Travel to Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Various travel information

For German, Austrian and Swiss citizens, a passport and visa is required when entering Sri Lanka. Tourist visas of up to 30 days are issued when entering Sri Lanka. The passport must be valid for at least six months upon entry. In the case of children, the entry of the child in one of the parents’ passports is sufficient. Children’s ID cards for children up to the age of 16 are recognized, provided they have a photo.

Issuing of visas in Germany

Niklasstraße 19

14163 Berlin

Tel.: 0049 – (0) 30 – 80 90 97 43

Foreign exchange, goods

Local currency

The national currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan rupee.

Importing and exporting the national currency

The national currency may be imported up to an amount of 1,000 Sri Lankan rupees and no more than 250 rupees may be exported in cash.

Import and export of foreign currencies

The import of the Indian rupee and the Pakistani rupee is not permitted. There is no limit to the introduction of other currencies. An amount or the equivalent of over US $ 5,000 must be declared. Proof of declaration must be presented for export.

Customs regulations

Tourists can import the following goods into Sri Lanka duty-free:

  • 1.5 l spirits and two bottles of wine
  • 200 cigarettes or 250 g tobacco
  • 250 ml of perfume
  • Merchandise worth $ 250

For the export of antiques, i.e. all items that are more than 50 years old, a special permit is required from the authorities.

The import and export of weapons and drugs is strictly prohibited.

Animals and plants that fall under the Washington Convention on the Protection of Species may neither be imported nor exported. This also applies to products made from them. Cameras, cell phones and computers must be declared on entry.

Country-specific goods, souvenirs

The third largest export good from Sri Lanka are precious stones. You can therefore buy them there cheaper than in our local jewelry stores. Nice souvenirs are batik fabrics and clothing, leather goods, hand-carved masks and wickerwork. Of course, taking along a pack of Ceylon tea grown in Sri Lanka is an absolute must.

Tourist office

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau

80, Galle road

Colombo 03

Tel: 0094 – 11 – 23 80 944


How to get to Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka can be reached from Germany in about 10 hours by plane. The national airline is called Sri Lanka Airlines. The only international airport is the Bandaranaike International Airport north of Colombo (see also It is located about 35 kilometers from Colombo in Katunayake. This distance is overcome on a palm-lined street, which connects Colombo with the airport in full length. It is currently used not only as a civil but also as a military airport. It was named after the former Prime Minister Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike (1899-1959). The country’s national airline is Sri Lankan Airlines.

The SriLankan Air Taxi flies connections from Colombo to the most famous and popular holiday destinations in Sri Lanka.

Information about this is available at

Travel in the country

Air connections The airline Sri Lanka Airlines offers domestic flights with seaplanes under the name Sri Lanka Air Taxi. A total of 14 routes are served.


Sri Lanka’s railway network has a length of approx. 1,500 km. It is safer to take the train than to take the bus, but not all parts of the country are connected to the network. In addition, the train runs at only about 30 km/h. The Fort Railway Station is Colombo’s main train station. From there it is not difficult to get to the main tourist areas. However, one should always book tickets in advance and keep in mind that most trains do not have 1st class, no air conditioning and no dining car.

The following route connections with Colombo are currently available:

• Colombo – Negombo – Chillaw – Puttalam

• Colombo – Kalutara – Galle – Matara

• Colombo – Peradeniya Junctiom – Kandy

• Colombo – Avissawella (-Ratnapura – Opanaike)

• Colombo – Kurunegala – Maho Junction – Habarana – Galoya Junction – Polonnaruwa – Kalkudah – Batticaloa

• Colombo – Galoya Junction – Trincomalee

• Colombo – Maho Junction – Anuradhapura – Vavuniya –

Anuradhapura – Kankesapura • Anuradanthapura – Mihintale

• Colombo – Anuradhapura – Mannar – Talaimannar


Viceroy Special

With this steam train – the only one in the whole of Sri Lanka – you can get from Colombo to Kandy and the highland tea plantations on a line system, for example. Other wonderful routes are the route along the west coast to the beach hotels or the route to the old port town of Galle.


Sri Lanka’s bus network is very well developed and extremely inexpensive. However, the buses are usually overcrowded and move slowly. The bus network in Colombo is operated by Central Transport Board. In addition to these buses, there are also private and minibuses. The fare is simply paid to the conductor. Information is available on site at: Central Transport Board, Colombo, Tel: 0094 – (0) 11 – 28081.

Every major place in Sri Lanka can be reached from Colombo via long-distance or express buses. The rule is that long-distance buses only stop in large cities, while short-distance buses stop everywhere. The standard is quite good. The state buses are usually less comfortable than the numerous private bus companies, which often equip their buses with air conditioning.


