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Colombo National Museum

This is a vast, comprehensive history museum situated in magnificent colonial architecture. Sir William Gregory, the British Governor of Ceylon at the time, proclaimed openly the edifice of the Italian architectural style museum in 1877.

A tranquil Buddha statue in a meditation stance carved out of stone going back to the 4th to 5th centuries greets visitors in the Museum’s lobby.

The museum contains 15 large exhibition rooms spread across two floors of a linked set of buildings. This lovely dazzling white structure houses a wide range of antiquities from the ancient era to the recent colonial era, containing approximately 100,000 artifacts.

The throne and crown of the King of Kandy City are two of the museum’s most famous exhibits.

The largest and most visited museum in Sri Lanka highlights the country’s rich cultural past.

The museum’s library has troves of local literature accumulated over 129 years. Over 12 million papers have been acquired by the library since it became Sri Lanka’s first legal repository. Palm leaf manuscripts are among the many items in its huge collection.

Additional information

Nearby Attractions

The most popular nearby attraction

  • Galle Dutch Fort Face Green (3km)


Accommodation (within 10km)

  • Star Classified hotels- Yes
  • International Chain Hotels- Yes
  • Boutique Hotels- Yes
  • Resorts- No
  • Ayurvedic Hotels- No
  • Inns/Guest Houses- Yes
  • Hostels- Yes
  • Homestays- Yes
  • Eco Hotels- No

* You might still find preferred accommodation in nearby cities.


Distance from (estimate)

  • CMB Airport- 34km (travel time: 50min)
  • Colombo City- in the city
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress- 180km (travel time: 4hrs 15min)
  • Anuradhapura Ancient City- 205km (travel time: 4hrs 40min)
  • Polonnaruwa Ancient City- 228km (travel time: 5hrs)
  • Kandy City- 123km (travel time: 3hrs 50min)
  • Galle Dutch Fort- 125km (travel time: 2hrs 20min)

* The time and distance are only given to give you an idea. There are stopovers between the two locations. The cities listed above are some of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka.

Best Time


  • Year round

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