Travel Tips


Nationals from 80 countries including China, Japanese, Koreans, Australians, New Zealanders, North Americans and virtually all Europeans, who want to enter Sri Lanka as a tourist for the purpose of tourism, receive a free tourist visa upon entry, valid for a short period of 30 days. A Tourist Visa is normally validated only for a single journey. Those who visit for purposes other than holiday should obtain prior Visit Visas. The 30-day visa can be extended up to 90 days on the payment of a fee. You'll need to show a return or onward airline ticket out of Sri Lanka, along with proof of funds, such as traveler's cheques or credit card, and provide a copy of the bio-data page of your passport and 02 photographs.

What are the eligibility requirements for a tourist visa?

Any foreign national who desires to enter Sri Lanka, who holds a return air ticket and sufficient funds [currency / travellers cheques / credit card] for maintenance is eligible. Nationals of other countries should obtain prior Visit visas whatever the purpose of visit is. They can obtain prior visas/landing endorsements from the Sri Lankan Mission abroad or from the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration by requesting a local sponsor to apply on their behalf. The latest regulations are given at


Since Sri Lanka is a tropical country, you can expect the rain anytime of the year in most parts. However, the two major rainy seasons are South-West monsoon (May to September) and North-East monsoon (December to February). The climate of Sri Lanka changes dramatically from one part of the country to another. For example the Central Hills (Nuwara Eliya) of Sri Lanka, has a temperature around -5-20 C throughout the year, whereas most of the other regions specially the dry zone areas (Northern, North Central, Southern, and Eastern) relatively have a temperature consistently around 30-35 C.


There are some important guidelines that apply to photography regarding Buddhist imagery, when you visit a temple or other religious site. Do not turn your back to (or be alongside) a Buddha statue or any statue when posing for photos as this may cause disrespect, (observe what others are doing). It's OK to photograph a statue, but all persons should be facing it. Otherwise it would be a surprise that most tourists wouldn't bring a camera of some kind when they visit a photogenic island as Sri Lanka.

What to wear

wear light Cotton garments and light weight suits are the ideal as Sri Lanka is a tropical island. Don't forget comfortable shoes, sandals or trainers, sun glasses and cotton socks. In the hill country pullovers will be necessary. It is advisable to wear respectful attire (no miniskirts, tank tops, short pants, hats, etc,) especially off the beach when visiting temples or any religious sites as a mark of respect. Public nudity is illegal in Sri Lanka - nude/topless sunbathing and skinny dipping should be avoided.

Time Difference

Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe.)

Stay Healthy

Vaccination is recommended for Hepatitis A+B and Tetanus. Also, the Typhus vaccination outside of tourist areas especially in the wet season, beware of Bowel diseases such as diarrhea and amoebic dysentery, vector borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, Sri Lanka's physicians, though, many of them have trained in the West, are particularly experienced in dealing with locally occurring diseases. Minor health problems can always be treated by doctors with practices in the resorts and elsewhere in the country as Colombo now boasts a selection of modern, well-equipped private hospitals offering the latest medical services.


In Sri Lanka Water from the tap is not considered to be safe to drink in the country. So the best solution is to use bottled water for both drinking and teeth brushing. However, if you are using bottled water please make sure SLS (Sri Lanka Standard Institute) label is present, Although There are now many brands available. Fresh milk, due to the climate, spoils easily, and so is often very expensive. Powdered milk, however, is safe and is often substituted. 'Thambili' the juice from King Coconut is very refreshing. It's sold at the side of streets throughout the island, Coca Cola" and "Pepsi" also available in large and small sizes (plastic bottles) including several local soft drink brands - all available at rapidly multiplying supermarkets all across the country and grocery shops. Local beer and spirits are widely available. Alcohol is not sold on Poya (full-moon day of the month) days.

Responsible Tourism

  • Do not purchase or attempt to export any souvenirs or materials made of ivory, turtle-shell or coral.
  • Do not purchase any antique, as they defined as anything more than 50-years-old or rare books, palm-leaf manuscripts
  • Do not buy items that are scams with the intention of selling them in your home country for a profit.
  • It is customary to tip waiters, housekeeping staff, drivers and guides dependent on the service rendered.