Updated 13 Nov 2018
When you’re visiting a new country on holiday, your top priority is likely to take in as much of the culture, the attractions and adventure that is available in that country. Of course you will try and document your holiday with as many pictures as you can get (or just a few special ones). But once the holiday is over and you’re about to come back home, you would want to get something for your family from your trip too. Or you might feel like the pictures are not enough and you need something a bit more tangible that reminds you of your fabulous holiday.
Don’t fret, we have put together the 10 best souvenirs you can take home to remind you of the wonders of Sri Lanka, the paradise island.
Although this list is not in any specific order, tea is definitely a souvenir you should take back from Sri Lanka. Ceylon, as it was called in the colonial times is world renowned for its tea. There are a wide variety of flavours to choose from.
Where to find it: You can find tea pretty much everywhere in Sri Lanka. I personally prefer to buy my tea (even for gifting) from the supermarket. But if you want to buy from professionals, I would suggest places like Dilma Tea Lounge or Sri Lanka Tea Board shop.
One of the reasons the Europeans and British came to Sri Lanka was in search of the elusive, expensive and very exclusive Ceylon Cinnamon. Spices were therefore a very big deal in this small island and they still are. You will never forget Sri Lankan spices after you have tasted some Sri Lankan food! So how ideal would it to be take some of that flavor back home.
Where to find it: Again I would suggest the supermarket. The spice section gives you a wide array of spices to choose from (E.g. Turmeric, Pepper, Chilie, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves). Many of the souvenir shops also carry spices in cute packaging in case all you want is to display the spices. You could also try some of the bigger stores like Laksala or Odel.
It would be impossible to not have seen an elephant in Sri Lanka, whether in the wild or tamely walking on the road by its mahout.
Where to find it: pretty much everywhere. I would suggest Paradise Road shop for funky elephant gifts.
Sri Lanka has some really classy ceramics that are locally made, with interesting designs incorporating local culture.
Where to find it: the Noritake store from some classy ceramics and the Paradise Road shop for some more alternative products.
The devil mask is a traditional wooden mask used in rituals in the south of Sri Lanka (mainly Ambalangoda). There rituals are meant to ward off evil spirits, which might be a good reason to take one home.
Where to find it: again, these are pretty popular and you can find it in many places. I would suggest Laksala which has a wide choice of designs.
Sri Lanka is known for the blue sapphire, one which is found on the engagement ring of the Duchess of Cambridge and on the crown of Queen Elisabeth II. Recently, the world’s biggest blue sapphire (almost the size of a man’s palm) was also found in Sri Lanka.
Where to find it: there are many places in tourist towns like Galle or Kandy where you can find gems, but in Colombo, I would suggest Colombo Jewelry Stores for those willing to spend extra for quality and design.
Handloom fabric has such vibrant exotic colours that are a perfect representations of life in Sri Lanka.
Where to find it: best options are Barefoot, Kandygs and Selyn.
Batik fabric is made by a dying technique involving applying wax to a whole or part of a fabric. Although not unique to Sri Lanka, there are many beautiful batik designs and designers in Sri Lanka.
Where to find it: Laksala for some cheaper options and Buddhi Batiks and Sonali at Park Street Mews for fashion clothing.
You would have seen many people wearing sarongs all over Sri Lanka. Although it is mainly worn by Sri Lankan men, the sarong can be a unisex garment ideal for beach wear!
Where to find it: Barefoot, Odel, Selyn among others.
Ayurvedic beauty products
Ayurveda is a traditional healing system practiced by Ayurveda doctors in Sri Lanka. This craft has been passed on to them through the generations. Lately, there are more local brands selling products using these age old remedies, and they are a perfect gift for your loved ones.
Where to find it: I would suggest Odel, Spa Ceylon and Kemara.
Happy Shopping! Here are some of the popular shopping places in Colombo, click on the place marker to get the address:
You may be interested: Sri Lanka Travel Tips for First-Timers
See our villas in Sri Lanka. Inspected and selected by Villa-Finder.com.
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