Sri Lanka is a beautiful island nation located in the Indian Ocean. It is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. If you are planning to travel to Sri Lanka for the first time, there are a few things you should know to make your trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Here is a comprehensive Sri Lanka travel guide that covers all the things you need to know when travelling to Sri Lanka for the first time.
Let’s check out Sri Lanka Travel Guide – All things you need to know when travelling Sri Lanka for the first time
All visitors to Sri Lanka are required to obtain a visa before entering the country. You can apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) online or at a Sri Lankan embassy or consulate in your home country.
Best time to visit Sri Lanka
The best time to visit Sri Lanka depends on the region you plan to visit. The dry season from December to March is the best time to visit the west and south coasts, while the east coast is best visited from April to September. The hill country can be visited year-round, but the best time to visit is from December to March.
The official languages of Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil, but English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas.
The currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). You can exchange your currency at the airport or at banks and exchange offices throughout the country.
Taxis and tuk-tuks (motorized three-wheelers) are the most common modes of transportation in Sri Lanka. Buses and trains are also available, but they can be crowded and uncomfortable.
Sri Lanka has a range of accommodation options, from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels. You can book accommodation online or through a travel agency.
Food and drink
Sri Lankan cuisine is flavorful and diverse, with a mix of Indian, Malay, and Dutch influences. Some of the must-try dishes include rice and curry, hoppers (a type of pancake), and kottu roti (a chopped roti dish). Tea is a popular beverage in Sri Lanka, and the country is known for its high-quality tea.
Culture and etiquette
Sri Lanka has a rich culture and tradition, and it’s important to be respectful of local customs and etiquette. For example, it’s customary to remove your shoes before entering a temple or someone’s home, and you should dress modestly when visiting religious sites.
Is it safe to travel in Sri Lanka right now?
As an AI language model, I do not have access to real-time information and the situation can change at any time. However, generally speaking, Sri Lanka is a safe country for tourists to visit. In recent years, the country has made significant strides in improving its security and stability, following a period of civil unrest. The government has implemented measures to ensure the safety of tourists, and the tourism industry is a major contributor to the country’s economy.
That being said, it is always important to exercise caution and stay aware of your surroundings while traveling, especially in crowded areas or at night. It is also recommended to follow local news and advisories, and to consult with your embassy or consulate before traveling to Sri Lanka.
How many days is enough to visit Sri Lanka?
The length of time needed to visit Sri Lanka largely depends on your interests and travel style. However, a minimum of 7-10 days is recommended to fully experience the country’s highlights and get a taste of its culture, history, and natural beauty.
With 7-10 days, you can visit the cultural triangle, including the ancient cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya. You can also explore the hill country and tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya, visit the coastal city of Galle and its famous fort, and take a safari in one of the national parks such as Yala or Udawalawe to see wildlife.
If you have more time, you can also include other destinations such as the beaches of the east coast, the ancient city of Kandy, and the picturesque town of Ella in your itinerary. Sri Lanka is a country with much to offer, and the more time you have, the more you can explore and experience.
Must-visit destinations in Sri Lanka ?
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress located in the heart of Sri Lanka. The site is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The fortress is situated on a large rock and features beautiful frescoes, gardens, and stunning views.
Polonnaruwa is an ancient city that was once the capital of Sri Lanka. The site is home to several impressive temples, palaces, and monuments. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular destination for history lovers.
Kandy is a beautiful city located in the hills of Sri Lanka. It is known for its picturesque scenery, vibrant culture, and stunning Buddhist temples. The city is home to the famous Temple of the Tooth, which houses a relic of the Buddha.
Ella is a small town located in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. It is known for its beautiful scenery, tea plantations, and hiking trails. The town is a popular destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers.
Galle is a fortified city located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. The city is known for its colonial architecture, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture. The Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit destination for history lovers.
Yala National Park
Yala National Park is one of the most popular wildlife destinations in Sri Lanka. The park is home to a variety of animals, including elephants, leopards, and crocodiles. It is a popular destination for safari tours and wildlife photography.
Mirissa is a small beach town located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. The town is known for its beautiful beaches, surfing spots, and whale watching tours. It is a popular destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts.
Nuwara Eliya hill
Nuwara Eliya is a beautiful hill station located in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. It is known for its cool climate, beautiful scenery, and tea plantations. The town is a popular destination for hiking, sightseeing, and tea tasting tours.
How much does a 1 week trip to Sri Lanka cost?
The cost of a 1-week trip to Sri Lanka can vary depending on several factors, such as the level of luxury, the activities you plan to do, and the time of year you travel. However, a rough estimate for a mid-range budget for one person is around $500 to $800 for a week, excluding the cost of flights.
Accommodation in Sri Lanka can range from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels, and prices can vary depending on the location and level of comfort. For a mid-range budget, you can expect to pay around $25 to $50 per night for a decent guesthouse or hotel.
Food is generally affordable in Sri Lanka, with local dishes such as rice and curry available for around $3 to $5 per meal. If you choose to eat at more upscale restaurants, you can expect to pay around $10 to $20 per meal.
Transportation in Sri Lanka is relatively inexpensive, with options such as buses and trains available for getting around. Taxis and tuk-tuks are also available, but they can be more expensive, especially for longer distances.
Entrance fees for popular attractions such as the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the Temple of the Tooth can cost around $25 to $30 per person.
Sri Lanka is truly a beautiful and diverse country with something to offer for every type of traveler. By following these tips and recommendations, you can make the most of your first trip to this amazing destination.