Museums in Colombo

THE 10 BEST Museums in Colombo

Museums in Colombo

Museums
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What travellers are saying

  • oldiesontherun
    Norfolk212 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A trip to this museum was part of a complimentary tour from our hotel. There was lots to see there but there were lots of staircases.
    Written 30 January 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • MW
    Boise, ID195 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This was a must visit in Colombo for us. The tours are small and the guides very well informed, some of them having spent time with Mr Bawa before he passed away. It appears as though everything was left in place since that time. This is a charming and eclectic home that gives insight into the mind of Mr Bawa.

    Although the tour confirmation suggested we could pay in USD it appeared this was not the case when we arrived - just FYI. We paid in SLR.
    Written 1 March 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Greg-Seattle
    Seattle88 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The current exhibit is about Sri Lanka’s first female architect, Minnette De Silva. The materials are well presented, with models and floor plans of homes she first began designing in the 1940’s.

    Very interesting show.
    Written 8 March 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Peter M
    Melbourne, Australia1,301 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This museum is run by he Central Bank of Sri Lanka and has a wide variety of coins dating back to 200sAD. It was formerly the National Mutual Life Association of Australia Colombo head office There are charges
    Written 23 August 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • zamanwho
    Dhaka City, Bangladesh1,101 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    The two story colonial era building located on Prince Street at Pettah in the old part of Colombo city, which houses this museum was constructed during the Dutch occupation of Colombo during 17th Century. It represents a unique architectural features of a colonial Dutch town house. The museum closed for renovation during our visit, we only could see the entrance hall and courtyard garden, we were disappointed.
    Written 21 November 2017
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jesper Spiegelberg
    Copenhagen, Denmark6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a must go, if ur in Colombo.. a sacred place in the hectic city. The gallery is part of an breathtaking open house, with a stunning garden in the middle of it all.

    As soon as u enter, you will be very warmly welcomed by the lovely family who lives there.

    The husband who is the artist, will guide you thru all his work. And he made his art accessible for everyone. Since you can leave the gallery with a poster or an original art piece. So it’s all up to you how u will enrich ur own home.

    We was even that lucky, to be able to book a yoga session with the wife who is also a yoga teacher and sound healer.

    Just wow.
    Don’t leave Colombo without stopping by.
    Written 18 January 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Ivan
    London, UK41 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This was an absolute highlight of a recent trip to Sri Lanka. I was taken on a fascinating journey going back in time to the 1920s and marvelled at the mastery of the 43rd Group of Sri Lankan artists among them Harry Peiris, ( the Foundation is housed in his old villa), George Keyt, Ivan Peries, W.J.G. Beling, Justin Deraniyagala, Aubrey Collette, Richard Gabriel, Stanley Abeysinghe, L.T.P. Manjusri, George Claessen and their patron, the Sri Lankan photographer Lionel Wendt.

    Admission is free but they would value donations. All kinds of art classes take place here. What a shame my UK card did not work on their card reader despite using it that day elsewhere in Colombo, (I would highly recommend that they get an up to date credit card reader - so needed for business these days - I dearly wanted to buy books, prints, cards but couldn't do so.

    This place needs funds to refurbish the villa and to protect these twentieth century Sri Lankan masterpieces from the Colombo heat. I worry about whether people can view these paintings in 50 years time. They urgently need benefactors who will fund a new building and keep the art in the right temperature and conditions. Sadly this art heritage might vanish if climate change comes into play when it comes to preserving these masterpieces.

    If you are visiting Sri Lanka this is a "must see" art heritage place in Colombo. I highly recommend the Sapumal Foundation to visitors wanting to experience the Sri Lankan 20th Century masters of art. This place is well worth a visit.

    Written 23 August 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • DAMITH CHANDANA
    Kandy, Sri Lanka4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Colombo’s street art has a long history with paintings hung on railings, attracting the admiration of tourists as well as customers who buy colourful Sri Lankan scenes (the stilt fishermen of Weligama, village life, and Sigiriya are popular) for their homes or guesthouses. Paintings of all kinds and styles, including abstract and still life, can be seen on most days along one side of the main thoroughfare of Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha.
    Colombo’s Street Art Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Holiday Guru
    Under the unamused eye of a stately statue of Queen Victoria (sitting on a plinth at a side entrance to the Museum), painters display their wares while commuters rush past in buses and cars. It’s a pleasant walk for pedestrians and a chance to pick up a unique and unusual souvenir of Sri Lanka. Bargaining is expected – but how do you price an original work of art?
    For the past quarter of a century, on a Sunday early in the New Year, the John Keells Foundation has sponsored a day-long street art fair so artists from around the country can join the regulars in exhibiting their works of art. The talent on display then is amazing. Some painters will even demonstrate their skill by painting peoples’ portraits as they pose in the shade of trees beside the road.
    With the weather usually fine at this time of the year, Colombo’s street art fair becomes a jolly event, with entertainers, snack stalls and the chance to buy a work of art to take home.
    Written 5 August 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • hdias
    Reigate, UK415 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The J R Jayawardene centre is the Presidential Library and study centre of a Sri Lankan President who had a long career both in government and opposition. It contains many paintings, gifts from distinguished visitors and his personal library with no charge to enter. The latter may be of particular interest to those studying political science, international relations and history.

