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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Museums of Colombo - The historic sites
Joanna James Joanna James
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Museums of Colombo - The historic sites

Colombo the blissful capital of Sri Lanka has many things to experience. Museums may not be its forte however if that is where your interest lays then Colombo will not fail you.


National Museum

Located in the heart of Colombo the National Museum is on the list of 'must sees'. With a history spanning 2500 years, Sri Lanka has a list of interesting artefacts to exhibit. The museum, which was established in 1877, holds a variety of significant artefacts from different eras in history. The galleries hold art, carvings, and statuary from the country's ancient past as well as swords, weapons and other equipment that reflects the colonial period. There is a magnificent royal throne made for King Wimaladharma in 1693 which is quite stunning and plenty of other historically significant artefacts on display. A visit to the national museum will be a breeze if you are staying in an apartment in Colombo such as the Cinnamon Life.


Traditional Puppet Art Museum

Traditional Puppet Art Museum in Dehiwala is a very interesting place to visit. The museum is filled with expert creations of puppeteers from around the country. Sri Lanka has a strong heritage in puppetry and this museum is a way of conserving it and showcasing local talent. Visitors get a chance to enjoy puppet shows, workshops and lectures related to puppetry when available. The museum opening hours are from 9 am to 5 pm.


Dutch Museum

The Dutch Museum in Colombo is housed in a building that was used for multiple purposes. In the 17th century, it was the residence of a Dutch Governor, it also served as a police station, post office, Catholic seminary and a military hospital. The museum has a display of artefacts and furniture related to the Dutch colonial times. The museum opens to the public from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am – 5 pm.


Independence Museum

The Independence Museum is seen in the basement of the Independence Memorial Hall in Colombo. This is actually a small museum, which is dedicated to commemorating the war heroes that were involved in gaining independence from the British rule. The museum is part of the independence park which has a beautiful garden and sculptures ideal for photographs. This museum is open from Monday to Saturday and is closed on all public holidays.


National Railway Museum

The National Railway Museum in Colombo displays a variety of locomotives used in the country from back in the day. The collection is limited but if you love trains then it's an interesting display. The museum is said to be getting a set of antique locomotives anytime soon. The museum opens to the public from 9 am to 4 pm every day except on public holidays.


Sri Lanka Air Force Museum

If aviation is your thing then the Sri Lanka Air Force Museum is a place you'll love. You get everything you need to know about the Lankan aviation history here. There are two massive sheds housing aeroplanes. You get an outdoor exhibit area, kids play area and a lounge area next to a lake. Kids are going to love the craft lab, which is a workshop where visitors can build models of new and old aeroplanes. The Air Force Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday and on public holidays from 8.30am to 4.30pm.

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