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» Shopping in Sri Lanka – Fill Your Bags «

Sri Lanka is a shopper's paradise. Discover unrivalled shopping at the markets of Pettah and Fort in Colombo that ranges from modern shopping complexes to quaint pavement shops. You can get a very good idea of what is on offer at snazzy stores like Odel, Barefoot, Arena, Plantation Road and Elephant Walk. Clothing, home wares, souvenirs, furniture and knickknacks are all laid out in profusion.

Good quality leather ware is found at a very reasonable price at leatherwork shops and shoe shops around Colombo and Fort. The bazaar next to the Fort railway station on Olcott Mawatha sells leather products at a cheaper price than those found in the Handicraft shops of Laksala and Lakmedura.

A very popular collector's item for foreigners visiting Sri Lanka are the island's masks. These masks are carved at a number of places along the south west coast, with the town of Ambalangoda being the main mask-carving center.

You can also take one of the best teas in the world. Tea is available in special presentation packs at the Sri Lanka Tea Board counter at 574 Galle Road, Colombo 3 and at the Airport.

For the more exotic shoppers there are plenty of souvenir shops selling woodcarvings, ceramics, handlooms, and colorful batiks that showcase indigenous Sri Lankan craftsmanship at its best. Sri Lanka also has a widespread gem trade with sapphires, rubies, moonstones, and garnets available throughout the island. The Gem Exchange in Colombo houses many Gem dealers and a government valuation service.


» Shopping Tips «

  • Choose a shop carefully.
  • One can shop for items ranging from designer collections, tea, spices, batik, masks, gems, and handicraft at affordable prices.
  • Fixed prices are practiced in some shops in Sri Lanka but bargaining is acceptable and expected.
  • Shops in hotel arcades pay high rents and accordingly prices tend to be higher than at street shops. On the other hand, hotel arcades are very convenient if you have little time for shopping. Moreover, prestigious hotels generally attract quality shops.
  • Obtain a receipt for goods bought and check it is correct before leaving the shop
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