Travel Tips & Advice

Here are some travel tips and advice to help you prepare as you make a journey visiting this beautiful island.

Arriving in Sri Lanka

The Bandaranayake International Airport is the only airport in Sri Lanka and is located in Katunayake. If your plane lands during the day, you will be fortunate enough to witness the lush green foliage glittering in the sun. You must fill out the disembarkation form before you enter the new airport wing. As long as your documents are in place, the immigration officers will let you pass through.

Customs Regulations

According to Sri Lanka’s customs regulations, you must declare expensive jewelries, valuable equipment, and gems. Your personal baggage should not contain goods in commercial quantities, goods for others and restricted or prohibited goods. Visitors are allowed to bring two bottles of wine, 1.5 liters of alcohol, 50 cigars or 200 cigarettes and perfume in small quantities.

Leaving the Country

As long as you have declared your items, you can disembark Sri Lanka under standard customs regulations. Make certain you keep receipts of goods including of purchased Sri Lankan products, jewelry, and gems in case it is checked by the customs officers.

Not Allowed

You cannot take goods including gold, explosives, firearms, dangerous weapons, treasures, statues, antiques, birds, animals or reptiles, tea, rubber, coconut plants or illegal drugs for commercial purposes.

Attire

With a tropical climate, visitors can bring plenty of cotton garments. Light clothing is ideal for central and lowlands, while visitors who are journeying to the hill country are advised to wear light woolen clothing. To escape the heat travelers can adorn sunglasses and a hat. If you plan on spending your holiday by the beach, bring suitable footwear like sandals. If you intend to visit a fancy restaurant, you will need a pair of shoes as certain restaurants in Colombo have a no slipper policy. All footwear and headgear must be removed when entering a Buddhist or Hindu temple.

Transportation

There are many affordable ways to travel in and around Sri Lanka. Travelers can hire a self-driven car, chauffeur driven vehicle, bus, train, tuk-tuk, taxi, sea plane, and helicopter. The cheapest form of travel includes public transport like the bus or train. There are buses everywhere and unbelievably cheap and will get you to any part of the country. The train is more comfortable than the bus ride and with a comprehensive rail network will take you across much of Sri Lanka.

Mobile Phones & the Internet

Mobile phones are affordable and mobile coverage is available beyond the main cities. The leading network operators in Sri Lanka include Dialog GSM, Mobitel, Airtel, Etisalat, and Hutch. There are plenty of internet facilities everywhere. In case, your hotel or hostel does not have internet facilities, you can easily visit a telecommunications café to use the internet. For free Wifi, a few places like Baristas and the Coffee Shop in Colombo offer wireless facilities.