Before traveling to Sri Lanka, it is recommended to get vaccinated against tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, and rabies. If you plan on staying long-term, additional vaccinations may be necessary. It’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your family doctor well in advance to check if they can administer the vaccinations or if you need to visit another doctor. If you can’t find your vaccination card, start searching for it now! During your appointment, your doctor can also input the information from your card into their system, ensuring it won’t be lost again.
Moneten, Money, Salli Salli
The official currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR). However, just like in almost every other country, you can also use US dollars. If possible, obtain some dollar bills from your bank before your trip. Banks usually have them readily available. While it’s not mandatory, it’s always helpful to have some green bills on hand in case ATMs are out of service. Alternatively, Euro notes or Swiss Francs can be easily exchanged for Rupees at currency exchange offices.
In addition to some cash, it’s advisable to pack one or two credit cards. There are ATMs at Colombo airport where you can withdraw Rupees either for free or for a fee, depending on your bank and the ATM provider. Keep in mind that many local stores, especially smaller ones, only accept cash. However, larger stores and our surf camps, for example, offer more payment flexibility. You can pay with Rupees, Dollars, Euros, or use your credit card.
You’ve successfully entered the country, so what’s next? From Colombo, you have the option to continue your journey by bus or train. However, you’ll first need to travel from the airport to Colombo Fort. Sri Lanka Railways provides online train departure times, and there are express buses from Bastian Mawatha Bus Station to the south coast every 30 minutes. If you’re in Negombo, there’s even a direct bus to Matara in the south. You can find departure times on busbooking.lk.
If you prefer a less adventurous option or are arriving in Colombo during the evening or at night, it’s recommended to take a car transfer. Numerous providers are available at the airport, ready to take you to your destination. At DHPL Travels, we offer this service when you book your trip. Simply provide your arrival time and flight number, and we’ll handle all the transfer logistics for you. Your driver will be waiting for you in the arrival hall, holding a sign with your name. After a long flight, you can relax in the car and let us safely transport you to our camp.
Compared to traveling by bus or train, the price for a car transfer is higher. However, the cost is shared among all passengers. So, sometimes it’s worth waiting an hour for the next available car and sharing the transfer with other guests.