Whether it is gems, handicrafts, tea, spices, batik print or even furniture that you're looking for, Sir Lanka offers everything. This beautiful island country is particularly popular for handloom fabrics, leather, and antiques and ceramic. We give you the top 10 shopping places you shouldn't miss in Sri Lanka.
With a numerous branches all over the country, this state-run handcrafts emporium offers items such as brass and silverware objects, wooden artifacts, buffalo horn, natural fibres, artificial flowers and costume jewellery. They also have products made from coconut shells, cane, bamboos and pottery. Visit the one in Colombo as it is the biggest and best.
This multi-storeyed shopping mall in Colombo is situated on Galle Road. The mall has a variety of branded shops which sell everything from clothes, linen, books, stationary and more. Majestic City also has a cinema and internet cafes.
Odel is located at 5 Alexander Place on Lipton Circus in Colombo. This mall is a haven for fashionistas as it has the best-known branded garment factory outlet. You'll find clothes, accessories, shoes, bags, cosmetics, home décor, chocolates and toiletries from international labels such as Gap, DKNY etc. You can't miss this one.
House of Fashion
House of Fashion in Colombo is for serious shoppers as the three-storey outlet offers branded clothes at a hugely discounted price.
The Barefoot Gallery
Barefoot Gallery is located at 706 Galle Road and offers a variety of handloom products. You can pick up toys, notebooks bound in handloom fabrics, hand-painted boxes, tote bags, clothes, costume jewellery, linens in vibrant colours and designs.
When visiting Sri Lanka, you cannot miss out Galle Fort. Besides the scenic beauty, Galle also offers antiques, lace and souvenirs which you can pick up at little shops and stalls. You can also pick semi-precious stones in silver and beautiful laces here.
Gingota Silk Factory
Gingota Silk Factory in Galle has good quality and reasonable Sri Lankan silk. You can also pick up batik, leather products and spices around the area.
If you want to pick up ancient temple painting, statues or even replicas, then Waruna Antiques is your best bet. Located at Peradeniya Road in Kandy, the store offers masks, jewellery, textiles and more.
Shoba Display Gallery
Beautiful lacework made right here. The shop teaches local women dying crafts and ensures them a fair price for their work. Even if you’re not buying, pop in to witness the process of making lace. Ask about the excellent lace- and paper-making classes. The small cafe is a treat.
In addition to a variety of colonial and Sri Lankan collectables, you’ll find a good selection of original homewares and designer items in this high-style boutique from famous designer Shanth Fernando. Elsewhere, the Paradise Road Gallery Cafe shop adjoins the noted restaurant and is tightly packed with small, artistic goods. Both are excellent places to look for small gifts to take home.
Buddhist Publication Society
The Buddhist Publication Society, on the lakeside 400m northeast of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, is a nonprofit charity that distributes the Buddha’s teachings. Local scholars and monks occasionally give lectures, and there is a comprehensive library. See online for free information downloads. It’s a good place to ask about meditation courses.
Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation
Cashews were brought by the Portuguese to Sri Lanka from Brazil in the 16th century. They’ve clearly found the climate agreeable as the nuts are now a major export item. This small shop is packed full of fulsome cashews of a size and quality that are usually hard to find, especially in that dodgy bag of mixed nuts.
Bentota Bazaar Overview
Situated in the middle of the town of Bentota, this local market has quite a few shops where you can shop for a variety of articles. These include Batik textiles, mementos and gift items made using decorated and carved wood and brassware. Prices are genuine as most of the shops are government approved, and there is also a post office in close proximity to the bazaar from where you can pick up stamps and postcards.
Hotel Gift Shops
You will find most of your shopping needs fulfilled within the premises of your hotel/resort. Most of the hotels have a gift shop/souvenir shop from where you can buy mementos and handicrafts, making it very convenient to take back home a little bit of Bentota.
An important attraction for shoppers, Meetiyagoda is an important area in Southern Sri Lanka which is extremely famous for its moonstone treasures. Known for its soothing powers, moonstone is a semi-precious gem that is widely used in making jewellery. Meetiyagoda is one of the best places to shop for moonstone jewellery in Sri Lanka.
Shopping in Kandy
Kandy’s got quite enough to see and do, and if you want to shop or get steeped in culture, make your way to the Kandyan Art Association & Cultural Centre, next to Kandy Lake. You will find plenty a good selection of local lacquer work, brassware and other craft items in these centres. Antique jewellery, silver belts, elephant figurines, ceremonial masks and elegant home furnishings and textiles are the other items that can be found in Kandy. Kandy is also a notable gemstone producing area offering rubies, sapphires, beryls, zircon and quartz.