Fish for sale at a road side stall.

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Federation of Self Employees Market

Top choice in Colombo

The concentrated and manic commerce of Pettah is concentrated even further in its markets. Stretching along 5th Cross St, this don't-miss market is a hive of household goods interspersed with artful displays of fruit and veg, such as towering pyramids of limes. Garish toys add colour.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Colombo attractions

1. Potato Warehouse

0.07 MILES

If you can dodge the teeming mass of load-carrying labourers for a moment, it pays to look up as you explore Pettah. Case in point is this old potato…

2. Manning Market

0.13 MILES

Just east of Fort train station, Manning Market is ripe with everything grown in Sri Lanka. It’s the city’s wholesale fruit and veg centre and is a monkey…

3. Dutch Period Museum

0.16 MILES

This unique museum was originally the 17th-century residence of the Dutch governor and has since been used as a Catholic seminary, a military hospital, a…

4. Old City Hall

0.19 MILES

Dating to 1865, this municipal building from the British era is mostly empty today, save for some old trucks and municipal equipment on display in the…

5. Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque

0.21 MILES

In the heart of Pettah, the decorative 1909 Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque is a show-stopper with its candy-striped red-and-white brickwork. Guards will usually let…

6. Pettah Floating Market

0.25 MILES

A perfect example of how quickly Colombo is changing: what was an industrial canal has been reborn as a waterfront district with simple cafes, food…

7. Central Market

0.28 MILES

In a modern multistorey building, this market lacks the vibrant charm of Pettah's other market offerings.