Tours and Tickets
Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour
4.5

Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour

By Sri Lanka by Car
Recommended by 91% of travellers
91% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About
Explore Colombo the way you want without needing to research your itinerary or arrange transportation on this private half-day tour. Meet your private vehicle at your hotel, Colombo port, or airport. Decide your sightseeing plan with your guide’s assistance and discover Sri Lanka’s capital. View the Old Parliament, St. Lucia's Catherdal and more. Learn about the city’s history and daily life and choose to stop for shopping and food when you wish.
from
£52.20
per adult (price varies by group size)
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 0-99
Duration: 4–5 hours
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English
More

Highlights
  • Experience the best of Colombo as you wish on a private half-day tour
  • See the Parliament, churches, temples, and hear their history via a guide
  • Customize your itinerary to suit your preferences and interests
  • Suits first-time visitors, with hotel, port, and airport transfers included

  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Transport by private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Parking Fees
  • All Entrance Fees
  • Entry/Admission - Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple
  • Entry/Admission - New Kathiresan Kovil
  • Entry/Admission - St Lucia's Cathedral
  • Entry/Admission - Old Kathiresan Temple
What's not included
  • Tips, gratuities and expenses of personal nature
  • Foods and drinks
  • Port entrance fee $ 20 USD per tour payable directly to the guide
  • Airport pickup fee 15 USD. Pickup & drop off after tour 25 USD

Meet your guide at your Colombo hotel, cruise port, or airport, and settle into your private, climate-controlled vehicle. Then, let your guide know what you want to see before heading into the bustling streets. As your tour is private, your itinerary can be tailored around you. Pass markets and monuments as you hear about Colombo’s ancient and colonial past, and gain insight into its cultural and religious mix. See the Old Parliament, Beira Lake, Vihara Temple, Pettah markets and more. Opt to visit the National Museum to chart Sri Lanka’s history and explore the Gangarama Seema Malakaya temple on Beira Lake. Plus, if you wish, shop for souvenirs at malls and handicraft emporiums, and enjoy an optional food break (own expense) to sample local cuisine. Your tour finishes back at your hotel, the port, or airport.

Start:Multiple pickup locations offered.
    Pickup details
    • All guest houses, homestay units and AirBnB.
    Hotel pickup offered
    During checkout you will be able to select from the list of included hotels.
      Airport pickup offered
      During checkout you will be able to select from the list of included airports.
      • Bandaranayake Intl Airport, Colombo Sri Lanka
      Port pickup offered
      During checkout you will be able to select from the list of included ports.
      • Colombo
      End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

        • Not wheelchair accessible
        • Infant seats available
        If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 17652P21

        • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
        • Please advise TOUR START TIME you prefer would like to secure at the time of booking
        • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
        • Most travellers can participate
        • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate

        • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

        Which attractions will I visit with Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour?
        How much is Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour?
        Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour price starts from £51.51. Discover and book Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour on Tripadvisor
        What is the Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour cancellation policy?
        Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour on Tripadvisor
        Which company provides Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour?
        Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour is hosted by Sri Lanka by Car. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Sri Lanka by Car on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour on Tripadvisor

