Shopping in the Pearl of the Indian Ocean - Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is home to a rich artistic tradition, which cannot be found anywhere else in this world. The place is built amazingly with many shopping malls and bazaars. The beautiful island is well know for its antique batiks, lace and lacquer from the Dutch period. Moreover, modern designers have included a novel twist to these antique collections and traditional crafts. Sri Lanka is a great place for souvenirs of slapdash quality. Luckily, those who shop in Sri Lanka will fall in love with its modest pricing, heirloom quality and genuineness.
Where and What to Shop in Sri Lanka
If you are in Sri Lanka, you should buy antique crafts. This is one of the island's most powerful sales items. The giant Government Emporium Laksala has branches in and around the country. They make breathe taking crafts and sell at rock bottom rates. Stocks at Laksala are a clear symbol of Sri Lankan craftsmanship. Colombo has many boutiques with fresh crafts. The contemporary offerings will undeniably add more charm and color to your handicraft collection. Another important place that is renowned for its crafts would be Kandy. The traditional city sells the complete range of Sri Lankan arts and crafts. It is famous for its priceless paintings and hand works. Moving on, you should visit Galle for very old manuscripts, compasses and wood works that were once a part of the Dutch Reign. Galle is known as a hub for smart designers and enticing boutiques. The place has plenty of souvenir shops with a tit and tat of Dutch antiques. On the whole, the western coast of Sri lanka is filled with carfts and souvenir shops. These boutiques will offer you special prices and small discounts on almost all products.
Masks play an integral role in Sri Lanka's tradition and culture. This is one of the country's renowned treasures. Masks are used during most occasions in the country. From kolam rituals to bali cermonies, colorful masks are in abundance in the country. Sri Lanka masks would have wild eye demons that gaze with a mix of awe and anger. These faces are used to scare away bad spirits and negative energy. Ambalangoda is a hub for masks. It has open workshops with the country's most creative masks. Sons Mask Museum and Ariyapala are two more interesting places with high quality masks that are sold at reasonable rates. A place that is built solely for tourists would be Southland Masks. The contemporary shop has an excellent collection of breath taking mask varieties. Thus, if you are in Sri Lanka for the first time, you should take back at least one sensational mask!
This is another important produce in Sri lanka. The country's batik varieties will blow you off your feet. Batiks from Dutch and Indonesia are sold at amazing rates in Sri Lanka. There are many factories and shops that sell original price in the island. The batik varieties are designed with vivid pictures and designs. At any scale, you will find the rich finish of Sri Lankan batik enticing. Batik clothes are dyed and the fabric is washed carefully before the pictures appear and develope gradually. From light to dark, Sri Lankan Batik will give you a huge myriad of options to choose from. An exquisite place for batik would be Dudley Silva. The home-co-workshop has Picasso inspired batik varieties. These designs are imported especially from Europe. The shop is located in Ambalangoda. Also, you will find a rich collection of batik varieties at Jezlook in Matara.
Sri Lanka's lace making industry was incepted during early 16th century. The art was introduced into the country by the Portuguese. Lace from Sri Lanka would symbolize a pinch of fineness and richness. The intricate designs will definitely add more charm and value to your clothes. Galle is well known for its lacemaking shops. Here, you can see your lace being produced in real time. Shops like Shoba Display Gallery in Galle homes many local lacemakers. Similarly, Dickwella Lace Center is a coorperate industry filled with established lacemakers in the country. Another important lace production unit in Dickwella would be the Sewa Lanka Lace Showroom. This is a village renowned for its small lace shops. Sewa Lanka is present along the island's Dickwella Coast.