Sri Lanka’s road network is relatively well developed. However, many roads are very narrow and in a rather poor condition.


cars Rental cars are mainly available in Colombo. However, they are usually offered with a driver. This does not make a big difference in price and should be considered because of the hair-raising traffic in the eyes of Europeans. Plus, it’s more informative and you don’t have to take out the expensive insurance that you would have to do as a self-drive. The prices for a rental car with chauffeur are around 25 cents per kilometer (petrol included). In addition, there are 2 to 3 euros per day for the driver. He uses it to pay for his food and accommodation so that the passenger does not have to worry about it.

An international driving license is required for independent driving. If you present this, you will receive a temporary driving license for Sri Lanka. This is issued by the

Automobile Association of Sri Lanka

40 Sir Macan Markar Mawatha

Galle Face

Colombo 3

Tel.: 0094 – (0) 11 – 21 52 89


Taxis are rarely marked as such outside of the capital. Taxis can be recognized by their yellow roof within Colombo and usually have a taximeter. Taxi drivers are usually tipped. However, this should not exceed 40 Rps.


These motor tricycles, also known as “three-wheelers”, “tuk-tuks” or “trishaws”, are a very popular means of transport in Colombo. They are everywhere. The fares should be negotiated before starting the journey. You can inquire about possible prices in your own hotel, for example.

Ferry connections

There are ferry connections between Sri Lanka and the Indian mainland.

Traffic rules

Regardless of the information provided here, it is advisable to obtain more detailed information from ADAC, AvD or Sri Lanka’s traffic clubs.

Top speeds

  • Urban: In built-up areas there is a speed limit of 50 km/h.
  • Country roads: There is a speed limit of 70 km/h on country roads.

In addition, it is of course necessary to pay attention to the current local speed limits, which are indicated by traffic signs.

Special regulations

There is left-hand traffic in Sri Lanka. A speed limit of 40 km/h applies in the capital Colombo. Helmets are compulsory for motorcyclists and moped riders.

Blood alcohol limit

The official blood alcohol limit in Sri Lanka for drivers of motor vehicles is 0.0 alcohol.

International license plate

The international license plate of Sri Lanka is:


Travel medicine, vaccinations and warnings

Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are to be expected in Sri Lanka that do not occur or are less common in Germany, Austria or Switzerland:

  • Malaria, there is a year-round malaria risk in the country with the exception of the districts of Colombo, Galle, Gampaha, Kalutara, Matara and Nuwara Eliya. Between 10% and 15% of infections occur with the very dangerous malaria tropica, the rest with malaria tertiana.
  • Amoebic dysentery
  • Bacterial agitation
  • Chikungunya
  • Cholera, an infection risk only exists for travelers who come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food
  • dengue fever
  • Intestinal infections from contaminated food or water, including amoeba, lamblia, salmonella, shigella and worm infestation, as well as all kinds of viruses and bacteria
  • Filariasis
  • Typhus
  • Hepatitis A and B, an infection with hepatitis B, is only possible in people who can come into contact with blood or those who are looking for sexual contact.
  • Japan encephalitis
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Polio, polio
  • tetanus
  • rabies
  • Typhoid fever, an infection risk only exists for travelers who come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food

Recommended vaccinations

when traveling to Sri Lanka, the following vaccinations recommended:

  • Cholera, but only among travelers who can come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food
  • Diphtheria, a vaccination against diphtheria should always exist, also in the home country
  • Yellow fever
  • Hepatitis A and B, vaccination against hepatitis B, is only required for people who may come into contact with blood or who are looking for sexual contact.
  • Japan encephalitis
  • Polio, polio, a vaccination against polio should always exist, also in the home country
  • Rabies, in particularly vulnerable people
  • Tetanus, a vaccination against tetanus, should always exist, also in the home country
  • Typhoid, but only in travelers who may come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food

Compulsory vaccination

When entering and staying in Sri Lanka, all persons who are older than one year and are coming from a country designated by the WHO as a yellow fever infection area are required to be vaccinated against yellow fever.

Yellow fever vaccination for children

In most countries where a yellow fever vaccination is mandatory, this also applies to children over 1 year of age, in some countries even from 6 months. It should be noted that

vaccination against yellow fever had a number of side effects, such as encephalitis. Around two thirds of those affected were children under 6 months. Therefore, under no circumstances should children under this age be vaccinated. But children under one year of age should also not be vaccinated if possible. If in doubt, yellow fever infection areas must then be avoided.

Any vaccination against yellow fever may only be carried out in specially authorized yellow fever vaccination centers!

Malaria prophylaxis

When traveling in the country it is advisable to undergo malaria prophylaxis. If the side effects seem questionable to you, you should at least have a “stand-by preparation” with you.

