Colombo, as the main commercial center and economic hub in Sri Lanka, offers an unforgettable experience when it comes to shopping. Thus, we wish to educate you about the epic shopping experience you can have in Colombo you can’t resist.
Shopping in Colombo is nothing but a blissful experience as you don’t want to be confined to just one place to shop to your heart’s content. From interesting shopping sessions at Pettah, diving into the local markets, buying handicrafts, jewelry, and clothing, and checking out various delicious food and drinks to online shopping from anywhere you stay, Colombo offers the right thing to anyone without hurting your wallet.
But what is the best place to shop in Colombo? Where are they located? We’ve got you covered with everything you need!
What Kind of Shopping Experience Can You Get in Colombo?
The answer is quite simple- everything! Yes, you can get every kind of shopping experience in Colombo as more or less, that suits your needs and budget. As mentioned earlier, there are several shopping destinations within the city where you can experience something different from each other.
From local goodies at markets, exquisite handicrafts, precious gemstones and jewelry, and fabrics to branded commodities, signature delicacies, and products inherent to Sri Lanka, you have a lot to take home for very reasonable prices.
So, are you wondering where to start your shopping spree in Colombo? Here’s what we have for you!
Save a Day to Explore Pettah
Pettah, being the main suburb of Colombo, is literally a huge place that provides the country’s biggest shopping experience. You can simply find anything from here. The streets of Pettah are well-organized, with each street allocated for a certain category of items.
You’ll often find Pettah to be a little chaotic since this is the business hub in Colombo. People from all over the country come to this place for various purposes such as wedding shopping, retail shopping, day-to-day shopping, etc.
It is also a hotspot for tourists since you can buy some really cool stuff for a very reasonable price, such as clothes, cosmetics, jewelry, electric goods, gold, silver, sweets, bags, shoes and you name it! You can also do some exciting street shopping in this area, especially during the weekends.
But most shops would be closed on Sundays. It would be best if you hit this place a little too early in the morning around 8 AM, or 9 AM since it gets overcrowded by the daytime. We will list down the streets of Pettah and what you will find in them:
Olcott Mawatha – Accessories and clothes like quality jackets, bags, and sunglasses at affordable rates.
Front Street (Malwatta Road) – Here you’ll find an old Victoria Building and can shop for some high-quality watches, leather bags and shoes, luggage, camera equipment, mock jewelry, etc.
Prince Street – This street is famous for electronics, fake wigs, toys, carrom boards, the light fits, checkers boards, wallets, and perfumes at different price ranges.
1st Cross Street – Also sells electronic items along with mobile phones and you can find any mobile phone accessory from this place including back covers, phone batteries, charges, etc.
2nd Cross Street – Contains shops with clothes, especially sarees ranging from low to high prices. You’ll also find vendors with small stalls selling Sri Lanka’s famous pickled fruits at the junction.
3rd Cross Street – Here you’ll mostly find wholesale and retail shops along with big clothing stores.
4th Cross Street – A trading street with onions, potatoes, and spices everywhere in bulk.
The Main Street – Here you’ll get all the banks or ATMs. It also has large showrooms and stores for craft equipment and textile accessories. Shoppers can also find suits, coats, umbrellas and raincoats, luggage bags, and leather in some shops.
China Street – A famous destination for chinaware and party items like candles, balloons, hats, banners, wraps, etc.
Maliban Street – This is the ultimate choice for wedding planners and couples who wish to buy wedding items. You’ll find all sorts of wedding cards, gift wraps, toppers, special paper for art and craft, etc.
Bankshall Street – This street is filled with shops that sell artificial flowers of all kinds, chemicals and surgical equipment, official uniforms, and stores to buy your art equipment.
Khan Clocktower – Here you’ll find an old bookshop from the 1980s where you get an ample collection of textbooks.
Bodhiraja Mawatha – This street has shops that sell toy cars, and kids’ items and you’ll find some beautiful colonial-style buildings at this place as well.
The Floating Market
The Pettah Floating Market is another great place for some peaceful shopping. This place is less chaotic than the streets of Pettah and is located in a beautiful area on Beira Lake. You will find around ninety trade stalls here, selling a wide range of commodities even though the market is not huge.
It is usually open from 8 AM to 10.30 PM so that you can indulge in some great evening shopping sessions as well. The access is on the west side of the market area. This area is gorgeously built with gray floors, wooden boards, and red terracotta tiles.
You can buy local handicrafts, electronics, clothes, pretty jewelry, bags, shoes, souvenirs, and refresh at the restaurant and cafe inside the floating market. While shopping, you can also capture some beautiful clicks as the sun sets on the Floating Market, to make memories in your travel journal.
The Good Market
Enjoy a unique and pleasant shopping experience at the Good Market in Colombo. This is a weekend shopping destination that only takes place on Saturdays at Race Course Avenue. The Good Market is one of the most exhilarating local markets in Colombo, where people set up small shops and sell mostly organic food items.
It is a small market with a cheerful crowd that attracts many local and foreign shopaholics. You can spend some quality time here buying fresh organic fruits and vegetables, Kithul products, pure bee honey, natural skin care products, and home care products. There’s a courtyard that is used for community events and meetups.
