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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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120 Tours and Activities to Experience Colombo National Museum

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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

Half Day Private Custom Colombo City Tour

Half Day Private Custom Colombo City Tour

star-4.5
Explore Colombo’s sights as you wish, without having to figure out routes or public buses, on this customizable private half-day tour. Traveling by air-conditioned car with a personal driver, cherry-pick from the recommended sights and activities to do and see what you want. Explore Pettah Market, Gangarama Temple, the National Museum, and more—the choice is yours. A choice of departure times and hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$28.00
Price varies by group size
From
$28.00
Price varies by group size

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 Colombo City Tour

Private Colombo City Tour

Sightseeing in Colombo can be stressful if you’re using cabs or the often-crowded buses. Check out the city’s attractions in one smooth, easy trip on this private tour, with a guide to fill you in on the sights. Traveling by private air-conditioned vehicle, visit Seema Malaka, the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct, and more; and tailor the duration and itinerary to suit your personal wishes. Central hotel pickup and drop-off are included for convenience.
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  • 4 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$21.34
Price varies by group size
From
$21.34
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Shore Excursion Colombo City Tour Highlights

Shore Excursion Colombo City Tour Highlights

Exploring Colombo independently and the risk of getting lost or delayed. Make things easy with a private shore excursion that whisks you around the sights smoothly and comfortably. Travel by private vehicle, visit top sights such as the Seema Malakaya Temple, shop for souvenirs at handicrafts emporiums and hear tales of local life from your driver that you'd miss if alone. • Explore Colombo with ease on a private shore excursion from the cruise port or your hotel in Colombo • Forget cabs or buses,sightseeing stress-free by private air-conditioned car • See the sights, shop at markets, and hear about local life and history
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.00
From
$45.00
Taking safety measures

Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour

Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour

star-5
This is the ideal choice for first-time visitors looking to cover Colombo’s main attractions in under a day. Save time planning an itinerary and bartering with cabs; and relax as a driver-guide and private air-conditioned vehicle take you around the signature sights. Admire the Independence Memorial Hall and Beira Lake Seema Malakaya Temple; see worshippers at the Gangaramaya Temple, and learn about Colombo’s history and culture from your guide’s commentary.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$80.00
Price varies by group size
From
$80.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Half Day Colombo City Tour

Half Day Colombo City Tour

Sightseeing in Colombo can be stressful if you’re using cabs or the often-crowded buses. Check out the city’s attractions in one smooth, easy trip on this private tour, with a guide to fill you in on the sights. Traveling by private air-conditioned vehicle, visit Seema Malaka, the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct, and more; and tailor the duration and itinerary to suit your personal wishes. Central hotel pickup and drop-off are included for convenience.
More
  • 1 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$20.00
Price varies by group size
From
$20.00
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

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

Shore Excursion from Port Terminal : Colombo City Famous Landmarks

Shore Excursion from Port Terminal : Colombo City Famous Landmarks

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

4-Hours Colombo City Tour

4-Hours Colombo City Tour

star-4
Colombo—once called the "garden city of the East"—has a lot to offer: resort-like beaches, colonial architecture, national history museums, and Buddhist temples. It can be a challenge to pack it in eve on one trip, but this private tour gives a great introduction to the city in about half a day, taking you to see the city’s top sights and unconventional attractions to discover how locals live.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$30.00
Price varies by group size
From
$30.00
Price varies by group size

Highlights Colombo Day Tour With Afternoon HIGH TEA In Taj Samudra Hotel

Highlights Colombo Day Tour With Afternoon HIGH TEA In Taj Samudra Hotel

Get a comprehensive tour of Colombo with a private guide in just half a day. Combine the tour with a traditional high tea experience at Taj Samudra Hotel, where you'll learn about the traditions of tea time. You'll be able to check all the most important landmarks off your list while moving at your own pace with your private group.
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  • 6 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$48.00
Price varies by group size
From
$48.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Colombo City Tour with Traditional Srilankan Lunch

Private Colombo City Tour with Traditional Srilankan Lunch

Explore the city of Colombo in the comfort of an air-conditioned car or van on this private tour. Depart from your hotel and visit many of the city’s highlights, including the National Museum, Old Parliament, Independence Square, the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct, and more. Enjoy a traditional Sri Lankan lunch.
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  • 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

