Shopping in Nuwara Eliya is rather low-key, but if you know where to look, you can still enjoy some retail therapy and hunt down something unique and exotic to bring back home from this Sri Lankan hideaway. Nuwara Eliya is also one of the few parts of Sri Lanka where both locals and holiday-makers can shop for warm clothes. Check out our insider tips on where to go shopping in Nuwara Eliya!
1. Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre
Macwoods Labookellies Tea Centre is a tea plantation with an eye-catching Hollywood-style sign towering above the emerald green tea trails. One of the largest tea centres in the region, Macwoods Labookellies attracts customers by offering guided tours around the factory and allowing guests to witness the process of harvesting and processing tea. You can also sample some of the finest tea you’ve ever tasted and of course, purchase some to take back home with you.
2. Bale Bazaar
Bale Bazaar, also known as ‘Winter Marker’ among locals, justifies its nickname by offering a wide selection of high-quality winter wear at a superb value. Local Nuwara Eliya residents often shop here, as the temperature in the region may occasionally drop to +10 degrees Celsius. Tourists living in northern countries with harsh winters often find this local market an awesome place to replenish their wardrobes with new pieces at a great value.
3. Jessica Factory Outlet
A few metres away from the Bale Bazaar you will find another decent local store, Jessica Factory Outlet. This store sells a wide selection of inexpensive clothes from local and international brands. Crammed full of kids’ wear and clothes for men and women, the outlet also stocks some discounted items, which might have suffered minor damage, so make sure you double check the clothing before making a purchase.
4. Laksala Gifts
Laksala Gifts is set in the centre of Nuwara Eliya and offers a good selection of bargain-priced traditional Sri Lankan gifts and souvenirs, including wood carvings, handicrafts, silk products, sarongs, leather products and tea. Laksala Gifts is a great place for souvenir shopping in Nuwara Eliya.
5. The Grand Hotel Shopping Gallery
The Grand Hotel Shopping Gallery features a couple of souvenir shops where you pick up some quality (and a bit pricey) souvenirs. Traditional Sri Lankan masks and handicrafts, hand-carved wooden elephants and Buddha images, silk scarves and jewellery are only a few of the items available at the sophisticated Grand Hotel boutiques.