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Sri Lanka

5 reasons to travel to Sri Lanka

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.

  1. 1
    Go adventuring
  2. 2
    Go meet the locals
  3. 3
    Explore new tastes
  4. 4
    Go back in time
  5. 5
    Explore magnificent countryside
1. Go adventuring

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.

2. Go meet the locals

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.

3. Explore new tastes

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.

4. Go back in time

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.

5. Explore magnificent countryside

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.

Discover the destination

Why travel to Sri Lanka?

If you're planning to travel in Sri Lanka, take a little time to read the following advice.

You should go if...
  • You're looking for an authentic experience and contact with the locals
  • You need space and imposing landscapes
  • You're looking for a budget destination
  • You want to explore a thousand-year old culture
  • You like meeting people and sharing
  • You're looking for deserted beaches
  • You want to escape from everything that's familiar
You shouldn't go if
  • You don't like spicy food
  • You need peace and quiet
  • You don't like taking things slowly
  • You don't like having to face poverty
  • You hate insects

Customize your perfect trip to Sri Lanka

Discover all our travel ideas for a trip in Sri Lanka.

All our tours in Sri Lanka

When to go in Sri Lanka?

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The best time to visit Sri Lanka is in the dry season, which runs from December to March on the west and south coasts and in the mountains, and from May to September on the east coast. The rest of the year, it's monsoon weather, which makes travelling less pleasant. In Sri Lanka, you'll be enchanted by the many treasures from the ancient kingdom of Ceylan: with ancient cities, amazing beaches and the most beautiful mountains, the Sri Lankan environment is breathtaking.
See when to go

Our advice for your holiday in Sri Lanka

Travel tips from our local agencies in Sri Lanka.

What to see in Sri Lanka?

Top places to discover.

See all places
Prepare your trip in Sri Lanka
So that you can prepare your journey well and make life as easy as possible when you get there, this article will give you information you need for your trip to Sri Lanka. A practical summary to look at before you go.

What documents are needed for traveling to Sri Lanka?

Before your trip to Sri Lanka, it is recommended that you fill in an Electronic Travel Authorization (E.T.A.) which is available on line. In conjunction with your passport it acts as a 30 day visa when you arrive.

Health advise

There are no obligatory vaccinations for a trip to Sri Lanka. You should take out medical insurance so you don't have to incur costs while there. If you are staying in a rural area for a long time anti-malaria treatments are offered free at Colombo airport, but there is very little risk.

Language

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.

Time difference

There is a 5 and a half hour time difference with the UK in winter and 4 and a half hours in summer.

Phone and internet connection

International telephone code: +94

There is internet available in most cafes, restaurants, hotels and guesthouses, except in really remote areas.

Electricity

220-240V - There are two plug types used in Sri Lanka, some are like UK plugs but others are like continental European plugs. You should take an adapter in case.

The British High Commission in Sri Lanka

389 Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo
Tel: +94 11 5 390639
http://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-high-commission-colombo

High Commission for the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

13 Hyde Park Gardens,
London W2 2LU
Tel: 020 7262 1841