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How to Spend 2 Days in Colombo

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How to Spend 2 Days in Colombo
Colombo’s long list of sights and activities make it important to plan any 2-day stay in advance. From touring the city’s diverse landmarks to sampling its spicy street food and visiting surrounding highlights, here are our suggestions for 48 hours in the Sri Lankan capital.

Day 1: Get to Know Colombo
Morning: From temple-studded Lake Beira to Independence Square, Colombo’s sights are fairly widely dispersed. Rather than negotiating the traffic yourself, cover as many landmarks as possible with a half- or full-day excursion by car, tuk-tuk, or pushbike. Alternatively, clamber into a World War II jeep for a city tour before driving on to the Attidiya Bird Sanctuary to spot wildlife.

Afternoon: Use this afternoon to continue your guided sightseeing. Many tours dedicate the afternoon to shopping, with visits to top malls to browse for spices, gemstones, and other island specialities. No visit to Colombo is complete without savoring Sri Lanka’s homegrown teas, so consider tours that finish with a scrumptious, British-inspired high tea at a luxe hotel.

Evening: Colombo locals love street snacks, so cap your day with a grazing-style food tour. Ride a tuk-tuk to the hottest entertainment spots and taste everything from ‘hopper’ pancakes to vadai patties, or embark on a guided walk that combines sightseeing with delicious snack stops.

Day 2: Dive into Day Trips
Morning: Some of Sri Lanka’s star attractions are within day-trip distance of Colombo. Take a private tour to Kandy, the rain forest–cocooned hill capital; watch for wild elephants on safari at Udawalawe National Park; or explore the island’s colonial period on a trip to Galle fort.

Afternoon: Enjoy the remainder of any full-day tours this afternoon. Watch tea being plucked and processed at a tea factory, visit neighboring Negombo’s Dutch relics and fishing communities, or up the adventure with a white-water river-rafting expedition in Kitulgala.

Evening: Unwind on your last evening with a nightlife tour and experience the animated atmosphere of Colombo’s clubs and café districts with a guide. Or, hop on a bike to tour Colombo’s illuminated sights—a memorable farewell to the city.
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Colombo Tours & Activities (14)
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Private Half-Day Colombo City TourBus Tours

Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour

star-4.5
Learn about the history and culture of Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital city, on this half-day private tour. Visit key landmarks including the Old Parliament building, Vihara Buddhist Temple, and St Lucia's Cathedral to learn more about the unique history and culture of Sri Lanka. Enjoy personalized attention and a flexible itinerary on this private tour, including private hotel transportation, for just you and your party.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$35.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$35.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Colombo Tuk Tuk SafariNature and Wildlife

Colombo Tuk Tuk Safari

star-5
Combine food tastings with sightseeing on a private 4-hour evening tour of Colombo by tuk-tuk. Climb into a comfortable, customized tuk-tuk with a private driver-guide, and delve into Colombo’s bustling streets to enjoy the sights, culinary delights, and city lights. Ride by famous landmarks, explore the hottest entertainment spots, and make food stops to sample local staples and snacks. Enjoy the alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks stowed inside your tuk-tuk cooler as you explore.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$72.00 
From  
$72.00 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Colombo City Tour by Tuk TukHalf-day Tours

Colombo City Tour by Tuk Tuk

star-4.5
Get an intimate look at the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo during this 3.5-hour sightseeing trip by tuk tuk with a small group. Travel like Sri Lankan locals do as you weave through traffic, stopping to check out city landmarks like Colombo Harbour, the Pettah neighborhood, Wolvendaal Church, Independence Square, Gangaramaya Temple, and much more.
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  • 4 hours
From  
$57.87 
From  
$57.87 
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  • 4 hours

Colombo City Day TourHalf-day Tours

Colombo City Day Tour

star-4.5
Enjoy a city sightseeing tour of Colombo, the bustling capital of Sri Lanka. An informative guide takes you to major highlights such as the ocean-facing urban park of Galle Face Green; the Buddhist temples of Kelaniya, Gangaramaya and Seema Malaka; and the War Memorial, Independence Square and more. End your tour with some bargain hunting on a shopping excursion.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$50.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$50.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Colombo Private Street Food TourHalf-day Tours

Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Colombo Private Street Food Tour

star-4.5
Cut through the confusion of Colombo’s legendary street food by tasting your way through the city on a private food tour. A local guide leads you through a popular market and shows you where locals love to eat, drinks, and shop. Eight food tastings and two drink samples are included so you can taste the flavors of the city for yourself.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$30.04 
Price varies by group size
From  
$30.04 
Price varies by group size
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Day Excursions to Udawalawe from ColomboDay Trips

Day Excursions to Udawalawe from Colombo

Spot elephants at Udawalawe National Park on this full-day tour from Colombo. Depart from your hotel in a private vehicle and make your way to Udawalawe. Accompanied by a guide, ride a jeep through the national park and see the wide variety of wildlife that lives there, possibly including wild buffalo, spotted deer, crocodiles, and butterflies.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$145.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$145.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

White Water Rafting in Kitulgala From ColomboRafting

White Water Rafting in Kitulgala From Colombo

Get out of the city and go on an adrenaline-filled white water rafting adventure on this full-day tour from Colombo. Depart from your hotel and travel in an air-conditioned car or van with a driver to Kelani River. After a safety briefing from the instructors, hop in your white water raft head out on the water. Pause in Kithulgala for a traditional Sri Lankan lunch.
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  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$78.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$78.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Private Tour of Colombo in a World War II JeepPrivate Sightseeing Tours

Private Tour of Colombo in a World War II Jeep

star-5
See the sights of Colombo, the largest city in Sri Lanka, on this 3-hour private tour in a World War II–era Jeep. You'll explore both on- and off-road to check out top attractions such as Old Parliament Building and Viharamahadevi Park and visit a bird sanctuary just outside of the city. Hotel pickup, beverages, and a snack are included. Choice of morning or afternoon departure time.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$104.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$104.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Kandy Day Tour from ColomboDay Trips

Kandy Day Tour from Colombo

star-4
This day trip from Colombo to World Heritage-listed Kandy takes you to many popular attractions in the region. Learn about Ayurvedic medicine at the New Paradise Spice and Herbal Garden in Mawanella, see the Temple of Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), and visit a batik factory and the Gem Museum. Lunch and round-trip transportation from your hotel or cruise port are included.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$100.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$100.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Galle Fort & Bentota Day Trip From ColomboDay Trips

Galle Fort & Bentota Day Trip From Colombo

star-5
Visiting Galle from Colombo is made easy on this guided tour. Logistics are covered—your private guide picks you up at your hotel and brings you straight to top sights including a Buddhist temple in Bentota and the UNESCO-listed Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications. Because this is a private tour, you can ask your guide plenty of questions, too.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$64.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$64.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Colombo Walking Food TourHalf-day Tours

Colombo Walking Food Tour

star-5
Understanding Colombo means not only sightseeing but tasting its food—both more revealing when done with a guide. Sample the city’s attractions and snacks on this small-group food walking tour: learning more than possible alone. See the Red Mosque, markets, and more; and stop to try popular foods such as egg hopper and 'achcharu' (pickle) to gain a true perspective on local life and cuisine that most visitors never get.
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  • 3 hours
From  
$57.87 
From  
$57.87 
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  • 3 hours

Private Colombo City Tour With High Tea In Taj Samudra HotelHalf-day Tours

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
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Negombo City Tour from ColomboDay Trips

Negombo City Tour from Colombo

Coastal Negombo, with its cathedral, fort, and lagoon, sits just north of Colombo. On this private trip, replace the hassle of taking a train or cab—and traveling between the sites independently—with a guided tour. View St. Mary’s Cathedral and the exterior of the Dutch fort, see the canal and lagoon-side fishing communities, and hear about the sights from your guide, all with private return transport from your hotel.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$38.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$38.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Night Cycling from ColomboMountain Bike Tours

Night Cycling from Colombo

star-5
Explore Colombo’s historical streets on two wheels on this private evening cycle tour. Pedal around illuminated squares, landmarks, and parks in the quieter atmosphere of dusk while learning about their history. View Independence Square and Gangaramaya Temple, check out lesser-known colonial-era sights, and visit Galle Face Green, the seafront green originally created by the island's Dutch rulers. Light snacks and refreshments, plus full cycling equipment included.
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  • 5 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$88.00 
From  
$88.00 
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  • 5 hours
  • Taking safety measures