    If you visit, you need to tell the security at the gate (armed services) that you wish to visit the centre. They will probably escort you to the door and ring the bell for admission. We were the only visitors and the interior resembles a sleepy government office that no one visits. There are a few people manning the centre but they don't seem to expect (or get) too many visitors. We started at the top of the building (where the books are) and worked our way down. There is an exhibition of photographs in a small room at the back of the ground floor.
    Written 19 October 2017
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • nrm77
    London, UK1,121 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    I was visiting Colombo earlier in the year with some of my friends. During my time there, I wanted to buy some art pieces, and I was recommended to visit Saskia Fernando Gallery for looking at some modern Sri Lankan modern art. It was about a 10 minute drive from the Galle Face Hotel, where I was staying. I enjoyed the place very much, it is beautifully decorated, all in white and has some really nice pieces of art there. Highly recommended for those who love art.
    Written 21 September 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Delan A
    Melbourne, Australia5 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    As an ardent cricket fan I was really looking forward to visiting this museum and loved the memorabilia, history, stories, pictures and everything else on display about Sri Lankan Cricket.

    My experienced was a little soured by the idiot security guard and another worker. Instead of asking where I was from or to show ID, which i was carrying and would have happily shown, they made assumptions on my race and nationality by repeatedly asking if I am Indian. To which I responded honestly 3 times that I am not.
    I pointed out his errors when leaving and he just laughed. These are the kind of people that are holding Sri Lanka back and a shame for the nation.

    Otherwise, for cricket fans it's well worth a visit!
    Written 24 March 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • JourneyEx
    New Delhi, India62 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Place to learn about the country's politics and its 4th prime minister who was assassinated in 1959. One of the amazing places to visit in Colombo if you are a history lover.
    Written 12 September 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Ranee B
    Adelaide, Australia776 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    We were very disappointed with this, There are nice paintings but no plaques with information as to the subject matter or the name of the artist. There should be a small label beneath each painting. There was no one capable of giving us any information, but just 2 security guards!!!
    The area next door with the sculptures was closed. Very sad to see this in a beautiful building located in a very nice area in Colombo, located just before the entrance to the National Museum on the left.
    Written 18 August 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Seevali D
    Colombo, Sri Lanka8,683 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    I have been visiting Lionel Wendt Memorial Art Centre for over 20 years. My last visit was on 17th and 19th January 2020 to view two art exhibitions.
    The Art Centre is named after photographer and Artist Lionel Wendt. It stands at 18, Guildford Crescent (now named Premasiri Kemadasa Mawatha) in Colombo and is the place where the artist originally built his small house that he made accessible to art lovers.
    The theatre for performing arts has over 600 seats and is the premier location in Colombo for both Sinhala and English stage plays, with an occasional one in Tamil. Here at this theatre, I have watched the stage dramas Maname, Sinhabahu and Hunuwataye Kathawa among many others. Though non-alcoholic drinks are available at a little cafeteria, visitors are not permitted to take food or drinks into the theatre. The theatre is air conditioned. It is run-down and a renovation would be much appreciated by patrons.
    Photographic and sculpture exhibitions are held at the two art galleries. The one on the ground floor facing the road is the more common one. Here I viewed an exhibition of paintings by four artists on 17th January 2020. On the same day there was another exhibition at the Harold Peiris gallery upstairs displaying wild-life photography. I enjoyed both exhibitions that were of a high order.
    Photographic Society of Sri Lanka conducts its operations in one of the rooms on the ground floor. Photographic enthusiasts meet here regularly. The society organizes educational programmes for beginners and enthusiasts. They also conduct an annual international photographic exhibition.
    The Lionel Wendt Memorial Art Centre is the premier institution dedicated to the performing arts, to drama, ballet and music, and to painting, sculpture and photography.
    The four stars allocated do not reflect comfort at the Art Centre. It reflects the quality of paintings exhibited and the high standard of plays staged there.
    Written 31 January 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • HasithaSub
    London, UK21 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Its a good puppet museum by Sri Lankan standards. The kids really enjoyed it and enjoyed the performance that was carried out. Its not very clear what the ticket includes. At outset we were told it was for entry and a performance but when it came round to it we were charged extra for the "performance". The performance was not worth it. I did feel ripped off because if I knew earlier I would have said no. No need for a performance.

    Also the opening times are very hit and miss.
    Written 18 April 2016
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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