TOUTS Beware of touts, avoid them. Do not accept their offer to give more for your foreign currency or lead you to shops which give you special bargains; it will be all for the tout’s bargain only.
TOURIST POLICE DIVISION A tourist police force is operated at the Sri Lanka tourism premises to provide visitors, local and foreign to enjoy a hassle free holiday. Sri Lankans are also protected from negative practices such as use of children for commercial sex, drugs and other undesirable activities. You may contact the tourist police at Tel: +94 11 2421451 (Open day and night) or
The Police Tourist Division is presently located at No. 80, Galle Road, Colombo - 03 and connected with a short code telephone number -1912 for any emergency. In addition to the above main unit in Colombo there are few units located in the following tourist resort areas.
Hikkaduwa Located at Narigama - 060 2009790
Negombo Located at Ettukala - 031 2275555
Beruwala, Bentota Located at Moragalla - 034 2276049
Galle Located at Galle Fort - 091 2242783
Anuradhapura Located at Anuradhapura (Close to Lion Pillar) - 025 2224546
Polonnaruwa Located at Polonnaruwa new town - 027 2223099
CURRENCY Sri Lanka has a unified exchange rate for foreign currencies which floats in response to basic exchange market developments (rates available at Banks/Hotels)
SRI LANKA CURRENCY Sri Lanka has a decimal currency system; One Sri Lankan Rupee is divided into 100 Sri Lanka cents. Currency noted are in the denominations of Rs. 10, Rs. 20, Rs. 50, Rs. 100, Rs. 500, Rs 1000, Rs, 2000, Rs 5000. Denominations are clearly marked in figures in both sides of notes and stated in English in addition to Sinhala and Tamil. Coins commonly in used are the following denominations; One Rupee, Two Rupees, Five Rupees and Ten Rupees.
CURRENCY REGULATIONS Visitors to Sri Lanka bringing in excess of US$ 10,000 should declare the amount to the Customs, All unspent monies, which were converted from foreign currencies declared on arrival can be re converted to original currency. You are required to produce encashment receipts or Payment bills.
CREDIT CARDS Many Hotels and Shops accept reputed credit cards. No surcharge should be permitted for its use. Cash encashment are possible against credit cards in certain banks.
BANKING FACILITIES Banking facilities are grown and widened tremendously to cope with the sophisticated needs of today’s businessman. Sri Lankan and Foreign banks provide an expanding range of services to investors.
BANKING HOURS Banks keep increasingly flexible hours to suit customer convenience. All Banks are open from 0900 to 1300 hrs Monday to Friday. Some city banks close at 1500 hrs, while still other has night banking facilities too. Some banks are open on Saturdays for a limited number of hours for transactions. Banks are closed on Sundays, all Public Holidays and the special bank holidays on 30th June and 31st December.
AIRPORT ENTRY Entry to the Bandaranayke International Airport is restricted except for embarking passengers. Those who wish to meet incoming passengers may do so by purchasing a ticket which is located on either side of the terminals. A ticket may cost you Rs. 300.00 per person. (Prices are subject to change)
EMBARKATION TAX This amount is added to your ticket.
Warning :Do not carry Dangerous Drugs. Drugs mean death by Law & effect.
Visitors are requested to re-export articles brought in as personal effects. Make sure that you take back cameras and photographic equipment and any transistor radios, recorders and sound equipment declared on arrival. The customs check is usually oral, however, random examination of baggage is carried out.
Baggage Concessions :
Declare all your currency, valuable equipment, jewellery and gems
If you have nothing to declare, you can go through the GREEN CHANNEL.
Yours Baggage should not contain goods in Commercial Quantities and Prohibited or Restricted Goods. Some of them are : Dangerous Drugs, Weapons and Explosives and Gold.
You are entitled to : * 1-1/2 liters of spirits, 2 bottles of Wine. * A small quantity of perfume and travel souvenirs not exceeding US$ 250 in value. * Professional Teams – Filming and Photographic equipment will be allowed on valid
carnet Or a Bank Guarantee or on a refundable deposit of the duty payable on the
Departures * You are entitled to take out what you have declared and brought into the country and
when ever you have purchased locally like gems, jewellery, and Sri Lankan products
out of funds brought in and declared to Customs on your arrival. * 10 Kgs of Sri Lankan Tea duty free. * Foreign currency declared and brought into the country, Unused Sri Lanka currency
should be reconverted to foreign currency at departure.
Retain some of your hotel and shopping receipts, Especially for Gems, These would make customs clearance easy.
Not Permitted * All currencies in excess of your declared amounts on arrival.
1. Gems and Jewellery or valuable equipment not declared on arrival or Not Purchased in Sri Lanka out of funds declared and brought into the country.
2. Gold (crude, bullion or coins)
3. Sri Lanka currency in excess of Rs. 1000.00
4. Firearms, explosives and dangerous weapons.
5. Antiques, Statues, Treasures, Old books etc.
6. Animals, Birds, Reptiles and their parts (Dead or Alive)
7. Tea, Rubber and Coconut plants
8. Dangerous Drugs.
TEMPLE ENTRY All visitors to Buddhist and Hindu temples are expected to be unshod and have their heads uncovered. Buddhists do not object for visitors offering flowers at the feet of the Buddha. If you wish to make any donation or contribution put it into a till in the temple. You may not be allowed entry to the inner sanctum of Hindu temples.
It is best to be decently clad when visiting any place of worship. Sun and beach wear is not the ideal for temples and shrines. Briefs, shorts, bare shoulders and backs may not be appreciated. You need not be stiff and overdressed. Just comfortable and decently covered.
WHAT TO WEAR Light cotton dresses of the drip-dry-wash-and-wear variety and light-weight suits are the most comfortable year round attire. A wide brimmed beach hat and sun glasses are recommended. Slippers or sandals will be more comfortable than shoes. Medium weight slacks and pullovers will be necessary in the hill country where the temperature can go down to low as 50 F (10C).
BARS Alcoholic beverages are freely available at public bars, wine shops, restaurants, stores and super markets. However sale of liquor is prohibited on Poya days (Full moon days). Most hotel bars and restaurants also observe this rule.
ELECTRICITY 230 – 240 Volts 50 cycles A.C.
HOLIDAYS Sri Lanka has a five day week. In addition to Saturdays and Sundays and special public holidays, the full moon (Poya) day of each month is a public holiday. All places of entertainment (including cinemas) and bars are closed on Poya day.
The Hotels make special arrangements for customers to order their drinks a day before the Poya Holiday.
TIPPING Tipping is optional. It is left to the customer to tip if satisfied with service. Most hotels and restaurants include a service charge of 10% in any bill. In the event of you wishing to give a tip, about 10% of the bill is considered a fair tip.