Frequently Asked Questions

When visiting Sri Lanka, all travellers who are on business travel or on holiday must obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). For Business Purpose Visa you may apply at the Head Office of the Department of Immigration & Emigration and the Sri Lankan Overseas Missions.

You can apply for an extended visa from Sri Lankan Embassy or consulate from your country prior to arrival. You may also apply from the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo 10.

Sri Lanka is a beautiful tropical island with a sunny climate all year long, except for monsoon seasons that results in continuous showers. Following are best times to visit Sri Lanka

Ideal Time
  • January to April (Entire Country)
  • Mid-July to September (Entire Country)
  • February to September (North and East)
Monsoon Season
  • May to July (South West Monsoon)
  • October to January (North East Monsoon)
Beach Season
  • January to April (South)
  • May to July (East)
  • December to April (Bundala National Park - Birds) (South coast - whales)
  • November to April (Kalpitiya - Dolphins)
  • July to September (The cultural Triangle) (The gathering of the elephants) (Yala/Wilpattu - Leopards)

Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT.

The local currency is Sri Lankan Rupee (Rs. and LKR). The currency denominations are as follows;
Coins: 5 cent, 10 cent, 25 cent, 50 cent, 1 Rupee, 2 Rupee, 5 Rupee and 10 Rupee
Notes : 10 Rupee, 20 Rupee, 50 Rupee, 100 Rupee, 200 Rupee, 500 Rupee, 1000 Rupee, 2000 Rupee and 5000 Rupee
Apart from that most hotels, restaurants and shopping centres accept credit cards. The most widely used card types are Visa and MasterCard, with Amex to a lesser extent. Some establishments may try to add a surcharge, be warned it is illegal.
Wherever you go, be sure to carry money in small denominations to make life easy for you during travelling.

While Sinhala and Tamil become the official languages in Sri Lanka, English is widely spoken in all parts of the country with few exceptions. Travelling around the country is very convenient since most of the signboards and shop names are both written in native languages and in English. Apart from that if a need arise we can assign guides for the entire tour who are fluent in English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Italian languages, ensuring a smooth holiday in Sri Lanka.

Yes you are able to. ATM’s are available in main cities and you are able to withdraw cash against VISA/Mastercard. But it’s advisable to ensure the usage validity of your credit/debit card by contacting your bank.

  • Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 0900hrs to 1500hrs. But selected main branches are open on Saturday until 1300hrs. ATM’s can be accessed 24/7.
  • Government offices are open from Monday to Friday from 0930hrs to 1700hrs
  • Many of the shops are generally open by 1000hrs and closes by 2000hrs, but some open at 9000hrs and stay opened till 2100hrs.
  • All organizations and shops are closed on Sunday’s and Full moon Poya days.

Sri Lanka's country code is 94. If you need to take an overseas call, you'll have to dial '00'.
For more information visit:

The ETA is an authorised body for Short Visits to Sri Lanka and is issued through its on-line system.
An ETA is needed if your intention is to visit Sri Lanka as a Tourist, for Business or on Transit. No documentation, photographs or passport copies needed to apply and obtain for the same. The applicants will be given a “30 day short visit visa” at the port of entry in Sri Lanka.
To apply and gain more information visit:

For a citizen from SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries, the non-refundable processing fee for a visa with double entry for 30days will cost USD 15. Every other nation that does not belong to SAARC will be charged USD 30. Children (below 12yrs) are exempt from ETA fee.
To apply and gain more information visit:

230, 240 volts, 50 cycles AC. It is best if you can bring a stabilizer.

Sri Lanka is a photographer's delight. However, permits are required before you can take photos or video at certain sites. Entrance tickets to individual sites are available only from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. These tickets sometimes may include charges for photography, recording and parking. Rates are quoted in US Dollars and rupee parities are subject to fluctuation.

There are some important restrictions that apply to photography regarding Buddhist imagery. When you visit a temple or other religious site, remember that photography should not be carried out in a manner causing disrespect. For instance, it is strictly forbidden to be photographed in front of or beside any statues and murals. Note that flash photography can damage old murals.

Sri Lanka is a year round destination. Visitors who seek sun and sea the best time to visit the West coast of the island is from November to April. The Southwestern coastal area, where most of the beach resorts are located is popular for beach vacations. During the rest of the year from May till November, visitors could enjoy a beautiful golden sand beach in the North Western areas. Kalpitiya, located in the western ( North Western)coast has been declared a new tourist attraction. The central highlands are pleasantly cool and relatively dry from January to April. Month of August is a beautiful month to visit the cultural heritage site of Kandy as the famous Pereraha festival with over 100 elephants on parade takes place during the month of August.

Cotton clothes are useful at any time of the year due to heat and humidity. Daytime coastal temperatures generally range from 27-32 °C, slightly cooler in the hill country, especially Nuwara Eliya and Hatton, where a light sweater is frequently required at night. Topless sunbathing is officially illegal. The use of bikinis is generally considered acceptable while on the beach. When swimming inland, in rivers or lakes, ask for local advice regarding swimwear as covering with a sarong may be necessary. Away from the beach, be aware that dress standards are comparatively conservative and it is respectful to wear loose, long and lightweight clothing. Shorts should always be knee-length. Be especially careful about modest dress when visiting religious sites – knees and shoulders must be covered. If you are planning to trek and climb come prepared with suitable gear. Water sports enthusiasts would do well to take their snorkels and diving equipment along.

You may sometimes be overwhelmed by crowds of people in public places (railway stations, markets, bus stands, temples or simply busy streets). "Touts" and hawkers may jostle and push and clamour to show you a hotel and sell you things. Tuk Tuks are often there when you do not need them. Always ask for assistance from the team at Bernard Tours, as your safety is our concern.

In general the threats to personal security for travelers in Sri Lanka are remarkably small. It is more pleasant to travel with a companion as it is advised not to travel alone especially after dark. The island including the North and East is safe to visit. If you have anything stolen, report it to the tourist Police, a special tourist police set up to look after the needs of the tourists. Contact Tel Number is + 94 11 2382209