Sri Lanka

Travel Facts

US State Dept Travel Advisory

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens exercise increased caution in Sri Lanka due to civil unrest, and terrorism. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws, and special circumstances in this country.

Passport/Visa Requirements

US citizens should make sure their passport will not expire for at least 6 months after they enter the country even if they do not intend to stay that long. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for any entry stamp and or visa that will be required. A visa is required. US citizens will need to get in touch with the country’s embassy or nearest consulate to obtain a visa prior to visiting the country.

US Embassy/Consulate

[94] (11) 249-8500; US Embassy Colombo, 210 Galle Road, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka;;

LGBTQIA+ Travelers

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) travelers can face unique challenges when traveling abroad. Laws and attitudes in some countries may affect safety and ease of travel. Legal protections vary from country to country. Many countries do not legally recognize same-sex marriage. Approximately seventy countries consider consensual same-sex sexual relations a crime, sometimes carrying severe punishment.

Telephone Code


Local Emergency Phone

119 Police


The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Sri Lanka: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, COVID-19, and influenza.


Tropical monsoon; northeast monsoon (December to March); southwest monsoon (June to October)

Currency (Code)

Sri Lankan rupees (LKR)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s)

230 V / 50 Hz / plug types(s): D, G

Plug Type DPlug Type G

Major Languages

Sinhala, Tamil, English

Major Religions

Buddhist 70.2%, Hindu 12.6%, Muslim 9.7%, Roman Catholic 6.1%, other Christian 1.3%

Time Difference

UTC+5.5 (10.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Potable Water

Opt for bottled water

International Driving Permit


Road Driving Side


Tourist Destinations

Sigiriya Rock Fort; Yala National Park; Galle Fort; Adam's Peak; Temple of the Tooth; Arugam Bay; Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage; Gal Vihara

Major Sports

Volleyball, cricket, rugby, athletics (track and field), soccer, netball, tennis

Cultural Practices

It is common practice to remove one's shoes before entering someone's home. Sri Lankans generally socialize before a meal. It is best not to arrive to a Sri Lankan's house feeling hungry as you may not eat until a few hours later. Try to accept any refreshments offered, as refusing them is considered impolite.

Tipping Guidelines

Tipping 10% is customary in restaurants; if a service charge is included, leave a few extra rupees. Tip bar staff 100 rupees as you leave. Conventionally, 50-100 rupees is a good tip for hotel staff, including porters, room cleaners, and room service personnel. Tip taxi drivers 10% of the fare.


Carved masks, precious gems, teas, spices

Traditional Cuisine

Kottu roti — roti (a round flatbread) is placed on a grill and chopped and combined with additional ingredients including spices, vegetables, eggs, cheese or meat

Please visit the following links to find further information about your desired destination.

World Health Organization (WHO) - To learn what vaccines and health precautions to take while visiting your destination.

US State Dept Travel Information - Overall information about foreign travel for US citizens.

To obtain an international driving permit (IDP). Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs:
American Automobile Association (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)

How to get help in an emergency? 
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, or call one of these numbers:
from the US or Canada - 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas - +1 202-501-4444

Page last updated: Wednesday, October 04, 2023