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Useful facts for your holiday to Sri Lanka
Flight and Transfers
Direct flights from Gatwick to Bandaranaike International Airport at Colombo in Sri Lanka take approximately 11 hours 30 minutes. Airlines that fly indirect to Sri Lanka include Emirates Airlines (via Dubai), Etihad Airways (via Abu Dhabi), Oman Air (via Muscat) and Qatar Airways (via Doha) where free stopovers are permitted.
British Citizens travelling to Sri Lanka require a full British passport which must be valid for 6 months from the date of entry into Sri Lanka. Please check up to date visa requirements with the Foreign Office. Children and infants also require their own passports, and all passports must contain a computer chip.
Virtually everyone requires a visa to visit Sri Lanka. These need to be applied for in advance here, and cost around £20 – it’s a very simple process and is completed online. You’ll also need your passport and a return or onward ticket. All travellers should check full entry requirements prior to travel by visiting the FCO website or by contacting the relevant embassy.
An Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is required for entry into Sri Lanka for visits up to 30 days, and it allows double entry. You will not require an ETA if you are transiting within 48 hours through Sri Lanka and have a valid onward ticket. Please visit www.eta.gov.lk to arrange this in advance of your holiday.
There are two official languages: Sinhala, spoken by the majority of the population, and Tamil, spoken principally by the minority ethnic group Tamils. English is spoken by people in the major cities and any of the tourist destinations, so if your Sinhala’s not quite up to scratch, don’t worry.
Travelling to Sri Lanka with us will mean your transportation needs will be limited – we’ll take care of all the details for you. If you’re going on an escorted tour, all of your transfers will be private and the travel will be completely based around you. But if you’re staying at a resort and want to see the country, driving yourself around cannot be recommended. Instead, it’s almost as cheap to hire a rented car with a driver to take you around rather than doing the driving yourself. Ad hoc taxis are another option and are usually quite cheap too as they are metred. A more unique albeit for some reason more expensive option are the tri-shaws (tuk-tuks) which offer a truly Sri Lankan experience. For longer journeys buses and trains can be used.
The Sri Lankan Rupee is the official currency. Other currencies are not accepted, but you can easily exchange British pounds at your hotel or at the airport.
230-240V, 50Hz. Two and three pin round plugs.
Vaccination and Health
As health requirements often change we recommend you consult with your GP or visit a specialist travel clinic well in advance of your holiday for specific information related to your travel and medical history. Additional information can be found by visiting MASTA Travel health.
It’s worth bringing a good mosquito repellent as mosquito can be – at best – a real annoyance in the evenings.
GMT +5.30 hours (+4.30 hours in summer)