Are you planning a trip to Sri Lanka? Or do you just want to learn more about this beautiful country? Either way, we’ve got you covered! Here are the top 15 frequently asked questions about Sri Lanka. From understanding the culture and customs to learning about the weather, we’ll help you get all the information you need to make your trip to Sri Lanka unforgettable.
Read on to find out more!
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1. How do I get to Sri Lanka? – Questions About Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is accessible from many major cities around the world by air. There are direct flights from the United States, Europe, and other Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and India. Some airlines that fly to Sri Lanka include Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Jet Airways, and Air India.
For those who prefer to travel by land, there is a well-maintained network of roads connecting the country’s major cities and regions. You can also take a bus or train from India to Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka.
If you’re looking for an adventure, you can even sail to Sri Lanka on one of the many cruise ships that stop at ports along the west coast of the island.
Whichever way you choose to get to Sri Lanka, make sure to do your research in advance and book your tickets as far in advance as possible to get the best deals.
2. What is the best time to visit Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is a year-round destination, with beautiful weather for the majority of the year. The dry season runs from December to March, making it the ideal time to visit for beachgoers and those looking to explore the outdoors. This is also the most popular time of year for tourism, meaning prices are at their highest and popular attractions are often crowded.
The monsoon season runs from April to October and it is generally wetter during this time. If you don’t mind the rain, this can be a great time to visit Sri Lanka as there are fewer tourists and hotel prices are usually lower.
The shoulder season between the two is a good compromise; the months of November and April typically experience less rain and the cost of travel is still relatively low.
No matter when you decide to visit Sri Lanka, you are sure to be met with vibrant culture, stunning scenery, and unforgettable experiences.
3. Do I need a visa to enter Sri Lanka? – Questions About Sri Lanka
Yes, most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Sri Lanka. Depending on the nationality and length of stay, visitors may need to obtain a Tourist Visa, Business Visa, Transit Visa, or Employment Visa. If you are traveling for tourism purposes and your stay will not exceed 30 days, you can apply for a Tourist ETA (electronic travel authorization) online before arrival.
If you plan to stay in Sri Lanka for more than 30 days, you will need to obtain a regular Tourist Visa. You can apply for a visa at the nearest Sri Lankan Embassy or High Commission. To apply for a visa, you will need a valid passport, two recent passport-sized photographs, proof of financial resources, and proof of a return ticket. The processing time usually takes between three and four weeks.
If you are visiting Sri Lanka for business purposes, you may need to obtain a Business Visa. To apply for a Business Visa, you will need to submit an invitation letter from a local company, along with the above-mentioned documents. The Business Visa also requires that you have a valid passport, two recent passport-sized photographs, proof of financial resources, and proof of a return ticket. The processing time for a Business Visa is generally one to two weeks.
It is important to note that all visas are subject to approval and some restrictions may apply.
It is highly recommended that you check with the relevant authorities before making any travel plans.
4. What is the currency in Sri Lanka?
The official currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). The Sri Lankan Rupee is made up of 100 cents and is denoted by Rs. or LKR when writing.
You can exchange your currency for the Sri Lankan Rupee at most banks, money changers, and ATMs located in major cities. Currency exchange offices are available in Colombo, Kandy, Galle, and other major tourist destinations. It is advised to bring some cash with you as some places will not accept credit cards or traveler’s cheques.
When making payments in Sri Lanka it is advisable to have a combination of both cash and a card. If you’re paying with cash, make sure to check the notes carefully before handing them over as counterfeit notes are not uncommon in the country. And when using a credit or debit card, always check that the payment amount is correct before signing the receipt.
Traveler’s cheques are widely accepted in Sri Lanka, however, it is recommended to carry only American Express traveler’s cheques as these are more likely to be accepted than those issued by other companies.
