Sri Lanka, a tropical island-nation, where spirituality resonates with rich cultural heritage. A land of rainforests, beaches, and wildlife – Sri Lanka is alluring in many ways than one. The verdant landscape, tranquil countryside, friendly locals, and lip-smacking food has brought many avid travellers to its shores.
Travelling in Sri Lanka is fun and cheap, yet little hectic. Holidayme has listed a few modes of transport to get you to your desired place of interest – without much ado.
How to reach Sri Lanka
The main international airport of Sri Lanka, Bandaranaike International Airport is located about an hour’s drive away from Colombo, in Katunayake. The airport is home to the country’s national flagship carrier SriLankan Airlines. This airport receives flights operating from major European countries, Asia, the Middle East, and South-East Asia.
Emirates Airlines and FlyDubai provide daily direct flights from Dubai to Colombo; Etihad Airways connect Abu Dhabi to Colombo, and Qatar Airways serve direct flights from Doha to Colombo.
In and Around Travelling in Sri Lanka
The cheapest way to travel in Sri Lanka is by trains. The extensive railway network connects key cities and towns. Travelling by train can be an enriching experience, as some parts of the country, especially the coastal line, offer picturesque views. Trains running in the morning and late afternoons are usually crowded. One must make reservations beforehand, especially for lines which are popular among tourists.
Buses are the best way to reach almost every corner of this island country. Though uncomfortable and mostly crowded, it is a cheap mode of transport. Air-conditioned buses also run on most of the important routes, but they are slightly overpriced than the regular ones (almost double). There are frequent buses running from the airport to Colombo city centre, which can be availed right outside the airport terminal.
What better way to explore Sri Lanka than a Tuk-tuk or a three-wheeler? You can either hire a tuk-tuk or can drive one. However, it is advisable to rent a tuk-tuk from an authorised rental dealer, due to insurance and licensing matters. Tuk-tuk taxis are also a great medium of transport, but make sure to hire a metered one for fair pricing.
Another great way to discover the country is by hiring a motorbike. The roads are well-maintained, and the distances to be covered are not too far, making them ideal for Sri Lanka travel. A valid motorbike driving licence and a valid third-party insurance, and you are good to go! And, not to forget, helmets are compulsory, even for the pillion. When hiring, give a photocopy to the rental companies, not your original passport.
For a hassle-free travel within the country, nothing beats a rented car. Usually, rented cars come with drivers, who are well-informed, multi-lingual, and can act as a local guide too. Driving by yourself requires a valid international driving license and must be validated by the Automobile Association of Sri Lanka. Driving on Sri Lankan roads can be an adventure in itself; the traffic is chaotic, and only experienced drivers should venture out while driving on the highways.
Sri Lanka Visa Formalities
Now that getting in and around Sri Lanka is sorted, let’s move on to a more pertinent question.
What about the Sri Lanka visa formalities?
Planning a foreign trip would have been easier had it not been the legal formalities that stump even the most experienced travellers. Which documents to carry, what are the visa charges, banking habits… phew! A lot to be remembered, a lot to be tackled.
But, when you plan a trip to Sri Lanka, you need to leave such queries behind. All you need is to do is apply for an e-Visa (Electronic visa) and you’re done. This applies to ALL nationalities across the world! The e-Visa is valid for 30 days only.
The process is fairly simple. You may ask someone to do it for you or even do it yourself-
- Visit – http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/
- Choose the language.
- Click on ‘Apply’
- Fill in the details (passport and individual)
- Make payment.
- And, the visa will be emailed to you within 24-48 hrs.