Sri Lanka - Frequently Asked Questions
Table of contents
- When is the best time to go?
- Do you need a visa?
- How can I get there?
- What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
- What is there to see and do?
- Where are the best beaches?
- Is it cheap to eat out?
- Do I need any vaccinations ahead of travel or do I need malaria tablets?
When is the best time to go?
Sri Lanka is an all-year-round destination, as complex weather patterns mean that there's always a stretch of the island's coast that's dry and warm. There are two main monsoon seasons, one that hits the south-western coast between May and August and another that affects the north and east from October to January. That said, the busiest period in Sri Lanka is from December to March, when the popular south coast is accessible and when tourists flock here to enjoy its glorious beaches. This is also the best time of year to visit the inland hill country.
Do you need a visa?
Anyone wishing to visit Sri Lanka (except Singaporean, Maldivian and Seychelles citizens) needs to apply for a visa before travelling to the country. The process can be completed online and is straightforward. You'll receive a 30-day tourist visa, which costs US$30 (equivalent to £19 approximately). Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from your date of entry to Sri Lanka.
How can I get there?
There are regular direct flights from the UK to Sri Lanka, with British Airways and Sri Lankan Airlines both offering nonstop services to the Indian Ocean island. The flight takes around 11 hours from London to Sri Lanka's capital of Colombo. Other carriers, including Emirates and Etihad, offer flights with one stop.
What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
The local currency is the Sri Lankan rupee and it's easy to change US dollars, Euros or Sterling once you arrive in the country, either through a money changer or a bank. There are also plenty of ATMs, especially in Colombo and other major cities. MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted in most tourist areas, while Amex and Diners Club can also be used in some places.
What is there to see and do?
Sri Lanka is an incredibly varied country, with a lot of amazing attractions. It is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the impressive Sigiriya rock fortress and the ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura. There are also some fantastic national parks in Sri Lanka, such as Horton Plains and Yalla, where you have the chance to spot leopards, among other exciting animal species. There's also the opportunity to get up close to elephants by visiting one of the sanctuaries that looks after these beautiful animals. Along Sri Lanka's coast are some of the world's most picturesque beaches - think golden sweeps of sand fringed by palm trees. In the capital, Colombo, you'll find an interesting mix of colonial buildings and a cosmopolitan city with some excellent shopping malls - look out for Odel and Barefoot if you want authentic Sri Lankan wares.
Where are the best beaches?
Although there are stunning beaches all along Sri Lanka's coast, many of its most beautiful - and most developed for tourism - are located on the southern coast. The likes of Beruwala, Bentota and Galle are among those regularly named as the top stretches of sand in the country.
Is it cheap to eat out?
There's a lot of variety on Sri Lanka's restaurant scene, particularly in Colombo. It can be very cheap to eat out here if you stick to local establishments. Visiting these eateries will also give you the chance to sample delicious and authentic - but often very spicy - Sri Lankan dishes.
Do I need any vaccinations ahead of travel or do I need malaria tablets?
Many of the usual travel vaccinations are recommended before visiting Sri Lanka, including hepatitis A and B, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, typhoid, TB, Japanese encephalitis and rabies. If you're unsure of what you need, visit your doctor well in advance of travelling. The only vaccination that's required under international law when visiting Sri Lanka is yellow fever if you're arriving from a country that has a risk of yellow fever transmission. There is also a slight risk of malaria in many parts of Sri Lanka, so it's advised that you take malaria tablets before, during and after your holiday.
Sri Lanka Holidays Browse all
Discover the beautiful Sri Lankan nature, located beside a perfect strech beach on the Island's West Coast
- Beautifully located beside a perfect stretch of sandy beach on the island's west coast
- Modern and comfortable rooms with breathtaking sea views
- Choose from the open air terrace offering delicious traditional and international cuisines
Located in Negombo, on the west coast of Sri Lanka, Club Dolphin offers a relaxing and comfortable stay at the heart of one of Asia's most diverse countries.
