Sri Lanka General Information

Sri Lanka

Quick Facts

Region: India

Population:
21,324,791

Religion:

In Sri Lanka, Buddhism is the dominant religion, with Hinduism, Islam and Christianity making up about 25% of the population

Language:

Sinhala is the official language. Tamil and Sinhala are both national languages. English is commonly spoken in tourist areas.

Area (sq. km):
65,610 square meters

Time:

GMT + 5

When To Travel

The Island is tropical with very distinct dry and wet seasons and there are two monsoon periods each year. The Yala monsoon affects the south-west parts of the country between May and August whilst the dry season here lasts from December to March. The northern and eastern areas receive their rain between October and January from the Maha monsoon and are dry from May to September. During October & November rain and thunderstorms can occur in many parts of the island. Low lying areas including Colombo have an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius.

Useful Travel Facts

Telephone:

The international dialling code for Sri Lanka is +94.

Electricity:

In Sri Lanka, voltage is 230v/50 cycles. Round three-pin plugs are the most common types.

Shopping:

The markets and boutiques have an excellent range of colourful clothing, fabrics and gems on offer and painted masks and handicrafts are very popular souvenirs.

Visa: Please note that visa requirements can and do change. It is essential that you confirm requirements with the nearest relevant embassy or check with your travel agent before you travel.
Since January 2012, all foreign passport holders require an ETA (Electronic Transfer Authorisation) Visa to travel to Sri Lanka. The process is simple and the current cost is US$20. This ETA visa is valid for 30 days. The ETA visa can be obtained online by logging onto www.eta.gov.lk (detailed information and the visa forms are provided through this site).
The ETA visa is generally provided within 1 working day.
The ETA visa is also available on arrival at the ETA issuing counter at Colombo airport. The cost on arrival is US$25 and is also valid for max 30 days. Payment can be made in $USD or using a credit or debit card. Please note that if you are refused an ETA on arrival you will not be allowed to enter Sri Lanka.

Useful Words & Phrases

Further Reading

Sri Lanka-Lonely Planet Sri Lanka-Tim Page Running in the Family-Michael Ondaatje