A Guide to Local Market and Shopping in Sri Lanka

by YourTravelScout

Sri Lanka is a beautiful island country in South Asia that is well-known for its rich culture, gorgeous beaches, historic temples, and delectable cuisine. For travellers who want to experience Sri Lanka as it truly is and blend into the local culture, the country boasts a thriving local market culture that is worth exploring. In this guide, We’ll take you through some of the best local markets and shopping experiences in Sri Lanka:

Pettah Market

For those who enjoy shopping, Pettah Market, which is situated in the centre of Colombo, is a must-visit location. Almost anything can be found at this lively market, which is spread out over a number of lanes and alleyways and offers anything from fresh food and spices to clothing and electronics. The market is segmented into various parts, each of which focuses on a specific product category. For instance, Second Cross Street is well-known for technological items, whereas Main Street is well-known for apparel. In Pettah Market, haggling is a widespread practise, so be prepared to negotiate.

Galle Fort

The Dutch constructed the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the 17th century. The fort has been magnificently kept, and because to its cobbled lanes, colonial-era structures, and stylish cafes, it is now a well-liked tourist destination. A number of boutique shops that offer one-of-a-kind clothing items, jewellery, and handicrafts are also located inside the fort. Although the costs may be a little more than in other nearby marketplaces, the products’ quality is very good.


Government-owned Laksala is a chain of shops that focuses on traditional Sri Lankan handicrafts. Colombo, Kandy, and Galle are just a few of the cities in where the stores may be found. Everything from hand-woven fabrics and wooden masks to tea and spices may be found here. There is no need to haggle because the rates are set. Laksala is a great spot to buy gifts and souvenirs to take back home.


Odel is a well-known department store chain in Sri Lanka that carries a variety of domestic and foreign brands. The stores can be found in a number of places, including Mount Lavinia, Kandy, and Colombo. This store carries goods for apparel, accessories, cosmetics, and home décor. Odel is known for producing high-quality goods at affordable costs. You can take a break from shopping and have a meal in the store’s cafe or restaurant.


Barefoot is an unique store in Colombo that offers hand-printed, vibrant fabrics, apparel, and home goods. The goods are of outstanding quality and are created by regional artisans and artists. There is a relaxed environment in the store, and you could easily spend hours looking at the merchandise. In the cafe at Barefoot, you can have a cup of coffee or a light meal.

Local Markets in Kandy

The central Sri Lankan city of Kandy is renowned for its historic temples, verdant hills, and lively local markets. The Kandy Market Hall, where you can buy local sweets, spices, and fresh food, is the most well-known market in Kandy. One of Sri Lanka’s most revered Buddhist monuments, the Temple of the Tooth, is close to the market. The Pettah Market, which is comparable to the one in Colombo but smaller in size, is another well-liked market in Kandy.

Sri Lanka’s vibrant local market culture makes shopping there a unique and delightful experience. There is something for everyone, from the thriving Pettah Market in Colombo to the vibrant Barefoot store. It is always a good idea to haggle and take precautions when buying in local marketplaces. Overall, shopping in Sri Lanka is a wonderful way to support small companies and local craftsmen and to bring home some mementos of your visit to this beautiful country.

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