• General Information
    • CAPITALColombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte

    • AREA 65,525 Sq.kilometers

    • TIME DIFFERENCE 5 ½ hours ahead of GMT

  • Visa

    An intended traveller, visiting Sri Lanka for a short stay for following purposes, must obtain ETA prior approval for their arrival. On the basis of reciprocity, citizens of The Republic of Singapore, The Republic of Maldives and The Republic of Seychelles are exempt from the requirement of obtaining ETA to visit Sri Lanka.

    Visit Categories:

    • TOURIST: ETA for Tourist purpose with double entry for 30 days
      • Sightseeing, holidaying
      • Visiting friends and relatives
      • Medical treatment including Ayurvedic and yoga
      • Participate in sporting events, competitions and activities relating to cultural performance
    • BUSINESS: ETA for Business purpose with double entry for 30 days
      • Participate in business meetings and negotiations
      • Participate in Conferences, workshops and seminars
      • To take part in Short term training programs (less than one month)
      • Participate in art, music and dance events
      • Participating in religious events
      • Participate in Symposium
    • TRANSIT: ETA for Transit up to 02 days Free of Charge basis (Documentary Proof Required)
      • Transiting through Sri Lanka
    Business Purposes ETA can only be obtained from:
    • Sri Lanka Overseas Missions
    • The head office of the Department of Immigration and Emigration (DI&E), Colombo;

    Multiple, Double or single entry business ETA can be obtained from Sri Lanka Overseas Missions and the Visa Section of the Department of Immigration and Emigration , Colombo. The traveller should produce relevant documentary proof of his/her intent of Business purpose visit to Sri Lanka.

    Online ETA facility is not available for under mentioned purposes:
    • To participate in Media/Journalist conferences, workshops or seminars etc.,
    • To engage in Meetings, Seminars, Conferences etc., with Political parties and/or groups.
    • To engage in the activities carried out by the NGO or INGO.

    Approval of the appropriate authorities of the Government of Sri Lanka should be obtained by those who intend to engage in above purposes in Sri Lanka.

    Potential applicants may obtain the relevant visa by submitting proof of evidence from Sri Lanka Overseas missions and from the Visa Section of the Department of Immigration & Emigration, Colombo for the above purposes.

    All foreign nationals intending to visit Sri Lanka for the purposes other than Short Visit must obtain necessary visas prior to their arrival.

  • Airport & Customs
    Custom Imports

    Visitors are allowed to bring into the country duty free 1.5 litres of spirits, two bottles of wine, a quarter-litre of toilet water, and a small quantity of perfume and souvenirs with a value not exceeding US $250. The import of personal equipment such as cameras and laptop computers is allowed but must be declared on arrival. However, personal equipment must be taken out of the country upon the visitor’s departure. The import of non-prescription drugs and pornography of any form is an offence.

    Sri Lanka Customs : www.customs.gov.lk

    Custom Exports

    On leaving the country visitors are allowed to export up to 10kg of tea duty free. No antiques defined as anything more than 50-years-old - rare books, palm-leaf manuscripts and anthropological material can be exported without permission from the Department of Archaeology or Director of National Archives.

    Purchase and export without licence of any wild animal, bird or reptile, dead or alive. Also the export of parts of animals, birds or reptiles, such as skins, horns, scales and feathers is prohibited. Occasional exports are, however, permitted exclusively for bona fide scientific purposes. It is prohibited to export of 450 plant species without special permits. The export of coral, shells or other protected marine products is also strictly prohibited. Applications for special permission to export fauna should be made to the Department of Wildlife Conservation and Director of Forest Department.

  • Travel Insurance

    It is strongly recommended that you purchase travel insurance to protect yourself against any mishap or unforeseen circumstance that could occur prior to or during your travels. It is important that you carry a copy of your policy with you while you travel so that you can refer to it should you need to make a claim.

  • Health

    No inoculations are compulsory unless you are coming from a yellow fever or cholera area. (Cholera is very occasionally reported in Sri Lanka, so is not considered a serious risk.)

    However, the following vaccinations are recommended, particularly if you plan a long trip or intend visiting remote areas: Typhoid (monovalent), Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies. Children should, in addition, be protected against diphtheria, whooping cough, mumps, measles, rubella.

