Sri Lanka

21 Sri Lanka Travel Tips to Save Money and Maximize Your Time

Sri Lanka is the #1 vacation spot for 2019 in accordance to Lonely Planet. Soooo you need to rush to get there earlier than everyone else!

This collection of Sri Lanka Travel ideas was written by Marketa Bartonickova, who traveled to Sri Lanka to attend Cinnamon TBC Asia, the place was nominated as one of the TOP 60 Blogs from around the globe.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited Sri Lanka and this island really amazed me. Since travelling in Sri Lanka is slightly totally different than travelling anyplace else in Asia, I have decided to put collectively these Sri Lanka travel ideas to allow you to to plan your trip. Some are sensible ideas; others are based mostly on humorous or perhaps a little weird issues I skilled throughout my journey 🙂

01 | Organize your visa on-line: it’s cheaper and quicker

Most nationalities can apply for a Sri Lankan visa online, which can grant you 30 days entry to the country. Charges for this course of rely upon which nation you’re from (between $25 and 100 USD). Coming from Czech Republic, we paid 35 USD and acquired a affirmation within 2 days. You possibly can apply in your Sri Lanka visa right here.

So as to enter Sri Lanka, you’ve got to have a passport that is valid at the very least six months from the date of entry. Verify that you’ve at the least one blank page in your passport. It’s really helpful that you simply print out the visa confirmation however it’s not often vital. In case you forgot to apply for you visa, there is a counter to enable you to out in Colombo airport, however that is little costlier and very time-consuming.

02 | Scorching Sri Lanka journey tip: Decide the fitting season

Sri Lanka is a tropical nation and the weather is scorching all yr spherical. Nevertheless, the local weather is influenced by monsoons and varies dramatically throughout the country. The most effective time to go to Sri Lanka will differ depending on which a part of the island you’re visiting.

Usually, one of the best time to go to the west and southwest coasts and hill nation is from December to March. And the perfect time to go to the east coast is from April to September. It’s good to plan accordingly, and embrace a rainproof jacket just in case.

03 | Flying to Sri Lanka

SriLankan Airways is the country’s national airline and can get you to the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo from many corners of the globe. I flew with them immediately from Heathrow to Colombo. It took about 12 hours and was stress-free.

It’s all the time good to make a comparability of different flights and costs. You can even contemplate making a stopover somewhere on the best way, for example in Dubai. An ideal software to examine the prices of flight tickets is Attempt experimenting with dates; it will possibly prevent money which you could later spend on experiences in Sri Lanka.

04 | Getting local cash and a SIM card

Touchdown in Sri Lanka is clean: the Bandaranaike Worldwide Airport just isn’t too massive so that you often get your check-in luggage within jiffy after passing by way of immigration. It is good concept to get some Sri Lankan foreign money after arriving: there are several ATMs obtainable in the arrival hall. In the event you haven’t booked your lodging yet, it is good to know that Cinnamon lodges have a small department instantly at the airport as a way to keep right near the airport in the event you need to.

In case you aren’t millionaire however nonetheless social media addicted you possibly can contemplate buying an area prepaid SIM card on the airport too. It’s a good choice to get the SIM card for vacationers immediately (operator Dialog might be discovered on the airport), since getting a daily SIM card requires a passport and often a lot of ready time (the opposite massive operator is Airtel; it helps when you’ve gotten some local associates, too). WiFi is sort of widespread in inns and restaurants, nevertheless getting an area SIM card makes your life much simpler.

05 | Look out for the weirdest obligation free zone ever!

There’s one strange factor concerning the Colombo airport that took my breath away and that I haven’t seen it anyplace else on the earth. It was a really special obligation free zone.

Identical to anyplace else on the earth you should purchase cigarettes and alcohol, but here you purchase some more sudden things, like a washing machine or fridge; saving 29 per cent counts! So in case you’ll be in want of an enormous fridge in your Sri Lankan celebration, it is best to undoubtedly purchase it at the airport. They may deliver it to you. Clients first 🙂

06 | Getting from the airport to the town centre

Sri Lanka’s important worldwide airport is situated in a suburb of Negombo, 33 kilometres north of the business capital, Colombo. The trip takes one hour by taxi when there are visitors jams, and 30 minutes otherwise.

