The Best Markets to Visit in Sri Lanka

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One of the joys of traveling is visiting local markets. There is nothing better than shopping for the ingredients necessary for a family meal with a local.

Markets hold the secrets of the culture, all the little bits and pieces that hold communities together. These are the best ones to visit in Sri Lanka.

New Town Weekend Market

The ancient city of Anuradhapura is a major tourist destination for its temples and religious festivities. Anuradhapura has a “new town” on the outskirts of the ancient city. One of the greatest attractions in the new town is the Weekend Market, a fresh respite from the hot stones of the temples and hot climate of the cultural tr-angel. In this market you can find lots of ingredients for traditional Ayurvedic medicine.

The Galle Fish Market is next to the beach right before the Galle Fort. The actual market is in front of the beach but behind it sprawls the rest of the Galle Market. This market is good for a ride by in a tuk-tuk on the way to and from Galle Fort and Unawatuna. You can see the fishermen working on their nets at any time of day on the beach in front of the market.

Galle Fish Market

Pettah Market

The largest and most famous market in Colombo, and Sri Lanka is Pettah Market. Not only a fresh produce market, Pettah Market is a collection of street blocks with maddening traffic, noise and haggling. Not surprising for a street market right? The biggest tip for when visiting Pettah Market is to take a tuk-tuk or taxi to the edge of the market and then walk in to discover all the little shops and goodies. It’s best to go to Pettah in a group and preferably not as a lone woman – Sri Lankan’s love to stare and most of the Pettah workers are men.

Contact for a day tour : Colombo city tours +9477 301 7091

The Kala Pola Art Market is a roadside collection of talented artists selling decorative paintings and occasionally photography. The themes in the paintings are mostly Sri Lankan ideography, landscapes and lots of elephants. This little art market is on the sidewalk across the Viharamadehi Park and next to the back entrance of the Colombo National Museum. Definitely worth a look if you’re in the area.

Kala pola Market

Good Market

The Good Market is the place to go for organic produce, natural products and more eco/health choices. The flagship store opens every day and the large scale market with lots of vendors is on Saturday mornings in the racecourse parking lot. Already an institution in Colombo, and occasionally in Galle and Kandy, the Good Market is a nice way to spend Saturday morning.

Contact Good Market : +94 77 020 8642

Less than an hour from Colombo heading north, is the fishing area of Negombo. The Negombo Fish Market is especially memorable since it’s right on the beach. Fishermen sell fresh fish as well as dried fish that they lay on huge nets to dry in the sun. Weekday mornings can get pretty chaotic and weekends are almost empty.

Contact Negombo Fish Market : +94777260063

Negombo Fish Market

Jaffna Market

A proper small town market full of local products, perfect for curious travelers and photographers alike. Northern spices, all sorts of Palmyrah products from honey to homeware made from the leaves, and lots of local sweets and colorful cordial drinks. Jaffna itself is the main place to visit when in the north of Sri Lanka, and seeing its market is an unmissable activity.

See on Maps : Chundukuli Jaffna, Northern Province, Sri Lanka

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