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   Information Center Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka General Information
Sri Lanka Expatriates Handbook
Sri Lanka and Foreign Government
Sri Lanka General Listings
Sri Lanka Useful Tips
Sri Lanka Education & Medical
Sri Lanka Travel & Tourism Info
Airlines in Sri Lanka
Hotels in Sri Lanka
Car Rentals in Sri Lanka
Getting Around Sri Lanka
Tour Operators in Sri Lanka
Travel & Holiday Tips
Sri Lanka Lifestyle & Leisure
Sri Lanka Business Matters
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Getting Around in Sri Lanka

By Air

The major domestic airport is Ratmalana at Colombo. There are daily flights to smaller airports at Batticaloa, Gal Oya, Palali and Trincomalee. The airport at Jaffna is currently closed. Sri Lankan Airlines operates small seaplane service to destinations such as Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Galle and many more locations. Aero Lanka operates domestic flights between Colombo-Ratmalana, Jaffna and Trincomalee.

By Rail

Trains connect Colombo with all tourist towns, but first-class carriages, air conditioning and dining cars are available on only a few. New fast services operate on the principal routes, including an inter-city express service between Colombo and Kandy, otherwise journeys are fairly leisurely.

The railway system in Sri Lanka is very picturesque, especially upon entering the hill country because of the winding tracks along the mountains, such as on the Badullu-Nanu Oya line. There are special observation cars for tourists to enjoy the scenery.

Do note that as of this moment, rail services to Jaffna have ceased owing to the violent political disruptions in the northern area.

By Road

Traffic drives on the left. Most roads are tarred, with a 56kph (35mph) speed limit in built-up areas and 75kph (45mph) outside towns. Flashing lights mean that the driver is asserting right of way, unlike in the UK. Avoid remote areas and travelling at night.


An extensive network of services of reasonable quality is provided by the Sri Lanka Central Transport Board. Private bus drivers are paid according to the number of passengers and can often drive rather dangerously.

Car Rental

Car rental is available from several international agencies. Air-conditioned minibuses are also available. Motorised rickshaws are also readily available for hire in towns and villages. Chauffeur-driven cars are less expensive and recommended.

Documentation: In order to avoid bureaucratic formalities in Sri Lanka, an International Driving Permit should be obtained before departure. If not, a temporary licence to drive is obtainable on presentation of a valid national driving licence. This must be endorsed at the AA office in Colombo. The minimum age for driving a car is 18.

Urban Transportation

The Sri Lanka Central Transport Board provides intensive urban bus operations in Colombo, where there are also private buses and minibuses. Fares are generally collected by conductors. Services are often crowded.

Taxis have yellow tops and red and white plates. In Colombo, taxis are metered but it is advisable to agree a rate before setting off. Drivers expect a 10% tip. The most common mode of transport in Sri Lanka is the three-wheeled automobile appropriately referred to as a three-wheeler or tuk-tuks (as in Thailand). These operate in a manner similar to taxis, and is a highly cost-efficient way to get around.





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