Sri Lanka Tour: Frequently Asked Questions

If you are looking for the FAQs on our guided tours please take a look at this page too.

We have answers below for some of the most frequently asked questions about holidaying in Sri Lanka. You might also be interested in this article: It’s about a few things you should know about before you begin your tour.

What is the local currency in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lankan Rupee/s. Written LKR or Rs.

In writing, people are still used to Rs., which was the format used in the old days. Standard use is LKR.

Can I use dollars or Euros to pay for local services in Sri Lanka?

I’m afraid you cannot. There’s no law prohibiting it, just that people are not used to it as locals never use other currencies. However, the more touristy areas accept dollars and Euros but that’s not recommended as their rates are not standard.

You can get your money changed from banks and money exchanges. Be careful to go to a well-known money exchange in order to avoid scams and very low rates.

Some retailers such as Odel do accept dollars, but such merchants are rare outside tourist areas.

What is the local language used in Sri Lanka?

Sinhala is the majority language in Sri Lanka. However, there’s considerable use of Tamil too. In the North and many parts in the East, Tamil is the main language used while Sinhala is also used and understood. But don’t worry, English is widely used in Sri Lanka, and you will find someone who can communicate well in English wherever you are.

What is the dress code for tourists visiting Sri Lanka

There’s no specific dress code for tourists or locals. However remember to wear sufficiently long clothes to religious attractions. Anything below knees would suffice except short pants.

You can just keep a piece of cloth such as a sarong/lungi ready for such places, no need to wear it everywhere.

What’s the main mode of transport in Sri Lanka?

Buses still remain the main mode of transportation while trains help too. There are state owned buses, usually coloured red, and then privately operated buses.

You will find a bus on almost any route in the country, while a trishaw can be hired anywhere. The main difference is the prices. A bus charges only a fraction of a fraction of what is charged by trishaws.

Can I rent a car in Sri Lanka?

Of course you can rent a car. There are all types of vehicles available for rent.

Can I rent a motorcycle in Sri Lanka?

Yes you can. There are motorcycle renting businesses in all tourist areas. You can rent a scooter, mud bike, or many other models of bikes.

What are the essential items to bring in when I visit Sri Lanka?

Please check this article. Essential items to bring in when you visit Sri Lanka. I’ve answered in detail.

What are the public holidays in Sri Lanka?

Officially, Sunday is the public holiday for everyone. Apart from that there’s a Poya Holiday each month, which is a Buddhist holiday, and also the country observes holidays of other religions and communities too. You can Google the dates of your interest to see what holidays fall on those dates.

Do bags get stolen if you put them in the luggage compartment?

This is a question one reader actually asked, and I added it here. The answer is, no. I mean anything can be stolen anywhere in any country, but baggage stolen specifically from the bus? A higher chance of that happening in Sri Lanka? No. But your valuables must always be kept with you, never put them anywhere else.

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