You principally have the following two decisions:

Bus– bus is the most cost effective means to get to the town. It’ll value you only 120 LKR (0,50 EUR). It’s a fairly clean trip of round 30 minutes because the bus takes the expressway to Colombo. The number of the bus is 187-E3, and it’s air-conditioned. The bus cease is just across from the terminal.

Taxi– it’s going to value you around 2500 to 3000 LKR (12-15 EUR). The automobiles have AC. A number of the 4 and 5-star lodges have their very own counter at the airport, where they sell you a taxi at this price. All others ought to supply the identical fastened worth, but you had higher agree prematurely on the quantity and foreign money to keep away from issues.

07 | Plan what you need to do

It’s good to do analysis and have some sort of plan before you go to Sri Lanka. There’s simply too much to see and do. Plan out what it is you need to see and do – your absolute must dos – so yow will discover the perfect deals and arrange your schedule so you do not waste time shifting across the island.

Sri Lanka is called a country that “has a little bit for everyone”. You want to expertise tradition? You bought it. Wanna check out luxurious resorts? Why not. Wanna see superb wildlife and meet an elephant in actual life? It’s all there.

TIP: Take a look at my different publish with detailed Sri Lanka itinerary for 1 week right here.

08 | Be ready to meet tremendous variety locals

Travelling round in Sri Lanka is straightforward, particularly thanks to the local individuals’s kindness, friendliness and language expertise; virtually everyone within the major cities and vacationer areas places speaks English. The official languages are Sinhala and Tamil. Also when driving (on the left since Sri Lanka used to be a British colony) all of the labels are in Sinhala, Tamil, and English.

Sri Lanka has a literacy fee of 92%, which is the very best in all of South Asia. Schooling is very important in the country. If you need to make the locals completely satisfied, greet them in their language; in Sinhalese you possibly can say “Ayubowan” and in Tamil “Vanakkam”. Though Sri Lanka is a reasonably protected place to travel, you may nonetheless expertise some vacationer scams. Just assume twice when somebody presents you any sort of “service”.

09 | Wake up early

Waking up early whereas travelling is a superb habit, allowing you to see more of the nation, and Sri Lanka is not any exception. The reality is, making an allowance for the aged infrastructure, travelling around Sri Lanka takes time. It is a good suggestion to all the time double examine the touring occasions on GoogleMaps and be prepared for delays.

Travelling in Sri Lanka isn’t difficult, however it’s all about having time and endurance. Shifting around is just not as quick as in Europe. The good news is, you could have enough transportation options (buses and trains) and you’ll get to mingle with the locals.

10 | Roam the streets in a tuk-tuk

Tuk tuks are highest and most reasonably priced transportation experience in Sri Lanka, great for commuting inside cities. I had a feeling I was in some Asian model of Italy, with the sound of the horns here, there, all over the place. When some automotive is passing you or is popping, they may honk the horn. So no worries, it’s regular. A tuk tuk comfortably matches Three individuals, including the driving force. Nevertheless, as I might see, they do not have drawback if more individuals can stuff in…

And one small piece of recommendation; all the time agree on a worth and vacation spot earlier than beginning your tuk tuk journey. If you’d like to connect your tuk tuk expertise with sightseeing in Colombo, you’ll be able to contemplate this tour combining each experiences.

