Arcade Independence Square

The colonial style shopping complex known as the Arcade Independence Square is a testament to urban development in Colombo and has become a landmark in Colombo 7 for many individuals yearning to go on a shopping spree, have some authentic Sri Lankan cuisine or even just hang out and catch up with some friends.

Best Known For

Shopping and Retail:

  • With many renowned retail outlets setting up shop at the iconic Arcade Independence Square shopping precinct, it is a haven for the shopaholic of all types.
  • The shopping precinct is also known for its exquisite restaurants like Kaema Sutra, serving the best of authentic Sri Lankan cuisine and also the not so exquisite ones like Burger King.
  • Arcade Independence Square also hosts many social gatherings and events too.
  • Sri Lanka’s premier 3D cineplex, ‘The Empire Cineplex’ is another well-noted feature of the shopping precinct that has enticed many moviegoers by screening many blockbuster hits.
  • On a lesser note, the Arcade Independence Square is known for its elaborate colonial style architecture garnished with a few modern touches to make it functional in the contemporary period.

Interesting Facts

  • The iconic creation has an interesting origin story in that the shopping precinct initially was built for the psychologically unbalanced.
  • The building was constructed in 1889 to serve as the Jawatte Lunatic asylum, however, ever since the building of the new asylum in Angoda (outskirts of Colombo) in 1926, the modern shopping precinct was used for many other purposes.
  • It served as a University College, later occupied by the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), the Public Administration’s Department, the Auditor General’s Department and later the Government Analyst’s Department before it was eventually converted into the shopping precinct that everyone loves.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The Arcade Independence Square is opened throughout the year and is occupied almost the entire time with university students and the occasional tourists.
  • The best time to visit the precinct is during the weekend evenings where the atmosphere is just perfect to reminisce about the week.
  • Please make sure you keep the surroundings clean and adhere to the rules set by the administration of the precinct due to its close association with the Independence memorial hall just a few meters away from the precinct.
  • Just think of the Arcade Independence square as a colonial - Georgian house with the functionalities that serve the 21st century, with many branded shops and entertainment facilities that cater to a consumerist society.
Title image by: KNOWSL The information displayed is provided by Arcade Independence Square


Social and Relaxation

Shopping and Retail

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