Buddha statues overlooking a wondrous lake. Head towards the Colombo Museum housing some of the nation’s most treasured artifacts and afterwards,Sivasubramania Swami Kovil hindu temple has a long history of about 125 years and was built to worship Lord Muruga, otherwise known as God Kataragama, and look forward to a flavorsome Sri Lankan authentic Sri Lankan meal and Visit Finish your day with a leisurely stroll along the Galle Face Green mingling with the locals and enjoying the myriad street food choices available along the beach.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$65.00
From
$65.00
Taking safety measures

Colombo Day Tour

Colombo Day Tour

Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, has a long history as a port on ancient east-west trade routes, ruled successively by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. That heritage is reflected in its its architecture, mixing colonial buildings with high-rises and shopping malls. The imposing Colombo National Museum, dedicated to Sri Lankan history, borders sprawling Viharamahadevi Park and its giant Buddha. -Galle face Green is located in the heart of the city along the Indian Ocean coast, and is a popular destination for tourists and residents alike. The Galle Face Hotel is a historic landmark on the southern edge of this promenade. -Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo. The temple's architecture demonstrates an eclectic mix of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese architecture. - Independence Memorial Hall Square, Pettah Floating Market and Old parliemnet, Arcade etc. -Evening City Shopping @ Colombo. (Odel, Laksala , Petah world market, Arpico Super center)
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From
$64.00
From
$64.00

Colombo City Tour just for 30$

Colombo City Tour just for 30$

1. The best guides are full of knowledge. 2. We are friendly and charismatic. 3. You can meet fascinating fellow travellers. 4. You're supporting an entrepreneur's business. 5. It's only a couple of hours of your trip. 6. Tours come with ample photo opportunities. 7. You can seek out recommendations for what to do on your own.
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$29.87
From
$29.87

Best of Colombo in a Day: Private and Guided Sightseeing Tour by Go Sri Lanka

Best of Colombo in a Day: Private and Guided Sightseeing Tour by Go Sri Lanka

Get to know Colombo, Sri Lanka’s vibrant capital, on a private tour. Traveling between the sights by air-conditioned vehicle with your own chauffeur-guide, make the most of a customizable itinerary, tailoring your sightseeing around your personal preferences. Visit top Colombo attractions such as the National Museum soak up the Indian Ocean views along Galle Face Green, dive into bustling Pettah Market, admire the Gangarama Temple and more. As you explore, ask your guide for insider tips on tucked-away attractions, including great shops and restaurants often missed by visitors. Enjoy a delicious Sri Lankan meal (own expense) at a local restaurant. Receive undivided attention from a personal chauffeur-guide.
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  • 5 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$49.00
Price varies by group size
From
$49.00
Price varies by group size

Half Day City Tour in Colombo

Half Day City Tour in Colombo

Get the best out of the city by visiting the most popular attractions in Colombo; each with its own significant story. Admire the Independence Memorial Hall, stroll through the National Museum or shop till you drop at the historic Dutch Hospital. Amidst the hustle and bustle, there are a plethora of things to do in Colombo for an avid traveler; from admiring the beauty of the Red Mosque to visiting the Gangaramaya Temple. Colombo’s main attractions are sure to leave a lasting impression on this budding city! • Hassle free pick up and drop off • Explore the Capital of Sri Lanka • Local lunch included to taste the traditional taste of Sri Lankans
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  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$70.00
From
$70.00
Taking safety measures

Private Half Day City Tour Colombo by Car

Private Half Day City Tour Colombo by Car

star-5
Learn about Sri Lanka's commercial capital city, visiting its most popular attractions on this half day private tour of Colombo, with a private chauffeur in a luxury car. The name “Colombo”, first introduced by the Portuguese in 1505, is believed to be derived from the classical Sinhalese name Kolon thota, meaning “port on the river Kelani”. It has also been suggested that the name may be derived from the Sinhalese name Kola-amba-thota which means “Harbour with leafy mango trees”. Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago. Modern day Colombo is emerging rapidly and a Colombo city tour is a worthy item on your agenda either on the start or finish to your Sri Lankan tour.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$80.00
per group
From
$80.00
per group