  • Electricity

    Voltage in most places varies between 230v to 240v AC, 50 Hz. Socket sizes vary, so it is recommended to carry adapters.

  • Currency

    The Sri Lankan currency is Rupee, divided into 100 cents. Currency notes are Rs 5000, Rs 2000, Rs 1000, Rs 500, Rs 100, Rs 50, Rs 20 and Rs 10. Beware of mistaking the Rs 500 note for the somewhat similar Rs 100 one.

    Currency Exchange

    Visitors to Sri Lanka bringing in more than US$10,000 should declare the amount to the Customs on arrival. All unspent rupees converted from foreign currencies can be re-converted to the original currency on departure as long as encashment receipts can be produced.

    Credit Cards

    Diners, Master, Visa and American Express credit cards are widely accepted.

  • Languages

    Sri Lanka has two official languages - Sinhala and Tamil. English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication.

  • Business Hours

    Banks: Monday to Friday - 09:00 hrs to 13:00 hrs

  • Religion & Social Customs

    Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam are the most common religions of Sri Lanka. Travellers should respect customs and traditions when travelling as places of worship and religious ceremonies are particularly sensitive. Please dress modestly and note that you will be required to remove your shoes before entering a place of worship. It is disrespectful to touch a carving or statue of a deity. When visiting Buddhist temples and religious, sites please try and remember to walk around them in a clockwise direction. Please also remember to use your right hand when greeting someone, eating or passing money.

  • Tipping

    Tipping is at the discretion of the guests. It is usually advisable to tip waiters, porters and guides. Most hotels include a service charge on their bills. Where this is not done, a tip of 10% is customary.

  • Valuables

    Travel with the absolute minimum. It is not advisable to carry valuable jewellery. Money should be taken in traveller’s cheques, with the receipt numbers retained separately in case they are lost or stolen. Cash kept on your person should be minimum. Where possible, leave any valuables, documents and passports in your hotel safety deposit box. Your luggage is particularly vulnerable at airports, railway stations or where crowds gather.

  • Food & Water

    Only drink bottled water and always check that the seal is secure. Mineral water is readily available. Avoid food and drink from street vendors and restaurants that look suspect with their refrigeration and sanitary practices.

  • Climate & Weather Chart

    With consistently warm and sunny climates, conditions rarely grow chilly. Around the coast, temperatures are much higher. While sea breezes keep the air fresh during the day, evenings can be rather humid. It can rain at any time of year; the south-west coast experiences monsoon rains between May and October, while the north-east monsoon occurs between October and December. In the south-west, rainfall is at its most intense from April to June and from October to November. Rain tends to fall mainly in the afternoons.

    Max av temp (C) 32 32 33 32 32 31 30 31 31 30 31 31
    Min av temp (C) 23 23 24 25 25 25 25 25 26 25 24 23
    Av rain (mm) 30 41 44 143 155 87 58 38 88 182 154 54
    Recommended Clothing

    Lightweight cottons and linens suffice year round, with waterproof clothing needed during monsoons. The central highlands can be cool at night and taking an extra layer is advisable.

  • Communication


  • Recommended Packing List
    • Tickets / Passports / Money / Visas
    • Good quality sunglasses (preferably polarized and UV protected — tinted fashion glasses are not good in strong light)
    • Wide-brimmed Hat (Baseball caps do not offer the sun protection that wide-brimmed hats do, but either is fine)
    • Camera equipment & additional memory cards
    • SPF30 sun Block
    • Insect repellent and/or anti-malaria medication
    • Prescription medication, aspirin and anti-diarrhoea medication
    • Basic Medical Kit (Bandages, Imodium, Antiseptic Cream, etc.)
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Lip Balm / good Moisturizing Lotion / Hair Conditioner
    • Other personal toiletries
    • Comfortable walking shoes / flip flops / sandals
    • Swim wear
    • Light rain gear
    • T-shirt & Long-sleeved Cotton shirt
    • Long pants/ skirts
    • Clothing in lightweight fabrics (linen, cotton) and light colours (white, beige)
    • Track suit
    • Underwear & socks
    • One smart Casual outfit
    • Binoculars (if game viewing is part of your itinerary)
    • Prescription glasses & Extra Contacts – if you wear contact lenses, your eyes may get irritated by the dust