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Charming Sri Lanka: Tips for cheapest flight tickets, accommodation and trips around the island

The island of Ceylon is one of the most beautiful places we have ever visited. You can find everythin in a relatively small area! Sri Lanka offers beautiful beaches, mountains, tea plantations, national parks full of animals, unique historical monuments, diverse culture and gastronomy. The majority of the population is made up of peaceful Buddhists, so you’ll feel very comfortable and safe in the country!

From where? With whom? When? Tips for flights to Sri Lanka

Where from? You can get to Sri Lanka from Vienna, London (LHR, LGW), Paris (CDG), Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Munich, Rome, Copenhagen, Zurich, Madrid

With whom? British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, KLM, Turkish airlines, Finnair, Qatar Airways, SriLankan Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, SWISS

When? Sri Lanka has a very warm tropical climate, you can go here all year round. It rains in the north of the country from October to January and in the south from May to August. Although online weather forecasts show the possibility of rainfall every day, the reality tends to be different. Most of the time it only rains at night and the showers have very short duration. In addition, each part of the island has its own climate. You definitely don’t have to worry about winter! A bit of rain is usually a relief from the daily high temperatures.

What’s included? The return flight, all taxes, hand luggage and checked-in luggage.

Cheap flights to Sri Lanka

Accommodation in Sri Lanka: try local accommodation and luxury hotels for a few euros

The island of Sri Lanka is really diverse in prices of accommodation. You can find the cheapest tourist hostels, private villas for rent, as well as luxury hotel resorts with swimming pools. The average price for two per night is around €10 to €20.

As in any exotic destination, you can stay in Sri Lanka at great prices. Check prices and book your hotel through Pelican. Find accommodation tips on this handy map:

What do I need to enter Sri Lanka?

You will need a passport for Sri Lanka. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your return. There are no Covid-19 requirements anymore. Children must have their own passport. Tourist visas are valid for 30 days. You will need visa for tourists – Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for Tourists.

What to see in Sri Lanka? Tips from us

Buddhist monuments

Throughout the country you’ll discover a large number of Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim temples. You’ll feel like the local because they are always celebrating something. In almost every one of the well-known towns, we encountered some sort of procession or religious celebration. You can start your Sri Lankan journey in the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. You’ll also see beautiful Buddha statues at the Golden Temple of Dambulla. A very peaceful place full of temples and monks is Mihintale. You can also go to the pilgrimage site of Kataragama. On arrival in Sri Lanka, ask the locals about ongoing festivals and events.

Mountains and tea plantations

If you prefer nature, take a trip to the impressive rock temple of Sigiriya. From the top of Lion Rock, you can see a veritable jungle and even wild elephants. In the middle of the island you’ll find a cooler climate, mountains and the famous tea plantations. You can take a tour of one of the tea factories (e.g. Lipton Company).

A beautiful sacred trail leads to the top of Adam’s peak. After climbing more than 5,000 high steps, you’ll get a unique view of the surrounding area. Just below the top of the mountain you will see the alleged footprint of Adam’s foot. It is said that God have sent Adam on this spot after he was chased out from paradise. The climb usually starts at night to catch the rising sun.

Sri Lanka National Parks

The national parks in Sri Lanka were one of the greatest experiences for us. We highly recommend visiting Udawalawe National Park, where you will see many elephants and interesting birds. Another national park, Yala, is said to be comparable to African safaris.

The park can only be entered with by a jeep and official guide. The animals are more active in the morning, so it is important to arrive early! You can spend a whole day in Yala National Park and see a lot of wildlife including elephants, crocodiles, buffalo, lizards and monkeys.

Sri Lanka is full of animals even outside the national parks. Thanks to the humid climate, snakes, lizards or crocodiles are often seen here. Most often you will probably meet curious monkeys. If you want to see elephants up close to you in their natural habitat, go to the elephant orphanage Pinawala.

Beaches, surfing and relaxation

Of course, the tropical island also has beautiful beaches with palm trees and golden sand. You’ll find the best spots for swimming in the south of the island. The renowned surfing areas are Mirissa and Arugam Bay on the east coast.

Some surf schools move depending on the season and the waves. You don’t have to get into extreme sports to soak up the true Sri Lankan vibe. Sometimes it’s also good to just do nothing. Buy yourself a tasty coconut, sit on the beach and wait for the sunset, which is breathtaking in Sri Lanka!

Weather in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has a very warm tropical climate, you can go here all year round. It rains in the north of the country from October to January and in the south from May to August. Although online weather forecasts show the possibility of rainfall every day, the reality tends to be different. Most of the time it only rains at night, or the showers have short duration. In addition, each part of the island has its own climate. You definitely don’t have to worry about winter! A bit of rain here is usually a relief from the daily high temperatures.

Transportation in Sri Lanka

Car or tuk-tuk rental

Most car rental companies will try to rent you a car with a local driver. This is an option to consider because driving on the island is not entirely safe. The constant presence of a Sri Lankan is also not entirely ideal. However, he or she will also serve as your guide.

The traffic tends to be pretty heavy. Everyone is honking and people and animals are constantly running across your path. Typical Asia! After an hour of driving, you usually drive just 30 km with tiredness in your eyes, it feels like you’ve been driving for five hours. Crazy bus drivers don’t hesitate to overtake you even in an obscure bend and sometimes you’ll have to swerve out of the way of bigger vehicles. It can happen that the asphalt roads disappear and you will find yourself on a dirt road.

Some travellers rent or even buy a tuk-tuk. The main disadvantage of renting vehicles is the relatively high price. It is much cheaper to travel by public transport!

Travelling by bus and train

Buses in Sri Lanka are plentiful, cheap and go to almost every corner of the country. Buses are the biggest vehicles on the road, so they often have a priority. The interior may surprise you. The driver’s cab is usually decorated with religious motifs and all sorts of lights. There is usually very loud dance music playing. That’s why you’ll have an autentic experience on the bus!

The most romantic kind of transport in Sri Lanka is the train. However, like in India, you’d better pay extra for a higher class. Sometimes you can’t even fit into the lowest class because there are so many passengers in the island. You can travel in the lower class just for a shorter distance. You’ll be rewarded with unparalleled views of the region, even from the open train doors. Safety is not the question of imporatnce in these Asian countries. Most beautiful train routes are Colombo – Kandy and especially Nanu Oya – Ella, where the famous tea plantations are located.

It is best to combine different kinds of transport. You can always arrange the ubiquitous tuk-tuks for less accessible places. Don’t be afraid to bargain prices with drivers under any circumstances, they tend to offer higher prices. Always negotiate the fare in advance and repeat the amount several times! You can also travel with organised tours. Always ask the hotel or travel agent for the price. Hotel prices are still very cheap and the services have improved a lot as tourism has grown.

Although Sri Lanka has mountains, there’s no need to bring high boots because of a hot weather. Sneakers and sandals will be perfect option.

Photo source: Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Unsplash.com
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