Lacquerware and Metalwork
An inert yet splendid industry in Sri Lanka would be metalwork and lacquerware. Metalwork is produced extensively in the country. However, Kandy is an important place filled with a rich mix of shops and homes that produce ceremonial brass lams for weddings, temples and weddings. Sadly, the striking piece of art may not fit into your suitcase. Metalwork from Sri Lanka would be a mix of delicate patterns and laboriously cut edges. The work will not give you a pinch of Western tastes. This can be attributed to the famous and glorious nature of Sri Lanka Metalwork. Also, breath taking metalwork statuettes can be found in the country. Lacquer bowls were once found only in Kandy. Nevertheless, now you can find the unique piece of art almost anywhere in the country. Lanquer bowls are made, coated and painted carefully. The finish in these bowls will undeniably leave you awestruck. It is quite interesting to note that Lacquerware are made of certain tree barks. The resin is carefully melted down and removed out to uncover the soft pigment inside.
Sri Lanka is well known for its export business. Conversely, the country sells marine products like shells and corals. The shells are well polished and nurtured for sales. Hikkaduwa in Sri Lanka is a special place that preserves coral reefs. If you are lucky, you can buy pieces of corals worth several thousands. Nevertheless, remember that corals should be taken from the country with lots of care and concern. Check with the immigration department, if you would be allowed to take processed, polished coral reefs from Sri lanka to your country!
All throughout history, the Pearl in the Indian Ocean has been renowned as a land of exquisite gems. Legend records that King Solomon acquired a red ruby for the Queen of Sheba from Sri Lanka. Similarly, the blue Saphire in Late Princess Diana's Engagement Ring was from Sri Lanka. There are several thousand shops with more than 85 different types of Gems, out of which 45 are found only in the island and not anywhere else in this globe! A huge variety of gems like Topaz, Saphires, Aquamarines, Cats' eyes, Garnets, Zircons and Amethysts can be found. But, the most impressive and beautiful varieties of glistening Rubies and Sapphires are found in Sri Lanka. Gems are sold in museums, luxury hotels, small shops and jewelry centers. Thus, you should be very careful when you hand pick gems. A place that is filled with street gemstone hawkers would be the mining town - Rathnapura. This is an exquisite place that will give you a glimpse of every other gem in the country! Locally, Ratna means "Gems" and Pura means "Area". Usually, Sri Lankan gem hawkers would be very friendly and down to earth. You should be very careful with the dealer you choose. Remember to check if the shop is certified by the Sri Lankan Gem Traders Association and the International Coloured Gemstone Association. Also, check if the "Tourist Board Approved Certificate" is displayed in the shop. Never buy gems from shops that dont display strong signs of genuineness or authenticity.
This is another important export from Sri Lanka. It is quite rare to see tourists without bags and bags of Ceylon Tea! However, you should be aware of the knack in shopping for Tea in Sri Lanka. There are many factory outlets in the country that sell brand, first quality tea at low rates. Labookelie Factory in Nuwara Eliya and St Clair Estate are two important consigns with attractive tea rooms! If you are in Colombo, you should search for Mlesna Outlets and Dilmah branches. Meanwhile, remember that the Airport sells fine tea at exorbitant rates. Hence, it would be wise to buy Tea from local factories or outlets that are within the city.
It is quite interesting to note that Sri lanka offers high quality gold. Sea Street in Pettah has many gold shops. Most of these shops are managed by Tamils with smart business skills. Thus, you should master your bargaining tactics while shopping through Pettah. You can buy readymade bangles, earings, necklaces and rings from these shops. Meanwhile, if you lots of time in the city, you should order customized jewelry from these stores. Made of 22k gold, these jewelry varieties will blow you off your feet, in terms of quality, designs and craftsmanship!
Shopping Malls in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has a handful collection of shopping malls. However, these malls will undeniably make your day! Here is a list of famous shopping malls in Sri Lanka. Almost all these malls are located in Colombo, which is the commercial city of the small, yet stunning island.
