Travel Guide to Sri Lanka

About the Location

Home to timeless ruins, endless beaches, flavorful food and friendly locals, Sri Lanka is simply irresistible. To add to it, the natural beauty, culture and history of this country make it undeniably alluring.

Places to Visit in Sri Lanka

Here are a few must see places of Sri Lanka:

  • Verdant and rugged landscapes

    With the trinity of Indian Ocean, Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait surrounding the entire landmass covering the total area of 65,610 sq. km, Sri Lanka will surely make you fall in love with its beauty.

  • Beautiful beaches with abundant seawater

    The various beaches in Sri Lanka include Mount Lavinia, Kalutara, Negombo, Beruwala, Bentota, etc.

  • Undisturbed nature

    Surrounded by water, Sri Lanka is the home to huge forestlands. Teak, mahogany, ironwood, ebony, and satinwood are few of the famous hardwood found there. Sri Lanka is also the home to some of the rarest water birds like spoonbills, ibis, pelicans and storks, along with their national bird, the Junglefowl.

    Considered to be the jewel of the Indian Ocean, the island country is located in the southeast of India enticing you with its crumbling, overgrown ruins and copious wildlife.

How to Reach?

If you are anticipating a trip in the near or distant future for things to do in Sri Lanka, then the one thing you would need to do is to know how to reach there. There are numerous ways to reach there:

  • The easiest way to reach Sri Lanka is by air
  • Bandaranaike International Airport and Colombo International Airport are the only airports of Sri Lanka
  • Regular flights to and from the Island are available from Thiruvananthapuram, and Chennai operated by Indian Airlines
  • You can also fly out to Colombo from other major metropolitan cities of India like Delhi or Mumbai
  • Ferry services are also offered from Munnar in India to the jewel of Indian Ocean

Best Time to Visit

If you are thinking or planning to visit the tourist places in Sri Lanka, then it is worth bearing in mind that the climate of Sri Lanka is rather complicated with two separate monsoons forming the basic climate pattern of the country.

The best time to visit Sri Lanka is from December to March, which is the ideal time to visit the west and south coasts and the hill country. Then the best time to visit the east coast of Sri Lanka is from April-May to September when they enjoy a moderate weather. Sri Lanka close to the Equator ensuring that the temperature of the region remain constant round the year.

What to Pack

p>The basic question that haunts the mind of any traveler visiting the country for the first time other than Sri Lanka points of interest is what to pack.


Travel light by packing light clothes of cotton to beat the heat and humidity of the area.

  • Clothes

    Shorts and t-shirts accompanied with a fine and sturdy pair of sandals is all you need to explore the country. But we also advise you to pack a couple of light and long-sleeved tops as well because they can keep you safe from mosquitoes and other insects.

    You would need clothes that cover your shoulders and knees if you want to visit temples, as nothing offends the locals more than the sight of a skimpy figure loitering in the temple corridors.

    While carrying cotton is accordance with the climate of Sri Lanka, you should carry waterproofs and walking shoes to travel through the Hill country. 

  • Accessories

    Picking up a cheap umbrella would be good to protect yourself from the rain and damaging effects of sun.

  • Travel Insurance

    Whether you are travelling for leisure or business, it is essential to purchase travel insurance to get coverage. Ailments and accidents can arise during vacation as well, therefore, it is essential to purchase travel insurance which will come handy in case of unforeseen events like illness or accident, loss of baggage, etc.

Top Delicacies

A few of the delicious delicacies that are provided to the tourists on the jewel of the Indian Ocean are as follows:

  • Rice and Curry:The Sri Lankans serve you with a generous helping of steamed rice, with a side curry of fish, chicken, or mutton, along with pickled vegetables or fruits.
  • Kiribath:Generally served as breakfast, the dish is basically soft and porridge-like rice that is cooked at home with salted coconut milk till the grains melt.
  • Kottu: It is a spicy fried concoct, shredded bread or roti served with vegetables or edibles meat, eggs, or cheese.
  • Hoppers:It is a fermented batter generally made of the flour of rice, coconut milk along with a number of spices accompanied with red onions or spices.
  • String Hoppers:It is a simple dough made of hot-water wheat flour or rice meal pressed in circles and steamed.
  • Pittu:It is a grated coconut which is mixed with steamed rice.

Shopping List Essentials

If you are a shopaholic, there are various amazing places from where you can shop. Make sure you visit the following places and indulge in shopping spree like a local.

  • Orchid House:From vivacious jewellery, clothing, tea and spices, here you would find so much that you will never leave with a small bag.
  • Barefoot:Fancy clothing, colorful textiles, beautiful homeware—if these are enough to tickle you, Barefoot is the ideal place for you.
  • Paradise Road:From a stylish range of home accessories to other amazing handicrafts, this is a must-visit store if you appreciate minimalism.
  • Negombo:It is a paradise for home carved toys and souvenirs.

Healthcare Centers

Health care is provided around the island and every tourist stepping in country must save Sri Lanka’s emergency medical services number which is 110. If you have a travel insurance policy, you can contact the insurer who would help you in getting good medical treatment at leading hospitals.

Moreover, your travel insurers may also offer cashless treatment at networked hospitals in Sri Lanka, i.e., you can get treatment without paying medical expenses as expenditure would be paid the insurer. Check with your insurer for more info.

Basics of Local Communication

Expect these styles of greetings to be used in Sri Lanka:

  • The older generation of Sri Lankans would clasp their palms together and say Namaste with a slight nod of the head
  • The Sinhalese would greet you with an Ayubowan which means long life
  • Tamils would similarly say Vanakkam meaning welcome and Kuhomadu asking if all is well
  • In Sri Lanka while addressing people you should wait for the other party to use your first name as it is deemed highly inappropriate there to use someone’s first name in the first meeting

Sinhala, Tamil and English are official languages of the country. Learning these basic Sinhala and Tamil phrases will give you more smiles from Sri Lankans.


English Sinhala
No Naa
Hello/good day Ayubowan
Thank you Istuti
How are you? Kohomadhe?
Fine Varadak neh
Please Karunakerara
Where is the hotel? Hootale kohedha?
Where is the station? Stesemeta eka ko?
What is this? Mekeh mokadeh?
How much (is this)? (Meeka) kiyadha?
Do you speak English? Ingirisi dannevada?
English Tamil
Hello Vanakkam
Goodbye Poyvituvarukiren
Yes Amam
No Illai
Thank you Nandri
How are you? Celakkiyama?
What is your name? Ungal peyar yenna?
I don’t understand Puriyadu
Toilet Malasalakudam

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What kinds of medical coverage’s are provided??

The following medical expenses are covered: 

  • Travel insurance includes medical expenses, repatriation, and emergency medical evacuation. Even dental care expenses such as acute anesthetic treatment of teeth are covered.

What is a deductible?

“Deductible”means a cost-sharing requirement under this policy, that provides that the insurer will not be liable for a specified rupee amount or percentage of claim amount or number of days or number of hours, as specified in the policy schedule and which will apply before any benefits are payable by the insurer. A deductible does not reduce the sum insured and is applicable per event, upto the specified limits mentioned.

What Is Not Covered Under the Travel Insurance Plan?

  • Medical Expenses (inclusive of Repatriation and Emergency Medical Evacuation), Daily Allowance in case of hospitalization, Compassionate Visit benefits, the following will not be payable for Any pre-existing condition, Routine examinations, Expenses for rest or recuperation at spa/ health resort/ sanatorium, Pregnancy (including childbirth, miscarriage, abortion or related complications ) or treatment relating to the removal of physical flaws or anomalies (cosmetic treatment or plastic surgery).
  • Cosmetic surgery, unless such cosmetic surgery is rendered medically necessary as part of treatment for accidents and burns whilst being abroad.
  • Suicide, attempted or wilfully self inflicted injury or illness, mental disorder, anxiety, stress or depression, venereal disease, alcoholism, drunkenness or the abuse of drugs, or any loss arising, directly or indirectly, from any injury, illness, death, loss, expense, or other liability attributable to HIV and/or any HIV related illness including AIDS and/or any mutant derivative or variation thereof however caused.
  • Treatment which could be reasonably delayed until the Insured’s return to India, which will be decided jointly by the treating Physician and the Emergency Assistance Service Provider and shall be in accordance with accepted standards of medical care.
  • The Insured taking part in naval, military or air force operations; war and nuclear perils.
  • Insured engaging in air travel unless he or she flies as a Fare Paying passenger in an aircraft licensed to carry passengers.
  • Participation of the Insured in winter sports, mountaineering and such other professional sports or any other hazardous or potentially dangerous sport for which the Insured members are adequately trained, physically fit and using proper equipment. and that too only if specifically agreed and mentioned in the policy schedule.
  • Hazardous occupation, or if engaged in any criminal or illegal act.
  • Medical Expenses in respect of Experimental, investigational or unproven treatments or treatments which are not consistent with or incidental to the diagnosis and treatment of the positive existence or presence of any Illness for which confinement is required at a Hospital. Any Illness or treatment which is a result or a consequence of undergoing such experimental or unproven treatment.
  • Naturopathy treatment.
  • Non Allopathic treatment e.g. - Ayurvedic, Yogic, Homeopathic, Unani treatment(s).
  • Under no circumstances shall this insurance contract be deemed to provide cover and no liability be incurred to pay any claim or provide any benefit hereunder to the extent that the provision of such cover, payment of such claim or provision of such benefit would expose us to any sanction, prohibition, or restriction under United Nations resolutions or the trade or economic sanctions, laws or regulations of the European Union, United Kingdom, United States of America & India

You can avail the Travel Insurance online and enjoy the benefits offered by ICICI Lombard General Insurance (Bharti AXA General Insurance*)

What Is Covered Under Travel Insurance?

Loss of passport and documents:

Reimbursement of actual expenses incurred in connection with obtaining a duplicate or fresh passport or reasonable cost of replacing/obtaining the stolen documents/ tickets if the passport belonging to the Insured / Insured Person be lost

Home Fire Insurance Contents & Home Burglary Insurance (contents):

Cover against any loss or damage of the Contents at Home of the Insured in India caused by Fire and Allied perils or through burglary and/or housebreaking while the Insured is on a trip abroad.

Hijack Distress Allowance

Payment of distress allowance in case of hijack of a common carrier for more than certain number of hours whilst on the trip. You can easily avail the allowance by filing a claim online through Travel Insurance cover online process.

Medical Expensesinclusive of Repartration  and Emergency Medical Evacuation

If you are sick or injured during the journey, your medical expenses can prove to be costly. In such cases,  Travel Insurance cover greatly helps. The insurance company also offers a cashless settlement with the network hospitals or you can also opt for the reimbursement process within 30 days of hospitalization.

Legal Expenses

Payment of legal costs and expenses incurred by the Insured towards claims from third Parties for compensation in respect of death or disablement arising due to an injury whilst on a trip abroad.

Personal Accident

Payment of compensation if the Insured sustains accidental bodily injury during a trip resulting in death or Permanent Total Disablement or Permanent Partial Disablement within 12 months of occurrence of such injury.

Trip Cancellation/Or Interruption

Payment towards the non-refundable prepaid payments incurred on the trip being cancelled and additional cost of transportation in case of Interruption: due to medical problems, personal employment problems or natural disasters or other listed reason in policy wordings.

Trip Delay

 Reimbursement of additional expenses if trip is delayed beyond a period, due to airline problems, medical problems, personal employment problems or natural disasters.

 Daily Allowance in case of Hospitalisation

 Payment of daily allowance for the days the Insured is hospitalised beyond a specified number of days, as mentioned in the Policy Schedule, for which a valid claim is admissible under the Policy whilst on a trip abroad.Emergency Accommodation

 Payment of compensation for the additional cost of emergency accommodation if the Insured/ Insured Person could not stay in the accommodation originally booked due to ­fire& flood, earthquake, storm, hurricane, explosion, outbreak of major infectious diseases.

Why do I need Travel insurance?

During a trip there are chances of unfortunate events such as loss of checked in baggage, medical emergency, loss of passport that can spoil your international trip, be it business or leisure. Travel insurance can protect you from such events ensuring that you are left stuck in foreign land.

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