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Although less celebrated compared to its beaches and wildlife, Sri Lanka has always been a destination for luxury goods including gems, ivory, and exotic spices. In fact, Galle, the country’s leading trading harbor since the 15th Century onwards, was believed to be the mythical city of Tarshish, the legendary city in The Bible, of which King Solomon sourced his gems and perfume by many historians.

Sri Lanka’s reputation for luxury goods including gems and spices have grown since then and the country today trades the world’s best tea, fine cut rubies, sapphires, diamonds and other gems along with local and global brands in fashion.

Whether you are looking to hunt a bargain among a large number of stalls and shops in the cross of roads in Colombo or visiting the chic malls in city centers, shopping in Colombo can be a unique experience of bargain hunting and exclusive offers. Discover dazzling shops offering jewelry and ornaments set with the finest gems, clothing brands featuring finely crafted batik and Dutch lace, the best of Ceylon Tea as well as antiques, ornaments, and artifacts standing next to shops trading global brands of fashion, homeware, and accessories.

Galle, once a contender for Tarshish, also has its own share of exotic and luxury shopping to offer. Shopping in Galle can be a global experience of culture and art, where statues carved with semi-precious gems, the best of silver and gold jewelry and modern art trades next to pieces of art and sculpture.

Shopping in Sri Lanka can never be complete without a post-shopping visit to the many restaurants offering the best experience in seafood, local fusion food, and street food along with a hot or cold cup of Ceylon Tea. Rest your tired feet while you watch the city life moves around you while tasting the flavors of Sri Lanka.

Through Our Winners’ Eyes


Colombo has so much to offer visitors and I’m not talking about souvenirs and stuff. We strolled through some really impressive shopping malls and modern department stores. I was pleasantly surprised at the amazing range of clothes, shoes and other products bearing international labels. But what really took my breath away were the fabulous bargains on locally produced items such as handcrafted gifts, masks, Sri Lanka’s famous tea, batiks and even exotic gems such as blue sapphires which the island is famous for.
There were superb restaurants and tea houses serving a cross section of everything. The choice was very impressive.
Specialty tea, fast food, seafood, Japanese, Indian, Chinese and of course authentic Sri Lankan, which by now I had come to love. At the end of our shopping tour, we were treated to tea at the famous Dilmah Tea House which offered us an amazing choice of teas and teatime snacks.

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