The 10 Best Museums in Colombo

Imagine stepping into a world where every corner tells a story, where the walls whisper secrets of a bygone era, and where the air is thick with the essence of culture and history. That’s exactly what you’ll experience when you visit the museums in Colombo, Sri Lanka. As someone who’s wandered through these halls and admired the artifacts, I can assure you, it’s a journey worth taking.

Colombo, the bustling capital city of Sri Lanka, is not just about busy streets and contemporary buildings. It’s a treasure trove of history, art, and culture, with museums that offer a glimpse into the country’s rich heritage. Let’s dive into the top 10 museums that you simply can’t miss when you’re in town.

1. **National Museum of Colombo**
The granddaddy of them all, the National Museum of Colombo, is the largest in the country. Established in 1877, this iconic institution houses a vast collection of Sri Lankan history, art, and artifacts. From ancient regalia to colonial memorabilia, it’s a must-visit for history buffs.

2. **The Natural History Museum**
Right next door to the National Museum, this place is a haven for nature enthusiasts. It showcases Sri Lanka’s diverse Flora and fauna, including endemic species and geological specimens that tell the tale of the island’s natural history.

3. **The Dutch Period Museum**
Housed in a restored colonial building, this museum offers a peek into the life during the Dutch rule in Sri Lanka. With its creaky floorboards and antique furniture, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

4. **Colombo National Maritime Museum**
For those who are fascinated by the sea, this museum is a treasure chest. It presents maritime history, trade, and the importance of the ocean to Sri Lanka’s past and present.

5. **The Colombo Port Maritime Museum**
Located in a converted Dutch prison, this museum focuses on the development of the Colombo Port. It’s a testament to the island’s strategic importance in maritime trade throughout history.

6. **The Currency Museum**
Ever wondered about the evolution of money? The Currency Museum, run by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, chronicles the history of Sri Lankan currency from ancient times to the present day.

7. **The National Railway Museum**
All aboard for a journey through Sri Lanka’s railway history! Located in Maradana, this museum displays vintage locomotives and carriages, and tells the story of how the railway network influenced the country’s development.

8. **The Sri Lanka Air Force Museum**
Take to the skies with a visit to the Air Force Museum. It’s an engaging showcase of Sri Lanka’s aviation history, with aircraft displays and exhibits on the Air Force’s role in the country’s defense.

9. **The Traditional Puppet Art Museum**
This unique museum is a Celebration of traditional Sri Lankan puppetry. It’s a colorful and fascinating display of craftsmanship and cultural storytelling that will captivate visitors of all ages.

10. **The Bandaranaike Museum**
Dedicated to the life and times of one of Sri Lanka’s most influential political families, this museum provides insights into the country’s political history and the Bandaranaike legacy.

Each of these museums offers a unique perspective on Sri Lanka’s multifaceted story. They’re not just buildings filled with objects; they’re gateways to understanding the soul of the island.


Q: What are the opening hours for the National Museum of Colombo?
A: The National Museum of Colombo is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Tuesday to Sunday. It’s closed on Mondays and public holidays.

Q: Are there any entry fees for these museums?
A: Yes, most museums charge a small fee for entry. It’s best to check their official websites or contact them directly for the latest information on fees and opening hours.

Q: Can I take photographs inside the museums?
A: Photography policies vary from museum to museum. Some allow it freely, others may charge a fee, and some prohibit it altogether. Always check the policy upon entry.


Colombo’s museums are not just repositories of the past; they’re vibrant institutions that celebrate the island’s journey through time. From the grand National Museum of Colombo to the quaint Traditional Puppet Art Museum, each one tells a part of Sri Lanka’s story. Whether you’re a history aficionado, a nature lover, or simply curious about the world, these museums offer a window into the heart of this beautiful country. So, next time you’re in Colombo, make sure to carve out time for these cultural gems. Trust me, it’s an experience that will enrich your understanding and leave you with memories to cherish.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.