The city has a bustling economy based on, among other things, tourism. There is a whole lot being done by the government to promote resorts and areas worth visiting in and around Colombo and when it comes to shopping there’s a lot more to Sri Lanka than merely Ceylon Tea! Plus there are great shopping malls in Colombo that help you pick up some truly memorable souvenirs.
The state run-handicrafts emporium in Sri Lanka is called Laksala and has a number of branches all over the country. The one in Colombo is the biggest and the best and is located on 60 York Street. It is open from 09:00 in the morning to 17:00 in the evening. On Saturdays it closes an hour earlier and is closed all day on Sundays. You can pick up anything here and objects made from brass and silverware, wooden artifacts, buffalo horn, natural fibres, and even rush and reed abound. There are also products made from coconut shells, cane, and bamboo as well as toys, pottery, artificial flowers and costume jewelry.
The main shopping mall on Galle Road is the multi-storey Majestic City in Bambalapittiya. Most shoppers escape the heat of central Colombo by entering its air conditioned portals. There is a cinema on the top floor and a food court in the basement as well as a whole lot of varied shops in between. These sell everything from CD's, DVD's, books, clothes, and linen. You can even find a couple of internet cafes there.
Odel is located at 5 Alexander Place on Lipton Circus in Colombo 7 area. It is Sri Lanka’s best-known branded garment factory outlet. Here, you'll find garments from international houses like Gap, DKNY,and George, but the labels are removed. It is a classy departmental store that features clothes, accessories, jewelry, shoes, bags, cosmetics, home ware, tea, books, watches, sunglasses, chocolates and candy, toiletries, and a whole lot more. There is an ice cream parlor, hair salon and florist present as well. All in all it's a true shopping experience.
The Barefoot Gallery
Odel’s closest competition would come from the Barefoot Gallery which is located at 706 Galle Road in Colombo. Although it is not quite the same scale and has less to offer, it is worth visiting with a range of handloom products. Very cheerful, colourful and creative designs grace the handmade artifacts. You can pick up toys, notebooks bound in handloom fabrics, hand-painted wooden boxes, tote bags, skirts and blouses, costume jewelry, table linen and even bed linen.