Shoppers rejoice! Colombo is packed with smart, home-grown, imaginative boutiques and stores, and the reasonable prices mean that the more ambitious might even consider paying excess baggage charges on the flight home.
The main shopping center for the locals is Pettah where the markets are busy and bustling. More up market shopping destinations are south of the city center, along the Galle Road. Majestic City, Liberty Plaza and Crescat City are popular among locals who are searching for handicrafts, tea and garments.
Odel Unlimited ( 5 Alexander Place, Colombo 7; 94 11 268 2712). Definitely the most popular department store in Sri Lanka, it offers brand-name clothing at great prices and has everything you need in one shop. You can buy accessories, get your hair done, and have sushi, all under one roof. It's definitely the place to shop while you're in Colombo.
Sri Lanka's most celebrated precious and semi-precious gems are offered for sale at jewellery outlets and at many gem dealers around the country. Premadasa Gems & Jewellery, and Zam Gems, are two popular outlets carrying precious gems. A free gem testing service is provided for tourists at the Sri Lanka Gem & Jewellery Exchange (310 Galle Road, Colombo 3; 11 257 6144-46). Cotton Collection (26, Flower Road, Colombo 7; 257 5299/ 257 5300) is the place to go for great winter wear and a wide range of Men's, Women's and kids' clothing.
Barefoot (94 11 258 0114), a gallery, cafe and boutique that occupies a shady plot at 706 Galle Road. Shoppers can spend a relaxing morning rummaging through the shelves of cloth and linens that have been hand-woven and hand-dyed using eco-friendly procedures.The open-air cafe serves light lunches, quick snacks, and tea or coffee. Once seated in the calm of the frangipani-filled garden or on the veranda, you will soon forget that you are in the middle of the city.
Following along the lines of maison boutique, Elephant Walk (61 Ward Place; 94 11 269 1056) could well be a friend-of-a-friend's house that just happens to have prices attached to everything on display. Given enough time and a robust credit card, it would be possible to outfit an entire home here. Located in the courtyard is a cafe that promotes healthy eating with an elephant-themed menu offering salads, soups, alternative sandwiches, interesting juices, and desserts.
Paradise Road (213 Dharmapala Mawatha; 94 11 268 6043), one of the most popular shops in Colombo for not only antiques and art but also home decor. A must if you're visiting Colombo and want a few lingering reminders of your trip.
At Kalaya (116, Havelock Road, Colombo 5; 94 11 258 8399), most of the products are crafted using traditional methods but the designs are modern. Rugs, cushion covers, bedspreads, and table linens are great for your home and ideal as gifts.
Laksala (60, York Street, Colombo 1, Fort; 232 92 47/ 232 3513-4) is run by the Sri Lanka Handicraft Board and offers everything Sri Lanka has to offer in wood carving, brass items, furniture, silver ware, leather, batik, spices, tea, books and cards at very affordable prices.
For tableware, there is Dankotuwa Porcelain, a leading manufacturer of Porcelain Tableware. The Colombo office is located at 283 Galle Road, Colombo 3. Noritake is also a well known name for tableware and can be found at Lanka Ceramics on 696 Galle Road, Colombo 3.
House of Fashion (28, R. A De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 5; 250 4639/ 250 4641) is popular with both foreigners and locals, offering an enormous selection of clothing for teens and adults, toys, sports goods, baby items, bath towels and mats at very affordable prices.
Cotton Collection (26, Flower Road, Colombo 7; 257 5299/ 257 5300) is the place to go for great winter wear and a wide range of kids' clothing.
Hameedias (54, Galle Road, Colombo 6; 250 5192-3) is the best place for men's suits. You can either buy them off the rack or have them tailor-made to suit your taste. Also available are men's shirts and women's shalwars.
NOLIMIT (Union Place, 24 Hyde Park Corner, Colombo 2; 238 2676) is Sri Lanka's biggest fashion store chain. It has over 40,000 varieties of clothes and accessories, offering the best shopping option.
Tea Tang (215, 1st Division, Maradana; 94 11 244 6214) is one of the top outlets for Sri Lanka's national drink, offering a wide variety of different brews for every taste. Others include Dilmah Tea (MJF Group, 11, Negombo Road, Peliyagoda; 94 11 293 3070), Mlesna Tea Centre (branches through out the city).
Finally, anyone planning a quick shopping trip to Colombo should check the calendar first. Full moon or poya days are public holidays and can affect opening hours.
The above information is for reference only. They may be provided to HSBC by other persons or compiled by HSBC from information and materials provided by other persons. HSBC does not warrant the truth, reliability, accuracy or adequacy of the above information and HSBC assumes no liability for any reliance on them by you or any other persons. Please contact the relevant merchant, company or organisation for further details.
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