Timings : 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM on all days except Sunday
The Pettah Market or Manning Market is an open market in the suburb of Pettah in the city of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Being one of Colombo's busiest places, the area may seem a little chaotic at first glance but if you know what to get on which street then you are going to walk out with some cool stuff at surprisingly low prices. One can find a wide range of goods right from electronics to fashion accessories and market vendors selling anything from fresh vegetables, fruits to meat and seafood.
Pettah Market is a popular shopping area of both locals and foreign travellers as they take back a wide range of cheap stuff. We have thus tried to put together a guide to Pettah market here to make sure you take full advantage of this shopping destination.
Muslims dominate most of the businesses in Pettah, they specialize in trading of goods and some are hawkers and small shop owners while the Tamil people who migrated from India specialize in the trade of gold and also own jewellery shops. Many new shops keep popping up every other day. Apart from these, at the end of Pettah, there lies Sea Street, which is Sri Lanka's gold market and attracts buyers of gold jewellery from all around Sri Lanka. It is a long street of jewellery shops with hundreds of shops next to one another.
1. Olcott Mawatha
Clothes and accessories like good jackets, bags, sunglasses at cheap rates (it's next to 2nd cross-street).
2. Front Street (Malwatta Road)
Here you'll find the old Victoria Building of 1929 and can shop for some good quality leather bags and shoes, fabulous watches, luggage, Batik Centre for camera equipment, shiny bangles, etc.
3. Prince Street
Famous for selling Electronics, light fittings, fake wigs, toys, wallets, carrom boards and checkers boards. Fancy Mahal shop sells Eastern cologne and the Dutch museum - a quiet space with an old and shaky staircase and green garden.
4. 1st Cross Street
Mobile phones, mobile covers, mobile batteries - you name it, other electronics.
5. 2nd Cross Street
Cotton and shiny sarees ranging as low as 150LKR, leggings and other clothing shops. You'll find vendors selling achcharu (pickled veggies) at the junction with Keyzer street.
6. 3rd Cross Street
Here we mostly find retail and wholesale shops along with big textiles shops.
7. 4th Cross Street
A trading street with onions, potatoes and spices everywhere in bulk and a small shop selling paan. The main street in case you need banks or ATMs; has large showrooms; A shop for craft equipment and materials called sequins is quite known in this area. One can also find shops selling coats, suits, umbrellas and raincoats, luggage bags, leather.
8. China Street
Shop for party items like hats, wrap, banners, balloons, candles etc. and chinaware
9. Maliban Street
Wedding cards, special paper for art and craft, gift wrap and heaters.
10. Bankshall Street
Artificial flowers of all kinds, surgical equipment and chemicals (Spectrolab/ Geekay), official uniforms; Oriental Saloon for an inexpensive haircut, Colorcraft Center for all your art equipment.
11. Khan Clocktower
The clocktower, Expographics bookshop from the 1980s where you get an extensive collection of textbooks.
12. Bodhiraja Mawatha
A small area near main Olcott Mawatha, sells toy cars, kids' bracelets, colourful junk jewellery, phone memory cards and there’s a spooky Old Town Hall with a museum inside. You will also find some beautiful ancient architecture from the Dutch period on the roads.
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