Colombo National Museum
Museum © Stefan Krasowski
Sri Lanka's oldest museum was established in 1877 and today boasts a massive collection of antiques and objects d'art, encompassing the cultural heritage of the island. Exhibits include artefacts from archaeological sites all over Sri Lanka, and more than 4,000 ancient palm leaf manuscripts. Sri Lanka boasts some remarkable ancient sites and this historical wealth is reflected in the museum.
Among the exhibits is displayed the regalia of the Kandyan Kings dating back to the 17th century. Although the museum is not quite what you would call world-class, it does contain some genuine treasures and should fascinate visitors interested in the art and culture of Sri Lanka. The collection is housed in an imposing and attractive white building and set in lovely grounds. Alongside the archaeological museum is the Natural History Museum, which features the island's fauna and flora in dioramas.
The dual museums are a good introduction for visitors interested in discovering the culture and history of the island. Photographs are allowed in the National Museum, but only if you pay a small extra fee for a photography permit. There is a cafe and a craft shop in the museum grounds as well.
Address: Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo