Sri Lanka Travel Guide

Continent: Asia
Region: South Asia, Asia
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Plan Your Travel To Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka Travel Essentials

Ideal Duration: 8 - 10 days

Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)

Best Time: Winter Read More

Budget: Cheap

"A Land Like No Other"

Sri Lanka Tourism

Sri Lanka is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean known for its spectacular beaches, thousand-year-old Buddhist temples, abundance of wildlife, and rich archaeological history. The plethora of water sports, breathtaking sunsets, sprawling tea gardens, and mouth-watering Sri Lankan food will surely make you fall in love with this gorgeous place. 

Rich in culture, Sri Lanka is an intriguing blend of well-preserved local traditions amalgamated with rapid urbanization. Ancient cities like Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya are UNESCO World Heritage Sites dotted across the country that showcase impressive archaeological ruins, including towering stupas, ancient palaces, and intricately carved temples. The Cultural Triangle, encompassing these destinations, is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

Sri Lanka has breathtaking landscapes ranging from golden beaches and lush tea plantations to misty mountains and dense jungles. The island's coastline stretches for approximately 1,340 kilometers (832 miles) and is dotted with palm-fringed beaches, turquoise waters, and vibrant coral reefs. The central highlands, including the famous Ella and the Knuckles Mountain Range region, offer stunning views, trekking opportunities, and a cool climate.

Being a biodiversity hotspot, Sri Lanka has several national parks and wildlife reserves like Yala National Park, Wilpattu National Park, and Udawalawe National Park. Additionally, the island is known for its marine life, and visitors can enjoy whale watching in Mirissa or dive and snorkel along the stunning coral reefs. The scenic tea plantations of Sri Lanka are also a major attraction. The hill country, particularly around Nuwara Eliya and Ella, offers picturesque landscapes of rolling hills covered in neatly manicured tea bushes. Take scenic train rides through these tea-covered hills, and indulge in high-quality Ceylon tea while enjoying breathtaking views.

Sri Lanka is renowned for its Ayurvedic practices and wellness retreats. Pamper yourself with Ayurvedic treatments, yoga, meditation, and spa therapies. Immerse yourself in Sri Lanka's vibrant culture by participating in cultural activities such as traditional dance performances, learning to cook Sri Lankan cuisine, visiting local markets, and interacting with friendly locals.

Must Know Before You Travel to Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka has stabilized somewhat since the widespread shortages and large demonstrations and protests in mid-2022. However, it still continues to have a shortage of resources from time to time, like medicine, fuel, and specific food items. However, most hotels, restaurants, private hospitals, and grocery stores have supplies.
  • Power outages can also occur, and power services like transport and healthcare may be impacted. Though most tourist facilities have backup generators.
  • The Sri Lankan military has a strong presence in the North and East, including the  Jaffna Peninsula. Military and police checkpoints can be set up abruptly at any point.
  • Always carry photographic identification with you
  • Monitor local media for regular updates and adjust plans, if required
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds

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Best time to visit Sri Lanka

The island country can be visited all around the year, however December to April is considered the best time to visit Sri Lanka. The only major point of focus is which side of the co (Read More)untry is to be visited in a particular month. If you decide to visit the West and South coasts and discover the hillsides, December to March is an ideal time. However, April/May to September is best to see the Eastern Coast. Also, this country receives two different monsoon seasons at different times. So it implies that where one part of the country is wet, the other can be dry simultaneously. With Sri Lanka’s position being close to the Equator, the temperature of this island country remains relatively constant throughout the year.

Top places to visit in Sri Lanka by month

Holidify's opinion on Travel to Sri Lanka

What's Great?

  • Great beaches.
  • Religious and historical sites
  • Rich wildlife
  • Accomodation and transport are relatively affordable
  • Rich traditional values

What's Not So Great?

  • Pickpocketing and small thefts are common
  • The Road network is not in the best condition in many areas
  • Liquor laws are strict in majority areas

For Whom?

  • Beach lovers
  • Cultural heritage and history enthusiasts
  • Honeymooners
  • Budget travellers

Read More on Sri Lanka Travel

Exchanging Money in Sri Lanka

MasterCard and Visa cards are widely accepted. We recommend caution when paying by credit card due to the potential for fraud. Major cities have ATMs, although not all will accept international cards. It is advisable to carry cash at hand while travelling.

Nightlife in Sri Lanka

Since the country is just growing out of the war, nightlife is still in its infancy. In the capital city of Columbo, the party culture is emerging with night pubs and bars, lounges and discotheques. Apart from that, in other places, most hotels have bars.

Shopping in Sri Lanka

Special purchases in Sri Lanka include handicraft items made of silver, brass, bone, ceramics, terracotta and wood. Cane baskets, straw hats, reed and coir mats, spices and tea have high demeaned among tourists. There are a lot of options such as bazaars, markets, boutiques and malls where you can shop from.

Festivals of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka hosts a number of festivals, such as Navam Perehara, Hot Air Balloon festivals, Musicfestivals and Film Festivals, Beach Festivals, Fashion Festivals and religious festivals such as Sinhalese New Year.

Hygiene in Sri Lanka

Special precautions need to be taken for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Typhoid. Water, milk, fruits and other consumables must be safe and clean before consumption. It is advised to take comprehensive travel insurance. Hospitals are abundant, some hotels may have doctors, but medical practice standards are low compared to Western medicine standards.

Customs of Sri Lanka

Shaking hands is the customary greeting. Tea will always be offered to you if you visit someone. Refusing it is considered impolite. Punctuality is appreciated. Western wear is allowed at all places except in temples and religious sites.

Tips for visiting Sri Lanka

Throughout the country, there prevails a heightened threat to security against terrorist attacks by indigenous political parties and even major militant groups. Always carry official photo identity proof with you everywhere you go and cooperate with local police and officials.

Food of Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan food is spicy with rice and curry as a staple food. But you can always ask for less spicy options when you are ordering your food. Thambili, the juice from King Coconut, is very refreshing. It's sold at the side of streets throughout the island.

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FAQs on Sri Lanka

How to reach Sri Lanka from India?

Indians can reach Sri Lanka by air. A number of airlines fly daily from major cities of India to Colombo.


Your rating

Shreyas Kapoor

5 years ago
Sri Lanka is a very clean and a beautiful country. I visited Galle, Mirissa, Ella, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Sigiriya and Colombo in June. The beaches were quite empty (because of offseason), beautiful an (Read More)d clean. The mountains were mesmerising and the history related to the country was quite amazing. The train ride part from Ella to Kandy is a must take one. It offers you a combination of enchanting hills, tea plantations, splendid bridges and waterfalls.

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