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Sri Lanka: 7 questions answered

Visiting Sri Lanka for the first time? Lucky you! We’ve answered some of your most-asked questions about this fascinating and beautiful country.
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When’s the best time to go to Sri Lanka?

Generally speaking, November to March is the best time to visit Sri Lanka, when temperatures are warm and rainfall is low. But for such a small country, Sri Lanka has a fairly complex weather system – the west and south of the country have a monsoon season between April and September, while the north and east of the country has one from November to March. Our Highlights of Sri Lanka trip has two different itineraries; the west coast version take advantage of the dry season in the west and south, while the east coast version travels to the east when it is dry there

Is it safe to go to Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is a predominantly Buddhist country that is safe and welcoming to visit. The FCO advises that it is safe for tourists to travel to Sri Lanka, and that they should follow the usual precautions when travelling. We recommend that you keep an eye on the FCO advice ahead of your trip, as with all our destinations. 

Do I need a visa for Sri Lanka?

Yes, you’ll need to apply for a visa ahead of your trip to Sri Lanka, but it’s very easy to do online, in the form of an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation), and is normally approved within a few working days. Visit www.eta.gov.lk to apply before you travel. 

Is Sri Lanka a good family holiday destination?

The ingredients for a great family adventure are plenty of variety, modest travelling times, a good balance of experiences and activities that the whole family can enjoy and some beach downtime. Sri Lanka really does tick all of these boxes. From whitewater rafting and surfing on the west coast, to biking amongst ancient ruins and glamping in an Elephant sanctuary... our family Sri Lanka holidays are non-stop fun, with the lure of sun-soaked beaches at the end of each trip.

Is Sri Lanka a good destination to travel solo?

All of our small group trips are ideal for solo travellers, and as a solo traveller you’ll be in good company - around half of travellers on our trips are travelling on their own. Travelling solo as part of a small group is perfect as all of the complexities of logistics and travel arrangements are taken care of, allowing you to enjoy the places you visit and the company of other like-minded travellers.

 

What should I wear when travelling in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka has a tropical climate, and so we recommend thin layers, and lightweight breatheable materials. You’ll also need to consider the highland areas, which are cooler and more temperate – a jumper is recommended. Lightweight rainwear is also essential.

Sri Lanka is a very modest country. Buddhism is the predominant religion in Sri Lanka, and we recommend taking something to cover your shoulders when you’re visiting temples and holy sites, that hats and shoes are removed before entry. You may wish to travel around Sri Lanka with a pair of socks for temple visits, as the ground can get very hot. Long trousers are recommended for temple visits too, although many allow you to hire a sarong for a nominal fee.

What is the food like in Sri Lanka?

Traditional Sri Lankan cuisine is delicious. While it can be very spicy, there are many dishes that feature cooling coconut milk or have a spicy sambar on the side to allow you to adjust the meal to your taste. There isn't a culture of eating out in Sri Lanka - most locals will eat at home - and as such there are relatively few restaurants around. Those that do exist tend to be in hotels, though there are restaurants in Colombo, Kandy, Galle and in the coastal resorts. On our trips, we endeavour to eat out at local restaurants wherever possible but for many nights, the hotel restaurants will be the only option available. Be sure to try some of the seafood curries, and Sri Lankan egg-hoppers - like a savoury crepe with a fried egg in the middle cooked to the shape of a wok pan.

 

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