Full-Day Colombo City Tour (Private Car)

Full-Day Colombo City Tour (Private Car)

star-5
This Full-Day narrated Colombo City Tour our will expose you to the brimming culture and history that is existing in Colombo. Throughout your tour learn more about the attractions you visit from your Private Guide’s narrations. This Tour is ideal for passengers with stopover at Colombo or those who prefer a whirlwind experience. The Tour schedule is flexible making it an even more convenient way to explore Sri Lanka’s commercial capitol. From the bustling streets to the vibrant markets with bargaining sellers, the posh boutique restaurants to pristine parks, witness it all. An ancient favorite of port-trading merchants, the city is a harmonious blend of religions and cultures. Your Private Guide will pick you from your hotel or seaport in a Private Vehicle.
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  • 10 to 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$75.00
per group
From
$75.00
per group

Colombo City Tour from Colombo Port

Colombo City Tour from Colombo Port

Discover the most beautiful places of Colombo and the countless sights of the largest trading center of Sri Lanka. Within the city limits of Colombo and the administrative capital you will get to know the city better and learn more about the history, the culture and the different places and sights. Visit the Colombo Lighthouse, the prison cell of the last Sri Lankan king, and the Lighthouse with the Clock Tower designed by Lady Ward. See also the Galle Face Promenade, with cannons from the Second World War, the southern extension of the port of Colombo, York Street, with remains of British colonial architecture and the Slave Island.
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  • 6 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$100.00
Price varies by group size
From
$100.00
Price varies by group size

One Day Tour To City Colombo

One Day Tour To City Colombo

Colombo is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to the Greater Colombo area which includes Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, the legislative capital of Sri Lanka and Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia. Colombo is often referred to as the capital since Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is within the urban area of, and a suburb of, Colombo. you will visit to colombo city its good experience for you. sacred gnga ram temple ,beira lake, pettah market , after visit jami ul alfar mosqs and most important old parliament building, colombo national museum. your colombo city tour will finish here . It is the financial center of the island and a tourist destination.
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  • 11 to 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.00
From
$60.00
Taking safety measures

Private Colombo City Tour by Sri Lanka Private Drivers

Private Colombo City Tour by Sri Lanka Private Drivers

star-5
Pick you up at the airport or hotel in the morning or afternoon. Tour will begin from the Fort area of Colombo which has been named fort because of it being a fort during the times of Portuguese and Dutch. Later we will take you to Colombo National Museum to see some of the great specimens of arts crafts and archaeology of Colombo. You will drive thru the commercial areas and drive past Pettah, a colorful Oriental bazaar with a mix of people, ancient vehicles, bargains, mosques and temples. You have a chance to see a Hindu Temple, Buddhist Temple and the Jami Ul Alfar Jumma Mosque of Colombo. A nice walk in galle face beach and try some traditional street food.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$70.00
per group
From
$70.00
per group

Colombo Sightseeing City Tour

Colombo Sightseeing City Tour

Book this Half Day Colombo City Tour for a whirlwind sightseeing trip of the city's top attractions and famed shopping venues with a private guide to chauffeur you along the way. The tour schedule is flexible making it an even more convenient way to explore Sri Lanka’s commercial capital. From the bustling streets to the vibrant markets, the posh boutique restaurants to pristine parks, witness it all. The city is a harmonious blend of religions and cultures. Head around the city and explore the golden carvings of the gangarama temple. Learn about Sri Lankan history in the national museum. Walk the pathways of independence arcade square. Admire the still beauty of Beira lake. Shop at some of the best places. Once the tour ends you will be dropped back to your hotel.
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  • 5 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.00
From
$60.00
Taking safety measures

