Shopping in Colombo is undeniably an enchanting experience for travellers holidaying in Sri Lanka.The tropical nation which is abundantly blessed with pristine beaches, lush evergreen rainforests that is the natural habitat of a dense population of elephants has also emerged to be one of the best shopping destinations in the world. Colombo, the largest city of Sri Lanka boasts of an equal number of local markets and urban shopping malls that are sure to set your shopping spree on fire. Be it the local handicrafts and handloom products made by the native Sri Lankan craftsmen or international brands under luxurious roofs, Colombo has it all. Most of the shopping complexes and signature shops are housed in beautiful colonial-era buildings that let the tourists enjoy the city’s rich heritage while shopping.
The city is also the home to a number of local shopping markets like Pettah Market, Saturday Good Event Market, Pettah Floating Market and Galle Face Green Night Market that bustles with day-to-day market activities all round the clock. While the majestic Pettah Market has rows of shops selling everything from fashion apparel to farm produces, the Saturday Good Event Market that happens once a week at Racecourse is all about organic fruits and vegetables, healthy food, and eco-friendly crafts.
If you are looking forward to buying souvenirs as a part of your Sri Lankan sojourn, Colombo gives you a plethora of options - elephant statues, batik fabrics, beautiful brasswares, tea, and spices or even some of the world’s best gems like topaz, rubies, and sapphires. The best part is that most of these products are well within a traveller’s budget. If you think it is overpriced, quote a fair price and do not hesitate to bargain. Before you head for shopping in the capital city of Sri Lanka, check-out these frequently asked questions for a hassle-free shopping experience in Colombo.
People Also Ask About Shopping in Colombo
Which are the best places for shopping in Colombo?
Mlesna Tea Centre
Known worldwide for its handpicked collection of top-notch Ceylon Tea, Mlesna Tea Centre in Colombo is one of the must-visit places while shopping in Colombo. This high-end tea boutique also sells a mesmerizing collection of unique house-brand teas and tea-making wares. If you are looking for the perfect souvenir from Colombo, you could request for pure Ceylon tea in special gift packaging that is great choices for gifting for near and dear ones. At Mlesna Tea Centre, you can shop for a wide range of loose teas, tea bags, black tea, green tea, flavoured teas, and herbal teas. This classic air-conditioned cafe has a well-decorated interior and good Wi-Fi connectivity which makes this place a great spot to hang out with friends.
Location: Arcade Independence Square
Timings: Mon-Sat 10.30am-8pm; Sun 11am-6pm
Olanda Furnitures gets you back in time with its priceless collection of antique, handcrafted furniture. Depicting Sri Lanka’s Heritage, the collectables from Olands make for great Sri Lankan souvenirs. The best part is that, when you buy a readymade piece or request for reproduction order for overseas home as a part of your Colombo shopping, Olanda takes utmost attention to ship it abroad meticulously. Do not miss checking out the cafe attached to the cafe and the vintage cars parked outside.
Location: No.30, Leyn Baan Street, Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka
Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Orchid House is a boutique that sells an array of items like jewellery, clothing, tea, spices, natural spa products, and books. Interesting pieces of handicrafts items sold here are something that one cannot miss as a part of shopping in Colombo. The handmade silver jewellery ornate with Sri Lankan gems is something that lures every visitor to this shop. The hospitality of the staff at Orchid House has gained them a worldwide reputation and makes every traveller’s shopping experience more pleasurable. If you are looking for fashion accessories, then head towards Orchid House without a doubt and we are sure you will not be disappointed!
Location: 28A Hospital Street, Fort, Galle 80000, Sri Lanka
Timings: 8.30 AM to 7.30 PM
Founded by Barbara Sansoni, Barefoot has won many international awards for art and entrepreneurship. Barefoot has an enviable collection of fabrics, linen, clothes, bags, toys, crafts and books that is sure to kindle your shopping urge. The Barefoot cafe with a patio tucked away behind the store in a placid environ is indeed a respite between your shopping in Colombo. The cafe serves some lip-smacking lunch that is just so perfect over a chilled-out conversation with friends and family. Barefoot has three showrooms in and around Colombo.
Location 1: 704 Galle Road, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka
Timings: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday to Saturday and 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sunday
Location 2: Dutch Hospital Fort, Colombo 01, Sri Lanka
Timings: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday to Saturday and 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sunday
Lakhpahana, 'The Home of Art & Craft" is a one-stop souvenir shopping destination that sells a number of items like demon masks, wooden and metal elephant crafted souvenirs, jewelry, rush and reed, leather products, ceramics, batik, hand embroidery and handloom fabrics and home decor pieces. The products sold in this spacious boutique are mostly made by the local craftsmen giving them the authentic Sri Lankan touch.
Location: 14 Philip Gunawardena Mawatha, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka
Timings: 10.00 AM to 6.00 PM Mon-Sun
Selyn is Sri Lanka’s only Fair Trade guaranteed Handloom company that sells genuine handmade cotton collection like traditional saris, blouses, kurtas, sarongs and shirts for women, men and children. Their jewelry is made from recycled cloth and you can also shop for cushions covers, to table and bed linen and even toys for kids that make your shopping in Colombo comprehensive here. Each piece of apparel on display here show the dedication and focus of the weavers.
