Shopping in Colombo

Colombo, a city of multi ethnicity, is blessed with a diverse spectrum for shopping. Dotted in all corners of Colombo, there are plenty of shopping experiences from bargaining street markets, local department stores to stunning upscale shopping centres. There is something for each and everyone!


  • Shopping in Colombo is a fascinating experience taking you through heritage, tradition, culture and modernity
  • Apparel clothing, having taken a new turn with many local brands going international, are a delight to shop till you drop
  • Odel, the most popular local department store has a plethora of goods ranging from apparel, shoe wear, accessories, souvenirs and more
  • Colombo City Centre, the city’s newest shopping mall is a shopper’s paradise
  • Discover Sri Lanka’s art and culture with a shopping experience of traditional handicrafts, handlooms, batiks in many stores
  • Take Sri Lanka’s pride home with shopping for the country’s renown products of tea, gems and porcelain


Shopping in Colombo is an aesthetic journey on its own.
Brimming with ceaseless shops, bargainers, fruits and vegetables, vivid fabrics, sweet-smelling spices, scrumptious street-food and more – Colombo’s street markets will undoubtedly awaken the explorer in you, compelling you to seek its secrets and wander its intriguing paths. However, shopping in the city is not limited to its busy street-markets such as streets of Pettah but on a much wider spectrum.
In the course of the past decade, the fashion industry in Colombo has gained global recognition for its unorthodox synthesis of contemporary styles with vibrant traditional designs like handmade woven looms, batik patterns, sarongs, sarees and more. The city has also seen a growth in premium holistic skin-care brands such as Spa Ceylon that are deeply rooted in Ayurvedic treatments practiced in ancient Sri Lanka. The island is experiencing a glorious fashion revival, with Colombo as its core.
Encounter the beauty and vibrancy of Sri Lanka’s art and cultural heritage through unique shopping experiences revolving around various renowned local products of exquisite handicrafts, a kaleidoscope of colourful handlooms, unusual batiks, sparkling gems, Ceylon tea and fine porcelain which have enhanced Sri Lanka’s name.

Acclaimed globally-marketed local brands:

Paradise Road

Paradise Road is a tiny gorgeous boutique that holds a vast selection of contemporary intricately-designed souvenirs and home décor that reflect the timelessness and indigenous aesthetics of the Paradise Island. Housing some of the most unique handpicked antiques and Sri Lankan handicrafts, Paradise Road has become a premier brand that offers products with international quality and design.
The store houses a variety of colonial and local ephemera ranging from local handicrafts, antiques, furnishings, exquisite minimalist house linen, porcelain products, stunning hand painted crockery, trendy canvas bags and woven pillowcases sporting the Sinhala alphabet. The boutique was established by famous design entrepreneur Udayshanth Fernando, who also launched the iconic Paradise Road Gallery Café.


Celebrated for its iconic vivid handloom fabrics and designs, Barefoot was founded by designer Barbara Sansoni. This expressive store holds a vast selection of premium hand-weaved products ranging from fabrics, linen, clothes, cushions, serviettes, bedspreads, household items, bags, toys and even books! Their vibrant collection of sarongs is most popular.
Barefoot resides in an old villa that accommodates a unique funky fusion of fashion and art. The urbane space exudes a warm, laidback and creative ambiance with great bohemian vibes! The Barefoot Gallery space serves as a platform for musicians, artists, poets and filmmakers.

Tucked away in the boutique’s tranquil garden patio is the enchanting Barefoot Garden Café, where one can enjoy a sandwich or falafel from their extensive menu and relax sipping on a coffee or refreshing chilled larger. On Jazz Sundays you can watch some great jazz artists perform here and groove to some splendid jazz music!

Spa Ceylon

Spa Ceylon was founded via the integration of the contemporary design with the deeply rooted ancient Ayurvedic practices of Sri Lanka’s culture. Ayurveda (Sanskrit – āyus meaning ‘life’ and veda meaning ‘sacred’ ‘knowledge’) is grounded on the notion of attaining balance within the bodily systems by means of diet, herbal treatment and yogic breathing. Spa Ceylon’s luxury products are concocted using thoroughly researched secretive formulae, fine natural elements and rituals to hydrate, purify, nourish and soothe the body, mind and soul.

