07-01, East Tower
Word Trade Center
Echelon Square
Colombo 01
Sri Lanka.

+94 11 2323977
+94 11 2422686

Fax: +94 11 2449408
Hot Line: +94 11 4724269
+94 11 2399230

General Information

Q: What’s the standard voltage used In Sri Lanka?
230-240 volts. 50 cycles A.C

Q: What are the postal charges?
For information on postal rates contact the General Post Office, Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 1. Tel: 326203. Cost of postage for PPC – Rs. 14.00/-

Q: What are the prohibited items to export and import?
Ivory, antiques, living plants, reptiles and living animals are prohibited .Precious stones could be carried with a permit.

Q: What is the currency used In Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka has a decimal currency system. One Sri Lankan rupee is divided into 100 Sri Lankan Cents. Currency notes are in the denominations of Rs. 10/-, Rs. 20/-, Rs. 50/- Rs. 100/- Rs. 200/-, Rs. 500/- and Rs. 1000. Denominations are clearly marked in figures on both sides of the notes and stated in English addition to Sinhala and Tamil. Coins commonly in use are of the following denominations: 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, one Rupees, two Rupees, five Rupees and ten Rupees.

Q: Are Credit Cards Accepted?
Many hotels and shops accept reputed credit cards. No surcharge should be permitted for its use. Cash advances are possible against Credit Cards in certain banks.

Q: Banking Facilities?
Banking facilities have grown and widened tremendously to cope with the sophisticated needs of today’s businessmen. Sri Lankan and foreign banks provide an expanding range of services to investors.

Q: At what time do banks close?
Banks keep increasingly flexible hours to suit customer convenience. All banks are opened from 09.00 hrs to 13.00 hrs Monday to Friday. Some city banks close at 15.00 hrs while some others have night banking facilities too. Banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays, all Public Holidays and on Special bank holidays (June 30th and December 31st).

Q: How much to pay as Airport Tax?
Rs.1000/- per person.

Q: Who can enter the Airport?
Entry to the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake, is restricted to all visitors. Only embarking passengers are permitted. The same rule applies to those waiting to meet incoming passengers. There is also a vehicle-parking fee of Rs. 60/- per car, van or wagon.

Q: What are the customs formalities?
Visitors are required to re-expert articles brought in as personal effects. Make sure that you take back cameras and photographic equipment and any transistor radios, recorders and sound equipment declared on arrival. The custom check is usually oral. However, random examinations of baggage are carried out.

Q: Are there restricted hours to obtain bank exchange?
The banks at the International Airport are operated 24 hours at departure and arrival as well as some private banks.

Q: How to purchase duty free products?
Sri Lanka has a large variety of goods at BIA duty free shops. People who are purchasing them should have a permit of entry & departure.

Q: What are the entrance permits required?
Tourist who wish to visit or photograph the principal ancient monuments in Sri Lanka are required to obtain a ticket from the Central Cultural Fund. A single round ticket for two months validity will cost US $ 32.50. This will entitle the holder to:

1. View historic monuments in Sri Lanka (except Dambulla, Dalada Maligawa & Isurumuniya Temples)

2. Photography is permitted to the monument or affect religious susceptibilities.

3. Entry to all archaeological museums. There will be separate charges at each site for those who do not obtain round tickets. The cost of entry tickets to Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa or Sigiriya is Us $ 15 per adult and half rate per child per site, while to Kandy is US$ 12/-, Nalanda US$ 5/-, Ritigal US$ 5/-, Medirigiriya US$ 8/- (accepted in rupees value per adult and half rate per child). Tickets are available at the office of the Central Cultural Fund. 21 2/1, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07. Tel: 587912, 500733, 581944 or Central Cultural Fund Project offices at Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Kandy.

Q: What are the languages used?
English is widely used. But the official languages are Sinhala and Tamil.

Q: How to hire vehicles?
It is very easy to have a vehicle with a driver. The price of the vehicle with a driver is approx. Rs. 30/- per km. A long trip from Colombo to Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Galle and back to Colombo cover approx. 1000km.

Q: What are the International Direct Dial (IDD) facilities?
International Direct Dial (IDD) telephone Services are readily available through your hotel, or from the roadside public payphones situated in all parts of Colombo and its Suburbs, and also in several provincial towns, too. There are card-operated payphones. The phone cards are easily obtainable from shops. The minimum cost of a phone card is 100/-. When touring it is best to obtain a phone-card before setting out.
Q: Do we need vaccination?
A certificated for the vaccination of Cholera and Yellow Fever is a must.

Q: How are the road facilities?
Sri Lanka has a good network of metalled roads. Connecting all principal towns and places of tourist interest.

Q: Do we need visas?
Refer Travel Tips.

Q: What is the best season for beaches?
November to April – South West May to October – North West

Q: Where is Sri Lanka situated?
In the South – Eastern shares of India, 880 km North of the equator in the Indian Ocean. 12 hours flying time from Europe.

Q: Why is Sri Lanka so special?
Sri Lanka is a unique island. Its wide bio-diversity is within an area of 65.525 sq.km.

Q: What can we buy in Sri Lanka?
Beside the traditional tea, gems and spices, tourist can buy some of the most attractively priced garments and crisp linen in Sri Lanka.