Location: 02 Fife Rd, Colombo 00500, Sri Lanka
Timings: 10.00 AM to 7.00 PM
Founded in 1996, Exotic Roots in aesthetically located in a colonial-era Dutch building that renders a nice ambiance to this place. Here, you can shop for a wide range of products at Exotic Roots like art, jewelry, home decor, and clothing. The hand-painted terracotta pot sold here is a great choice of home decor and the cafe at Exotic Roots is a nice, cozy place to get lost within oneself over a cup of delicious tea while shopping in Colombo.
Location: 50A Lighthouse St, Galle 80000, Sri Lanka
Timings: 9.00 AM to 7.30 PM Mon-Sun
Jayamali Batiks Studio
If you are a lover of Batik art, Jayamali Batiks is the ultimate destination! Here, one can enjoy shopping the artistic batik prints on literally everything - on bedspreads, scarves, sarees, bags, western tops, and shirts. You can even gift your home a piece of royal, Batik-styled wall hanging, and just enjoy the attention that it receives!
Location: Central Market, 194, 1st Floor, Kandy, Sri Lanka
Timings: 10.00 AM to 6.00 PM
Opened in 1994 on Dharmapala Mawatha, sells a number of homeware, handicrafts, antiques, clothing, giftware, crockery and many more produced by the local people. Given the shop's commitment to providing world-class products, the shop is popular among tourists and locals. This iconic Sri Lankan brand also has some of the best Sri Lankan hotels, shops, and restaurants in its name.
Location: 213 Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka
Timings: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day
Arcade Independence Square
Housing a number of international brands like Giordano, Levis, Samsung, Titan and Nike; Aracde Independence Square is an iconic shopping structure of Colombo and the ultimate place to go if you are looking for branded shopping in Colombo. You can find all your needs like merchandise, mobiles, clothing, and footwear under one roof. The building looks stunning when lit at night and also offers a number of entertainment and dining options to suit every international traveler.
Location: Independence Square, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka
Timings: 10.00 AM to 11.00 PM
Ratnapura, popularly called as the 'City of Gems' is the treasure chest of Sri Lanka where a variety of precious stones are mined. Be it any of the world's exotic gems like topaz, sapphires, rubies, alexandrite, topaz, amethyst, aquamarine, tourmaline or garnet and zircon, Ratnapura has it all. Ratnapura also has gems to fit the sizes of pockets of all its visitors; prices start as little as 8 USD to 10 USD and can go on till mind-blowing figures.
Laksala is a state-owned gift and souvenir boutique in Colombo that is famous for its authentic batik prints and leather goods. Apart from these, you can also find a wide collection of clothing and accessories, gems and jewelry, ceramics and a number of tea and spices. Laksala boasts of exquisite brassware collection like oil lamps, vases, trays, jewelry boxes, candle holders bowls, betel holder, letter openers and bottle openers that make your shopping in Colombo memorable.
Timings: Open from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM every day
Location: No. 215, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Thummulla, Colombo 7
Catering to the shopping needs of the Sri Lankan people for more than 25 years, Majestic City is the place where you can shop, eat and catch up with your favorite movie under one roof. This seven-story shopping complex lets you enjoy Colombo shopping for all luxurious international brands for clothing and electronic products. The mall even has the iconic Odel fashion and accessories shop within its complex.
Location: 10 Station Rd, Colombo 00400, Sri Lanka
Timings: 9.00 AM to 9.00 PM
With about 20 stores in Sri Lanka, Odel is a shopaholic’s paradise. Odel, Sri Lanka’s fashion leader and the leading departmental store sells a wide range of products including Clothing, Sportswear, Cosmetics, Footwear, Jewellery, Luggage, Food, Stationary and Souvenirs to meet the budget of every visitor. Colombo shopping is never complete without visiting Odel which also has stores in Wattala, Panadura and many other cities.
Location: 5, Alexandra Place, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka
Timings: 10.00 AM to 9.00 PM Mon-Sun
Which are the best places for shopping in the night market?
While most of the shops in Colombo shut as early as 8.30 PM, there are a handful of night markets around Colombo where you can head at any time of the night. you can visit the shops at Pettah Market, Pettah Floating Market, Good Market and Galle Face Green Market for a pleasurable night shopping experience in Colombo.
What is famous in Colombo for shopping?
While in Sri Lanka, do not miss shopping the following items -
Gems like sapphires and moonstones
Batik prints and handloom
Buddha and elephant figurines
Tea and spices
Ayurvedic spa products
Which place has the maximum number of shopping malls?
Mawatha, Galle Road, Pettah and Kollupitiya are the areas in Colombo where you can find a good number of malls, night clubs, and authentic restaurants.
Which Shops in Colombo are open 24/7?
Shops in Pettah Market are open all through the day. Most of the other shops in Colombo shut as early as 7.00 PM while a few shops in Galle Road and Mawatha are open until 2.00 AM. Restaurants like Hotel De Pilawoos, Cinnamon Grand Colombo and The Dining Room are available 24 hours a day.
Which are the Famous Food Markets in Colombo?
Pettah Market, Kolpetty Market, Malwatte Road Street Market, Good Market, Galle Face Green Night Market should top your list when embarking a local food tour around Colombo.
What is the best time to visit Colombo?
You can visit Colombo from January to March and from November to December to enjoy maximum sightseeing and shopping. The months from April to October are the monsoon season in Sri Lanka and incessant rains are a usual fare that could hinder your outdoor activities and sightseeing and itinerary.