Travel Information

Travel Information

Time Difference

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


The main languages in Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil with English as a link language. Most of the people have the knowledge of English and signboards are often in English.

Domestic Currency

The local currency of Sri Lanka is Sri Lankan Rupee, divided into 100 cents (you rarely come across cents today). Currency notes are in Rs. 5,000, Rs. 2,000, Rs. 1,000, Rs. 500, Rs. 100, Rs. 50, Rs. 20, and Rs. 10. Make sure you have plenty of lower denomination notes (Rs. 50, Rs. 100, Rs. 500), especially when travelling and you need to buy small items, fruit, and eat cheap meals, because change is often hard to come by apart from at hotels and big shops.


Banks are open from 0900 hrs to 1500 hours Monday to Friday. Some city banks are open from 0900 hrs to 1200 hrs on weekends. It’s easy to withdraw money across the island at ATMs using international credit cards or debit cards. Most hotels, restaurants and shopping centers accept credit cards.

Photography Restrictions

There are some important restrictions that apply to photography regarding Buddhist imagery. When you visit a temple or other religious site, remember that photography should not be carried out in a manner causing disrespect. For instance, it is strictly forbidden to be photographed in front of or beside any statues and murals. Note that flash photography can damage old murals.

Visiting Religious Sites

Sri Lanka follows a “Strict Dress Code” for Men and Women when visiting all religious sites. Ladies are required to cover the shoulders and a dress covering the legs up to the ankle. You may refrain by wearing tight clothes & Jeans too. Remember to carry a cloth with you big enough to wrap around if needed. Men too are required to cover the shoulders – kindly avoid wearing skinnies – and a dress up to the ankles to avoid disappointment. You are required to enter into most religious places barefooted, remember the ground could be burning hot, either you have to keep your shoes/slippers at the entrance along with your hand bags or you may carry them with you if that is allowed.

Safety & Public Places

In general the threats to personal security for travelers in Sri Lanka are remarkably small. It is more pleasant to travel with a companion as it is advised not to travel alone especially after dark. The island including the North and East is safe to visit.

You may sometimes be overwhelmed by crowds of people in public places (railway stations, markets, bus stands, temples or simply busy streets). “Touts” and hawkers may jostle and push and clamor to show you a hotel and sell you things.


An intended traveler visiting Sri Lanka for a short stay for any of the following purposes, must obtain ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) prior to arrival.

  • Sightseeing, holidaying
  • Visiting friends and relatives
  • Medical treatment including Ayurvedic and yoga
  • Participate in sporting events, competitions and activities relating to cultural performance
  • Visiting project related matters

ETA is an official authorization for a Short Visit to Sri Lanka and is issued electronically. The ETA is introduced with the intention of providing an efficient, reliable and simplified service to those who visit Sri Lanka. ETA holders will be issued a 30 day Short Visit visa at the port of entry in Sri Lanka. The ETA will be effective from 1st of January 2012. The ETA is issued through an on-line system. No passport copies, documents or photographs are required. There is no requirement to endorse the ETA on the passport.

On Arrival at the Port of Entry in Sri Lanka

Upon arrival, produce your passport to the immigration officer at the port of entry to obtain the necessary clearance. It is advisable for you to bring a copy of the ETA approval notice along with you.

All ETA holders should be able to prove:

  • A round trip ticket to show at the port of entry in Sri Lanka (only if you are traveling by air)
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to cover your expenses in Sri Lanka.
Apply for VISA

Packing Essentials

  • Personal effects for windy, rainy, warm weather conditions should be considered
  • Effective Mosquito Repellents, Sun Protection Creams, A Good Sunscreen, Universal Power Adapters, Tampons (Ladies) are recommended
  • Suitable casual clothing for outdoor activities
  • Conservative clothing for entering Temples – knees and shoulders must be covered

More Information
  • Phone Number: +94 77 262 0049
  • Email: info@
  • Office Location: Beyond Frontiers (Pvt) Ltd, #1575/142, Horahena Rd, Kottawa, Pannipitiya
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