national museum

Opened on January 1st, 1877, the Colombo National Museum houses a diverse and large collection of antiquities that highlight Sri Lanka's rich heritage. The first public museum of its kind in Sri Lanka, the National Museum was set up by the Sri Lankan branch of the Royal Asiatic Society with the help of Governor Sir William Gregory. 

The gleaming white building, designed by James Smither, remains one of Colombo's most impressive colonial structures. The covered portico entrance, the pillars, verandahs, and rounded arches all add to the charm and grandness of the museum. Standing in front of the museum is a statue of Sir William Gregory, put up by a very appreciative public.

The museum houses a library, which boasts a unique collection books and ola (palm) manuscripts. The range of artifacts include Buddhist and Hindu bronzes, stone statues (including an old stone statue of the Buddha dating back almost 1,500 years), paintings, frescoes, ceramics, antique furniture, masks, and royal objects from the Kings of Kandy. In fact, the throne of the Kandyan King is on display along with other royal regalia and jewellery.

So, if you want an introduction to Sri Lanka and its history, the Colombo National Museum is a must!


Address: 854, Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Col-07

Telephone number: +94 11 2695 366

Opening times: 9am to 6pm daily

Admission: Foreign children Rs300 and foreign adults Rs500

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