The list of malls in Sri Lanka begins with Majestic City. The seven storied shopping complex was opened in 1990 and has being a perfect consign for shopping since then! The impressive and idealistic shopping destination is a collection of different products and brands. Majestic City is a must visit for all those who intend to shop in Sri Lanka. The mall offers a wide range of items, from clothes to shoes to handicrafts to furniture items to electronic products to decors. Located in the heart of the city, you can reach Majestic City easily. It is a complex with lots of activities for young adults and children. The mall features a new Theatre with prestine facilities. Majestic Platinum Cinema, as it is called, can accomodate upto 450 people. Moving on, MC Ultra Cinema can hold 150 seats, MC Gold Cinema can accomodate 50 people and MC Superior 3D cinema has a space of 170 seats. If you are a movie enthusiast and wishes to enjoy the town's most recent releases, you should step into this state of art cinema hall. On the whole, Majestic city promises its visitors a perfect and distinctive shopping experience. Best Buys :
The mall is a great place to shop for greeting cards, books and cotton shirts. Famous retail outlets like Odel, Cotton Collection, Hameedia and Lakshmi have shops in the mall. Also, you will be awestruck to see a huge collection of original DVDs at rock bottom rates in the mall. If you are a fan of reality shows and movies, you will find Majestic City as an ideal venue. Facilities :
The mall features a well maintained food court, with a selected collection of restaurants. The food court features local and international cuisine. This en covers over Thailand menus, Malaysian recipes and Indian varieties. Also, you will come across western outlets like KFC and Pizza Hut in the mall. Opening Hours : 10.00 am to 10.30 pm on all days of the week
Majestic City, Galle Rd Colombo 00400, Sri Lanka
Another interesting shopping mall that is present close to Majestic City would be Liberty Plaza. This is a mall worth mentioning about. The attractive shopping complex is located in Colombo 03. It sells a wide range of products at affordable prices. This is a feature that distinguishes Liberty Plaza from other malls like Odel and Majestic City. When compared against MC, Liberty Plaza comprises of relatively small sized shops. These shops sell a wide range of merchandise. From goods that target on women to young kids to elders, you will find everything in the mall. More than one third of the mall is filled with bags, clothes, cosmetics and shoes. Conveniently located in the heart of the city, Liberty Plaza has stores that sell the town's most recent movies and music albums. As mentioned previously, these items are sold at affordable rates. Best Buys :
In Liberty Plaza, you should visit Tea Tang and Mlesna Tea Counter. These are two exclusive shops that sell packaged Ceylon tea. Few other important outlets in the mall would be Alankara, Stone and String, Cotton Collection, Lakehouse Bookshop, Leather Collection and Antonio. Facilities in the mall :
The fully air conditioned mall comprises of ample parking space. There is a massive supermarket located near the shopping mall's basement. The supermarket sells a wide range of local and imported products. Additionally, the mall features many bank counters and ATMs. WiFi and Internet Cafes in the mall are off commendable quality. Opening Hours :
9:00 am - 9: 30 pmAddress
: R. A. de Mel Mawatha; 00300 Colpetty, Sri Lanka.
One of Sri Lanka's finest malls would be Crescat Boulevard. The mall features some of the town's finest shops and brands. It delights shopaholics with a high end shopping experience. The mall offers the market's luxurious and best kind of products. This is a unique facet that increases the fame and name of Crescat Boulevard. Though Crescat is not a huge shopping mall, it is undeniably a good place to hang out. The best part about this mall would be its outstanding location. The mall is located right opposite "The Cinnamon Grand". This is a chic looking five star hotel that lures and attracts tourists. The shopping mall is barely 35 km from the Country's Main International Airport. If you are an ardent shopper, you will fall in love with the mall's latest products. Many leading brands have an outlet in the mall. For instance, Prasanna Batiks has a opening in Crescat Boulevard. Best Buys :
You should take home fresh batiks from Crescat Boulevard. Secondly, Mlesna Tea Center in the mall will give you bags of freshly packed, flavorsome Ceylon Tea. Similarly, Reebok, Bettans, Pearlrich and Lakshmi are four important stores in the mall with premium products for buyers. Facilities :
The mall has a fully air conditioned food court with counters that sell diverse types of cuisines. It is a great place for families and friends to enjoy their evenings. If you are in the country, you should set out for Crescat for its casual atmosphere and in-house bakery!
