Shopping in Sri Lanka is simply sensational - there is much in store for everyone! Sri Lanka offers a wide range of shopping items and is most popular for tea, handicrafts, gems, batiks, readymade garments and spices.
Without a doubt world-famous Sri Lankan tea, best known as Ceylon Tea, is a must buy item for all tourists. There are various places to buy tea throughout the country - specialist tea centres, major shopping malls, grocery stores in main towns, hill country tea estates and factories. Sri Lanka has several leading tea brands that come in a variety of blends and packaging; tea is one of the most popular gift items to take back home for loved ones.
Handicrafts are another popular item in Sri Lanka and showcase the rich cultural heritage of the island. These traditional arts and craft items are produced based on skills passed down generations in home based cottage industries from across the island. Popular items include traditional masks, wall hangings and intricately woven mats, pottery, lacework, jewellery and oil lamps. Handicrafts can be found at popular tourist destinations such as Kandy or at state-run traditional craft outlets in main towns throughout the country.
Sri Lanka is also well known for its gems including sapphires, rubies and cat's eyes. The popular city of Ratnapura is the main source of the islands gems for many centuries, and is the primary location for many gem dealers and cutting centers. Jewellery shops in main cities are also a good place to find gems.
Shopping for clothing items is another major activity in Sri Lanka - high quality goods can be found at exceptionally economical prices. From saris to sarongs and casual beach wear to formal wear, there is something for everyone here. Sri Lanka is also popular for export quality Western clothes, as various international brands have their factories on the island. There are various department stores and shopping malls in the main cities to suit all needs.