Sri Lanka Travel Guide

Sri Lanka Travel Guide

Sri Lanka is a country that had been on my travel list for a long time. I once read a poem about it and instantly fell in love with the description of nature’s beauty. Due to its shape and location, it is often called the ‘Tear of India’, but it definitely is a tear of joy. It is a true bucket list destination and everyone should experience it themselves.

It is a country with incredible beaches on its long coastline and tea plantations in the mountains of the center. Sri Lanka is a country of colors from its classic light blue trains, the tuk tuks, and its colorful sunsets. Furthermore, it is one of the best safari destinations in the world.

In 2019 I finally got to visit this small piece of heaven and despite a rough beginning, I fell in love with the country, its’ food, and people.

There are many incredible things you can do in this small but diverse country. And once you have been there, it is impossible not to love it.

Highlight

Places to see in Sri Lanka

  • Unawatuna
  • Trincomalee
  • Mirissa
  • Trincomalee
  • Kaudulla National Park / Minneriya National Park
  • Udawalawe National Park
  • Yala National Park
  • Little Adam’s Peak
  • Ella to Kandy Train Ride
  • Pidurangala
  • Sigiriya

Things to know before you visit Sri Lanka

Language

The official languages of Sri Lanka are Sinhalese and Tamil.

Due to the countries colonial history, most people speak English.

Currency

The currency is the Sri Lankan Rupee. As of May 2021, 100 LKR equal 0.42 EUR, 0.37 GBP, 0.66 AUD or 0.51 USD.

Credit Cards & ATMs

Most places in Sri Lanka accept credit cards. MasterCard and Visa have the biggest acceptance, but more and more places accept Amex. However, it is best to have a small amount of cash on you. Otherwise, you will not be able to buy amazing food at streetside stalls.

There are plenty of ATMs in Sri Lanka, so it is hard not to find one. Alternatively, you can exchange money at a lot of places. Just check if the exchange rate offered is fair.

Coconut Tree Hills, Mirissa

Plugs

Plugs in Sri Lanka are type D and G with a voltage of 230V and a frequency of 50Hz.

Most places only have one of the two types, so it is best to have an adapter that works with both types. Very few universal travel adapters actually work with both types, so check if yours does. Otherwise, you will likely be unable to charge your electronics.

Visa

Citizens of most countries require a visa to enter the country. Use the official government website to get your ETA for Sri Lanka.

Safety

In general Sri Lanka is a rather safe country for travelers including solo female travelers. However, it is not the perfect destination for the very first solo trip.

There are some minor scams you should look out for, but it is easy to avoid them. Do not accept any ‘free’ tuk tuk rides to a mostly unknown temple and check if they reset the counter at gas stations.

There was a terrorist attack in 2019, so it is recommended to stay away from political and larger religious events. Due to this attack, there is a larger military presence at some places including the airport and some roads. Do not be alarmed if you see a military checkpoint.

The traffic in Sri Lanka can be slightly insane even if you are already used to driving in bustling Asian mega-cities. So be sure to check the road twice before you cross it. And know that some scratches are nearly unavoidable if you are driving a tuk tuk in Sri Lanka.

When to visit Sri Lanka

The best time to visit Sri Lanka depends on what you want to do and where the location within the country. Due to its geographical location, Sri Lanka has two monsoon seasons.

Therefore the best time to visit the East of the country is between April or May to September. If you want to visit the West, the South or the hill country in the center, it is best to go there between December and March.

Be aware that the are no guarantees that it will not rain for several days even if you travel in the best timeframe. I had a bit of bad luck myself when I explored the country.

Sri Lanka Travel Guides