Shopping in Sri Lanka – 15 Best Souvenirs

Sri Lanka has always been a customers’ paradise. It is a major textile and apparel exporter. Even among us Indians, Sri Lanka is known for shopping of clothes. The name of Odell Bazaar has been specially included in the Sri Lanka itinerary for shopping of clothes and apparels.

During my two visits to Sri Lanka, I saw many other items along with clothes which especially symbolize the culture and heritage of Sri Lanka. You can buy these as souvenirs during your trip to Sri Lanka. These symbolic souvenirs in Sri Lanka are available in several price ranges to suit every type of customer. According to my conclusion, apart from clothes, the other top 15 items that you can buy as souvenirs are-

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gems and jewels

Let us start this list of souvenirs with the most charming and most valuable item. There are many gemstone mines in Sri Lanka. Chandrakanta mine is prominent among them. I also had the privilege of seeing a Chandrakanta mine here. Here I got an opportunity to see firsthand the process of excavating, sorting, carving and polishing gems. Jewelery was also being made by setting these shiny gems in various metals. My heart also got fascinated by these gems and I also purchased some Chandrakanta gems.

Actually, you can buy these gems anywhere in Sri Lanka. There are many small and big gem shops in Unawatuna and Kandy, famous for tourism. What did you say? You doubt your gem connoisseur’s vision! You can visit many museums located here where their analysis is explained through literature and short films. After seeing these, you can purchase various gems without any fear.

Yes, let me warn you! Don’t forget to bargain while shopping for these gems in every small and big shop.

famous tea of ​​lanka

Sri Lankan tea has always been famous. This can prove to be the best gift brought from Sri Lanka for tea lovers. You can visit tea gardens and see their factory and get your favorite tea from there. As far as I am concerned, whenever I visit tea gardens in any area, I bring back enough fresh tea from there to satisfy my tea supply for a few months.

Apart from tea gardens in Sri Lanka, you can also buy tea leaves packed in beautiful boxes in markets and souvenir shops.

Sri Lanka’s most famous tea is sold under the name Dilma Tea.

Chinese pottery

Very few of you may be aware that the most famous porcelain items available in Japan called Noritake are made in Sri Lanka. If you want to buy the utensils of your choice at reasonable prices, you can buy them from the factory’s sales center. Apart from this, one can also buy them from the huge showroom in Colombo. Their products are also available in other Odell type markets based in Sri Lanka.

The porcelain utensils purchased during my visit to Sri Lanka 12 years ago are still enhancing the beauty of my kitchen. Some people here told that when Mrs. Ambani was getting her new house decorated in Mumbai, she had gone to Sri Lanka to buy porcelain utensils for her kitchen.

Sri Lankan cinnamon

Almost all the spices grown in South India are also grown in Sri Lanka. The main reason for this is the similarity of air and water. Cinnamon is prominent in this. Did you know, Sri Lanka is the largest exporter of cinnamon in the world? So it’s obvious which spice I would have bought! I bought cinnamon sticks wrapped in delicate rolls. It looked different from the cinnamon commonly sold in India.

Apart from pieces, cinnamon is also available in powder form. You can also buy beautiful packets filled with many other spices including cinnamon. Along with your kitchen, it can also be a useful gift.

attractive wooden masks

Wood carving is a handicraft practiced throughout Sri Lanka. These carvings done in many Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka will fascinate you. Beautifully carved wooden masks are the hallmark of Sri Lankan artists. These colorful masks can be a part of your home decor. It is believed that red colored masks provide protection, yellow colored masks provide prosperity and blue colored masks help in your business.

My desire was to have an object carved from pure wood without any additional paint. Therefore, I liked the statue of the fisherman sitting on a wooden pole, holding a flute in his hand. I also bought a mask of Ravana. In my opinion it was a symbol of the ancient relationship between India and Sri Lanka. It is still a staple of my collection today.

Dumbara mat and cane items

Dumbara weave is a coarse weave made on a handloom. It is called Dumbara weave after the name of its origin area located near Kandy. White, black and red colors are mostly used in this weaving made in geometric shapes. In Sri Lanka I saw attractive wall decorations, table cloths, baskets and bags made by this weaving. These items are also available in souvenir shops. Available in many shapes and sizes, these items give you ample choice.

Similarly, you can also buy beautiful baskets and boxes made of cane.

