Here’s a list of great places to shop at in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Find Sri Lankan souvenirs at Laksala
Laksala is the state-owned chain of gift and souvenir stores, ideal for finding local handicrafts and artefacts, including bags, wall hanging, sculptures and masks. The massive outlet on Reid Avenue is packed with merchandise.
Find great clothing and gifts at Odel
The main Odel can be found in a gorgeous building off Viharamahadevi Park, hosting a great collection of clothing, homewares, watches and stationery. You’ll also find smaller collections at the Odel Luv SL stores across the city and across Sri Lanka.
Find treasures for the home at Paradise Road
Also off Viharamahadevi Park and quite close to Odel, Paradise Road is sited in a striking white mansion, and offers a cornucopia of things you’ll want to fill your home with. Bookends, cement frogs, bharnis, and crockery with distinctive motifs sit alongside great food finds – tea, curry mixes, preserves and spices. Make time for a meal at the Paradise Road Cafe on the premises.
Find textiles and home furnishings at Barefoot and Kandygs
Barbara Sansoni’s Barefoot store is legendary for the quality and variety of its home furnishings range.
Kandygs is a budget-friendly variant, a family enterprise with lovely textiles in vibrant colours, as well as cushion covers and adorable soft toys.
Find tea at the Sri Lankan Tea Board store
You can’t come away from Colombo without stocking up from tea. The big store on Galle Road has tea from all over Sri Lanka and you’ll find great deals from over 22 renowned tea houses and companies here.Find local art at Kala Pota
There’s an open-air art gallery at Nelum Pokuna Mawatha behind Viharamahadevi Park and this is where you will find the newest Sri Lankan artists showcasing their art on the railings behind them. This is also where local art connoisseurs ride past by car – they know they could spot a potential masterpiece. Officially, this is a weekend market, but you often find art and artists on weekdays too from 6am to 6pm.
Find clothing treasures at House of Fashions
The House of Fashions has always been synonymous with cool clothing in Colombo, and it’s now housed in a swanky mall. Brands to look for include Zara, Zara Woman, George, Only and Vero Moda.
Find a shopping experience at the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct
The 400-year-old Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct is a triumph of restoration by the army and now a wonderful retail therapy venue. You’ll find great restaurants like Ministry of Crab, as well as Barefoot, Odel Luv SL and Colombo Jewellery Stores outlets. And, yes, there’s live music by evening.
Main photo: Phuong Nguyen Duy/123RF