Private Colombo City Tour With High Tea In Taj Samudra Hotel

Private Colombo City Tour With High Tea In Taj Samudra Hotel

See Colombo’s sights without negotiating public buses or cabs, and with afternoon tea as a final flourish, on this private tour. Cruise easily around the sights by air-conditioned car, visit the Seema Malakaya temple and other landmarks, and explore bustling streets, gardens, and craft emporiums, all as your guide shares insight into Colombo’s culture and history. Your tour is capped by a hotel high tea and convenient return hotel transfers.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.00
Price varies by group size
From
$60.00
Price varies by group size
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

Get a comprehensive tour of Colombo combined with personalized attention on this private excursion. Visit local temples, ancient buildings, and sightsee in the Cinnamon Garden residential area. You'll ride in a private comfortable vehicle with bottled water provided and plenty of chance to ask questions.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$58.67
From
$58.67

Colombo Sightseeing & Shopping

Colombo Sightseeing & Shopping

star-4.5
Combine sightseeing and shopping in Colombo on this tour in the company of a private guide. Booking a private your means you'll enjoy personalized attention and your guide will tailor the itinerary to your interests. Highlights include Gangaramaya Temple, Galle Face Green, Independence Square, and others. While shopping for souvenirs, get guidance on the best shops and best deals.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$106.67
per group
From
$106.67
per group

Private Colombo City Tour

Private Colombo City Tour

Explore Colombo City with a local in an air-conditioned vehicle. During this 4 hour tour, learn about Sri Lanka's capital city, visiting its most popular attractions. This family friendly tour is highly recommended for first time visitors. We have some difference itinerary base on 4/6/8 Hours Packages.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$22.00
Price varies by group size
From
$22.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Rediscover Colombo

Rediscover Colombo

star-5
Rediscover-Colombo is a personalized city experience through the old city of Colombo, an unforgettable experience with your host as you drive & walk through the picturesque streets of Colombo and the mayhem of Pettah. It has been over 9 years now, since Chan, the boy behind Rediscover-Colombo, started to share his experience and knowledge enabling guests to spend a day or an evening in beautiful colonial Colombo. Continuous research goes into the areas you will visit and we truly believe that we learn something new every day. When contacting us via phone or email, you will either speak with Chan or his partner Nish as we are a company that feel personalization is key, hence we have just three others Lakshan, Ishan & Ruvini who work with us.
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  • 1 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$64.00
From
$64.00

Sri Lanka Tour 3 Days /02 Nights

Sri Lanka Tour 3 Days /02 Nights

Our services are always open to everyone who wants to discover attractions in Sri Lanka Our packages are specially designed to cater your needs and you budget and also to give the best tour experience with unforgettable memories. We also assist client to design their own travel packages within their budget with our expertise.
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  • 3 days
From
$200.00
From
$200.00

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

Shore Excursion Colombo Port Terminal To Colombo City Tour Highlights

Shore Excursion Colombo Port Terminal To Colombo City Tour Highlights

Explore Colombo City with a local in an air-conditioned vehicle. During this 4-6 hour tour, learn about Sri Lanka's capital city, visiting its most popular attractions. This family friendly tour is highly recommended for first time visitors.
More
  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$31.00
Price varies by group size
From
$31.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

6 Nights 7 days quick view 6 to 9 persons

6 Nights 7 days quick view 6 to 9 persons

star-5
Our service is exceptional .Our drivers are trustworthy and very good standard of communication skill. We will make your tour a comfortable,safe,friendly & memorable one.
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  • 7 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$533.34
per group
From
$533.34
per group

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka CITY TOUR

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka CITY TOUR

A customization private Colombo City Tour with an experienced and licensed Tourist Chauffeur. This packages includes following; Air Conditioned Vehicle with fuel English speaking driver Toll Road fees Parking fees Passenger insurance
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  • 3 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$135.00
per group
From
$135.00
per group

Ceylon Endearment (25 Days)

Ceylon Endearment (25 Days)

(SKU: LK10PBY011) Visit sacred Anuradhapura city and explore the first kingdom of Sri Lanka. Visit the rock fortress of Sigiriya and discover its marvels. Explore the Golden Temple of Dambulla long with its five main caves dedicated to Buddha and Buddhism. See the many pagodas, monasteries and palatial buildings of Polonnaruwa. Visit the highlands of Kandy, the place of the last majestic Kingdom of Sri Lanka. Walk through the streets of Nuwara Eliya with its picturesque colonial architecture and plenty of holiday activities to do. Go on a one of the best scenic train ride in the world. Stay at some of the best beaches of Sri Lanka with their golden sand, bright blue sea and swaying palms.
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  • 25 days
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$408.00
Price varies by group size
From
$408.00
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?