Discovering Sri Lanka's Heritage


Nestled in the heart of Sri Lanka’s vibrant capital, Colombo, the Colombo National Museum stands as a beacon of the nation’s rich cultural heritage. Established in 1877, this iconic institution has been a custodian of Sri Lanka’s history, art, and artifacts, offering visitors a captivating journey through time. As you embark on your exploration of this cultural gem, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world that beautifully weaves together the threads of the island’s diverse past.

A Glimpse into History

The Colombo National Museum is a testament to Sri Lanka’s enduring history. Stepping through its grand entrance, you are transported back in time, surrounded by a treasure trove of exhibits that span several millennia. From ancient artifacts dating back to the prehistoric era to the colonial period and beyond, each gallery unfolds a unique chapter in Sri Lanka’s story.

Art and Antiquities

One of the highlights of the museum is its impressive collection of art and antiquities. The art gallery showcases a stunning array of traditional paintings, sculptures, and crafts, providing a visual feast for art enthusiasts. Marvel at the intricate details of ancient sculptures that depict the craftsmanship of bygone eras, and lose yourself in the vibrant hues of traditional Sri Lankan paintings that narrate tales of folklore and mythology.

Archaeological Discoveries

For history buffs and archaeology enthusiasts, the Colombo National Museum is a treasure trove. The archaeological section unveils the mysteries of Sri Lanka’s ancient civilizations, featuring artifacts ranging from tools and pottery to intricate jewelry. Wander through the galleries and witness the evolution of technology, artistry, and daily life in Sri Lanka over the centuries.

The Regal Throne and Crown Jewels

A true highlight of the museum is the regal throne of the last King of Kandy, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. This majestic artifact, intricately carved and adorned, stands as a poignant reminder of the island’s royal heritage. Additionally, the museum houses the Crown Jewels of the Kandyan Monarchy, adding a touch of glamour to the historical narrative.

Ethnographic Exhibits

The museum goes beyond archaeological and historical artifacts to offer a comprehensive view of Sri Lanka’s diverse ethnic groups. The ethnographic exhibits showcase traditional costumes, tools, and implements, providing insight into the island’s cultural tapestry. It’s a fascinating journey into the daily lives and customs of the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, and other communities that call Sri Lanka home.

Interactive Displays and Educational Programs

The Colombo National Museum is not merely a static repository of artifacts; it is a dynamic space that engages visitors of all ages. Interactive displays and educational programs cater to a diverse audience, making it an ideal destination for families, students, and curious travelers alike. From workshops on traditional arts to guided tours that bring history to life, the museum offers an immersive and educational experience.


In conclusion, a visit to the Colombo National Museum is a journey through the soul of Sri Lanka. As you meander through its halls, you’ll find yourself captivated by the island’s rich history, cultural diversity, and artistic legacy. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, art lover, or simply curious about the heritage of this enchanting island, the Colombo National Museum is a must-visit destination that will leave you with a profound appreciation for Sri Lanka’s timeless charm.

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Useful Tips

  • Opening Hours: from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Tuesday to Sunday. It is closed on Mondays and public holidays.

  • Entrance Fees: Admission fees may vary for locals and international visitors. Be sure to check the official website or inquire at the entrance for the most up-to-date pricing.
  • Guided Tours: Consider taking a guided tour to enhance your understanding of the exhibits. 
  • Photography: Confirm the museum’s policy on photography and videography before your visit. Some areas may have restrictions to protect the artifacts.
  • Museum Map: Upon entry, pick up a museum map to help navigate the various galleries and exhibits. This will ensure you don’t miss any of the key highlights during your exploration.
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