5. What language is spoken in Sri Lanka?
The official language of Sri Lanka is Sinhala, an Indo-Aryan language native to the island. It is spoken by the majority of the population, including the Sinhalese ethnic group who make up 74% of the population. The other major language spoken in Sri Lanka is Tamil, a Dravidian language spoken by the Tamil ethnic group who make up 18% of the population. English is also widely spoken in Sri Lanka, especially in cities and tourist areas. I
t is also used as an official language in some government departments. In addition, several other languages are spoken on the island, including Moor, Malay, and Portuguese.
6. What are the top attractions in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is a beautiful island with many attractions and activities to explore. From breathtaking beaches to captivating cultural sites, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this amazing country. Here are some of the top attractions to explore in Sri Lanka:
- Sigiriya Rock Fortress: Sigiriya is an ancient palace and fortress located in central Sri Lanka. It was built in the 5th century BC and is now one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The palace is surrounded by lush green forests and picturesque views of the surrounding countryside. Climb up to the summit of the rock and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding area.
- Yala National Park: Yala National Park is located in the southeastern region of Sri Lanka and is one of the most visited national parks in the country. You can take a safari tour and spot animals such as elephants, leopards, sloth bears, wild boars, and more. There are also plenty of hiking trails and bird-watching opportunities.
- Nuwara Eliya: Nuwara Eliya is a small mountain town located in the hills of central Sri Lanka. This town has a distinct British colonial feel to it, with its buildings and architecture resembling that of England. Explore the tea plantations and enjoy the picturesque views of rolling hills, waterfalls, and streams.
- Adam’s Peak: Adam’s Peak is a 2,243-meter-high mountain ln central Sri Lanka. It is a popular pilgrimage destination among Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Christians alike. Trek up to the summit and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding valley and hills.
- Galle Fort: Galle Fort is a 500-year-old fort located in southern Sri Lanka. This fort was built by the Portuguese and later occupied by the Dutch in 1663. Wander around the streets and explore colonial architecture, churches, temples, cafes, and boutique shops.
These are just some of the top attractions that you can explore while visiting Sri Lanka. From breathtaking landscapes to captivating cultural sites, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this amazing country.
7. Is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka? – Questions About Sri Lanka
The answer is a resounding yes – it is safe to travel to Sri Lanka. Although the country has experienced civil unrest in recent decades, the security situation in Sri Lanka has now stabilized and there have been no reports of major incidents or attacks for several years. The World Travel & Tourism Council ranks Sri Lanka as the 4th safest country in Asia, and the 7th safest in the world.
The Sri Lankan government is taking a proactive approach to ensure travelers’ safety by maintaining a visible presence throughout the country. There are checkpoints on all major highways, as well as an increased police presence at airports and other public places. Additionally, the government has launched an online portal that allows travelers to submit any concerns or issues they may encounter during their stay in Sri Lanka.
In addition to the government’s efforts to keep travelers safe, there are several other measures you can take to ensure your safety while visiting Sri Lanka. It is important to be aware of your surroundings at all times and to use common sense when traveling around the country. Make sure to dress appropriately when visiting religious sites and follow any local laws or customs that may apply. Avoid large crowds and political gatherings, and stay away from any areas of conflict.
Overall, Sri Lanka is a safe and welcoming destination for travelers. With a bit of common sense and awareness of your surroundings, you can enjoy a hassle-free vacation in this beautiful country.
8. What should I pack for Sri Lanka?
When packing for a trip to Sri Lanka, it’s important to make sure that you bring the right items. It’s best to plan and be prepared for any situation. Here are some essential items that you should consider bringing on your Sri Lankan holiday:
- Comfortable shoes – You’ll be doing a lot of walking in Sri Lanka, so make sure to bring a pair of comfortable shoes that will keep your feet happy.
- Sunscreen – The sun can be quite strong in Sri Lanka, so don’t forget to bring sunscreen to protect your skin.
- Light clothing – Sri Lanka can get quite hot and humid, so it’s best to bring light clothing that will help you stay cool.
- Raincoat – Rain can come out of nowhere in Sri Lanka, so it’s best to have a raincoat handy in case you need it.
- Mosquito repellent – Mosquitoes are a fact of life in Sri Lanka, so make sure to bring a good mosquito repellent.