Opening Hours :
10.00 am to 11.00 pmAddress
: 89 Galle Rd, Colombo 00300
Even as you step into the country, you will hear of a common term called "Odel". The splendid shop features the country's most recent fashion trends. Odel is regarded as a premier spot for clothes and shoes. It is a place where people who search for cutting edge fashions flock into. From fine fabric to rich quality, Odel is certainly a place for picky buyers. This is a major reason why clothes in Odel would be slightly higher than what is sold elsewhere. What you see in foreign countries can be bought from Odel! It is quite interesting to note that, Odel was the country's first shopping store to blend style with sophistication and quality. The departmental store will let you get hold of casual, elegant and cosy products at amazing rates. Odel has a branch in many important parts in the country. The main branch is located in Alexandra Place, Colombo, while there are other branches in the Airport, Majestic City, Dickmans Road and Ja Ela.Best Buys :
Odel is well known for its bags, clothes, perfumes, shoes and cosmetics for ladies. Men will find the departmental store's watches, casual wear, shirts, suits and shoes extremely useful. Also, Odel has a special section with swimwear and winter clothes. Apart from fashion, the shopping center delights shoppers with smaller items like handicrafts and gifts.
Odel will rejuvenate new life through your shopping experience. It has a sushi bar, hair salon and Italian ice cream parlor. If you are a foodie, you will find Odel's in house chocolate store and candy bar tempting. Odel #1
No 5, Alexandra Place,Colombo 7,Sri Lanka.
Phone : +94 (0) 114-625800Odel #2
No 322, Koswatte, Battaramulla,Sri Lanka.
Phone : +94 (0)114-641400, +94 (0)114-641298, +94, (0)112-741201
No 29A, Jayathilake Mawatha, Panadura,Sri Lanka.
Phone : +94 (0)384-285008
No 278, Highlevel Road, Maharagama,Sri Lanka.
Phone : +94 (0)114-641180
No 4, Hotel Road, Mount Lavinia. Sri Lanka.
Phone : +94 (0)114-640490Odel #6
No 89A, New Galle Road, Moratuwa.Sri Lanka.
Phone : +94 (0)114-209571Odel #7
No 135, Dutugemunu Street, Kohuwala,Sri Lanka.
Phone : +94 (0)114-542756Odel #8
No. 286, Highlevel Road, Colombo 6,Sri Lanka.
Phone : +94 (0)114-209139Odel #9
L-19A, Crescat Boulevard, Colombo 3,Sri Lanka.
Phone : +94 (0)114-700984Odel #10
No 1-29, Majestic City, Galle Road, Colombo 4,Sri Lanka.
