Holidays in Sri Lanka

By | May 20, 2022

Prior to 2010, a holiday in Sri Lanka for any foreigner was included in the category “at your own peril and risk”, due to the ongoing wars and the risk of terrorist attacks. But now the legendary Ceylon, as the island was called before independence, is waiting for guests for a variety of vacation formats – from beach activities to educational excursions.

Pros and Cons of Sri Lanka


  • Russians do not need a visa
  • The richest animal world and nature in general
  • Many historical sights
  • The environmental situation is much better than in India
  • The best tea in the world


  • Long flight with at least one change
  • Beaches not safe due to strong ocean currents
  • Inadequate prices for electricity, Internet and any kind of communication
  • In cities – unregulated traffic
  • The specific mentality of the locals


Regardless of the month when you plan your vacation, Sri Lanka and its weather conditions are characterized by the formula: hot, windy, sometimes rainy. The only difference is that the pronounced winter season lasts from May to October inclusive, and during this period the waves are higher, the rains are stronger, and the monsoon winds can turn into destructive hurricanes.

According to, the minimum percentage of humidity on the island is 60% in December, and the maximum is 90% in July. The reversal of the monsoon tends to increase the reverse current, which can be dangerous for tourists who are not good at swimming.


It is impossible to imagine a holiday in Sri Lanka without buying memorable gifts and gifts. And although the local markets and shops are not as big as those of the northern neighbors, their assortment will delight lovers of the exotic, who will definitely find a couple of things here at very attractive prices.


A product of paramount importance, since the invigorating drink from Ceylon has been considered the standard of quality for centuries. They should be bought only in the markets at plantations, otherwise there is a risk of running into a fake. Well, do not forget that it is prohibited by law to export more than 6 kg of tea to a foreign guest.

Buddhist masks

According to official statistics, 75% of the population professes Theravada – the oldest branch of Buddhism, bright and slightly frightening masks for which are one of the significant parts of any rituals. It is better to buy them in the “mask capital” of the island – the town of Ambalangoda. There are even museums dedicated to the ancient craft.

fabric paintings

Batik can be called the folk art form of Sri Lanka, despite the fact that it was brought by the Portuguese colonizers. Works made in this technique adorn local museums, as well as shop windows, which profit well from the sale of such “masterpieces”. However, decent work among them still come across.


It is not necessary to buy a large volume, a damaru ritual drum is enough, which is made of goat skin and inexpensive woods. Why this souvenir? Yes, if only because thundering and knocking sounds are the basis of national music, which is very unusual for European ears.

Elephant figurines

The elephant in the local tradition is a symbol of great luck, and they like to carve it literally from everything that comes to hand, but more often from ebony and bone. The price for them is different, so it’s worth looking at free money. Too many purchases should not be made.

National clothes

The islanders themselves wear saris and sarongs, except perhaps in the deep provinces, preferring practical European-style T-shirts and shorts. But for tourists, exquisite silk outfits can be a great gift that will surprise you with wear resistance and the absence of synthetic fabrics.


It is recommended to buy them strictly at the jewelry factory, where you will be taken on a free tour, in the hope of an indispensable waste in the store at the enterprise. Each city has its “own” stone, local craftsmen are trained to extract and cut it – tourists just have to choose what they like.


Among a number of other island destinations of the subequatorial belt, where our compatriots go on vacation, Sri Lanka is one of those who provide visa-free entry for the purpose of tourist visits up to 30 days. True, this will require an electronic permit in the ETA format, which is issued upon arrival, or in advance, through an application on the consulate website.

To obtain a permit, a package of the following documents is required:

  • Passport valid for at least six months at the time of return to Russia;
  • Completed application form (migration card) in English;
  • A copy of the return ticket with a readable date of departure;
  • Bank statement as confirmation of financial independence;
  • Receipt for payment of tourist tax in the amount of $30.

If the ETA is issued immediately at the airport, then only originals are provided, not copies of documents. Plus, fees can go up by $10, making early checkout a better option.

Important: Regardless of the method of obtaining an ETA, border control and registration of tourists on the island is a long process, taking from 4 to 12 hours. The authorities themselves explain this with thorough checks, but the problem is the elementary lack of qualified personnel, which causes constant queues.

Read more about visa and customs regulations in Sri Lanka here.

Frequently asked Questions


When is the best time to plan a holiday in Sri Lanka? Are rumors about strong undercurrents and high waves justified?


The season on the island lasts from November to April inclusive, and in May there is a strong cyclone, bringing monsoon showers, thunderstorms and storms. As for the currents and waves, they are, and they are stronger than usual, when compared with the same Thailand. This fact, by the way, made the republic very popular among surfers from all over the world.


We want to make your vacation as comfortable as possible, while Sri Lanka has some features in the hotel rating? How to choose?


The situation with the hotel business is absolutely similar to any Asian neighbor. If the hotel is not owned by an American or European company, the number of stars will be very conditional. But, if you see “Hilton” or another recognizable brand on the sign, be sure that the service will be no worse than in the West.


How reliable is the information about the widespread and brazen fraud on the island, and where to relax in Sri Lanka so as not to get into trouble? Where should I call in this case?


Unfortunately, the situation with deceit, pickpocketing and robbery attempts is no better than in neighboring Hindustan, although in the resort regions there is an appearance of exemplary law-abiding. Most often, foreigners are deceived into buying jewelry, tea and other “branded” goods. Calling the regular authorities in this case is useless, for such situations the tourist police was created – 119 from any device – they will also call an ambulance and other services. Also, in case of any emergency with a risk to life, it is imperative to inform the emergency department of the Russian embassy at the number: +9-477-289-1734.

Holidays in Sri Lanka