- Water bottle – Don’t forget to bring a reusable water bottle with you, as tap water is not safe to drink in Sri Lanka.
- Power adapters – The power outlets in Sri Lanka use different plugs than what you’re used to, so make sure to bring power adapters if you want to use your electronic devices.
These are just some of the things that you should consider packing for your trip to Sri Lanka. It’s always best to plan and be prepared for any situation. With the right items packed in your suitcase, you’ll be able to enjoy your holiday without any worries!
9. What is the weather like in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is an island nation with a tropical climate and diverse weather patterns. The country experiences two monsoons, one from the northeast and one from the southwest. Generally, Sri Lanka has two distinct seasons: the dry season and the wet season.
The dry season typically runs from December to March, while the wet season runs from April to November. During the dry season, temperatures are hot, with daytime highs ranging between 25°C (77°F) and 32°C (90°F). The nights during this time are usually quite cool, with temperatures dropping to around 18°C (64°F).
During the wet season, rainfall is more frequent and temperatures are cooler. In some parts of Sri Lanka, like Nuwara Eliya, the temperature can drop below 0°C (32°F) during the night. Most of the rain during the wet season is concentrated in the northern and eastern parts of the country.
Sri Lanka’s location near the equator means it enjoys year-round sunshine, and the average hours of daylight remain consistent throughout the year. So no matter when you visit Sri Lanka, you will have plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun!
10. Can I drink tap water in Sri Lanka? – Questions About Sri Lanka
It is generally not recommended to drink tap water in Sri Lanka. While some parts of the country do have access to safe drinking water, most of the water that comes out of taps and fountains is not safe for drinking due to contaminants. Instead, it is better to stick to bottled water for drinking, brushing your teeth, and washing fruits and vegetables. If you are on a budget, try to buy large bottles of water and refill smaller bottles whenever possible. Boiling tap water before drinking can also help reduce bacteria and other contaminants.
11. What is the electricity voltage in Sri Lanka?
The electricity voltage in Sri Lanka is 220-240 volts, AC 50Hz. This means you will need an adapter for many North American electronics, including any with a 110/115V rating. Be sure to double-check your electronics before you plug them into the wall outlets. Sri Lanka uses Type D, M, and G plugs, so you may need to bring along an adapter to fit your particular device. It is also important to remember that Sri Lanka runs on 220-240 volts, which is significantly higher than most North American outlets. If you are using an appliance not rated for 220-240 volts, it can cause irreparable damage to the appliance and could even be a fire hazard.
12. What are some things to do in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is an island paradise with something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for adventure, culture, or relaxation, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in Sri Lanka.
For an adrenaline rush, explore the country’s stunning landscapes on a safari, go rock climbing, or take a surfing lesson on some of the best waves in the world.
If you’re looking for something more relaxing, take a stroll through Sri Lanka’s ancient cities and explore its centuries-old monuments and temples.
Beaches like Unawatuna and Mirissa offer stunning shorelines and incredible sunsets to take in, while diving and snorkeling spots like Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna provide great opportunities to explore the underwater wonders of Sri Lanka.
The country is also home to many wildlife parks, such as Yala National Park, where you can spot elephants, leopards, and other exotic creatures.
Take a boat ride on Madu Ganga or watch the sunrise at the sacred Adam’s Peak.
You can even take a cooking class or join in on some of Sri Lanka’s unique cultural experiences like dancing in a Kandyan-style show. No matter what your interests are, there’s sure to be something for you to do in Sri Lanka.
13. What are some places to eat in Sri Lanka?
If you’re looking for a delicious dining experience in Sri Lanka, look no further than the amazing array of restaurants that offer traditional Sri Lankan cuisine as well as international dishes. From casual street-side eateries to luxurious fine-dining restaurants, there is something for everyone! Here are 10 of the best places to eat in Sri Lanka.
- Capital Bar & Grill is located on the 2nd floor of the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo. The menu offers dishes such as grilled meats, seafood, and sandwiches, as well as tasty snacks.