The Good Market was actually initiated in Sri Lanka and now has spanned over 72 countries making it the nearest thing in Colombo that has to global farmers’ markets. The prices of the goods selling at the stalls here are slightly high as the products are 100% organic. You can also find a community deli with beverages and desserts from the Good Market community.
In addition to food items, you will find toys, home and garden supplies, ethical clothing, massage sessions, live music, kids’ programs, and more events here. Enjoy food from a well-known shop in the Good Market which serves ramen, pork soups, stews, etc. If you prefer special dietary requirements, there’s a cafe serving various salads, vegan cookies, tofu, gluten-free brownies, and cakes.
Park Street Mews
Park Street Mews is a sequence of old warehouses that have been converted into a lively Street Of Entertainment. The smooth and urbane ambiance of the Mews is iconic in itself and a best-chosen destination by tourists and locals alike.
This place contains a unique blend of stylish art and dapper design. Park Street Mews is located on the Park Street of Colombo 2 and is often filled with people who love to have a different vibe. Restaurants and bars will reward you with scrumptious food, live music, and amazing drinks and cocktails.
You can find different restaurants and cafes here such as The PSM Restaurant, Café Français, Kuuraku Colombo (Japanese restaurant), Part Street Trattoria (Italian Restaurant), Curve (The Bar and Lounge), Monsoon (offers flagship dishes), Chambers (Middle eastern restaurant), and Uncles. Park Street Mews usually illuminates in the evening making it look like a paradise.
If you’re traveling with your partner, this is a great place to be in the middle of Colombo to have a romantic getaway. The event venue here “The Stables” often has a range of festivities such as corporate events, weddings, exhibitions, music concerts, and fashion shows.
Exclusive Shopping Malls for An Extravagant Shopping Experience!
Ten years back today, Colombo just had 1-2 shopping malls and they only had a very few branded flagship stores. But this situation is totally different now since thriving development in the country has paved the way for Colombo to have more shopping destinations where you have an opulent, upscale experience buying the best global and local brands.
These shopping malls are vibrant and eventful so they attract hundreds of local and foreign crowds each day. And they have diverse fabrics, cafes, fast food chains, accessories, etc., to meet an extensive range of any visitors’ requirements.
One Galle Face Mall
Gracefully standing with seven stories, the One Galle Face mall is so far the largest shopping mall in Colombo. With an ample parking facility, this space is the ultimate shoppers’ paradise proving you with an upscale shopping experience. It is probably an all-in-one store where you can buy all the luxury stuff at an excellent rate.
While the mall features some of the global brands like Calvin Klein, Charles & Keith, Adidas, Miniso, Nike, Puma, Revlon, Tommy Hilfiger, etc., you can also experience the extravagance of luxury local brands like Spa Ceylon, Dilmah, Odel, Mango, COCO, etc.
Here, you can also have banking facilities from major banks in Sri Lanka. For food and refreshment, One Galle Face Mall has several restaurants and cafes including fast food chains like Pizza Hut, Mcdonalds, Dinemore, and KFC, along with local specialty food suppliers like Pastamania, Crepe Runners, Dampa, Tasty Food, etc.
They also have grooming stalls like nail spas so that you can have a manicure or a pedicure on your way shopping. Buy exceptional gemstones-studded jewelry, Ceylon Tea, Ceylon spices, high-quality watches, books, and even liquor items at this mall as you stop here and there to refresh or to click a photo.
Colombo City Center (CCC)
The Colombo City Center is another shopping and lifestyle destination where you can have a similar shopping experience to the One Galle Face Mall. This was built before the One Galle Face Mall but is a bit contained when compared to the earlier.
But in the CCC also you can find many global branded stores as well as local branded stores along with PVR cinemas. If you feel hungry or thirsty after an amazing shopping spree, there are many food joints including restaurants, coffee shops, and fast food chains for you to sit and indulge in a variety of different foods and drinks.
This shopping mall is located by the stunning Colombo beach with an impressive view over an area of 150,000 sq. ft. The Marino Mall strives at providing a homely surrounding with a minimalistic procedure towards electronics outlets.
In fact, this is an ideal place to spend a good time with your friends and family as it has separate departments for clothing, furniture, accessories, gaming and amusement, and food.
This shopping mall in Colombo confines the best quality jewelry stores like Sayonara Jewellers, Jewel Court, Topaz Gem Pit, and Treasure Chest along with quality fabrics and collectible accessories to look out for. However, you can spend some quality time here doing some exciting shopping and having a fine dining experience.
Located in the heart of the city of Colombo, Liberty Plaza is one of the oldest shopping malls that introduced the shopping mall experience to Sri Lankans. Now that the shopping complex is transformed and developed, one can have a luxurious shopping experience like never before. UPTOWN is the top attraction in the Liberty Plaza for clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, and lingeries.
You can also find perfume, skincare, and cosmetics here while they also have a few stores that sell jewelry. You can buy premium-quality, luxury Ceylon tea from stores like Basilur and stop by to refresh at the cafe and the restaurant. There’s an ample parking facility here and it is usually open from Monday to Saturday.
