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Essential information

At a glance

‘Hello’ in:
‘aayubowan’
(aa-yu-bo-wan)
Sinhala
‘vanakkam’
(van-a-kam)
Tamil
Plug combo dg
Electricity
230V/50hz
Dec-Mar
Best time to go
Winter

Money and costs

Currency
Rupees (₨)
Exchange Rates
Rates provided by Open Exchange Rates. Last updated September 19, 2018 5:30AM UTC
Daily Costs
Budget (up to)
6000
  • Simple guesthouse: Rs 2000–3500
  • Local rice and curry: Rs 150–350
  • Bus fares: under Rs 300 per day
Midrange
6000–20,000
  • Double room in a good place: Rs 3500–9000
  • Meals at hotel/restaurant: Rs 1000–3000
  • Hire bikes, ride trains and use a car and driver some days: average per day Rs 3000
Top end (more than)
20,000
  • Top-end hotel: Rs 9000 and up
  • Meals at top-end places: from Rs 3000
  • Daily use of car and driver: from Rs 9000

Visas

Transit visas good for 48 hours are free. Thirty-day visitor visas cost US$25 to US$100, depending on your nationality. Apply in advance online (www.eta.gov.lk).

Get the latest visa advice for Sri Lanka from our community.

When to go and weather

°C°F
mmin
LKA
Kandy
Go Jan–MarJul–Aug
Mar – May
31248775
Jun – Aug
30268678
Sep – Nov
30258676
Dec – Feb
31238873
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
Low Season
Shoulder Season
High Season
Colombo
Go Dec–Mar
Mar – May
32258877
Jun – Aug
29268578
Sep – Nov
30258676
Dec – Feb
31238873
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
Low Season
Shoulder Season
High Season

Getting to Sri Lanka

Air links to Sri Lanka become more extensive each year, but there are currently no sea routes to the island.

Flights, cars and tours can be booked online at www.lonelyplanet.com/bookings.

Flights to Sri Lanka

The best price found from United States to Sri Lanka is on December 9th, 2018, travelling with jetBlue. See more options, compare prices and book: search flights.

IAD
Washington Dulles
from $535.00
CMB
Colombo Bandaranayake

Getting around Sri Lanka

Bus Sri Lanka's buses are the country's main mode of transport. They cover most towns, are cheap and are often crowded. Only a few routes have air-con buses. Private buses may offer a bit more comfort than government buses.

Car Many travellers use a hired car with a driver for all or part of their trip. This allows maximum flexibility and is the most efficient way to get around. Many drivers are very helpful and founts of local knowledge.

Train The improving railway network serves major towns and can be more comfortable than buses (excepting third-class carriages). Some routes such as Haputale to Ella and Colombo to Galle are renowned for their scenery.

Health and safety

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Advice for travellers

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