Yes, you will need to apply for a Visa to enter Sri Lanka. You have two options for this. Either apply for Visa on arrival or get an ETA or Electronic Travel Authorization before you arrive. The ETA method would certainly be the quickest option.
Find more info at – http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/
We offer a wide range of transport options at Ultimate Sri Lanka. Typically we provide and air-conditioned hybrid car for 2 people. An air-conditioned van is provided for tour groups ranging from 3-7 people. For groups over 7, we will utilize a mini-bus. Depending on the activities involved in your tour, we can arrange a range of other vehicles such as luxury vehicles, trains, motorbikes, SUVs, Off-road vehicles and even seaplanes, yachts & helicopters, upon your request.
Sinhalese is the language that is most spoken in Sri Lanka. Both Tamil and English are spoken as secondary languages, but don’t worry signposts and boards in the country usually present information in all 3 languages.
Ultimate Sri Lanka utilizes chauffeur-guides; skilled and experienced personnel who double as both driver and guide. They all speak fluent English and have exceptional customer care skills.
Any amount of money above $10,000 should be declared to the Sri Lankan customs on arrival at the airport.
Sri Lanka’s local currency is the Sri Lankan rupee(LKR). There are registered exchange centers and banks all over the country and you should only exchange money at those locations. Exchange centers can be found at most hotels and the airport. The exchange rate determined by the central bank of Sri Lanka.
Changing Sri Lankan money back to foreign currency can only be done at either the central bank or at the airport bank. Make sure you hold on to the money change receipts.
Sri Lankan currency denominations are; 10,20,50,100,500,1000,2000,5000 notes.
Credit or Debit cards are now commonly accepted in nearly all mainstream stores in the country. But when it comes to road-side shops it would be better to keep some cash-on-hand.
Ultimate Sri Lanka provides every guest with a complimentary SIM Card with credit upon arrival at the airport. If you want any additional SIM Cards you can arrange to get them when you discuss your trip with our travel advisor. You can ask your chauffeur guide for an additional SIM card once you arrive and you can purchase one at the airport itself.
A Trishaw or Tuk-tuk is the best mode of transport if you want to travel short distances in Sri Lanka. Always try to use trishaws that have fare meters. If you want the ease of use, there are apps such as ‘Uber’ & ‘Pickme’ that make the entire process much easier.
Sri Lanka is a country with a tropical climate. The best sort of cloths you would want are cotton clothes that are breathable and those which will absorb a lot of sweat. It is advisable that you bring a set of light-colored clothing that will cover you from the shoulders to your knees, which you can wear when you visit religious sites. Regarding footwear, sandals would be the best for casual walks, a comfortable pair of flip-flops will be great for the beach and other excursions, and some durable sneakers would be the best for long treks.
Wearing Burqas, or any other clothing that covers the face is banned in public places.
If you are visiting any religious or cultural site you must wear appropriate clothing. Ladies should wear clothing that would ideally cover you from shoulders to the knees. Knee-length trousers or skirts together with a blouse or t-shirt would be fine. Please try to avoid tops with deep necklines and sleeveless tops. For gents, a pair of trousers or a sarong together with a sleeved shirt or t-shirt would suffice.
Every full moon day is a Buddhist holiday where religious observances take place and on those days the sale of alcohol and meat is banned. Public entertainment places such as cinemas, clubs & casinos are closed on those days. You can, however, request alcohol to be served to your hotel room.
Sri Lanka’s healthcare system is quite good for a developing country but the emergency medical facilities are not as good outside the main cities of the country as compared to within. It is better if you are up to date with your Hepatitis A, Polio, and Tetanus shots. Also, it is mandatory that you get vaccinations for yellow fever & meningitis if you are coming from Africa or Latin America.
Since Sri Lanka is a tropical country, diseases that are transmitted by mosquitos, such as dengue are quite common. It is recommended that you take adequate measures to avoid mosquito bites when you are in the country.
With regard to medication, there are plenty of pharmacies in every town where you can get common over-the-counter medication. But for certain medication, you will need a prescription and might need to visit a leading drug store or hospital.
Every main town or city in the country has its own government hospital or private medical clinics. Please remember that even though locals can get medical services from government hospitals, charges will be applicable for foreigners from both private and government hospitals.
The mainstay of Sri Lankan cuisine is based on the rice and curry combination, where you eat curries made of vegetables or meat or fish with rice. Usually, this food is a bit hot and has a lot of spices. Due to Sri Lanka’s colonial past and trading history you can find food with Indian, Arabic, Dutch and even British origin throughout the country. There are plenty of famous regional dishes as well.
Cities such as Colombo, Negombo, and Hikkaduwa are famous for their nightlife and there are more night clubs in Colombo than in other towns. Negombo has a lot of pubs and restaurants and Hikkaduwa is famous for its beach parties.
Sri Lanka is a country in which you can travel to year-around, but keep in mind because of the dual monsoon weather pattern some activities(such as surfing) might be unavailable during certain times of the year, in certain parts of the country.
For more information read our article on the best time to visit Sri Lanka – https://besttimetovisitsrilanka.com/best-time-to-visit-sri-lanka/
Showers are expected during the South-West monsoon from May to October and the North-East monsoon from December to January.