Dating back over 3000 years, these practices of relaxation, rejuvenation and healing are believed to have been embraced by the royal families within Sri Lanka’s ancient palaces. Spa Ceylon’s extensive range comprises of treatment oils, essential oils, massage and bath oils, cleansing bars, exfoliating bars, shower gels, milk baths, body scrubs, body pacs, body lotions, body mist, moisturizing balms, soothing balms, massage balms, foot care and herbal compress. The products are entirely formed using natural ingredients that are devoid of any animal origins or alcohol.

Established in 2009 by brothers Shiwantha & Shalin, Spa Ceylon has evolved into a leading luxury Ayurveda brand, with a number of boutiques and spas distributed across South Asia, the Far East and Europe. The ethical brand is against animal testing as well as child labour, and advocates environmentally-friendly products that are supportive of human rights.


A mansion now transformed into a cozy urbane fashion destination, Odel is a high-profile department store located in the heart of the city that is ideal for retail therapy. The flagship store offers an unparalleled range of fashion and lifestyle products from a mix of high-end international and local brands (Luv SL). It houses a range of choices, from clothes, shoes, bags, time-pieces, fragrances, accessories, cosmetics, jewelry, home-ware, books and souvenirs.

The well-known colourful collection from the pooch-inspired Embark brand can also be found here, sporting the mascot of ex-street pooches Niko, Bandit and Rozzy. A portion of the profits from the sale of Embark’s merchandise are channeled towards the extensive work undertaken by Embark towards the welfare of street-dogs across the island.

After a shopping spree, one can sojourn for a nibble or thirst-quencher at The Promenade; Odel’s swish piazza which houses a number of ritzy cafes and restaurants such as Il Gelato, Mabroc – bubble tea, Roots – fresh juices, Mango Tree/ Jack Tree – Indian and Thai cuisine, Regent – local rice and curry, Elephant House – the best hotdogs in town, Harpo’s – pizza, Seafood Shack, Café Nihonbashi and Sugar Bistro.

Shopping malls/centres:

Old Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct

Reminiscing the gorgeous 17th century Dutch colonial architecture of a by-gone era, the charming cobblestoned courtyards of The Dutch Hospital in Colombo Fort is home to a number of ritzy eateries, bars and fashion boutiques. Emanating a soothing aura coupled with the invigorating salty breeze of the Galle Face beach nearby, this location has become a primary shopping and chill-out destination for locals and tourists alike.

The Dutch Hospital houses a collection of upmarket fashion boutiques such as Colombo Jewellery Stores, Odel’s Luv SL, Barefoot and Spa Ceylon. Nurturing its old colonial charm and history, its delightful boulevards are ideal to wander and pick up souvenirs, jewelry, clothing, handicrafts and artworks along the way.
Behind the Dutch Hospital lay Hospital Street; an alleyway which transforms at night into a groovy and lively entertainment space adorned with enchanting twinkle lights. Fairway Colombo hosts a number of events here throughout the year including cultural shows that reflect the Sri Lanka’s heritage and Faiway Colombo’s Art and Jazz Festival on the streets. Offering groovy tunes and sizzling food, this charming pathway is a must-visit in the city.

Colombo City Centre

Colombo City Centre is a brilliant, innovatively designed high-rise edifice that overlooks the picturesque Beire Lake in the heart of the city. The mall at Colombo City Centre houses a combination of some of the finest local and international brands and is currently ranked the largest shopping destination in Sri Lanka.

World renowned brands such as Apple, The Body Shop, Swarovski, Armani Exchange, MANGO, Fossil, Aldo, Charles and Keiths, Clarks, The Face Shop, Skechers can be found here along with local favourites such as Spa Ceylon, aviraté, Colombo Jewellery Stores, Odel, Abans, Cargills Food City gourmet supermarket and more.

Crescat Boulevard

Capturing the impeccable combination of shopping, spas and dining, Crescat Boulevard is inclusive of all the requisite elements of spending an unwinding day at the mall. Situated next door to the swanky Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Crescat is an upscale shopping precinct housing an assortment of boutiques and bistros within its three-tiers, and obliging mainly the eclectic preferences of the tourists that frequent here.

The numerous retail stores located within the mall sell a variety of exclusive products ranging from clothing (Linen & Life, Aussie Swim Store, Dilly & Carlo, Triumph etc.), shoes, bags, books (Vijitha Yapa Book Shop), stationery (The Full Stop), toys, accessories, cosmetics and perfumes. Following a shopping spree, one can even stop by for a soothing massage from the ‘Foot Rub’ massage parlor at the mall.

