Sri Lanka Travel Guide

Explore Sri Lanka

Best Time To Visit

Sri Lanka beckons travelers with its perennial allure of sun and sea. The optimal period to explore this island paradise spans from November through April. During this window, the Southwestern coastal expanse, host to numerous beachfront resorts, boasts its finest weather. Conversely, the central highlands offer a refreshing escape, characterized by a pleasing coolness and limited rainfall from January to April. The peak influx of visitors graces mid-December to mid-January, coinciding with the festive air of March-April's Easter celebrations. Additionally, a smaller surge of activity takes place in July and August, marked by vibrant festivals and captivating pageants occurring across the nation. Sri Lanka promises an enchanting journey any time of year, whether basking in its coastal splendor or savoring the highland tranquility.

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Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte




Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe.)

Buddhism (69%), Hinduism (16%), Islam (8%), Christianity (7%).

Sinhala, Tamil. English is widely used and understood in tourist areas.

Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)

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.

Be sure to carry some cash as you travel around Sri Lanka.

On the coast the average temperature is about 27° C. The temperature rapidly falls with altitude. At Kandy (altitude 450m) the average temperature is 20° C and at Nuwara Eliya (altitude 1890m) it’s down to around 16°C.

Sri Lanka uses 230V/50Hz and has two types of plug sockets that are commonly used. One has three round pins in a triangular pattern and the other is three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. To avoid the hassle of having to buy new adapters for everywhere you go, we recommend picking up a Universal Travel Adaptor before you leave.

Light, loosely-fitting clothing is a must in any hot and humid tropical climate. However, in Sri Lanka’s Hill Country, the high altitude and low cloud mean it can get quite chilly, so pack a jacket, sweater or fleece. Swimwear is fine around pool or beach areas, but not inside the hotel. Most important, you must be fully covered—including long dresses (or saris/sarongs) and trousers—when visiting Buddhist temples and other places of worship.

Pictures. Photographing airports, dams, roadblocks, and anything else to do with security or the military is forbidden. And don’t pose beside or in front of, or in any way disrespect, a statue or image of the Buddha.

Permission should be taken for motion Filming & still photographs.

We recommend that you drink only bottled water, either from supermarkets and reputable shops, or obtained from your driver/guide.

if you should feel queasy—perhaps after over-indulging in some of our hot and spicy culinary delicacies! —king coconut water is renowned for settling an upset stomach.

Minor health problems can always be treated by doctors with practices in the resorts and elsewhere in the country. If you have a more serious problem, Colombo, Kandy, Galle now boasts a selection of modern, well-equipped private/Government hospitals offering the latest in conventional medical and surgical therapies.

Mosquitoes are the bane of the tropics, but a little repellent goes a long way. Many brands of creams and sprays are widely available in shops and pharmacies, and your driver/guide will also have a plentiful supply.


UV light, the rays that cause sunburn, are particularly strong in the tropics, even though haze and light cloud. Make sure you have—and use! — the right filter factor for your skin type, plus an after-sun moisturizer.

Tipping is generally expected in Sri Lanka but how much you leave depends very much on the context.



If you have hired a private driver or tour guide for the day then a tip of around USD $15-20 per day is a good way of showing your appreciation if their service has been up to scratch.



Restaurants will usually expect around 10% on top of the bill.  LKR 500 – 1000 tip is enough at most restaurants.



  • Room boy/girl LKR 300 – 500
  • Pool boy LKR 300 – 500
  • Bell boy/porter LKR LKR 300 – 500 depending on how far he has to carry your luggage
  • Shoe keepers at temples approx. 100-200 LKR
  • Safari jeep drivers/assistants approx. 1000 LKR

What is the expected etiquette in Sri Lanka?

Despite the inevitable ups and downs of traveling abroad, you will generally be shown great hospitality in Sri Lanka. In return, please demonstrate sensitivity and respect for the local customs. Sri Lanka is a conservative country, so care should be taken to dress respectfully in large cities and towns, for example when at markets or public places.