        If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 17652P21

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        Itinerary
        • You'll get picked up
          See departure details
        • Pass by
          Old Parliament Building
          Beira Lake
        • 1
          Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque
          Stop: 15 minutes
          See details
        • 2
          Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple
          Stop: 30 minutes - Admission included
          See details
        • 3
          Pettah
          Stop: 45 minutes
          See details
        • 4
          Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct
          Stop: 10 minutes
          See details
          Pass by
          Pettah Floating Market
        • 5
          New Kathiresan Kovil
          Stop: 10 minutes - Admission included
          See details
        • 6
          St Lucia's Cathedral
          Stop: 20 minutes - Admission included
          See details
        • 7
          Premadasa & Co. Main Store & Gem Museum
          Stop: 30 minutes
          See details
        • 8
          Old Kathiresan Temple
          Stop: 15 minutes - Admission included
          See details
        • You'll return to the starting point
        About the operator
        Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
        • Sri Lanka by Car
          264
          Negombo, Sri Lanka
          Joined in November 2014
        • sahila609
          0 contributions
          Bang for your buck
          Very informative driver, nice AC car and amazing views! You pretty much get what you pay for and the driver was very spontaneous and accommodating
          Written 22 February 2024
        • Tracy-Richx
          0 contributions
          Another perfect day spent in Sri Lanka.
          Our guide Kenneth arrived as stated and picked us up earlier at our request from outside our hotel the Granbell in Columbo as we wanted to miss the rush hour traffic and mid morning sun, right from the start he was very friendly, polite, knowledgeable and informative about the places/towns we were driving through. We arrived at Sigiriya in good time and were shown by Kenneth where to get our tickets, it was $36 for an adult ticket which I feel is rather expensive, they didn't take cards just cash, rupees or dollars, the steps up are quite steep at the beginning and by the time I got to the paws i and many others were already out of breath, the climb is not as hard as I thought it would be but it is quite scary in places as most of the 1,200+ steps are metal and see though with gaps in between, the handrail is thin and the staircase narrow, people are walking both up and down the stairs but were very patient and polite, I did start feeling unwell and dizzy but after a rest at the top, water and lots of photos we were ready to come down, we were back in the car in less than 2 hours. The tombs at Dambulla were interesting but there were a lot of people around and photographs had to be taken quickly, after walking up the steps in Sigiriya the 350+ steps were definitely not leg friendly in places, before going home we went to the Cemetery, it was $3 to get in and quite honestly there was not much to see there, it took less than 10 minutes to walk round but it was clean and tidy and the staff there were friendly. If you choose to go on this tour we highly recommend asking if Kenneth can take you, lots of happy memories, very tired legs but anther perfect day spent in Sri Lanka.
          Written 11 February 2024
        • troysN1760YE
          0 contributions
          Amazing experience!
          I had a long layover in Columbo and decided to book a day tour. I’m very glad I did- Ushan was an excellent host who made me feel very welcome in Sri Lanka and gave me a fabulous tour. I would fully recommend this, and this short layover has convinced me that next time I come to Sri Lanka, I’ll need to spend more time in such a fabulous place!
          Written 3 February 2024
        • 882oscarm
          0 contributions
          Excellent tour guide with great knowledge of Sri Lanka.
          Pradeep took us to several important religious and historical sights, including Hindu and Buddhist temples, Catholic Churches and the national museum. He provided detailed and informative information and answered all of our questions. He also took us to a good restaurant for lunch. He is very knowledgeable about history, archeology, political and cultural traditions in his country and thought he was an excellent guide.
          Written 28 January 2024
        • Passport60202029062
          0 contributions
          Great guide. Great tour.
          Ushan was our tour guide and it was great tour. He stayed in touch before the tour and was very prompt. He gave us a lot of great information and was very nice man. We saw many sights and we got some great insights into life in Sri Lanka. Ushan went above and beyond in taking care of us and showing us a good time. I would highly recommend Ushan and this tour.
          Written 16 January 2024
        • Antônio M
          0 contributions
          The best way to travel around Sri Lanka
          Rajeewa was responsible for all our planning of a 5 day trip. Gave us a lot of tips and helped with our plans. We started at Negombo Airport and went to the following cities: Kandy, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Kelaniya and Colombo. Our guide, Amila made our trip even more special. Such a kind human being and provided us all the explanations and history background of all the temples, ruins and sights that we’ve visited. I was planning on going solo - with a rental car - and that would have been a huge mistake. I truly recommend this company. Made my trip do Sri Lanka even better than I expected.
          Written 11 January 2024
        • Z8432HKlindah
          0 contributions
          A perfect day
          The hole trip was amazing, and our guide Ruwan made it all worth it. He was a excellent driver and guide. The review only gets 5 stars because he made it a 5 star trip. He thought of everything, he even brought embrellas for us.
          Written 10 January 2024
