Call us today on 020 7644 1755

Sri Lanka - Frequently Asked Questions

Table of contents

  1. When is the best time to go?
  2. Do you need a visa?
  3. How can I get there?
  4. What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
  5. What is there to see and do?
  6. Where are the best beaches?
  7. Is it cheap to eat out?
  8. 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.

Back

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.

Back

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.

Back

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.

Back

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.

Back

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.

Back

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.

Back

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.

Back

Sri Lanka Holidays Browse all

Best Value

From £619 per person
citrus waskaduwa

Citrus Waskaduwa

Stay in a world of luxury and comfort at Citrus Waskaduwa, a fantastic beach retreat with top of the range amenities and...

From £669 per person
avani bentota

Avani Bentota

Take a trip to Sri Lanka and enjoy the warm hospitality at Avani Bentota. It is a resort located along the popular...

From £679 per person
hibiscus beach hotel

Hibiscus Beach Hotel

Set upon Sri Lanka’s southern coast, the Hibiscus Beach Hotel offers tranquillity and seclusion at an affordable price....

From £689 per person
mermaid hotel and club

Mermaid Hotel and Club

Discover a world of peace and relaxation at the all-inclusive Mermaid Hotel Club in the gorgeous Kalutura Beach, Sri...

From £719 per person
royal palms

Royal Palms

Escape into the arms of one of Sri Lanka's most picturesque towns and live the sun-drenched holiday of your dreams....

From £729 per person
avani bentota + sheraton abu dhabi hotel and resort

Avani Bentota + Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort

Avani Bentota is set in eight acres of lush frangipanis and coconut palms by the golden sands of Bentota. This hotel...

Talk to a specialist

alexandra

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 News

Browse all Sri Lanka News

Movenpick Hotel Colombo marks Movenpick's entry in Sri Lanka

Movenpick Hotels & Resorts has marked its entry into Sri Lanka with the launch of a new hotel in the city of Colombo. The five-star Mövenpick Hotel Colombo hotel has 219 guest rooms and suites, as well as upscale facilities including seven dining outlets, a rooftop bar, a rooftop swimming pool, a spa, a fitness centre, and five meeting rooms and a boardroom.

Sri Lanka records more than two millions international visitors in 2016

Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka exceeded the two million target in 2016, according to John Amaratunga, the country’s Tourism Development Minister. The island received more 2.2 million visitors in the last 12 months, and the Minister is expecting more than $3.5 billion in revenues generated by tourism. Arrivals in November, 2015 increased by 16 per cent compared to the same month in 2015.

Shangri-La Hambantota Resort and Spa in Sri Lanka launches local nature tours

The new luxury Shangri-La Hambantota Resort & Spa on Sri Lanka’s southern coast has announced a series of adventure tours and experiences for its guests to explore the island’s rich wildlife and natural wonders.