Located in Bambalapitiya, Colombo, the Majestic City is also one of the oldest shopping complexes in Sri Lanka to start with escalators. This shopping mall has some of the finest shops in town including, clothing stores, jewelry shops, electronic shops, mobile phone shops, bookshops, cinemas, leather stores, cafes, and restaurants.
Many locals gather here during the weekend to have a great shopping experience and eat out at a lavish restaurant. It is also a venue for various brand promotions and exhibitions. So, if you’re lucky enough, you’ll even get the chance to participate in a colorful event.
Popularly known among the locals as the Crescat, this is another high-end shopping destination located near the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo. You can find a number of branded items here such as jewelry, clothing, bags, watches, electronics, perfume, Ceylon tea, and many more!
It is not a very big shopping complex like the One Galle Face Mall or the Colombo City Center, but it still has offer a lot to enthusiastic shoppers. There’s also a fine-dining restaurant with a variety of traditional Sri Lankan and international menus along with snack shops, bakeries, confectioneries, etc.
Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct
The Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct is one of the most exceptional shopping centers in the country. This building was initially a hospital during the Dutch period in Sri Lanka which is considered to be the oldest facility in the Colombo Fort area.
The Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct is centered around two courtyards, which often host live music. It has a few restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops. This is indeed one of the best places in town to indulge in some of the country’s best seafood.
You must check out the famous Ministry of Crab, eat delicious pizzas, burgers, and pasta at Colombo Fort Café, or chill with a cold beer and snacks at Taphouse or Next Innings. This shopping complex also has several shops that sell trinkets and souvenirs.
It would certainly be worth a visit to the Sri Lankan specialty stores like the Spa Ceylon to have a soul-calming massage or to buy ayurvedic lotions, relaxing balms, and oils to take home.
Arcade Independence Square
Being another iconic shopping complex in Colombo, Arcade Independence Square is also a place that will offer you a promisingly incredible shopping experience. It is a trendy, dapper shopping mall where you can explore a range of things under one roof.
They have a range of stores that sells clothes, watches, jewelry, men’s and women’s accessories, shoes, bags, etc., along with popular restaurants, tea lounges, and cafes like Keama Sutra, Paan Paan, Dilmah, Mlesna, Elephant House, Burger King, etc. They also host different events and contain cinemas and theaters for entertainment.
An Epic Shopping Escapade At Sri Lankan Specialty Stores!
During your shopping spree to local markets and high-end shopping malls, there are a few places in Colombo that should get your attention. Once you visit them, we are sure that you will never regret giving them a shot. These shops actually belong to a wide niche of shopping. However, according to our idea, you shouldn’t leave Sri Lanka without visiting them at least once. So, here goes the list:
- Spa Ceylon
- Barefoot Garden Cafe and Shop
- Paradise Road
- Noritake Lanka Porcelain Showroom
- Dilmah T-Lounge
- Butter Boutique
- Bakes by Bella
- Gerard Mendis Chocolatier
- The Kandos Shop
- Aroma Bliss Ceylon
The fast food chains in Colombo include the following:
- Burger King
- Pizza Hut
- Taco Bell
- Dominos Pizza
Online Shopping Facility
Although physical shopping in Colombo is fun and thrilling, you may still get instances where you will have to count on online shopping. Assume that you’re with your partner in Sri Lanka to celebrate your anniversary. Then you may want to surprise him/her with a bouquet of flowers and a freshly baked cake.
You could arrange this through your hotel but you might have a problem arranging this if you’re in an AirBnB facility. In such instances, you can order them through online sites and they will deliver whatever you want at the right time, right on your doorstep. Here are a few websites you can have this service:
Is Colombo a Good Place to Shop?
Colombo, being the capital city of Sri Lanka, also serves as the commercial epicenter and heart of the economy of the country. In fact, this city is critically important for the financial infrastructure of the country since most of the main financial sources are born here.
Accordingly, it wouldn’t be wrong if we introduce Colombo to be the best place in Sri Lanka if anyone with any requirement needs to shop for your heart’s desire. It is said that you can get anything you want from Colombo and this is the reason for many locals to gather around Pettah or high-end shopping malls 24/7.
Hence, Colombo is indeed a good place to do the shopping and we can promise you that just a single day wouldn’t be enough as there are plenty of shopping destinations to explore. Also, the experience could vary from place to place.
While you enjoy the exclusive shopping experience in Colombo, you might also be keen on discovering how good Colombo’s nightlife is. Click on this link and refer to this article as we have complete information on the vibrant nightlife of Colombo.
Final Thoughts on the Colombo Shopping Experience
As you see, Colombo is nothing but a shopper’s paradise with a vast range of things to experience. This wonderful city actually has everything you want, giving you the experience of buying local goods to high-end, branded commodities. You can pay a visit to Colombo’s upscale shopping malls and complexes, shop organic stuff at the Good Market, try out Sri Lankan goodies at specialty stores, or even engage in a crazy shopping spree at Pettah!