What is the best time to visit Sri Lanka?
Climatically speaking, the driest (and best) seasons in Sri Lanka are from November to March for the west coast, the south coast and the Hill Country, and from April to September for the Cultural Triangle region (ancient Kingdoms & Heritage sites) and the east coast.
The peak tourism season of the island is mid-December to mid-March when most of European tourist visit, the majority of them escaping the European winter. There is a mini peak season again in July and August when festivals (pageants) mainly in Kandy & in Kataragama are held.
During the Christmas to New Year holiday season and Festival season in July /August in particular accommodation anywhere on the island can be tight due to the huge influx of foreign visitors and hotel rates usually double or treble up. So travelers are advised to book their accommodation in advance prior to the arrival during those periods.
Is English spoken in Sri Lanka?
Communication is rarely a problem in Sri Lanka as English is widely spoken in most parts of the country including in hotels, restaurants and even by private transport providers. Signboards of locations are generally available displayed in English, Sinhala & Tamil.
How about money & foreign exchange?
Foreign exchange may be changed at any hotel, although commercial banks offer better rates. Converting Sri Lankan Rupees back to a selected foreign denomination could be done at the banks at the Airport which is open 24 hours.
Are Credit Cards accepted in Sri Lanka?
Hotels and popular shops and restaurants accept most international credit cards. ATM’s are available in Colombo and other major cities where cash advances could be obtained using your credit card. However, it is advisable to inquire if your card is acceptable by the establishments prior to usage of any services.
What time do the Banks open in Sri Lanka?
Banks are open from 0900 hrs to 1300 hrs from Monday to Friday except on Bank, Mercantile and Public Holidays.
What time do the Shops open in Sri Lanka?
Usually, most shops open by 0830 hrs and generally close at 1700 or 1800 hrs. However, most shops are closed on Sundays and on Public Holidays.
How about tipping at restaurants for example?
This is solely at your discretion and is subjective, however it is customary top tip drivers, hotel and restaurant staff if you are satisfied with the service. The average tip is 1 US$ for housekeeping per day and up to 10% of your meal bill for restaurant staff.