Travel Advice for Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Capital: Colombo

Time Zone GMT + 5.30
Country Code: 94
IDD: International Direct Dialling is available to the principal cities
Outgoing Code: 00
All services - 1 691095 / 699935
Sri Lanka Tourist Board, PO Box 1504, 78 Stewart Place, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka,
Tel: (1) 437 059 Fax: (1) 437 953.
Passport valid for 3 months required by all. Return Ticket required. Requirements may be subject to short-term change. Contact the relevant authority before departure.
For tourist visits, nationals of the following countries will be issued a visa free of charge on arrival at Colombo airport: nationals of EU countries for a maximum stay of 30 days (nationals of Finland and Sweden may stay up to 90 days) nationals of Australia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines and the USA for a maximum stay of 90 days. nationals of Albania, Bahrain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, CIS, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Norway, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yugoslavia, (Serbia and Montenegro) for a maximum stay of 30 days.
Polio, Typhoid: Vaccination recommended.
Malaria : May be present.
Yellow Fever: A vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas.
Other Health Risks: Cholera, Rabies.
& Drink
Water is untreated and not safe to drink. Avoid dairy products as they are not pasteurised. Fruit and vegetables should be peeled before consumption.
Currency Sri Lankan Rupee (SL Re, Rs (plural) = 100 cents.
Exchange: An exchange form is issued on arrival, which must be stamped for all exchange transactions. Banks, hotels exchange currency.
All major credit cards are widely accepted. Travellers cheques are accepted, for a better exchange rate offered than cash. US dollars are the preferred cheque currency.
ATM availability: Over 12 locations.
Cost of
Suitable for all travellers and budgets
Languages Sinahala, Tamil and English.
Weather Tropical climate. The coastal areas are cooled by the sea winds. The Monsoons are
May - July and Dec - Jan.
Electricity 230/240 volts AC, 50 Hz. Round 3 pin plugs are usual.
Post Airmail to western Europe takes up to 1 week.
Transport RAIL: Connects Colombo with all tourist towns. New fast service operates on the principal routes. Rail services to the Northern area have been greatly reduced because of the violent disruptions.
ROAD: Most roads are tarred.
BUS, An extensive network of services of reasonable qualities provided.
CAR HIRE: Available from several international agencies.
DOCUMENTATION: An IDP should be obtained before departure to avoid lengthy red tape in Sri Lanka.
EXTREME RISK in North and East. Please check before travelling - fighting between the security forces and the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) continues particularly in the North and East of the country. Do not visit these areas. There have been terrorist attacks resulting in fatalities in Colombo. It is considered impolite to refuse the offer of tea. Punctuality is considered important. Arms and legs should be covered when visiting religious sites and shoes and hats must be removed. Sea bathing is dangerous as there are strong riptides and undercurrents.
PHOTOGRAPHY of military installations or government buildings is prohibited. There are severe penalties for drug offences.