11 | Fly high with cessna

In case you might have restricted time but you need to discover Sri Lanka or play golf in Victoria Golf and Country resort, which is certainly one of 100 most lovely golf courses on the planet, and take pleasure in probably the most famous browsing factors on the planet at Arugam Bay all in at some point, you will get round in small Cessna planes. For example, I once flew from China Bay to Colombo; it only took one hour and value about LKR 15 000 (72 EUR)

Concentrate on baggage allowance and additionally liquids, explosives and different gadgets since you will go through security verify as at any huge airport. Nevertheless, the airport in China Bay was very, very small, so that you would not have to worry that there will probably be 300 individuals ready with you, especially considering the ready room only matches approximately 20 individuals :=)

12 | The magic of an old-school practice

Some practice journeys are often a journey themselves, so one among my Sri Lanka travel ideas is to ebook a railway ticket! Do not anticipate hi-tech trains. However do anticipate beautiful scenery and blending with locals. Nevertheless, the only air con you’ll get shall be from a fan. The most effective of one of the best is the route from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, the place you will see that yourself surrounded by tea plantations!

I took the practice from Colombo to Kandy. It took about Three hours to complete the journey, and there was actually lot of individuals; I used to be very glad that I had a seat reservation. I can extremely advocate reserving a seat since all of the trains which I noticed on the best way have been so full that folks have been hanging out of the doorways. But if you need to stand on one leg, which is not yours – Sri Lankan trains are good for that :

13 | Tea as probably the most superb current

In case you desire to to take one thing residence, you should purchase Sri Lankan Dilmah tea. They have outlets in purchasing malls and on the Colombo airport, however in case you don’t want to pay additional for a reasonably package deal you should purchase it in any supermarket for a lower cost. One other good choice is to purchase spices. Maa’s Kitchen is an area brand as well as a tea – it is straightforward to discover in supermarkets.

And in your girlfriends, boyfriends, mamas, papas, lovers, and whoever is in your mind it’s also possible to buy something from Ceylon Spa. In all probability all of you understand Sri Lanka was recognized from the beginning of British colonial rule as Ceylon. “Spa of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka” does not sound that catchy, but Ceylon Spa does, and matches extra easily on labels J You should purchase tub and body care merchandise, fragrances, house aromas, teas and infusions, and far more. And spices make for a fantastic current, too!


  • 500 gram bag of unfastened leaf Ceylon tea – 500 LKR (2,50 EUR)
  • Combined bag of all types of spices – 300 LKR (1, 50 EUR)

14 | Anticipate the sudden: including a Sri Lankan wedding ceremony

Don’t be stunned to find that there is a wedding ceremony happening in your lodge at 9 a.m. within the morning on a working day. It has happened to me…Earlier than individuals marry, transfer to a new home, or even have an necessary examination, they go to a psychic, who based mostly on date and time of delivery of the individuals involved determines the perfect time and date for the necessary event.

15 | Sri Lankan road food: a lot of meals for little cash

In case you are wanting to hold your price range low whereas traveling via Sri Lanka, meals and transportation will come to your rescue. The road food in Sri Lanka could be very cheap and tasty. In case you are a market lover and would really like to experience a meals market without plenty of vacationers and where all the local individuals go for purchasing, you shouldn’t miss the one in Kandy. It’s superb; vegetable, fruits, dried fish, meat, nuts, and many more gadgets are available here. However keep in mind – cash solely.

Vegetarian meals are the most cost effective, but seafood and fish are still fairly reasonably priced and hen is a bit more costly.

  • Vegetarian curry and rice – 100 LKR (0,50 EUR)
  • Fish curry and rice (together with vegetable dishes) – 150 LKR
  • Bottled water (huge bottle) – 60 LKR (zero, 30 EUR)

16 | Dine beneath a 200-year-old banyan tree

In case you are eager about Sri Lankan food and you’re in Colombo, you’ll be able to attempt NUGA GAMA restaurant. It seems like an actual village in the city beneath a 200-year-old banyan tree. When you like to sample many dishes when having dinner, NUGA GAMA is the place to go.

You would not have to order one dish only. You’ll be able to stroll around and take one spoonful from each dish. However I don’t advocate that since there are too many choices. I appreciated hoppers probably the most. You’ll be able to have them plain or with eggs, and can put some sauce on them. They’re manufactured from rice flower, coconut milk and eggs, so in case you have got tasted some super-spicy meals, this is how to save yourself.

