Sri Lanka Travel Guide

Continent: Asia
Region: South Asia, Asia
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Sri Lanka Travel Essentials

Ideal Duration: 7-10 days for exploring Colombo, Kandy, and Sigiriya; longer for a more relaxed exploration of beaches and historical sites

Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)

Best Time: December to March (Dry season for most regions) Read More

Visa Policy for Indians:
ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) required

Visa Policy for Other Nationals:
ETA required for many countries

Getting In Sri Lanka:
Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo, Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (HRI) in Hambantota Read More

Getting Around Sri Lanka:
Buses, trains, tuk-tuks, rental cars Read More

"A Land Like No Other"

Sri Lanka Tourism

Sri Lanka is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean known for its spectacular beaches, thousand-year-old Buddhist temples, abundance of wildlife, and rich archaeological history. The plethora of water sports, breathtaking sunsets, sprawling tea gardens, and mouth-watering Sri Lankan food will surely make you fall in love with this gorgeous place. 

Rich in culture, Sri Lanka is an intriguing blend of well-preserved local traditions amalgamated with rapid urbanization. Ancient cities like Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya are UNESCO World Heritage Sites dotted across the country that showcase impressive archaeological ruins, including towering stupas, ancient palaces, and intricately carved temples. The Cultural Triangle, encompassing these destinations, is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

Sri Lanka has breathtaking landscapes ranging from golden beaches and lush tea plantations to misty mountains and dense jungles. The island's coastline stretches for approximately 1,340 kilometers (832 miles) and is dotted with palm-fringed beaches, turquoise waters, and vibrant coral reefs. The central highlands, including the famous Ella and the Knuckles Mountain Range region, offer stunning views, trekking opportunities, and a cool climate.

Being a biodiversity hotspot, Sri Lanka has several national parks and wildlife reserves, such as Yala National Park, Wilpattu National Park, and Udawalawe National Park. Additionally, the island is known for its marine life, and visitors can enjoy whale watching in Mirissa or diving and snorkeling along the stunning coral reefs. The scenic tea plantations of Sri Lanka are also major attractions. The hill country, particularly around Nuwara Eliya and Ella, offers picturesque landscapes of rolling hills covered in neatly manicured tea bushes. Take scenic train rides through these tea-covered hills and indulge in high-quality Ceylon tea while enjoying breathtaking views.

Sri Lanka is renowned for its Ayurvedic practices and wellness retreats. Pamper yourself with Ayurvedic treatments, yoga, meditation, and spa therapies. Immerse yourself in Sri Lanka's vibrant culture by participating in cultural activities such as traditional dance performances, learning to cook Sri Lankan cuisine, visiting local markets, and interacting with friendly locals.

Must Know Before You Travel to Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka has stabilized somewhat since the widespread shortages and large demonstrations and protests in mid-2022. However, it still continues to have a shortage of resources from time to time, like medicine, fuel, and specific food items. However, most hotels, restaurants, private hospitals, and grocery stores have supplies.
  • Power outages can also occur, and power services like transport and healthcare may be impacted. However, most tourist facilities have backup generators. A fuel pass is available for tourists to secure a fuel supply.
  • The Sri Lankan military has a strong presence in the North and East, including the Jaffna Peninsula. Military and police checkpoints can be set up abruptly at any point.
  • Always carry photographic identification with you
  • Monitor local media for regular updates and adjust plans, if required
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds
  • Opening Time: Most businesses are open from Monday to Friday between 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Many museums shut on Fridays, while Hindu temples stay open from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Buddhist temples generally stay open from dawn until dusk or later.
  • Photography: Many stilt fishermen and tea pickers expect to be paid for photographing them. Posing with images of Buddha is not allowed. Also, photography is not permitted inside Hindu temples.
  • Dress respectfully when visiting the sacred sites in Sri Lanka. Cover your shoulders and knees.
  • Sri Lanka is a budget-friendly place to visit. A budget of LKR 10,000-13,000 per day should be sufficient.
  • Carrying coral, shells, or other protected marine products from Sri Lanka is prohibited.
  • Scams: Stay away if a stranger offers to ship you a parcel of tea or invite you to a special elephant festival

Sri Lanka Travel Packages

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Best time to visit Sri Lanka

The best time to visit Sri Lanka is from December to March in the West and South and April/May to September is the East Coast.  Sri Lanka receives two different monsoon seasons at diff (Read More)erent times. So, it implies that where one part of the country is wet, the other can be dry simultaneously. The coastal parts of Sri Lanka have an average temperature of 25 to 30 degrees Celcius throughout the year, while the highlands have a temperature of 15 to 18 degrees Celcius.

Sri Lanka experiences two monsoon seasons – Yala and Maha. The Yala monsoon season is around May till August and affects the southwestern part of the country. The Maha monsoon season in Sri Lanka goes from October to January and affects the northeastern parts.

Top places to visit in Sri Lanka by month

Holidify's opinion on Travel to Sri Lanka

What's Great?

  • Great beaches.
  • Religious and historical sites
  • Rich wildlife
  • Accomodation and transport are relatively affordable
  • Rich traditional values

What's Not So Great?

  • Pickpocketing and small thefts are common
  • The Road network is not in the best condition in many areas
  • Liquor laws are strict in majority areas

For Whom?

  • Beach lovers
  • Cultural heritage and history enthusiasts
  • Honeymooners
  • Budget travellers

Read More on Sri Lanka Travel

Exchanging Money in Sri Lanka

MasterCard and Visa cards are widely accepted. We recommend caution when paying by credit card due to the potential for fraud. Major cities have ATMs, although not all will accept international cards. It is advisable to carry cash at hand while travelling.

Nightlife in Sri Lanka

Since the country is just growing out of the war, nightlife is still in its infancy. In the capital city of Columbo, the party culture is emerging with night pubs and bars, lounges and discotheques. Apart from that, in other places, most hotels have bars.
Read more about Nightlife in Sri Lanka

Shopping in Sri Lanka

Special purchases in Sri Lanka include handicraft items made of silver, brass, bone, ceramics, terracotta, and wood. Cane baskets, straw hats, reed and coir mats, spices, and tea have been highly demeaned among tourists. There are a lot of options, such as bazaars, markets, boutiques, and malls where you can shop.
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Festivals of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka hosts a number of festivals, such as Navam Perehara, Hot Air Balloon festivals, Musicfestivals and Film Festivals, Beach Festivals, Fashion Festivals and religious festivals such as Sinhalese New Year.

Hygiene in Sri Lanka

Special precautions need to be taken for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Typhoid. Water, milk, fruits and other consumables must be safe and clean before consumption. It is advised to take comprehensive travel insurance. Hospitals are abundant, some hotels may have doctors, but medical practice standards are low compared to Western medicine standards.

Food of Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan food is spicy, with rice and curry as staple food. But you can always ask for less spicy options when you are ordering your food. Thambili, the juice from King Coconut, is very refreshing. It's sold on the side of streets throughout the island.
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Photos of Sri Lanka

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FAQs on Sri Lanka

How to reach Sri Lanka from India?

Indians can reach Sri Lanka by air. A number of airlines fly daily from major cities of India to Colombo.


Your rating

Shreyas Kapoor

5 years ago
Sri Lanka is a very clean and a beautiful country. I visited Galle, Mirissa, Ella, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Sigiriya and Colombo in June. The beaches were quite empty (because of offseason), beautiful an (Read More)d clean. The mountains were mesmerising and the history related to the country was quite amazing. The train ride part from Ella to Kandy is a must take one. It offers you a combination of enchanting hills, tea plantations, splendid bridges and waterfalls.

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