- AREA 56 Roof Top Restaurant & Lounge is a modern restaurant located in the Supun Arcade on Galle Road, Colombo. The restaurant serves a variety of international dishes as well as fresh seafood.
- Queen’s Restaurant is located in Negombo and is known for its delicious seafood dishes. The menu also offers a variety of traditional Sri Lankan curries and other local dishes.
- Robata Grill is a restaurant located in Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo. The restaurant serves grilled meats, seafood, and salads, and offers an extensive range of wines and spirits.
- PLATES is a modern restaurant located on Galle Road, Colombo. The menu offers Italian, Asian, and European dishes as well as fresh seafood options.
- Liya Restaurant is located in Sigiriya and offers authentic Sri Lankan dishes such as curries, stir-fries, and kottu roti (Sri Lankan stir-fry flatbread).
- Ahinsa Restaurant is located in Sigiriya and offers traditional Sri Lankan dishes with an international twist.
- Araliya Army Welfare Restaurant is located in Dambulla and serves a variety of Sri Lankan curries, fried rice dishes, and stir-fries.
- Sahal-Authentic Sri Lankan Fine Dining Restaurant is located in Independence Square, Colombo. The restaurant offers delicious curries, stir-fries, vegetarian dishes, and desserts, as well as freshly prepared cocktails and mocktails.
- Yumi is located at Taj Samudra, No 25 Galle Face Center Rd, Colombo 01100, Sri Lanka. The menu offers a variety of Japanese dishes such as sushi and sashimi, as well as noodles, soups, and salads.
14. What is the nightlife like in Sri Lanka? – Questions About Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has a vibrant nightlife that caters to all kinds of travelers. Colombo is the main hub of activity and offers an array of nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and lounges. Some popular spots in Colombo include Sky Lounge, Route 66, and Sugarcane Club. If you’re looking for live music, head to Reggae Bar or Lazy Lizard for reggae nights or Park Street Mews for some acoustic performances.
For a more laid-back atmosphere, explore the beachside bars and restaurants in Hikkaduwa or Galle. These spots typically offer tasty local dishes and cocktails along with views of the sunset. Mirissa is another great option for beachfront bars, as well as nearby Unawatuna where you can find karaoke bars, pool halls, and dance clubs.
No matter where you are in Sri Lanka, you can find lively pubs, beach bars, and chilled-out lounges to suit your preference. Whether you’re looking for a wild night out or a relaxed evening by the ocean, Sri Lanka has something for everyone!
15. What are some tips for traveling in Sri Lanka?
When planning a trip to Sri Lanka, there are a few tips to keep in mind that will make your trip even more enjoyable.
First and foremost, it is essential to be aware of the culture and customs of Sri Lanka. While Sri Lankan people are very hospitable, it is essential to maintain respect for their culture and traditions. As such, it is important to dress modestly and avoid public displays of affection.
Second, it is best to plan your trip well in advance. As the tourism industry in Sri Lanka is growing rapidly, accommodation can get quite crowded during peak times, so it is best to book your accommodation in advance. Additionally, flights tend to fill up quickly as well, so it is recommended that you book your flights ahead of time.
Third, be prepared to experience an array of wonderful food while visiting Sri Lanka. From local street food to luxurious restaurants, Sri Lanka has something for everyone’s taste. Try out different restaurants and be sure to explore the local cuisine!
Fourth, be sure to check what activities are allowed in each location you visit. Some places may restrict certain activities such as smoking or drinking, so be sure to research before you go.
Finally, always make sure you travel with a valid form of ID, such as your passport. Additionally, carry some extra cash just in case of any unexpected expenses.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your trip to Sri Lanka will be a memorable and enjoyable experience!
Sri Lanka is an incredible destination for anyone looking for a unique and memorable travel experience. From its vibrant culture and stunning landscapes to its rich history and incredible food, there is something for everyone in Sri Lanka. Whether you are planning a short visit or an extended stay, it’s important to be prepared. Be sure to do your research, know what to expect, and have a plan in place.
No matter where you go, the key to a successful trip is to take plenty of time to explore.
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