Sinhalese. Tamil and English are also widely spoken, and newspapers are printed in all three languages.

Passport and Visas:

All foreign nationals staying in Sri Lanka must have an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation).

The ETA is issued online and no passport copies or photographs are required. To apply please visit

The ETA is only valid for six months from the date of issue so please do not apply too early.

The cost to obtain an ETA is US$35 for tourists staying up to 30 days. This fee is payable online using Visa, MasterCard or American Express. A minimum of 24 hours prior notice is required.

Transit passengers and children under 12 do not need to apply for a visa.

Should you be travelling on honeymoon, the name you arrange your ETA in must match the name on the valid passport you are travelling on.

Good to know:

Dialling code

Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity.


Tipping is usually around 10-15% and a service charge (approx. 12%) is often included in the bill, even in markets. As a general guide, tip around Rs 1500-2300 per day for driver guides, Rs 200-400 for waiters and porters and Rs 1000 for housekeeping.