Sri Lankan sarees

The traditional female attire in Sri Lanka, as in South Indian cities, is the saree. Like Kerala, there are two types of sarees in Sri Lanka. The first type of saree consists of two more parts along with the bodice. The first is a scarf and the second is a fringed undergarment which is wrapped around the waist. The second type of saree is five yards long like the Indian saree but it is worn in a manner contrary to the Indian tradition. Worn starting from the pallu, the pleats of this saree are taken out instead of inside, giving it the shape of a fringe at the waist.

The first type of saree is very easy to wear. I also learned how to wear this saree from a woman there. It reminds me of the Mekhela saree of Assam. It is said that this is originally a costume inspired by the Redda-Hatte worn in the Java region of Indonesia. This can be a beautiful gift as a souvenir of Sri Lanka.


If you are interested in collecting antique items, you can purchase these items from many shops located in Galle. A strange coincidence happened to me that it was raining during my visit to Galle. So I spent all my time in shops. Many shops of gems and antiques are located here.

Many items like ancient utensils, watches, musical instruments, puja room items are available here. A lot of patience is required to find your favorite item among these. This is no less exciting than finding treasure.

Maps, Pictures and Paper Items

While wandering through the shops of Galle, my eyes fell on a group of shops which were selling paintings and maps of ancient Sri Lanka.

He had beautiful pictures of Sri Lanka and Gaul. Some of the pictures in them were many years old. Still, they were kept very carefully. If you are interested in ancient paintings then your wish will be fulfilled in the streets of Gaul.

Some artists in Sri Lanka are doing the work of recycling paper in a very attractive way. I saw colorful baskets that were made from recycled paper. I had a strong desire to bring these beautiful baskets with me to India and get their copies made here. Purchasing these paper items directly means our cooperation towards protecting the environment.

colorful paintings on stones

You must have seen pictures painted on smooth stone. But you would hardly have seen beautiful elephants and dancers painted on rough stones.

If you are fascinated by the stone paintings of Dambulla and Sigiriya, then these can also be purchased as excellent souvenirs of Sri Lanka to enhance the beauty of your home. The style of these paintings may have changed over time, but their basic nature remains constant.

Colorful carved wooden furniture

There are many workshops in Kandy where exquisite wooden sculptures and home furnishings are made. I also got to see one such workshop. All the things made there fascinated me. However, one chest particularly attracted me. It was a wonderful painted chest.

I was informed that all the workshops here take their artefacts to every corner of the world. Therefore, you can easily get the selected items delivered to your home.

Iconic Paintings of Sri Lanka

You can also take the iconic style paintings made here as souvenirs of Sri Lanka. These are bright and pure paintings made in bright colors. Most of the paintings are based on mythological stories. Among them, royal rides and epic characters predominate.

Looking at these pictures reminded me of the murals of Tambekar Wada .

cinnamon bowls

Although you can buy bowls made of wood, the smooth white and cinnamon colored bowls are very beautiful and unique. According to the seller, the bark of the cinnamon tree is first separated from the stem for the cinnamon spice. After this, these bowls are colored with the dust from the inner part of the stem.

A bowl colored with cinnamon, Sri Lanka’s main spice, is a unique symbol of Sri Lanka, and a perfect souvenir for you.


Sri Lanka is famous for textiles. You can buy your favorite clothes from Odell and many such big shops.


Elephants are found in abundance in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankans are proud of their elephants. That is why pictures, figures, sculptures etc. of elephants are visible everywhere. Elephant related souvenirs that you can buy are-

  • Elephants made of yarn and cotton are great gifts for babies.
  • Elephant shaped gems for gem connoisseurs.
  • Attractive Gaj sculptures and statues made from Gaj bones.
  • Statues made by carving wood.
  • Wooden decorative items with elephant images engraved on them.
  • Elephant magnets to stick on the fridge.
  • Unique paper made from yard waste which also protects the environment.

Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Sri Lanka

  • Bargaining when purchasing in Sri Lanka is extremely important. Marked prices on items may be many times the original price. Although we are often unaware of the limits of bargaining, still try to negotiate as much as possible.
  • Lakshaala is a retail store established by the Government of Sri Lanka with branches available all over Sri Lanka. The price of souvenirs available in this store is fixed. You can purchase your desired items without any worries from here.
  • There is a huge shop called “Barefoot” and many similar shops where specially made items are available. But these things are more valuable.

Most of the above souvenirs are also available at the airports of Sri Lanka. Although their prices are high and bargaining is not easy. However, in case of shortage of time, souvenirs can be purchased from here also.