The wide-ranging products available at Crescat Boulevard are sure to indulge you, whatever your interest, mood or preference maybe.
Crescat also holds a delightful well-maintained food court that holds an array of cuisines to choose from. Also found on the same floor is a branch of the well-known local gourmet supermarket, Keells Super. The Sugar Bistro & Wine Bar, Brick Lane Cookie Company and Coco Veranda are popular favourites among the eating spots located at Crescat Boulevard.

Locally produced products of art and culture:

Handicrafts – Sri Lanka has been well known for its art and crafts that are steeped in historical culture and heritage. Therefore, handicrafts in Sri Lanka have a special flair to them reflecting an identity of its own which cannot be found anywhere else. They have all been created and crafted with extreme care and passion which emanate from the final products. Ranging from cute and quirky elephants, colourful tuk-tuks to beautiful woven baskets and more, which are made from a variety of materials including wood, metals, leather, cane, reed and more, listed below are the most popular souvenir shops where you would discover the best of this little island’s magic.

Lakpahana – Located on 14 Phillip Gunawardena Mawatha (Reid Avenue), Colombo 7, this store has fantastic range of products for you to hand pick a good souvenir to take home, sealing all your memories of your Sri Lanka holiday. Apart from handicrafts, Lakpahana is well recommended for local sweetmeats if you would like to taste authentic Sri Lanka.

Laksala – This souvenir boutique store is owned by the state and has an impeccable variety of handicrafts from traditional masks to sculptures and more. The main branch is on No. 215, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7.

Handlooms – The handloom industry in Sri Lanka has transformed itself since its origin back in 543BC when prince Vijaya arrived on the island. It is one of the many traditional aspects that represent the country’s rich heritage and culture – but in a distinctive and colourful manner. Back then the environment and nature were heavy influences for the pattern designs. The patterns were peacocks, elephants, flowers to name just a few. The woven cloths come in different colours that are bright and warm at the same time which reflect the Sri Lankan culture in the best way possible.

Barefoot – Where bright colours, textures and vivid patterns intertwine creating character and life, Barefoot owns a unique collection of handlooms as mentioned earlier. It represents fine quality and design that reflect a bohemian and ethnic look. Step into Barefoot located on 706, Galle Road
Colombo 3 and enthrall its ambience with spotlights and cement floors giving a rustic edge in a world of colour.

Selyn –Sri Lanka’s only fair-trade certified handloom products are created by Selyn since 1991 entitling many talented local women craftsmen. They have a fashion collection of authentic handloom fused with modern designs and patterns. Apart from garments there is household linen that range from bed runners to table linen. Visit their flagship store located on 102, Fife Road, Colombo 5.

Kandygs – Being one of the oldest handloom producing stores, Kandygs offer an extensive range of hand crafted and handloom products from bags, curtains, bedspreads, sarongs, cushion covers, soft toys, table clothes and mats, wall hangings and fabrics. Step into a kaleidoscope of colour at their store on 28/11, De Fonseka Place, Colombo 5.

Batiks – From being a small scale industry of the past, Batiks play a very crucial role in Sri Lankan culture and fashion scene which will continue to do so as time progresses. Over time batiks have evolved from traditional sarongs, kaftans and cotton sarees into high end designer wear perfected on pure silks and chiffon. They are created in many different patterns and vibrant colours which are absolutely unique and attractive, but most people are unaware of the strenuous process behind the creation of batik material, of which requires several steps in drawing patterns outlining with liquid wax, washing the fabric and dyeing it to achieve the preferred colour and design. This requires extensive labour which gives great job opportunities to such women who are disabled, widowed or homeless. Here are our recommended choices of places to guide you to choose batiks from normal wear to designer wear.

Swanee’s Boutique and Prasanna’s Batiks are among the oldest batik creators that have slowly set the platform for the industry to flourish over time. Their products are made out of poplin, silk and voile fabrics from traditional wear to wall hangings and more. Swanee’s Boutique is located at Gandhara No.28, Stratford Avenue, Colombo 6 and Prasanna’s Batiks on 4/1 B Arthur’s Pl, Colombo 4.

Yoland Collection – A name carried by Yolanda Aluwihare, a local brand that has had over 30 years of experience was one of the designers to take Sri Lanka to the world introducing the local craft of Batik. They have haute couture designs ranging from shawls, tops, kimono blouses, sarees and more. Visit their store at Crescat Boulevard on first floor.

Buddhi Batiks – For high end batik contemporary and designer wear, Buddhi Batiks is the place to hand pick the perfect batik piece creating a fashion statement from the unusual dresses, tops and sarees. They are located on 32, Ward Place, Colombo 7.

