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“Good to see this place, but just once”
Review of Pettah

Pettah
Ranked #33 of 151 things to do in Colombo
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Owner description: Shoppers will find plenty of bargains in this area of street merchants.
Reviewed January 25, 2014

Pettah market is a place which every traveller visiting Colombo should not miss. There is nothing to buy for tourists as local people sell really every rubbish, but mummery of this place is a good experience.

2  Thank Petr_Stich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (210)
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122 - 126 of 210 reviews

Reviewed January 11, 2014

An open-air market in the center of Colombo. You can buy various goods here, including local products and food. If you are person who likes walking in a hustle and bustle of whole streets dedicated to selling a particular type of merchandise, from local handicrafts to fresh produce. Definitely Pettah Market is for you.

The markets will not be to everybody's taste, Pettah is a sensory overload and the sheer quantity of merchandise, and crowds of people, make it difficult to find good quality items. Bargaining is essential as foreigners tend to be overcharged. The quoted price will be at least double what locals would be expected to pay. Beware of pickpockets!

6  Thank Fawmy85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2014

This is a local market... you can get everything here from plugs to sandals etc. But if you're looking for souvenirs, then this is not the place for you. You can get great souvenirs at any Odel. This market is more for buying random stuff like plugs, shoes, socks, belts etc.

4  Thank itsmyworld28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

We went for a quick walk there on our way to a mosque. This is a very crowded place with not many things to buy from there, especially if you are looking for souvenirs.

1  Thank walid m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Spent over an hour walking through the Federation of Self Employees Market (FOSE) in Pettah. This consists, from what I could see, of three new hanger style buildings with open sides.

One was chock-a-block with stalls selling all types of items. Clothes on hangers, in bales or simple in piles, shoes, sox, belts, electronic goods, DVDs, tools, baubles, broaches, bangles and maybe even pearls.

Pettah is where Sri Lankans come when they want to buy something at the cheapest possible price. It is the antithesis of Odels. Sellers and buyers haggle and the noise is constant yet not overpowering. Prices asked of foreigners are four to five time what the seller would normally expect so if you do not bargain you deserve to be ripped off. Do not expect quality.

The second building housed sellers of every conceivable variety of fruits and vegetables. Heaps of green chilies, carrots, cauliflowers, gourds and aborigines of all shapes and sizes to name just a few, join with the mangos, pawpaws, wood apple, pineapples, passion fruits and other tropical fruits to present an artist’s palette of color and textures to tempt the most discerning cook.

There are also a few sellers of spices and even one or two selling dried salted fish which are a popular delicacy not just here in Sri Lanka but throughout the region. I see that some reviewers have turned up their noses and that the vendor was burning incense sticks. But lets face it, this market is a garden of roses compared to the salt and dry fish markets of the SE Asia.

And speaking of smells, I found a fruit vendor selling Sri Lankan durians. I bought one and tried it on the spot but sad to say it was no match to its relatives grown in Vietnam, Thailand or Malaysia.

The third building was not occupied when I visited. This is not one of the greatest markets I have visited but if you are in Pettah it is worth visiting.

2  Thank ditsywitsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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