Exploring Sri Lanka’s Lesser Known Museums 0 300

Exploring Sri Lanka’s Lesser Known Museums 0 301


We’ve spoken of museums before, but have you actually visited all of the museums Sri Lanka has to offer? Some of the places we have listed below are some of the lesser known museums that represents Sri Lanka’s rich history and culture.

Colombo Dutch Museum 

The former Governor’s residence of Ceylon that was later converted to a museum with the help of the Netherlands government in 1982 is one of the oldest remaining colonial buildings in the city (apart from Wolvendaal Church). Located at Prince Street, Pettah the Dutch museum is one of the remaining colonial buildings in the original form. Museum artefacts includes furniture, ceramics, coins weapons, portraying the various facets of contemporary life and culture. 

Independence Memorial Museum

Located at the basement of Independence Memorial Hall in Colombo 07 the museum was declared open in 2008 dedicating it to the country’s heroes who sacrificed their lives during the time of independence. The museum has several sections starting with things they used a century or two back including weapons, diaries, telephones and statues of great leaders such as S.W.R. D. Bandaranayake, Monravilla Keppatipola Nilame, Muhammadu Lebbe, Walter White etc. A small section of the museum is dedicated to Martin Wickremasinghe and the last section to all soldiers who fought during the years of 1983 to 2009 during the civil war. Pictures cannot be taken and the regular entrance fee is LKR 10 and LKR 250 for pictures that are to be paid at the entrance.

National Museum of Natural History

If you are interested in learning about Sri Lanka’s natural history and heritage the National Museum of Natural History is the place to visit. With over 5,000 specimens of animals and plants in Sri Lanka, it is located close to the National Museum of Colombo. The museum has rare exhibits of natural heritage of plants and animals endemic to our country. Looking for a place to stay the night?  Our property at Colombo 07 would be a great option!

Archaeological Museum in Polonnaruwa

The place to visit before heading to tour the ancient ruin sites of Polonnaruwa, the museum is open 365 days a year until 05 pm.  On request guides are available for locals and foreigners for a fee apart from the entrance ticket.  The museum explains the history of the Polonnaruwa Kingdom and includes stories of the monastery, explores Hindu monuments, statues, coins, weapons, ceramics and images before and after restoring. Photos are not allowed to be taken at the museum. Looking for a place to stay in Polonnauwa? Yoho New Town would be an excellent choice and it also rents bicycles for those looking for 

Isurumuniya Museum

An archaeological museum recognised in 1984 in the premises of the Isurumuniya Viharaya, the most popular sculpture here is the “Isurumuniya lovers” carved in Gupta style belonging to the 05th century where it was believed to have been found on the royal pleasure garden. 

Anuradhapura Folk Museum

A museum filled with objects belonging to the Folk community in Sri Lanka, here we can identify the rural community lifestyle gradually change to modern living by incorporating items such as tools of cultivation, kitchenware, medical equipment and musical items are found here. The museum is located near the Anuradhapura archaeological museum. Thinking of visiting all the museums in the sacred city of Anuradhapura? We recommend you stay at Yoho Diamond Lake Tourist Rest for some truly Sri Lankan hospitality! 

#YohoTip  The ancient citadel of Anuradhapura has 08 museums including the Anuradhapura museum, Folk museum, Isurumuniya museum, Abayagiriya museum, Mihintale museum, Jethawanarama museum, Jethawana museum and Stone bridge (Gal Palama).

If you are interested in knowing about the entrance tickets can be found here.

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Nastashia Ekanayake is a travel enthusiastic who enjoys travelling solo when budget and time permit. Having currently moved back to Sri Lanka, she functions as an administration professional by day and wanderer and foodie by night. She enjoys journaling her adventures, exploring the joys of Instagram and looking up her next travel destination.

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