The National Museum of Colombo is a two-storey building which is the largest museum in Sri Lanka. It dates back to 1877 and has a colonial vibe with a rich history covering 2500 years. The founder of the museum was William Henry Gregory, British Governor of Ceylon from 1872–1877. The building’s artworks have an essence of the Dutch, Portuguese and British Colonial times, along with the display of significant ancient and local artefacts, farming methods, tools and traditional craft.
The Colombo Dutch Museum is a beautiful two-story building which is a storehouse of some fantastic architecture and history of Dutch colonial rule of Sri Lanka. The Colombo Dutch museum was initially a the residence of the Dutch governor- Thomas Van Rhee, and it was inside the walls of this museum that a treaty was signed with the Dutch.
The Colombo Maritime Museum is in one of the former Dutch prisons which were built in 1676 making it one of the oldest Dutch buildings in Colombo. The museum has undergone many renovations to date, and it has been open to the public since the year 2003. There are two stories in the museum which are made of unique architecture and design inspired by Italian architecture.
Covering the natural heritage of Sri Lanka, the National Museum of Natural History is located near to the National Museum of Colombo and is one of the only museums in the country to showcase collections of natural history and heritage. With over 5000 species and specimens of all kinds of animals endemic to Sri Lanka showcased, the collection also includes some rare and extinct animals.
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Located in the basement of the Independence Memorial Hall in the Independence Square, the Independence Memorial Museum in Sri Lanka was established to honour the country's heroes who were instrumental in helping Sri Lanka gain its freedom from the British forces. The museum has collections of busts, portraits of political leaders, patriots and men, each with their stories written next to it.
Sri Lanka Air Force Museum is the only national museum dedicated to aviation and the history of SLAF. Consisting of four hangars and outdoor exhibits, the museum is open daily from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM except on Mondays. Some phenomenal memorabilia include aircraft like the LTT Colombo, vehicles like an Austin Firefighter, uniforms and weapons. Entrance tickets cost 120 Rupees.
Timings: Tuesday to Sunday - 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Closed on Mondays
Entry Fee: LKR 120
Learn about how locomotives first came to Sri Lanka and transported tea and people all over the country at National Railway Museum, which is open daily between 10 AM and 4 PM. It was built to commemorate the 150th anniversary of railway service in Sri Lanka. Showcasing unparalleled feats of engineering, the museum exhibits engines, carriages, rail cars, trams, trolleys, carriages and machinery.
Timings : 10 AM to 4 PM
Also known as Economic History Museum, Currency Museum in the Greco-Roman Central Point building has a collection dating back to the 3rd century BC. Open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, the Currency Museum displays coins from Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kotte Kingdoms era, the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial eras through to Ceylon’s modern days, commemorative coins and notes.
Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM
Without any doubt, these prominent museums in Colombo will surely make your visit worth it.
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