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As visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice, you should contact the nearest High Commission of Sri Lanka for the most up to date information.
Foreign nationals who intend to visit Sri Lanka must obtain an Electronic Travel Authority prior to arrival. More information on the ETA can be accessed online at www.eta.gov.lk. There is a non-refundable processing fee for some categories of the ETA. When selecting the appropriate visa category note that travellers risk deportation if they engage in activities outside of their visa conditions.
Travelers must have yellow fever and cholera immunizations if they are arriving from an infected area. A yellow fever vaccination certificate must also be obtained by all travellers over the age of one who are arriving from, or have transited through affected African and Latin American countries within nine days immediately preceding entry to Sri Lanka. For more information, see the Sri Lanka Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia.
Travellers to Sri Lanka may experience difficulty utilising travelers’ cheques (issuance and encashment) through local banks due to their limited usage.
Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are increasingly prevalent in Colombo, but may be harder to find outside the capital and large towns.
Credit Card payments are accepted in most mid range and top end hotels and larger chain stores.
There are conservative standards of dress and behaviour in Sri Lanka and you should take care not to offend.
Visitors to Sri Lanka should respect local restrictions and observances around religious holidays. Full moon Poya Days are celebrated once a month and the purchase of alcohol or fresh meat is banned on these days.
You should seek local advice regarding customs and photography when visiting places of worship.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you’ll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller’s medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
Mosquito-borne illnesses: All regions of Sri Lanka experience outbreaks of the mosquito-borne dengue fever. For further information on dengue fever, see the World Health Organization’s factsheet.
Malaria occurs in all areas of Sri Lanka except for the districts of Colombo, Galle, Kandy, Gampaha, Kegalle, Kalutara and Nuwara Eliya.
The mosquito-borne disease Japanese encephalitis is found in some rural areas of Sri Lanka. A Japanese encephalitis vaccine is registered for use and is currently available in Australia.
For further details please consult your travel health doctor.
Other infectious diseases: Food-borne, water-borne and other infectious diseases (including typhoid, hepatitis, leptospirosis and rabies) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time.
A decompression chamber is located at the Sri Lanka Navy Base in Trincomalee.
Depending on the nature of your enquiry, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour provider, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24 hour emergency number.
If the matter relates to criminal issues, contact the police in Sri Lanka on their emergency services number (119).
For an ambulance, contact 011 269 1111.
The Consular Services Charter explains what the Australian Government can and can’t do to assist Australians overseas. For consular assistance, see contact details below:
Australian High Commission
21, Srimath R. G. Senanayake Mawatha (formerly Gregory’s Road)
Colombo 7, Sri Lanka
Telephone: (+94 11) 246 3200
Facsimile: (+94 11) 268 6453
See the High Commission website for information about opening hours.
If you are travelling to Sri Lanka, whatever the reason and however long you’ll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency – whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.
In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the High Commission you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
Fast Buses to the city centre and then a 3-wheeler to the hotel- 5-10 USD
Taxi from the rank outside arrivals- 20-30 USD
Prearranged car from your hotel- 50 USD (maximum 3 people)
Prearranged Coach- approx. 10 USD per person depending on coach size