Sri Lanka Tourist Information Guide
Sri Lanka, a small island nation just at the south of India is a hot tourist destination for many reasons. You want to surf the beaches or want to stay on the hills or just go on a wildlife safari Sri Lanka provides you all types of holidays you are looking for.
General Facts about Sri Lanka
Capital – Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte (Colombo is the financial capital)
Currency – Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Language – Sinhala, Tamil
International Airport – Bandaranaike International Airport
Where to Spend Your Time
Beach Holidays – Marakolliya Beach, Negombo, Arugam Bay, Hikkaduwa, Bentota
Wildlife Safaris – Uda Walawe National Park, Yala National Park
On The Hills – Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Ella
Historical Sites – Dambulla, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura
Urban Life – Colombo
How to get a visa
You need to apply for the ETA, before you enter Sri Lanka. After your ETA gets approved you can enter Sri Lanka within the six months. Take your ETA, directly go to the immigration and you will get a visa that is good for 30 days. To apply for ETA visit www.eta.gov.lk
Srilankavisa.org provides professional consular service to Sri Lanka. Compare with Immigration, it provides 24×7 custom support, localized application form and each application is checked manually. It charges a fee for the service. If you wish to apply via them, please click here.
Getting in and around
The only way you can enter Sri Lanka, is by air through its only international airport.
Getting around Sri Lanka is not a tough job, as all the main places are well connected by road and rail. You can find all types of transport where ever you are in Sri Lanka. Luxury travelers can travel in taxis and budget travelers can get around to far places on buses or trains. For short distance travel, you can hire tuk tuks.
Money in Sri Lanka
The currency in Sri Lanka is Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). The currency notes are in denominations of 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20 and 10 LKR. Most of the banks in Sri Lanka have currency exchange avialbale. Some noteable banks are Bank Of Ceylone, Hatton National Bank, Peoples Bank, Seylan Bank, Commercial Bank, National Savings Bank and many more.
Sri Lanka has telephone and internet coverage all around the country. You can buy SIM cards any where. Operators such as Mobitel, Dialog, Etisalat, Airtel and Hutch are leaders in telecommunication. Most of the reputed hotels provide Wi-Fi and the mobile phone operators provide 3G connections which is very good. Alternately you can VOIP services like Eva Phone or Local Phone to make calls.
Food In Sri Lanka
Information is provided in the post titled Foods you should never miss in Sri Lanka.
You find convenient stores almost any where in Sri Lanka. Be it grocery or pharmacy products you need, you can find them with easy. The leading multi utility stores are Cargills Food City, Keells Super and Arpico.
Accommodation in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has all sorts of accommodation, budget to very luxury hotels. Just ask a tuktuk driver and he will take you to the right place based on your needs. Although be aware of some drivers as they might turn out to be touts. During the high tourist season all hotels and guest houses may be booked in advance. So it is better you book your stay in advance before arriving to Sri Lanka.
Buy a Travel Insurance as medical facilities outside main cities are mediocre and very expensive. Monsoon rains might cause flooding displacing people and causing death. Military operations involving cleaning of landmines are being carried in some parts of North Sri Lanka, so obey orders of the security and do not enter restricted zones.