Sri Lanka Travel Overview

Important facts

Capital: Colombo (See more on ITYPEMBA.COM)

Official language: Sinhala

Currency: rupee

Continent: South Asia

Between Indian lions and Tamil tigers

Sri Lanka had a reputation as the pearl of the Indian Ocean in the 19th century and it still wears it today with all dignity.


According to Countryaah, the island state of Sri Lanka is located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of India. With 65,000 km² the island is slightly smaller than Ireland. It is also known as Ceylon. This is where the tea of the same name comes from. Due to its location in the temperate tropics, the country is an ideal destination for beach holidays and swimming. In total, Sri Lanka has 1,600 kilometers of beautiful palm-fringed beaches.

Information about Sri Lanka

Much is unclear about the indigenous population of Sri Lanka, especially with regard to the settlement of the island. There are already mentions of the islands in the ancient Indian Vedas. There the islands were the location of dramas that took place between the gods. In these scriptures the tribe of the Yakkas is mentioned. The descendants of this group still live in Sri Lanka today.
The fighting between the Tamil Tigers and the government of Sri Lanka has now ceased. However, the situation in the Tamil North is still tense, you should be particularly careful when traveling to this area and obtain appropriate safety information.

Travel destinations in Sri Lanka

The capital Colombo offers a lot for interested tourists, it has many Asian and European influences, which makes it something like a South Asian cosmopolitan metropolis. Sri Lanka was under British colonial administration, English is understood as the lingua franca just like in India without any problems.
Another attraction is the city of Kandy, where the king resided from the 15th century until he was overthrown in the 18th century. The old royal palace is open to tourists and has a lot to see. The history of the monarchy in Sri Lanka reflects the history of the country. The hills around Kandy are also home to the largestTea plantations in the country.
Buddhism originated in India, but it almost completely disappeared there. But not in Sri Lanka. There are temples scattered all over the island that you can visit.


Currency (sub-unit)

Rupee (100 cents)

ISO 4217 code

LKR / 144


Continent: Asia

Region: south

Geo coordinates: N 7 ° 52 ’23 ” E 80 ° 46′ 18.5″

Highest mountain: Pidurutalagala (2,524 m)

