Travel, Transport and Getting Around
Domestic air services around Sri Lanka are limited, and most tourists travel by either road or train. If you do choose to fly, then the major domestic airport is Ratmalana at Colombo. Sri Lanka has a widespread road network, which accounts for nearly 95% of land transport across the country.
Car hire services are available from several international agencies. To hire a car, visitors must have a valid driving licence and be 18 or over. Taxis in Sri Lanka have yellow tops and red and white plates. In Colombo, taxis are metered but it is advisable to agree a rate before setting off. Drivers expect a 10% tip. A cheaper and more authentic option is to flag down a tuk-tuk - these open rickshaws are available for hire in abundance across the country.
Trains connect Colombo with all tourist towns, but first-class carriages, air conditioning and dining cars are available on only a few. Passengers can buy tickets online from Sri Lanka Railways (www.railway.gov.lk). New fast services operate on the principal routes, including an intercity express service between Colombo and Kandy, otherwise journeys are fairly leisurely. First-class carriages almost always book up in advance, so it’s best to secure your ticket early.
Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice
All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised, whilst bottled water and a variety of mineral waters are available at most hotels. Unpasteurized milk should be boiled, and if possible powdered or tinned milk is advised; these are generally available in Sri Lanka. Pasteurised and sterilised milk is available in some hotels and shops. Avoid dairy products made using unboiled milk. Beware of eating salads - vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled, and all should be washed in sterilised water. Street food in Sri Lanka is ubiquitous but use your judgement wisely and only eat well-cooked meat and fish, which have not been left sitting out.
In most Sri Lankan towns, you’ll find pavement stalls and corner shops selling street food specialities. No trip to the country is complete without a scrumptious snack bought from a street vendor but avoid unpeeled fruit and salads, which can trigger violent reactions in the uninitiated.
Alcohol cannot be sold on Poya holidays (which occur each lunar month on the day of the full moon).
Clothing and Dress Recommendations
The weather in Sri Lanka can be unpredictable during any season so depending on where in the country you’re going, it’s best to take layers. The central highlands can be significantly cooler throughout the year, so you’ll need warmer clothes here. Lightweight rainwear is also recommended any time of year.
Buddhist Temples - Visitors are advised to dress modestly in somber and modest colors and most importantly to remove foot wear, hats, scarves etc. prior to entering the premises.
Churches – Visitors are advised to dress modestly, remove hats, scarves etc. prior to entering the premises.
Kovils - Visitors are advised to dress modestly, no sleeveless, remove foot wear hats prior to entering the premises.
Top Travel Destinations in Sri Lanka
The commercial center of Sri Lanka seamlessly mixes modern malls and skyscrapers with beautiful colonial buildings.
While Colombo can be a chaotic place, it has everything you could want in a city.fantastic restaurants, fascinating museums and a plethora of great stores. There is also lots of great nightlife to be had
Negombo is a pleasant beach town that is the perfect place to head if you want to just chill out on golden sands. Lying just to the north of Colombo, the city has lots of restaurants, bars and accommodation options. Its tropical climate is ideal for lounging on the beach.
A stunning place to visit, Unawatuna’s laidback vibe and fantastic beaches make it an increasingly popular destination. With towering palm trees lining its golden sands and the Indian Ocean’s crystal clear water, it certainly paints a pretty picture; there are some excellent beachside bars and restaurants where you can watch the sun go down.
Located in a beautiful setting with forest-covered hills, sweeping valleys, and picturesque tea plantations, Ella is a lovely place to spend time and is one of the most popular Hill Country villages. In any case, the surrounding countryside and stunning scenery are what most people come for; make sure to hike to some of the nearby waterfalls and temples