- Cottages are spread throughout the gardens and have air conditioning, mini fridge and cable TV
- Club Dolphin is set in acres of coconut groves, beside a golden sand beach and backing onto a canal
- The hotel has two pools, one activity pool and a quiet pool, with the main pool winding through the resort
Discover local life in a fishing village, explore rainforests, Temples and much more on Sri Lanka's West Coast, and enjoy great value for money
- All rooms include a balcony or terrace with either Partial Sea View or Ocean View
- Enjoy Yoga, Snooker, access to 2 Swimming Pools & much more
- Access to the Sahana Spa and leave your daily stress behind with the magical touch of various spa treatments
Enjoy a wonderful beachside haven of tranquillity, days of luxury and the chance to see the island's green hills carpeted by lush plantations
- All rooms feature a Balcony or Terrace with spectacular views
- Enjoy the huge selection of activities including Volleyball, Tennis, Squash & more
- Relax at the Ayurveda Wellness & Spa with the best quality services that will make your stay unforgettable
Enjoy the peace and quite with a good choice of amenities and great location to discover the world of Sri Lanka
- Warm atmosphere and chic design make for a comfortable stay
- Tripadvisor Award Winner with a certificate of excellence for 2015
- price includes free Half Board Upgrade
- Enjoy the amazing traditional and international cuisines presented in tempting a la carte menus and buffet style
Private tour visiting many great cities such as Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and Kandy
- English speaking chauffer guide for the Entire Round Tour
- Enjoy the game drive through Minneriya National Park which is a home to sambar deer, leopards and elephants and features the ancient Minneriya Tank
- The Highlights of Sri Lanka Private Tour showcases some of the most interesting cultural and historic sites in the world
Discover a world of peace and relaxation at the all-inclusive Mermaid Hotel Club in the gorgeous Kalutura Beach, Sri...
Sri Lanka has quietly become a leading tourist destination as tourists seek to soak up the sunshine that pours down on...
The Highlights of Sri Lanka Private Tour and Beach showcases some of the most cultural and historic sites in the world,...
Sri Lanka is the land of endless natural beauty, with ancient sight and cultural treasure, you'll be sure to embark on a...
This fantastic package allows you to discover the delights of the Superior Golden Triangle Tour where you will explore...
Surrounded by vast paddy fields and exceptional natural beauty, the Kithala Resort is a true tropical haven as one...
Set upon Sri Lanka’s southern coast, the Hibiscus Beach Hotel offers tranquillity and seclusion at an affordable price....
Perfectly situated on the longest beach in Sri Lanka, the Club Koggala Village is a true tropical paradise hotel....
Stay in a world of luxury and comfort at Citrus Waskaduwa, a fantastic beach retreat with top of the range amenities and...
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1755 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 21:00 GMT
Related articles for Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka NewsBrowse all Sri Lanka News
The new Kumu Beach hotel is set to open on Sri Lanka’s west coast in August 2017. The boutique resort will feature 10 luxury rooms overlooking Balapitiya beach and will join Teardrop Hotel’s portfolio of local high-end hotels that include The Wallawwa and Fort Bazaar.
Hilton Worldwide has revealed that it will manage six more hotels in Sri Lanka, expanding its portfolio in the country. Following a meeting between Senior Vice President of Hilton Jonas Neihardt and Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, the hotel group announced it will manage three Hilton Hotels & Resorts properties and three Double Tree by Hilton hotels in Sri Lanka.
Nine Jetwing hotels in Sri Lanka have been awarded the prestigious Carbon Footprint Certification from the Sri Lanka Climate Fund. Jetwing Blue, Jetwing St. Andrew's, Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions, Jetwing Lighthouse, Jetwing Beach, Jetwing Sea, Jetwing Lagoon, Jetwing Yala and Jetwing Vil Uyana were each recognised for their sustainable practices and energy-saving efforts.