Travel tips for Sri Lanka

Best time to visit: The Island has a typical tropical climate with a northeast monsoon (December to March) and southwest monsoon (June to October). Thus, the best time to visit the west and south coasts and hillside is from December to March, while the best weather on the east coast is from April/May to September. Sri Lanka's position close to the Equator means that temperatures remain fairly constant year-round.

What to pack: Cotton clothes are preferable throughout the year, but one may need slightly warm clothes for the hills. One should keep frequent and heavy rain in mind while packing the bag. As the country is relatively conservative, wearing modest clothes is advisable, especially when visiting the beach and religious sites. If trekking is part of the travel plan in the country then appropriate gear will be needed. As the country offers abundant underwater experiences, snorkels and other diving equipment may be required.

Cuisine: Spices hold a significant place in Sri Lankan cuisine. A typical meal would include steamed rice with fish curry, or a curry with chicken, mutton or beef. Dishes are often served with pickled vegetables or fruits, chutneys, and sambols. Sri Lankan food items make use of spices extensively, but most hotels and restaurants use them in moderation keeping the eating habits of foreign visitors in mind.

Language: Sri Lanka has two official languages; Sinhala and Tamil. However, English is widely used. Most people have some knowledge of English.

Currency: The local currency is Sri Lankan Rupee. One can change currency upon arrival at the airport or in hotels, and banks. Keeping lower denomination notes (Rs50, Rs100, and Rs500) can come handy while making small purchases or tipping. Most hotels, restaurants, and shopping centres accept credit cards.

Electricity: 230/240 volts, 50 cycles AC is used across the country. When traveling with a laptop computer, one may think of carrying a stabilizer for safety of the equipment.

Formalities: Ensure that the traveler’s passport is valid for 6 months at the time of travel. A visa is mandatory to enter the country. With effect from 1st January 2012, all Holiday or Business travellers to Sri Lanka must have Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for entering into Sri Lanka. Visit for more information.