        • Roam484355
          0 contributions
          Best way to travel around!
          Best way to travel around. John, our driver and guide was perfect, he really did a good job. We had only 5 days for our trip and we saw a lot of Sri Lanka. He was thoughtful, explained a lot we had really a great time with him. 😀I can recommend Sri Lanka by car.
          Written 9 January 2024
        • emilymoir90
          0 contributions
          Great day exploring Sigiriya and Dambulla Cave Temple
          We booked a tour through Viator for a full day tour from Colombo to visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Dambulla Cave Temples. Our guide, Kenneth, was great! He made sure we knew exactly where to go and helped us buy entry tickets at each place. We were picked up at 6am and arrived back in Colombo about 6.30pm. We thoroughly enjoyed our day exploring some of Sri Lanka's beauty and culture.
          Written 8 January 2024
        • nimas843
          0 contributions
          Great evening in Colombo
          Our driver and guide, Ushan, was great. We had a bit of an interesting situation and arrived late at night, and he was able to put together a great five hours for us to explore as much of Colombo as possible at that time of night. He was very friendly and personable, and genuinely a joy to talk to. He showed us everything he could, and took us by car to what he couldn’t. He even found us a great restaurant for us to end our evening at, overall I would highly recommend him and this company.
          Written 6 January 2024
        • nicholassI1203VT
          0 contributions
          Recommendable Tour
          Our tour with Aja was an absolute delight, weaving through fascinating destinations that showcased the best of the area. Aja, our guide, was a gem – friendly, knowledgeable, and passionate about ensuring our experience was nothing short of extraordinary. The journey kicked off with a visit to a turtle hatchery, where Aja's insights into conservation efforts were both educational and heartwarming. Next, we marvelled at the stilt fishermen, an iconic scene that Aja skillfully narrated, providing cultural context and making the experience more than just a photo opportunity. A highlight of our day was the visit to a tea plantation, a serene escape into the lush landscapes. We were expertly guided us through the intricate tea-making process, sharing tales of the region's history and the significance of tea in Sri Lankan culture. Aja's flexibility in tailoring the tour to our interests made the day uniquely ours. The blend of natural wonders, cultural insights and warm hospitality was highly recommendable.
          Written 28 December 2023
        • HughTully
          0 contributions
          Colombo by car -A great experience
          This was a very enjoyable and informative tour and great value for money. Using a car is a better way to see the city sights. The company was very efficient in setting up the tour. Our driver,John, proved to be an excellent guide who really knew his stuff. We will be recommending him to friends who are visiting Sri Lanka next year.
          Written 19 December 2023
        • Judith M
          0 contributions
          Book this trip instead of a cruise tour
          We booked our tour on viatour as we wanted a private trip away from our cruise . our guide was Pradeep What a fantastic experience we had of Colombo We didn’t know what to expect as it was our first visit to this beautiful country. Pradeep met us (as arranged on what’s app ) at the cruise terminal with a sign with our names and arrived in his aircon car with a bottle of water , which was a very welcomed surprise. I thought I had booked a tuk tuk but with the heat I was so glad I hadn’t , ( the traffic was busy and it was hot ) Pradeep was extremely polite, knowledgeable , friendly and professional. We were taken to all the main areas of interest and more.. we had a personal tour guide who had our best interest at heart and was very passionate about his county , which made it more exciting for us too We did many things and saw lots of places that we didn’t think we’re included and he constantly made our experience here fantastic. I can’t recommend enough that you book this tour and ask for Pradeep. EXCELLENT TOUR and experience THANK YOU
          Written 17 December 2023
        • Adventure296160
          0 contributions
          Fantastic tour
          Our Airport Layover Colombo City Tour was fantastic! Pradeep and Raj did a wonderful job helping my husband and I to navigate immigration at the airport in Sri Lanka. Our plane arrived over an hour late. Then, we found out that our outgoing connection was going to be delayed 7 hours. The airport staff was insufferable and the immigration officials denied our entry into Sri Lanka even though our visas were approved days earlier. Pradeep and Raj stayed in contact with us throughout the process to get us through immigration. Pradeep, our tour guide waited patiently for us for over 3 hours! Raj, the tour operator, called to make sure we were safely in the hands of our guide and that we were accommodated on our short stay. It was dark once we exited the airport, but Pradeep made sure we saw everything! He was passionate about his city and very knowkedgeable about the history and culture of Colombo. We visited the Lotus Tower, beautiful Buddhist and Hindu temples, government buildings and monuments. To top off the evening, Pradeep took my husband and I to a very good restsurant for dinner. Because our flight had been delayed overnight, Pradeep recomended a wonderful place for our overnight stay and made sure we had a ride to the airport in the morning. We throughly enjoyed our tour and our stay. Thank you, Pradeep for making our tour memorabe!!
          Written 5 December 2023
        • ulisan
          0 contributions
          A great tour
          My very knowledgeable guide Isuru provided plenty of interesting information on plants in the botanical gardens but also religions at the Temple of the tooth. His knowledge of English made it easy to communicate.
          Written 28 November 2023
        See all 264 reviews
        These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

        Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

        Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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        4.5
        57 reviews
        Excellent
        46
        Very good
        6
        Average
        1
        Poor
        1
        Terrible
        3

        Mash
        Wellington, New Zealand35 contributions
        Jan 2020
        Despite some initial hick ups with being picked up from the port (a security incident the night before at the port), we found the tour fantastic. Our guide was attentive and flexible and showed us all the sights of the city. Given it was a private tour we asked for a shopping mall to be included in the stops and our guide/driver were happy to accommodate.

        We recommend the tour
        Written 20 January 2020
        This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
        Thank you very much for understanding the situation there that day and leaving this fantastic review for us. After all, we all have to obey the law and rules.
        Written 20 January 2020
        This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

        sharmasonam
        1 contribution
        Dec 2019 • Family
        Kanishka, Our Guide for the day was very knowledgeable and helpful, ready to accomodate the guests requirements at all times considering their comforts. He took us through the city explaining everything around us. Would fully recommend him.
        Written 7 January 2020
        This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
        Thank you very much for reviewing us.
        Written 8 January 2020
        This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

        Alanoki
        South Yarra, Australia9 contributions
        Nov 2023 • Couples
        Our tour guide Denver was absolutely fantastic, he was so accommodating and very knowledgeable of Colombo city. Denver took us through the old and the new city. We learnt so much and highly recommend the half day city tour. Thank you again Denver for an unforgettable experience.
        Written 21 November 2023
        This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
        It's wonderful to hear that Denver provided you with an unforgettable experience during your half-day city tour of Colombo. His accommodating nature and extensive knowledge of the city truly shine through in your praise. Exploring both the old and new facets of Colombo must have been fascinating and insightful. Thank you for recommending Denver and your kind words of appreciation. We are delighted that Denver played a significant role in making your Colombo adventure so memorable.
        Written 3 December 2023
        This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

        Andrew300153
        Sydney, Australia6 contributions
        May 2023 • Couples
        Chiranth was our guide and driver. He spoke very well and had great knowledge about the history and people of Colombo and the broader Sri Lanka. Easy and personable nature and managed the traffic brilliantly. Had a very comfortable day getting getting around and seeing Columbo.
        Written 19 May 2023
        This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
        Ayubowan! Thank you for your kind words. Chiranth is happy to hear that you enjoyed your tour of Colombo and that he was able to contribute to your enjoyable experience. He is thrilled to hear that he met your expectations as a guide and driver and that you found his knowledge about the history and people of Colombo and Sri Lanka to be valuable. Chiranth's easy and personable nature, as well as his ability to manage traffic brilliantly, has been noted. Thank you for taking the time to share your positive experience of your day, and for choosing Chiranth as your guide and driver.
        Written 22 May 2023
        This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

        kkckoud731
        Norman, OK118 contributions
        Feb 2022
        We do alot of tours and its a huge turn off when they take us to places where the sole intention is for the hard sell. I don't mind going to places we can shop, but being aggressively bombarded to buy something is not why I am on the tour. It put me in such a bad mood, we cut the tour short. My other complaint is that the really should bring bottled water. I was thirsty, asked to stop to get water, and it took them 30 minutes to stop.
        Now, the good stuff. Our guide was energetic, knowledgeable, and very willing to answer questions. We learned alot about Columbo and while there were some stops we could have done without, its definitely OUR preference and not a comment on the tour. It is very inclusive. My recommendation would be to look at the destinations and determine what you really want to see.
        Written 22 February 2022
        This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
        Dear Madam, Please accept my heartfelt apologies. I wish I had been more thoughtful selecting your guide for the tour. I am hurt to see an unsatisfied client, which brings no good to our company. Is there anything I can do right now to help build your trust in us?
        Written 18 March 2022
        This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

        Sabine P
        Zurich, Switzerland25 contributions
        We really enjoyed the private city tour of Colombo with out lovely tour guide Shimaz Thahir. Shimaz knows the city and history of Sri Lanka very well - and is a great photographer! The little lux limo was super comfortable and easy to get around in the city. We saw many sites we wouldn’t have gone by ourselves so a tour well worth the money!
        Written 14 April 2023
        This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

        Intan A
        4 contributions
        Had a lovely experience! Our guide, Shimaz was on time, very accommodating with the transport and very knowledgeable in the history of Colombo. As a first time visitor, it was a very enjoyable experience with no troubles and a private tour means it’s more personalised. The sites were gorgeous and definitely a must-see. Thanks Shimaz for the great hospitality, keep up the good work!
        Written 29 June 2023
        This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
        Thank you for your review, Shimaz asked me to add this reply.... "Thank you for your kind words! I’m glad to hear that you had a wonderful experience during our tour. It was my pleasure to be your guide and provide you with a personalized and enjoyable experience in Colombo. I'm thrilled that you found the sites to be gorgeous and that my knowledge of the city's history added value to your tour. Your appreciation and satisfaction mean a lot to me. Thank you for choosing me as your guide, and I hope to have the opportunity to serve you again in the future. Safe travels!"
        Written 30 June 2023
        This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

        rop332
        Miami, Australia4 contributions
        Oct 2023 • Solo
        I booked this half day tour as I had one free day in Colombo and wanted to try and see as much as I could. I was lucky enough to have Shimaz as my tour guide- who made sure I made the most of my time in Colombo !
        Shimaz took me to so many sites, while giving me lots of information about each site- and also about Sri Lanka in general.
        He was very kind, helpful and made my trip really enjoyable.
        Shimaz also takes fantastic photos, which is a great perk. Considering I was travelling on my own, I have so many fantastic photos to remember my trip by.
        Thank you! A day to remember.
        Written 2 October 2023
        This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

        Radu Petrescu
        42 contributions
        Jan 2022 • Couples
        Following yesterday's very nice experience in Dambulla and Sigiriya, today we had the half-day tour in Colombo. I would strongly advice this tour for the people who want to see the real life in Sri Lanka. The city is developing, you can walk, you can see nice temples, have the flavor of the life as it is.

        Our guide was Shamal - very nice person, he knows many things about the city and the buildings. Always polite and ready to give us informations about everything.

        So, in two days, we had really great Sri Lanka real life experience with two very professional persons!
        Written 7 January 2022
        This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

        Malinee B
        Los Angeles, CA9 contributions
        Thanks Dilanth for making my day memorable around Colombo. If you have 4 to 5 hours to spare, I recommend this tour. They hit many historical and cultural landmarks around Colombo in a very short time. The driver gives you time to look around and take pictures at each location. You just have to let them know what you want. Dilanth even went out of his way to give me a list of all the points/landmarks we hit in 4 hours.
        Written 4 April 2023
        This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
        Thank you very much for taking the time to leave us a review.
        Written 4 April 2023
        This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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        Private Half-Day Colombo City Tour provided by Sri Lanka by Car