Be charmed by exotic Sri Lanka with its stunning green landscape, thriving wildlife, authentic culture and diverse history. The east, south and west coasts are home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches while safaris are an absolute must if you’re visiting Yala, Udawalawe or Wilpattu. If you’re keen to learn more about Sri Lanka’s past, take a trip to the ancient ruins at Polonnaruwa or the Dutch Fort in Galle, both brimming with history. Or perhaps, visit Nuwara Eliya, or “Little England”, for a spot of afternoon tea after touring the picturesque plantations.
If you need a break after your Sri Lankan adventures, why not partner your trip with a luxurious holiday to the Maldives? The beautiful islands will welcome you with white sandy beaches, tranquil waters and indulgent spas as well as delicious food and warm hospitality.
There are a number of carriers to offering flights to Sri Lanka from the UK.
Direct Carriers: Sri Lanka Airlines offers the only direct service to Colombo with up to eight service per week from London Heathrow.
Indirect Carriers: Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways offer indirect services to Sri Lanka.
Departure Taxes: There is no departure tax currently in Sri Lanka.
Most hotels and restaurants automatically add a 10 percent service charge to the bill. Often though, this goes straight to the owner rather than the waiter or waitress, so you may want to add extra in change if the service was good. Around 50 Sri Lankan Rupee is fine for hotel porters, and you should tip taxi drivers 10 percent of the total fare.
No special vaccines are required or recommended for travel to Sri Lanka. All travellers should be up to date on routine immunisations. Please contact your GP for further information.
All visitors to Sri Lanka, even those transitting, will need to purchase a travel visa. Applications can be made advance on-line or on arrival (US$35) for a maximum stay period of 30 days. It is still possible to purchase a visa on arrival but you could face delays.
You must visit http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/visainfo/center.jsp and provide basic information about yourself in order for your visa to be processed. We recommend obtaining your visa at least three days in advance of departure.
Please contact your local embassy for up-to-date information.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Sri Lanka. Please contact the Sri Lanka Embassy for up to date country and visa information on 0207 262 1841.
The official currency is the Sri Lankan Rupee. As you can only take 5,000 Sri Lankan Rupees in and out of the country, they can be hard to find in the UK and you will need to buy them when you get to Sri Lanka. Banks and exchange bureaus can be found in airports and tourist centres, and will change major currencies from cash and traveller's cheques (which can generally be exchanged at better rates). Remember to change Sri Lankan Rupees back into UK Pounds at the airport before you return home, as you may not be able to do so in the UK.
Credit cards are accepted at some mid-range and most top-end hotels and restaurants. MasterCard and Visa are the most widely accepted, followed by Amex, American Express, and Diners Club. Cash machines are widely available in towns and cities, although not all will accept international cards. If you wish to use cash machines while on holiday in Sri Lanka, it is best to inform your bank before you go. Try to break larger notes down into smaller ones where possible, as many small businesses will not accept larger notes.