We Love Sri Lanka…
For its great authenticity and astonishing variety for such a small island. Among other activities, you can delve into the 2,000-plus years of culture, spot spectacular wildlife in its national parks, and soak up the winter sun at its lush, palm-lined beaches.
All travellers must apply for a visa online (found via this link), costing $35 for adults, and free for under 12’s (although must still be done). Keep the reference number to avoid queues at the airport! If you are visiting Sri Lanka, your passport should be valid for 6 months from the date you arrive.
Top Tip – If using a Mac to complete your Visa, please use the Chrome web browser to do so, as it’s much more reliable than using Safari.
Please check out your local travel advice and let us know if you’re travelling from a different territory.
Please note if you require a multiple entry visa or a visa that cannot be obtained online or on arrival, please ensure you look into applying for the visa at least one month prior to departure.
Immigration card on arrival
The arrival and departure cards which are mandatory to be filled upon arrival and departure, can now be completed online, three days prior to travel. These can be found by visiting the official website of the Department of Immigration and Emigration or via this link.
All COVID-19 requirements have been lifted for entering Sri Lanka.
Please check the Government guidance if you are entering/returning to a different country, and do get in touch with our concierge team with any questions.
We’re able to arrange your transfers for you, just let us know your flight number and we’ll plan the route and let you know the cost!
Laws & customs
Take a look at Sri Lanka’s laws & customs here.
Sri Lankans are renowned for their genuine hospitality towards tourists. That said, you must take care to respect the Buddhist faith – do not touch a monk, do not pose for photographs on religious statues and remove shoes and socks when entering temples.
Religious Festivals & Dates
Every full moon day is a religious holiday known as Poya in Sri Lanka, and selling alcohol is banned during these days. However, it is not prohibited to consume alcohol that you purchased prior to the Poya days in a private space (i.e. your hotel room). To see a full list of Poya days please take a look here.
We aren’t certified to give medical advice so always recommend you consult your doctor or a travel doctor, as they will know which vaccinations you have had already and any additional ones necessary for your trip. You can also take a look here for travel vaccination information and advice on bringing medication into the country.
Sri Lanka generally offers warmth and sunshine throughout the year, with temperatures averaging between 27-30 °C on the coasts, and inland being about 10 °C cooler. The east coast comes into season between March and September, whilst the south coast is at its peak between November and March – making it a perfect winter sun destination. Monsoons affect separate parts of the island at different times of the year, but with many varying micro-climates, rain can, for the most part, be avoided by choosing your route selectively.
Plugs are a mix of UK plugs (Type G – featuring 3 square pins), or a different plug type featuring 3 round pins (type D).
The currency is the Sri Lankan Rupee, which you can easily get from ATMs and exchange facilities in cities (although less easily in rural areas). We would recommend taking USD for tipping and additional spending. Credit/debit cards are also accepted in many shopping outlets and hotels.
Tipping drivers is an accepted practice, and we recommend tipping chauffeur-guides anything upwards of $15 per day for satisfactory service. This is especially beneficial on long tours when drivers may be away from home for long periods.
Flights & time zone
Flights to Sri Lanka take over 10 hours, you can fly direct from London or opt for a flight with a layover, this is usually in Oman, Abu Dhabi or Dubai. If you want to take advantage of this additional stop, nemo can arrange to extend your layover.
The time zone is GMT+5.5.
The national languages are Sinhala (spoken by more than 80% of the public) and Tamil (27%), but English is widely spoken and understood in all but the most remote areas.
Food & drink
Sri Lanka boasts delicious, flavoursome cuisine – incorporating many herbs and spices, vegetables, rice, coconut milk, fresh fruit, and exquisite fish and seafood. Be sure to try egg hoppers for breakfast – a savoury crepe with an egg in the middle. What’s more, Sri Lanka is one of the most vegetarian and vegan-friendly countries in the world!
Alcohol can be freely bought and consumed from bars and off-license shops, apart from on Buddhist holy days. Be sure to drink and wash your teeth with bottled water only.
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