The Complete Guide to Shopping in Colombo

Introduction

When in Colombo, do not miss out on shopping!

From regular street items to high-end, branded products, Colombo will leave you spoilt for choices.

From dazzling gemstones to vibrant handlooms, beautiful stone carvings, gorgeous sarees, and delicious spices, there’s a lot you can take back home, at very affordable prices!

If you are about to set out on some retail therapy to soothe your soul, here is a complete guide on shopping places in Colombo, what you can buy at these places, as well as some insights on where you can buy certain specialties of Sri Lanka.

Shopping Malls

  • Colombo City Center
  • One Galle Face
  • Marino Mall
  • Crescat Boulevard
  • Majestic City
  • Liberty Plaza
  • Unity Plaza
  • Arcade at Independence Square
  • Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct

Crescat Boulevard, Majestic City, Unity Plaza and Liberty Plaza are the oldest shopping malls in Colombo, and are indeed visit-worthy for checking out some of the oldest brands of Sri Lanka, which also boast quality products. For example, Lalchands is a popular handbag shop at Majestic City, where one can also find other products such as footwear, perfumes, and clothing in the high to medium price range. Unity Plaza is more niched towards those looking for all sorts of electronic products and accessories.

CCC and One Galle Face is the place to go if you are looking for an ultimate shopping experience, accompanied with the best of dining and entertainment, all under one roof. International brands such as Aldo, Skechers, Giordano, Adidas, Mango, Mont Blanc, Omega, Swarovski and much more are available here. Both malls have a cineplex, offering a wide range of movies with ultra-comfortable seating for your relaxation. CCC has an indoor bowling alley and a virtual cricket arena while One Galle Face boasts an Adventure Zone for kids aged 6-12. As for the dining experience, customers are offered a food court with nothing less than the best in terms of brand variety and quality of food.

The highlight at Marino Mall is its virtual reality gaming centre – the first of its kind in Colombo, as well as a 9D cinema, both of which attract a lot of young visitors. Most of the retail space at this mall is occupied by Dilliganz Fashion and Damro Furniture, catering to the fashion and furniture target markets.

Arcade at Independence Square, and the Dutch Hospital shopping precinct offer a unique shopping experience inside some of the oldest buildings of Colombo, targeting mostly international brands. The Arcade has a cozy movie theatre on the top floor and a few eateries as well as a tea lounge located on the ground floor. The Dutch Hospital has some fine dining, as well as some casual café style eateries.

Department Stores

Odel is the biggest department store in Sri Lanka with branches in Colombo and Kandy. While promoting its own brand for fashion and lifestyle, they also have other retail local and international brands for the same market. Some other department stores in Colombo are Galleria, House of Fashions, Arpico, Cool Planet and Beverly Street.

Street Markets

Pettah

Pettah is the trading hub of Colombo, and Colombo is the trading hub of Sri Lanka. So, if you want to know what Sri Lanka is famous for trading, visit Pettah. You may get confused amidst the maze of roads leading from one street to another but the range of products available at wholesale prices are plenty! From fruits and vegetables to clothing, stationery, toys, textile, and raw materials, everything is available in Pettah.

The Pettah floating market is built on wooden bridges beside a water body, making it a unique location that attracts several tourists all year round. In addition to shopping, you can just stroll around lazily or indulge in some authentic dishes at restaurants located here.

Good Markets

The trend for making organic, natural and eco-friendly products has been on the rise in Sri Lanka. Good Markets are approved spaces for such small-scale businesses and start-ups to make their products accessible to the public. Very often these good markets are present at community events, considering these are a good option for marketing products that are good for the planet. In addition to that, the Saturday good market takes place in Colombo at the car park of the Colombo Racecourse as well as the Diyatha Uyana in Battaramulla. From organic food to toys to household items and personal hygiene products, about 75 vendors get together to make this good market one of the most happening shopping places in Colombo!

Gem and Jewellery stores

As one of the top gem producers in the world, Sri Lanka has a wide range of reputed gem and jewellery stores, many of which are based in Colombo. Worldwide, Sri Lanka is known for producing quality blue sapphires, along with other precious and semi-precious stones such as ruby, pink sapphire, opal, moonstone, topaz, garnet, emerald and many more. You could either purchase just the stone or beautiful jewellery made with the gems at any of the reputed gem or jewellery stores in Colombo. Genuine stones and jewellery will always come with a certificate to guarantee its authenticity.

Gems

  • Sena Gems
  • Zam Gems
  • Zays
  • Ceylon Gem Hub


Jewellery Stores

  • Colombo Jewellery Store
  • Ceylon Artisans
  • Chamathka Jewellers
  • Vogue Jewellers
  • Unique Jewellers
  • Devi Jewellers

Gifts, Handcrafts, Antique and Souvenir shops

  • Barefoot: owned by a designer with an intense love for colour, barefoot offers some vibrantly coloured handloom fabrics and accessories ranging from bedsheet sets to pencil pouches, table mats and other unique homeware. Ornamental handicrafts and beautiful paintings are also available here, making it an ideal one-stop-shop for souvenir shopping places in Colombo.
  • Paradise Road: locally sourced crockery, handicrafts, artifacts, homeware, antiques and souvenirs can be found at this boutique store. Look out for their signature hand painted black and white plates which are difficult to not get your hands on!
  • Gandhara: a brilliant collection of art and creative indulgence, along with authentic class to decorate your home interiors is available at the Gandhara store. Sri Lankan art, sculptures, linen and handloom fabrics are displayed for the interest of shoppers.
  • Laksala and Lakpahahna: souvenir gift shops that bring together Sri Lankan art and culture, perfect for taking some memorable gifts for your loved ones back at home. The painted elephants, demon masks and stone boxes are a favourite amongst many tourists.
  • Luv SL is a dedicated brand from Odel, that caters to Sri Lankan home-based businesses. In prioritizing local artisans, Luv SL encourages shoppers to place their trust in all things uniquely Sri Lankan!

Tea shops

  • Ceylon Tea Supermarket
  • Steuarts Tea Shop
  • Cinnamon Tea Shop
  • Tea Triumph
  • Heladiv Tea Lounge
  • Dilmah Tea Lounge
  • Mlesna Tea Center

Sri Lanka is a major exporter of tea, and Colombo has mastered the art of marketing the nation’s tea to visiting tourists. Several tea boutiques, lounges and cafes have been established in the recent past, exquisitely displaying different flavours of tea with attractive packaging that can be taken away as gifts or simply for your own use.

Ayurveda

Ayurveda medicine has been practiced in Sri Lanka since many decades and is a preferred form of treatment for many. With Siddhalepa and Spa Ceylon being the leading brand names for Ayurveda products in Colombo, you can visit any of their outlets to purchase your needs. Smaller outlets for Ayurvedic medicine are also available at Ayurvedic clinics in many parts of Colombo.

Spices

A few popular brands to look out for when purchasing Sri Lankan spices are as follows:

  • Mc. Curries
  • Ma’s Kitchen
  • Fresco Spices
  • Vishwa Spice and Ayurveda Herbal Shop

While independent stores can be found for these brands, spices can also be purchased from supermarkets, grocery stores and the wholesale market in Pettah.

In a gist

From clothing to textiles to lifestyle accessories, footwear, electronics, jewellery, Ayurvedic medicine and spices, shopping places in Colombo are many! Whether you have a medium budget or are looking for posh brands, there is a perfect solution to cater to all budgetary needs! So don’t forget to allocate at least one or two days for shopping during your visit to Colombo.

Connect with an expert

Dinesh N Perera
CEO

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