Sri Lanka

Travel Facts

US State Dept Travel Advisory

The US State Department currently recommends US citizens exercise increased caution in Sri Lanka due to civil unrest, and terrorism.

Passport/Visa Requirements

For the latest passport and visa requirements for this country, please consult the U.S. State Department’s “Learn About Your Destination” search tool, available through the link below.

US Embassy/Consulate

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

LGBTQIA+ Travelers

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, Hindu, Muslim, Roman Catholic, other Christian

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, June 26, 2024