When people visit Colombo, it is often to sunbake on warm tropical beaches or visit ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples and buildings from the city’s rich colonial past which included being first a Dutch colony then later a British one. But the largest city in Sri Lanka also has a bustling cosmopolitan side that includes plenty of high-end shopping such as world-class malls, boutiques, and even traditional markets. Yes, if you visit Colombo, you’ll definitely want to check out these places.
Colombo City Centre
This ultramodern mall offers endless shopping opportunities. If you happen to be in Colombo on a rainy day, what better way to spend it but here? You’ll find hundreds of shops and stores selling brand-name merchandise. There’s an amazing food court that offers a variety of western, East Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern food. While not a particularly touristy place, Colombo City Centre is nonetheless a great spot to eat, shop and perhaps mingle with other tourists.
Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct
When you have a nice, sunny day that isn’t too hot for walking around, it is highly recommended that you check out the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct. Mixed among the colonial – era buildings are vendors selling locally made handicrafts and traditional Sri Lankan food that is often very spicy. This district of Colombo is a very enjoyable experience. You won’t want to miss it.
Crescat Boulevard Mall
Crescat has become a popular shopping destination for both locals and tourists. It is a two-minute walk from the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. There is a Hameedia clothing outlet in here as well as bookstores and tea shops. One of the things Crescat is really known for is the small restaurants that serve traditional Ceylon food that is prepared in clay pots.
While Azarya is almost as exquisite as similar boutique stores you would find in New York City and Los Angeles, most of the items sold there are more reasonably priced. The store has a great collection of ladieswear and helpful staff that speak English.
Beverly Street is a modern department store that also features a restaurant where you’ll find some of the finest Ceylon cuisines in the entire city such as fried Modha and a Thai fish dish with sticky rice. If you’ve decided to rent a car during your stay in Colombo, there is a massive parking lot.
Nastars is for the young – as well as the young at heart. This is an enormous toy store that has fun stuff for kids ranging from infants to teenagers. You’ll find brand-name products such as Legos and video game systems including PS4 Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
Arcade Independence Square
At first glance, it may seem hard to believe that this stately, white colonial building is a shopping complex. Well, looks can be deceiving. Inside are dozens of quaint shops as well as a great tea lounge. Arcade Independence Square features western clothing outlets as well as shops that sell uniquely Sri Lankan items.
Inspired to plan your trip to Sri Lanka? Explore other destinations in the region: