Pettah is the very definition of a melting pot. For the various hues of culture in Sri Lanka and beyond decent bargains, Pettah is where you want to head to.
Mode of transport – Walking. The streets of Pettah are better explored on foot and with a camera. The Streets and What They Sell.
Olcott Mawatha – an array of stores that sells clothing items and some attractive looking fake ray bans.
Front Street (Malwatta Road) – for a few tasty snacks and drinks, check in to Indramalee Hotel Cream. On this road, there are vendors selling quality leather goods including baggage and shoes. Interesting enough there is shop called Batik Center that sells Camera equipment instead of Batiks.
Prince Street – is where you can get a further culture fix. The Dutch Museum is located here and gives you an insight to colonial interior décor and architecture. There is a shop called Fancy Mahal that sells a wide range of Middle Eastern perfumes.
1st Cross Street – the hall of electronics, but mostly a ton of mobile phones and accessories can be easily found here. There are some odds and ends like Postman’s Market that sells a number of rare stuff. For a sweet thirst quencher, there is a Bombay Sweet and they have a really good Faluda
2nd Cross Street – a haven for all saree lovers, there is vast range of sarees here. varying from price to type and quality, any of your saree requirements can be found here. The famous red mosque is also found on this road, and right opposite the mosque is a street food vendor selling hot hot Isso Wade. If your palette is craving for the tropical and tangy, there is an Achcharu guy right around the corner with cases of the achcharu.
3rd Cross Street – a bunch of textile shops here…
4th Cross Street – for a one of a kind architectural experience and perhaps an insight in to recent history.
5th Cross Street – Fruits and snack bars that serves good-for-the-price biriyani. In the months of June and August, you can dig in to a fleshy and sweet fruit like Rambutan.
Main Street – A larger display of things can be found here. Clothes, shoes, baggage, umbrellas…
China Street – your party street. Not in the literal sense. But for really great party décor – this is the street where you want to stroll in…
Maliban Street – every bride in Colombo swears by Maliban Street. Almost all kinds of wedding related stationary can be found here for really really cheap!
Bankshall Street – quirky would be an apt way of describing this street. You get surgical equipment here, arts and craft stores, a button shop and a saloon for great conversation and a smooth shave.
Bodhiraja Mawatha – cleverly concealed by rows of colourful plastic shops, this road is miss-able. But do not miss it. You get an astounding amount of clothing for even less than two Euros.