Sri Lanka has a wealth of artistic traditions and you’ll find excellent crafts at modest prices in Galle fort and the town itself. Although fixed pricing is creeping in it’s worth bargaining for the best price. Be aware you’ll need an antique export licence for objects more than 50 years old.
Galle itself is Sri Lanka’s lacemaking centre – a craft bought here by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The Shoba Display Gallery on Pedlar Street showcases the work of local lacemakers.
At Ambalangoda, Sri Lankan mask workshops are open to visitors, including the Ariyapala and Sons Mask Museum and Southland Masks, close by at 353 Main Road.
Lacquer bowls originate from Matale near Kandy but are now found everywhere. Look for premium work finished with lac, a resinous substance secreted by insects.
Shop for colourful batiks. And if you wish to have clothes made by the excellent local tailors ask our staff for recommendations.
Ceylon Tea and spices make excellent souvenirs. Sri Lanka is a major producer of cinnamon, chili powder, saffron, turmeric and cloves, which can be purchased from grocery stores.
Precious stones are another value buy, including aquamarines, tourmalines, topaz, garnets, amethysts, rubies and sapphires. Choose a dealer or shop belonging to the Sri Lanka Gem Traders’ Association.
If you need assistance in arranging a shopping trip please ask our team.