Sonali – Another household brand, Sonali has haute couture batik designs to suit every personality. The artist, Sonali Dharmawardena who has always had a passion for art and design, took this local artisan craft of batik and created her own style and trend using innovative designs yet using traditional methods. Having made her name in the fashion scene, she sells her hand crafted products through her store, Sonali, located on 50/1/A, Park Street, Colombo 2

Tea – Ceylon Tea, a world famous brand that has given prominence to Sri Lanka establishing a name since the colonial years of British Ceylon; which still lives through its labels on tins and packets in every household shelf. Ceylon tea is available in all tea kiosks, outlets and supermarkets all over the island. However, specified tea centres give an insight into numerous flavours, different grades of tea and reputable brands.

Mlesna Tea Centre – An upscale tea boutique, Mlesna Tea Centre showcases a great selection of their brand, Mlesna which represent export quality Ceylon tea and house brand teas. They have outlets all over the island and in Majestic City and Crescat Boulevard shopping centres for convenient access.

Mackwoods –Consisting a range of unblended Single Estate Black Teas of different grades, an extensive range of flavoured teas, infusions and exclusive teas of Silver Tips and Golden Tips, Mackwoods is identified as the finest brand of Ceylon tea with a heritage of 176 years and as one of the pioneers in the tea industry. To purchase Mackwoods tea, visit their cafe, Tea Breeze which has two outlets at Racecourse shopping complex in Colombo 7 and at Beira Lake on Perahera Mawatha, Colombo 3.

Dilmah – As a founder of garden fresh Single Origin Tea, Dilmah earned its name in providing unblended tea which gives a unique taste of its own. Hosting a wide variety of teas, of which the retailers are, Exceptionals, Gourmet tea selection, Ceylon Green tea, organic selection, infusions, Elixir of Ceylon tea, tea cordials, Premium tea selection, Premium Ceylon Gold teas and Ceylon Golden Pekoe; Dilmah is available at the t-Lounge by Dilmah, located at the Arcade Independence Square and at the Ceylon tea super market on No 326 Ven Baddegama Wimalawansa Mawatha, Colombo 1 and at Odel flagship outlet, No.5 Alexandra Pl, Colombo 7

Gems – Sri Lanka is synonymous with gems; in all colours, lustre and quality. A pride carried for centuries since the time of Arab traders and merchants who have taken precious gems to the world. From a world list of 200 types of coloured gemstones, 70 of which are available in Sri Lanka which include the Royal Blue sapphires, pink sapphires, Star Sapphires, Cat’s Eyes, Rubies, Star Rubies and semi precious stones such as Alexandrite and garnets. No visit to Sri Lanka would be complete if one has visited any of the retail gem shops especially in Colombo.

Jewel Laurel –A well reputed brand name, Jewel Laurel showcases high quality gemstones and fashionable gem studded jewellery of international standard. Located on 64 Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 3

Zam Gems – Well known as one of Sri Lanka’s largest and most valued gems and jewellery manufactures, Zam Gems offers a range of gems and jewellery sold in more than 5 countries across two continents through over 100 retail stores. Visit their 81 Galle Rd, Colombo 4

Sifani – Popular as the world’s most luxurious jeweller, Sifani is a well established name with over 30 stores in Sri Lanka, Maldives and London. They offer all precious and semi precious stones. Visit the flagship store on 86 Galle Road Colombo 3 and their outlets at Galadari Hotel and Galle Face Hotel.

Ceramics and Porcelain – Sri Lanka’s lands do possess the world’s richest clay; therefore, pottery was a distinctive craft that dates back to the 5th century and has evolved into an industry of porcelain ware. Although the methods used years ago were basic as compared to the present day’s levels but the creativity transcended from that time has contributed to the overall product, being classy and elegant. Through this industry, Sri Lanka has established a name worldwide with its porcelain products. There are two brand manufacturers that contributed to the industry on a global spectrum.

Dankotuwa – Dankotuwa Porcelain and Royal Fernwood, its subsidiary company, are well established and renowned global producers of contemporary and modern tableware which are steeped in years of history and growth. Visit their signature showroom on 47, Guildford Crescent, Colombo 7.

Noritake Lanka – Serving the Noritake global family with its parent company in Japan, Noritake Lanka Porcelain has established its name since 1972, taking the industry forward with its international standards and top quality, creating a niche for Sri Lanka in the global market. Visit the Noritake City Store on 77, Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 7.