Total area: 65,610 km²

Mainland: 64,740 km²

Coastline: 1,340 km


Dependency: Great Britain until 1948

UN member since: 1955

Other political affiliation: Commonwealth

Form of government: Presidential Republic


Export goods: Tea, rubber, fruit

BSP: $ 24,378,000,000

GDP: $ 25,706,000,000

GDP purchasing power parity: $ 89.2 billion

Economic growth: 6.1%

GDP share of agriculture: 17.3%

GDP share of industry: 28.6%

GDP share of services: 54.1%

Inflation rate: 9.7%

Unemployment: 7.5%

State budget revenue: $ 4294967295

State budget expenditure: $ 4294967295

National debt: 89.6%

Export: $ 6,727,000,000

Import: $ 8,847,000,000

Foreign debt: $ 12,470,000,000

Gold and currency reserves: $ 3,082,000,000

Electricity consumption: 7,124 million KWh

Oil consumption: 86,000 million m³

Cultivation area: 29.14%

Bovine: 1,497,000 pieces

Fishing: 340,000 t

Demographic data

Residents: 20.222.300

Residents in cities: 5,054,000

Average age: 29.8 years

0-14 years: 24.1%

15-64 years: 68.6%

> 65 years: 7.3%

Population growth: 0.78%

Birth rate: 15.51 / 1,000 residents

Death rate: 6.52 / 1,000 residents

Migration: -1.23 / 1,000 residents

Ratio men / women: 0.96

Fertility: 1.84 children / woman

Infant mortality: 13.97 ‰

Life expectancy men: 70.83 years

Life expectancy women: 76.12 years

Country codes and abbreviations

ISO 3166 Alpha 2: LK

ISO 3166 Alpha 3: LKA

ISO 3166 numeric: 144

Top Level Domain: lk

IOC country code: SRI


Source: Abbreviationfinder


Telephone connections: 1,116,000

Cell Phones: 1,340,000

Radios: 3,920,000

TV: 3,010,000

Computer: 790,000

Internet users: 440,000


Railway lines: 1,449 km

Paved roads: 12,776 km

Cars: 657,000

Merchant fleet (ships over 1,000 GRT): 22nd


Number of doctors: 7,670

Daily food intake: 2,310 kcal / resident

HIV- infected people: 3,600


Illiteracy: 8th %


Foundation: 483

Last sovereign since: 1948


Main religious group: Buddhists


Prison inmates: 21,600


Armed forces (troop strength): 161,000

Defense Spending: $ 682,000,000


Arriving by plane

Sri Lanka’s national airline is SriLankan Airlines (UL) (Internet: Sri Lankan Airlines flies direct from London to Colombo. Austrian Airlines (OS) connects Vienna with Colombo.

Departure fee

No fees are charged at the airport.

Arrival by ship

The international ports are Colombo and Galle.
Many freight, cruise and passenger lines (including Cunard and Radisson Seven Seas Cruises) call at Sri Lanka.


Traveling by plane

The largest domestic airport is Ratmalana in Colombo. There are daily connections to the smaller airports in Batticoloa, Gal Oya, Palali and Trincomalee. Air Cinnamon flies from Colombo to most of the country’s tourist centers.

On the way by car / bus

Most of the roads near Colombo are paved. Roads that are not marked with ‘A’ on road maps are in poor condition. We strongly advise against traveling without a local, local driver.
Bus: The Sri Lanka Central Transport Board operates the extensive bus network from Colombo, Tel: 28081. Every place can be reached by bus. Long-distance or express buses only stop at the bus stations in larger towns, while short-distance buses stop at every stop. The standard is relatively good. In addition to the state buses, there are also numerous private bus companies. Private buses are more often equipped with air conditioning and are more comfortable than public buses.
Rental car:Several international rental car companies are represented. There are also air-conditioned minibuses. Cars with a driver are cheaper than cars without a driver. Taxis are available in most cities. Documentation: International driver’s license. On presentation of this, a temporary driver’s license must be issued, which is available from the Automobile Association of Sri Lanka (40 Sir Macan Markar Mawatha, Galle Face, Colombo 3, Tel: 21 52 89) in Colombo.

Traffic regulations:
left-hand traffic.
Helmets are compulsory for motorcycle and moped drivers.

Speed limit:
Outside built-up areas: 70 km / h,
inside built-up areas 50 km / h,
within Colombo: 40 km / h.

Traveling in the city

Bus: The Central Transport Board operates an extensive bus network in Colombo, and there are also private buses and minibuses. The fare is paid to the conductor. The buses are often overcrowded. Taxis have meters and can be recognized by their yellow roofs.

On the go by train

The rail network connects almost all major cities in Sri Lanka. Trains run from Colombo to the main tourist areas. Only a few trains have 1st class, air conditioning and dining cars. Advance booking recommended. New express trains run on the main lines, otherwise the trains are quite slow.
The following train routes are in operation:
West coast:
Colombo – Negombo – Chillaw – Puttalam;
Southwest coast:
Colombo – Kalutara – Galle – Matara;
Towards the highlands:
Colombo – Peradeniya Junctiom – Kandy;
Colombo – Avissawella (-Ratnapura – Opanaike);
Kandy – Matale;
Peradeniya Junction – Hatton – Nanu Oya (Nuwara Eliya) – Ella – Badulla;
Towards the east coast:
Colombo – Kurunegala – Maho Junction – Habarana – Galoya Junction – Polonnaruwa – Kalkudah – Batticaloa;
Colombo – Galoya Junction – Trincomalee;
Colombo – Maho Junction – Anuradhapura – Vavuniya – Jaffna – Kankesanturai
Anuradhapura – Mihintale
Colombo – Anuradhapura – Mannar – Talaimannar.

The Viceroy Special is the only steam train in Sri Lanka that carries people. It runs on the system of lines. Trips from Colombo to Kandy and to the tea plantations in the highlands, along the west coast to the beach hotels or to the old port city of Galle are particularly popular. The train has a stylish restaurant.