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Shop Till You Drop In Colombo

by: Priyanka Trivedi

The capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo, is the best shopping destination in the country. With bustling street markets, local boutiques and modern malls, the options available are endless. Visitors will find local textiles, handicrafts, souvenirs, jewelry and clothing items in every price range. Colombo offers local products as well as international brands. Finding that perfect souvenir or gift to take back home is easy and enjoyable, thanks to the stores listed below. Here are the best places to shop while in Colombo.

1) Odel Unlimited: Odel is perhaps the most popular shopping destination in Colombo, and for good reason. Spread over 33,000 sq ft, this modern shopping center offers a good collection of perfumes, clothing, jewelry, toys and gifts. The department store offers local as well as international brands and is a good place to find the perfect gift for anyone. Other than shopping, Odel also offers numerous good dining options.

2) Barefoot: Housed in an old villa, Barefoot is very popular with tourists and expats. The designer store offers a beautiful selection of textiles and fabrics. The store offers bright placemats, bedspreads, napkins, tablecloths, lampshades and stylish clothing. Barefoot also has a good bookstore that sells a curated selection of local books. Head over to the serene cafe in the courtyard to take a break from shopping and enjoy a refreshing beverage.

3) Paradise Road: Paradise Road is a tourist attraction on its own because of its exquisite collection of unique products. This homeware store has a beautiful Mediterranean inspired decor with delightful pieces to admire. The boutique store sells a variety of colonial collectibles, artistic goods, porcelain, furniture and linen. Although the prices are rather high, the artistic goods created by Shanth Fernando are truly unique.

4) Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct: Perhaps the most picturesque shopping center in Colombo is the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct. This beautiful colonial building was originally a hospital and the oldest in the Fort area. Today, it is converted into a modern shopping center with two open courtyards, live music, stores and restaurants. The Orchid House is a good place to find fragrance oils, candles, handloom products and souvenirs. Shilpa National Crafts offers a wide variety of handicraft products made by local craftsmen.

5) Selyn: Selyn is the only company in Sri Lanka offering fair-trade products. The store is known for offering unique designs and high quality products. It features a broad selection of soft toys, bed linen, fabrics and textiles. The handloom products at Selyn are also quite affordable. Other than textiles and handloom, Selyn also sells a good range of home decor products.

6) Laksala: Laksala is a state-owned boutique store that sells a wide variety of handicraft products and souvenirs. This large store specializes in traditional Sri Lankan crafts and each floor houses different categories of products. Visitors can find locally made clothing, handicrafts, handmade jewelry and Ceylon tea at Laksala. The store is especially known for its collection of carved elephants, perfect for souvenirs.

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