Whether you love wide open spaces or are looking for an authentic experience, you are bound to find what you are looking for. Culture, history, nature and humanity are the ingredients of a trip to Sri Lanka.
Greet the stars from the island's heights, go trekking in the jungle or take a trip to meet the wild animals in one of the country's national parks. This is what Sri Lanka has in store for its visitors. Climb World's End in search of adventure and wide open spaces, or observe the elephants at Uda Walawe. And the sea has its part to play - at Mirissa you can meet the the world's biggest mammals, the blue whale.
The Sri Lankans are very curious and will often stop you in the street to talk to you. Obviously, some of them just want to sell you something or get money from you. But often they just want to know where you come from and what you think about their country. Our motto is, go and meet people and listen to what they have to say. It will be a unique experience for you and will definitely give you the chance to travel off the beaten path.
The mix of people and the different colonisations experienced by the island make Sri Lanka a country with lots of different culinary traditions. Rice might be the staple, but you can find it in all sorts of forms. The national dish is rice with curry. But it's not like the curry you are used to in England. Here, every family has its own recipe. Rice is served with fish or meat and a multitude of other things: vegetables, sambals, dahl.... You should also try the snacks sold in the streets or on little stalls in most of the towns.
Sri Lanka's civilisation is more than a thousand years old and has left its mark in lots of places on the island. Most of the big historic sites, some of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are found in the central region of the island. Impressive white stupa in Anadhapura, cave temples in Dambulla, the ancient capital of Polannaruwa or the ancient palace on the rock at Sigiriya. You will be enchanted by the richness and beauty of these cities.
Sri Lanka is nicknamed the Pearl of the Indian Ocean for a reason. Some people even call the island the Garden of Eden because it has so many treasures. Sri Lanka has some of the most beautiful views in south-east Asia. Mountains and untamed jungle in the centre of the island, astonishing countryside created by the tea plantations, and magnificent plains scattered with rice paddies and lakes. From Adam's Peak to the rock of Sigiriya, via the sublime beaches of Tangalle or Mirissa, one thing is sure, you won't be disappointed.
If you're planning to travel in Sri Lanka, take a little time to read the following advice.
Discover all our travel ideas for a trip in Sri Lanka.
Travel tips from our local agencies in Sri Lanka.
Top places to discover.
Sinhala, one of the two official languages, is spoken by three quarters of the population. It has its own alphabet and belongs to the Indo-European family of languages.
Tamil, which is spoken by 20% of the population, is the second official language. It's mostly used in the north and east of the country. It's also spoken in southern India.
English is a relic of colonialisation and is still used by 10% of the population. But it is understood by most Sri Lankans who live in towns or on the coast.
International telephone code: +94
There is internet available in most cafes, restaurants, hotels and guesthouses, except in really remote areas.
The British High Commission in Sri Lanka
389 Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo
Tel: +94 11 5 390639
High Commission for the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
13 Hyde Park Gardens,
London W2 2LU
Tel: 020 7262 1841