Phone : +94 (0)112-595763
House of Fashion
The list of malls in Sri lanka would remain incomplete without House of Fashion. This is an amazing place that sells goods, especially clothing at mediocre rates. Locals consider House of Fashion as a sub continental shopping mecca! The malls has delivered tons and tons of business from its very first establishment in Duplication Road. However, now the shopping center has moved to a newer and bigger outlet. The new House of Fashion is a 250,000 square feet building that is located in Baseline Road. To start of with, the building looks too classy and epic for a shopping store. It would be an excitment to step into the mall.With plenty of parking space and lots of impressive walkways, House of Fashion is a heavenly shopping destination. Best Buys :
First floor of House of Fashion will give you access to costume jewellry, sun glasses and perfumes. You will find a wide range of products from affordable to exorbitant prices. Second floor is filled with women clothes. Mostly, you will find products from Zara. While, third floor is set apart for men! It features shirts, shoes, suit jackets and office wear at rock bottom rates. Fourth floor is for kids and the final floor is meant for gifts, electronics & household items. Facilities :
House of Fashion is meant for clothes. However, you will find lots of parking space and small Tea rooms! The new House of Fashion has a special place for kids. Thus, you can shop without worrying about your little ones. Open Hours :
10 AM to 8:30 PM (weekdays) / 9:30 PM (Sat) / 5 PM (Sun)Address :
101 D.S. Senanayaka Rd, Colombo 8Phone :
Interesting Shops in Sri Lanka
Barefoot is a famous store in Sri Lanka, that began 40 years ago. It was the brain child of Barbara Sansoni, who invited into the country to design a unique collection of clothes for a Convent Workshop. Here small team of designers worked miracles with their needles and threads to produce never-like-before designs. Barefoot focuses on color and commodity. The experts tend to create functional products that would suit a wide range of occasions. Clothes -
Barefoot offers a contemporary collection of clothes from varities like sarees, sarongs, scarves, beach wraps and shawls. The designers treat clothes are limited resources that should not be cut or darted beyond a certain point! The designer showroom atempts to mix traditional designs with antique patterns that can be of splendid value. Bags
- The sound of barefoot bags would ring bells in your mind. The boutique sells 100% cotton bags that can be washed and used for different purposes! Moving on, Barefoot has a special range of bags for busy, modern travellers. Toys
- Barefoot makes 100% cotton toys, which can be given to any child without any worries. The hand woven toys can be washed and kept new for a very long time! Linen
- This is another interesting release from Barefoot. The boutique combines textures and shades using traditional needlework. The linen will brighten up your floors, windows, spaces, walls and furniture. BAREFOOT #1
706 Galle Road, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka.
Phone - +94 11 2589305BAREFOOT #2
41 Pedlar Street, Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka
Phone - +94 91 2226299BAREFOOT #3
Dutch Hospital, Fort, Colombo 1, Sri Lanka
Phone - +94 11 2421200
Mondy is a contemporary store in Sri Lanka with high end clothes, shoes and accesories. The place is filled with many breathe taking styles and one of a kind options. Mondy is meant for modern girls and stylish men. There are three Mondy stores in the city. According to critics, Mondy is Odel's biggest rivalry. Mondy has its very own designers and creative heads. Thus, you will get clothes that blend style, quality and novelty together in Mondy.
241-2 2nd Floor, Majestic City, Colombo 4. Phone :
+94 11 451 6606
256-2 2nd Floor, Majestic City, Colombo 4. Phone :
+94 11 259 9688
78 Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo - 3Phone :
+94 11 237 2618
Beverly Street is another interesting shopping center with rich, high quality clothes. The shopping mall has a breath taking interior with everything a picky buyer would wish to get their hands on! Beverly Street will be a safe haven for you, if you are hunting for party wear! From peeps to toes to silhouttes to wedges you will find a wide range of footwear in Beverly Street. Address :
No.155, S De S Jayasinghe Mw, Nugegoda, Sri LankaTel :
+94(0) 11 2825828, +94(0) 11 2564777
Shopping Advice in Sri LankaSmiles -
When you shop in Sri Lanka, you should keep up with the sense of humour. Sri Lankans love to serve with a broad smile! Thus, dont take offense when someone smiles at you and takes you in with a laugh. Instead, smile back and start shopping.Timing -
Unlike India, you should be prepared to shop at an earlier hour! Shops in Sri Lanka would close by 10.30 pm. Thus, don't dream of late night shopping in the country. Need -
At all times you should know what you want! If you want clothes, you should shop at House of Fashion, similarly if you want colors you will find Barefoot useful! Thus, you should shop based on what you need and really want. You will not find everything everywhere. To save lots of time and money, you must step into the right place at the right time.Bargain -
Do you know that you can bargain in Majestic City and Liberty Plaza? These are two exquisite malls where you can convince shopkeepers and buy goods at unbeatable rates. Careful bargaining will help you cut down prices by at least 20%. Learn -
If you want to use Sri Lanka's shopping arena to the fullest, you should learn the local language. Simple Sinhala words will undeniably help you during street shopping.