Entry & VISA Formalities
For nationals of most countries, visas are issued on arrival for 30 days. Extention of tourist visas is handled by the Department of Immigration and Emigration, for further details call Tel: 011 2597511 or visit this link.
Countries Exempt from Visas
All the countries in the SAARC region are exempt from visa
|A||Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan|
|B||Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria|
|C||Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic|
|G||Georgia, Germany, Greece|
|H||Hong Kong (China), Hungary|
|I||India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy|
|K||Kazakstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan|
|L||Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg|
|N||Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway|
|P||Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal|
|R||Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation|
|S||Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland|
|T||Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan|
|U||United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Ugoslavia|
Sri Lanka follows decimal currency system in Rupees (Rs.) and cents (Cts.) with 100 cents equal to a rupee. Currency notes are available in the denominations of Rs. 2, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000. Coins are issued in values of Cts.1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 and Rs.1, 2, 5 and 10. The intervention currency continuously will be the US Dollar.
American Express Bank
Address: 104, Dharmapala Mawatha,Colombo 7.,
Phone: (112)682787-8, Fax: (112)682786,
Standard Chartered Bank
Address: 17, Janadhipathi Mawatha,Colombo 1,
Phone: (112)433302, (112)326671 - 5,
Address: 65C, Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 7.,
Phone: (112)447316 - 8, F
What to wear
Cotton garments are the ideal as Sri Lanka is a tropical island. However, viscose/cotton mixed garments are commonly worn. Light clothing is recommended in the lowland areas and light woolen clothing is suitable in the hill country. A sun hat and sun glasses may help to escape the heat during day time.
Entering Places of Worship
Visitors to Buddhist temples are advised to be properly clad covering the body in full. Briefs, shorts, bear backs and bare shoulders are against accepted norms. When entering Buddhist and Hindu shrines footwear and headgear should be removed.
Those who intend visiting Sri Lanka can obtain more information from the overseas offices of the Ceylon Tourist Board or the Sri Lanka Missions in their home country. A Travel Information Counter at the Airport operates twenty four hours of the day to assist visitors arriving in the Island. Travel Information Centres at No.80, Galle Road, Colombo 3 (opposite Hotel Lanka Oberoi) and at Kandy also provide information to tourists.
Customs Regulations (INBOUND)
Declare all your valuable equipment, jewellery and gems. If you have nothing to declare, go through the “Green Channel”. Baggage should not contain goods for others, goods in commercial quantities, and prohibited or restricted goods. You are required to take back all your personal effects when departing the country. You are entitled to bring in 1.5 liters of spirits, 2 bottles of wine, a small quantity of perfume and travel souvenirs not exceeding US $ in value.
Customs Regulations (OUTBOUND)
PERMITTED: You are entitled to take out what you have declared and brought into the country, and whatever you have purchased locally, such as jems, jewellery and Sri Lanka products with the funds brought in. Three kilos of Sri Lanka tea, duty free, foreign currency declared and brought into the country. Unused Sri Lanka currency should be reconverted to foreign currency at departure.
NOT PERMITTED: Gems and jewellery or valuable equipment not declared on arrival or not purchased in Sri Lanka. Gold (crude, bullion or coins) Sri Lanka currency in excess of Rs. 250/- . Firearms, explosives and dangerous weapons. Antiques, statues, treasures, old books, etc., Animals birds or reptiles (dead or alive) and their parts. Tea, rubber and coconut plants. Dangerous drugs.
The Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake, around 30 km north of Colombo, is Sri Lanka international airport. Transportation to and from the airport is available in the form of buses and taxis. Airport and Departure Tax is included in the Air Ticket.
Sri Lanka has both regular government post offices which exist in every village (at least at sub post office level) and agency post offices (privately run post offices) in most big towns. For more information contact, the Central Mail Exchange.
Central Mail Exchange
D.R.Wijewardena Mawatha, Colombo 10.
Note: overseas mail takes approximately 10-14 day to reach its destination.
Electricity: 230-240 Volts 50 Cycles
Uuseful telephone numbers
All of the following are Colombo Telephone numbers:
|AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION OF CEYLON||11-2421528, 11-2421529|
|BANDRANAIKE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT||11-2252861, 11-2252867|
|CENTRAL BUS STATION||11-2328081|
|CEYLON TOURIST BOARD||11-2437059, 11-2437060,
|DEPT. OF IMMIGRATION & EMIGRATION||11-2503629, 11-2503638|
|GENERAL HOSPITAL (OPEN 24 HOURS)||11-2691111|
|GENERAL POST OFFICE||11-2326203|
|RAILWAY TOURIST INFORMATION||11-2435838|
|SRI LANKA RAILWAY||11-2421281, 11-2434215|
|SRI LANKA RED CROSS||11-2691095, 11-2699934,
|EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE
The following are government hospitals proving free medical services:
|GENERAL HOSPITAL (COLOMBO)||11-2691111|
|GENERAL HOSPITAL (KANDY)||81-2222261, 81-2222170|
|GENERAL HOSPITAL (NEGOMBO)||31-2222261, 31-2222488|
|GENERAL HOSPITAL (GALLE)||91-2222261|
|The following are private hospitals where payment is required:|
|ASIRI HOSPITAL (COLOMBO 5)||11-2500608, 11-2500612|
|NAWALOKA HOSPITAL (COLOMBO 2)||11-2546258, 11-2544444|
|ASHA CENTRAL HOSPITAL (COLOMBO 7)||11-2696411|
|DURDANS HOSPITAL (COLOMBO 3)||11-2575205, 11-2575206|