Foreign Office (AA) of the Federal Republic of Germany

Citizens Service

Unit 040

D-11013 Berlin

Tel: 0049 – (0) 30 – 5000 – 2000

Why to travel to Sri Lanka

What makes Sri Lanka so unique? Why is it a particularly worthwhile vacation destination? The following top 10 Sri Lanka travel info reflect the most important arguments for a great Sri Lanka trip:

  1. Adam’s Peak – special natural beauty with a religious flairAdam’s Peak is a holy mountain in Sri Lanka, which is also known under the name Sri Pada. A footprint can be found at the top of the mountain, which, depending on the faith, is said to come from either Buddha himself, Adam or St. Thomas. For this reason, many followers of different world religionslike to pilgrimage there. In addition, a wonderful panorama can be admired from the summit.
  2. Sri Lankan cuisine – spicy food with a variety of flavorsSri Lankan cuisine is one of the hottest in the world. So if you like spicy dishes, you’ve come to the right place. In addition to rice dishes and curry, the kitchen offers various delicious dough dishes such as hoppers or roti (flat breads made from flour and desiccated coconut). For friends of the exotic, Sri Lanka’s cuisine offers a multitude of delicacies.
  3. The east coast – the sound of the sea without the crowds of touristsThe beaches of the east coast are definitely worth a trip. While the majority of tourists cavort in the south or west of the country, the east beaches are sometimes even deserted. So if you just want to indulge in the beauty of the sea all by yourself, you’ve come to the right place.
  4. The Yala National Park – admire the fauna of Sri LankaThe Yala National Park in the south-east of the country covers an area of approx. 13,000 ha = 130 km² and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. In late summer you can admire the largest leopard population in the world here. In addition, however, visitors also make safe acquaintance with peacocks, elephants and crocodiles.
  5. The sea creatures of Sri Lanka – explore a new worldThe different sea creatures of Sri Lanka are also worth a trip. In spring, those interested can even dive with blue whales and sea turtles – an unforgettable experience.
  6. Sri Lanka is a tea stronghold – an absolute must for connoisseurs!Those who like to drink tea should at least visit one of the large tea plantations. There, visitors learn how the tea is planted, harvested and ultimately exported to the buyer countries. Of course, it is also possible to taste it on the plantations that grow high-quality Ceylon tea.
  7. Sir Lanka’s rich cultural heritageThe island nation has 8 UNESCO cultural and natural heritage sites. This includes, for example, a former Dutch colonial fort in the city of Galle. The cultural triangle with the royal cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa and the cave temple of Dambulla should also be mentioned here. In relation to its size, Sir Lanka has a lot to offer culturally.
  8. Ayurveda – medical tourism for your own wellbeingAyurveda is an Indian natural healing art that has been practiced in Sri Lanka for more than 2,000 years. Of course, visitors can also benefit from this and let them help them regain their own balance. Whether Ayurveda massages, meditations or yoga – there are corresponding possibilities everywhere in Sri Lanka.
  9. Kandy – colorful festivals and many sightsKandy is definitely one of the most famous cities in Sri Lanka and knows how to convince visitors and locals alike. Many small sights are of course overshadowed by the huge Buddha temple Sri Dalada Maligawa, which is an absolute eye-catcher especially during the Esala Oerahera festival: Adorned with many decorations, it invites many visitors to join in the huge procession.
  10. Active vacation – no problemin Sri Lanka The possibilities for active tourists are extremely diverse in Sri Lanka. Whether windsurfing, sailing, diving, kayaking and canoeing in the sea and on the rivers or hiking and cycling tours in nature – nothing to be desired is left here.

Sri Lanka: Diplomatic missions

Representations of Sri Lanka in Germany


Niklasstraße 19

14163 Berlin

Tel.: 0049 – (0) 30 – 80909749

German representations in Sri Lanka

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Colombo

40, Alfred House Avenue

Colombo 3

Tel: 0094 – 11 – 258 04 31



Austrian representations in Sri Lanka


The embassy in India is responsible.

Honorary Consulate

424, Carmart Building, Union Place

Colombo 2

Tel: 0094 – 11 – 269 63 11



Representations of Sri Lanka in Austria

Embassy in Vienna

Rainergasse 1/2/5

1040 Vienna

Tel: 0043 – (0) 1 – 503 79 88


Honorary Consulate in Graz

Waagner-Biro-Strasse 39-41

8020 Graz

Tel: 0043 – (0) 316 – 509 209


Swiss representations in Sri Lanka

Embassy in Colombo

63, Gregory’s Road

Colombo 7

Tel: 0094 – 11 – 269 51 17



The Swiss embassy in Sri Lanka is still responsible for the Maldives.

Representations of Sri Lanka in Austria


The embassy in Berlin is responsible.

Consulate General in Geneva

Rue de Moillebeau 56

1209 Geneva

Tel: 0041 – (0) 22 – 734 90 84


Travel to Sri Lanka