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Sri Lanka Travel Fact File (January 2024)

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Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia. It lies in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bay of Bengal, separated from the Indian peninsula by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait.

Climate in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has two main seasons, the Maha season associated with the northeast monsoon (September – March) and the Yala season associated with the southwest monsoon (May – August). With an average temperature of around 27 – 28°C, Sri Lanka is one of the hottest countries in the world.

Time Difference in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is 4 hours and 30 minutes ahead of United Kingdom

Language in Sri Lanka

Sinhala – Official language.

Commonly Used Words in Sri Lanka

Hello = Ayubowan

Goodbye = Adios

Thank you = Bohoma Istuti

Please = Karunakara

Yes = Ovou

No = Néhé

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Which Plug Do I Need in Sri Lanka?

For Sri Lanka there are two associated plug types, types D and G. Plug type D is the plug which has three round pins in a triangular pattern and plug type G is the plug which has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern.

What is The Local Currency in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lankan Rupee £100 = 40,853.98 Sri Lankan Rupee (as of January 2024)

What Credit Cards Can I Use in Sri Lanka?

Credit cards are widely accepted in Sri Lanka, particularly Visa and Mastercard. This is true for cities, most towns and other touristed areas.

It’s illegal in Sri Lanka to make card transactions in a foreign currency so be sure to choose Sri Lankan rupee if given the choice. It’s worth mentioning that you’re heading overseas to your bank as some institutions will freeze your card after a suspect transaction. Be sure to carry some cash as you travel around Sri Lanka – there’s nothing worse than stumbling across a local restaurant that doesn’t take card and having no money on you.

Tipping in Sri Lanka

Tips are not included in the overall price of our treks and adventure trips, but most trekkers do tip their guides, porters, and cooks on the penultimate or final day of the trip. Tipping is a universal custom in adventure travel, but is not obligatory, so you should never feel forced into it, but it is a tradition on the trail. Tipping policies can be found through the Vamoos app for each individual trip.

Approximate Food & Drink Prices in Sri Lanka (January 2024)

Coke/Pepsi 188.83 Rs

Water 100.86 Rs

Coffee 637.69 Rs

Beer 800.00 Rs

Inexpensive Meal 850.00 Rs

Passport Validity for Sri Lanka

To enter Sri Lanka, your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the day you arrive.

Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.

You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen.

COVID-19 Requirements for Sri Lanka? (January 2024)

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Sri Lanka.

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Vaccination requirements for Sri Lanka (other than COVID-19)

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the vaccinations and certificates you need in TravelHealthPro’s Sri Lanka’s guide

Depending on your circumstances, this may include a yellow fever vaccination certificate.

Do I Need a Visa for Sri Lanka? (January 2024)

Tourist visas are normally valid for 30 days. If you overstay your visa you could be fined or detained by the police. 

You must follow the guidelines for tourists issued by Sri Lanka’s Immigration and Emigration department

Applying for a visa 

You can get and pay for a Sri Lanka ‘Electronic Travel Authorisation’ (ETA) online, a few days before you arrive. You should get your approval notice within 24 hours, and you can use this to enter Sri Lanka. 

You can also get a 30-day tourist visa on arrival if you land at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. It costs 60 US dollars, which is 10 US dollars more than the ETA. 

You can complete an online arrival form 3 days before arriving in Sri Lanka. The service is free and may save time when you arrive.

If you want to stay for more than 30 days, up to 180 days, you need to apply online as you cannot apply on arrival. 

If you want to extend your visa, contact the Immigration and Emigration department

You do not need a visa if you’re travelling through Sri Lanka by air, as long as the connecting flight is within 24 hours of your arrival. Check with your airline about transit times. 

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