Colombo City (Private) Tour

Colombo City (Private) Tour

Combine a city orientation with a tailor-made shopping trip on this comprehensive door-to-door Colombo tour. Exploring with your private chauffeur/guide, check off the Buddhist temples of Seema Malaka and Gangaramaya, tour the Colombo National Museum (own expense), and admire the landmark Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall and Independence Square. After shopping stops at bustling Pettah Market and other stores, soak up ocean views from Galle Face.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$42.00
Price varies by group size
From
$42.00
Price varies by group size

Colombo City Tour

Colombo City Tour

(SKU: LK61010100) The Colombo City Tour takes you on a journey into the heart of the capital city of Sri Lanka, to show you its most spectacular sights. View elegant colonial buildings rising in tandem with shiny new business constructions in the sprawling metropolis. Visit the ancient temples that create havens in the midst of all the bustle and hustle. Get to know Colombo's history and legends through some of its most interesting landmarks. Embark in an adventure that shows you the wonderful secrets of Colombo.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$38.00
Price varies by group size
From
$38.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Colombo City Tour from Colombo Port

Colombo City Tour from Colombo Port

star-5
(SKU: LK81IR0400) The Colombo City Tour takes you on a journey into the heart of the capital city of Sri Lanka, to show you its most spectacular sights. View elegant colonial buildings rising in tandem with shiny new business constructions in the sprawling metropolis. Visit the ancient temples that create havens in the midst of all the bustle and hustle. Get to know Colombo's history and legends through some of its most interesting landmarks. Embark in an adventure that shows you the wonderful secrets of Colombo
More
  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$74.00
Price varies by group size
From
$74.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Colombo Shore Excursions From Colombo Port

Private Colombo Shore Excursions From Colombo Port

The largest and busiest port in Sri Lanka as well as in South Asia. Located in Colombo city, on the southwestern shores on the Kelani River, Colombo port is an important terminal in Asia due to its strategic location in the Indian Ocean. During the 1980s, the port underwent rapid modernization with the installation of Cranes, Gantries and other modern-day terminal requirements. Currently with a capacity of 4.1 million TEUs and a dredged depth of over 15 m (49 ft), the Colombo Harbour is one of the busiest ports in the world, and ranks among the top 35 ports. It is also one of the biggest artificial harbours in the world. The Port of Colombo is home to the second tallest building in South Asia and is the center for many commercial interests. The port offers excellent services for cruise operators. The city also offers a variety of services for passengers visiting the port.
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  • 8 hours
From
$318.94
per group
From
$318.94
per group

Day Tour of Colombo

Day Tour of Colombo

Colombo is the bustling capital city of Sri Lanka and is a hub for visiting beaches in the south of the island. Its history involves successive rulings by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, and it was a major port on the east-west trade routes during that era. This ancient heritage reflects on the city today in terms of its architecture consisting of colonial buildings as well as high rise sky scrapers and shopping malls. The cosmopolitan side of Colombo includes stylish theatres, cinemas, restaurants, cafes, museums and galleries.Modern day Colombo is emerging rapidly and a Colombo city tour is a worthy item on your agenda either on the start or finish to your Sri Lankan tour.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$61.87
From
$61.87

Colombo City Tour

Colombo City Tour

With this tour you can visit Colombo National Museum, Gangarama temple, Seema malaka, Independence Memorial Hall, Red Mosque and Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya and some other in a single day
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  • 6 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$44.11
Price varies by group size
From
$44.11
Price varies by group size

Private Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Tour from Colombo

Private Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Tour from Colombo

Book this 11-hour Private Sigiriya Lion Rock and Golden Temple of Dambulla Tour from Colombo to explore Golden Temple of Dambulla, Painting Conservation & Research Center, Painting Museum, Citadel of Sigiriya - Lion Rock, Sigiriya World Heritage Site and Sigiriya Museum
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$173.34
Price varies by group size
From
$173.34
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Colombo National Museum?