17 | A place for a coconut junkie

Should you love coconut water, milk, and do on, Sri Lanka is the place to go. You’ll be able to see coconut timber all over the place. Nevertheless, I’ve also tried Palmyra, which is wealthy in minerals and nutritional vitamins and it is a good various for individuals on a food regimen or suffering from diabetes. It is a supply of iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, vitamins B and C, and far more.

And for a great get together – simply add just a little little bit of vodka in it and you’ve gotten wholesome cocktail in a sec! And in case you fall asleep on the sun and you might have to look for some prickly warmth remedy that is an alternate. A skinny layer of sugar palm fruit jelly utilized has a smoothing affect and alleviates the itchiness related to prickly warmth. You will get a recent coconut for 40 LKR (zero.20 EUR)

18 | One huge nature reservoir

Sri Lanka is just 65,000 square kilometres and it has the densest inhabitants of leopards, the most important gathering of Asian elephants, over 500 species of birds, 250-plus species of butterflies, 103 species of snakes and countless amphibians. You can too see crocodiles, dolphins, blue whales, and sperm whales (Mirissa, Kalpitiya & Tricomallee have turn into the leading hotspots to watch whales in Sri Lanka).

So as to plan your route, safari or a tailored trip, take a look right here. The most effective locations to see wildlife are Yala National Park and Minneriya Nationwide Park. Both give you the chance to see elephants in the wild and experience the great thing about nature in Sri Lanka. This island is actually one huge reservoir!

19 | Value of tourist points of interest in Sri Lanka

Touring in Sri Lanka is doable with a finances of 20-35 EUR per day. In distinction with reasonably priced transportation and meals are the upper entrance fees to the primary websites. Contemplate whether or not you’re into vacationer points of interest or you would like to stay off the crushed path. It have to be famous that admission tickets at sights resembling Sigiriya or the Nationwide Parks are proportionally astronomical in contrast to different prices within the nation.

Prices to a few of the primary sights

  • Entrance to Gangaramaya Buddhist temple – 100 LKR ($0.91)
  • Sigiriya (I saw it from the surface, however it was a bit overpriced for my part – so I saved my cash) – 3,300 LKR entrance payment (virtually $30!)
  • Kandy Botanical Gardens – $10 entrance payment
  • Temple of the Tooth – $10 entrance charge
  • Minnriya National Park – Around $15 entrance charge, 75 USD per individual for Three-Four hours guided jeep safari

20 | Go to the temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

In case you are just going to go to one temple is Sri Lanka, decide the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. You will discover it in Kandy, the religious capital of the nation, situated in the Central Province. It was the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka and it’s a designated UNESCO heritage website. It’s also an essential place for Buddhists, since Kandy is the home of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. It’s located in the formal royal palace complicated and houses a relic of the tooth of the Buddha.

When travelling inside Sri Lanka, you will notice that there are lots of church buildings, temples and mosques. Sri Lankan individuals are mainly Buddhists; nevertheless, there are numerous Hindus, Muslims and Christians, too. To enter a temple, you have to take away your footwear and cover your legs and shoulders, so don’t overlook an extended scarf, lengthy skirt or pants in your bag!

21 | On Leaving Sri Lanka

As I stated earlier than, Colombo airport is just not too huge but you still have to be there Three hours before the departure time. You go through the screening with all of your baggage, so if there are too many people, it may well take some time. You don’t have to take away electronics from your baggage, and the hand baggage examine is on the gate.

Remember that in case you could have some local money remaining you need to spend it outdoors the obligation free zone since most outlets do not to accept it. The US dollar or GBP the perfect foreign money.

Then say goodbye to Sri Lanka. Till the subsequent time!

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Veronika Tomanova

Veronika Tomanova is the founding father of award-winning solo female journey weblog Veronika’s Journey, that includes journey ideas, guides and tales from around the globe. She is from Czech Republic and has been to 30+ nations.

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