General Knowledge About Sri Lanka for Tourists

Sri Lanka is a beautiful island country located in South Asia, known for its stunning landscapes, ancient history, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. It is a popular travel destination for tourists from around the world, offering a diverse range of experiences from beach vacations to cultural tours. In this article, we will provide an overview of the general knowledge about Sri Lanka that every tourist should know before visiting.

Geography and Climate

Sri Lanka is an island country located in South Asia, in the Indian Ocean, south of India. It is known as the “Teardrop of India” due to its unique shape. The country has a total area of 65,610 square kilometers (25,332 square miles) and is divided into nine provinces and 25 districts.

Sri Lanka has a diverse landscape that includes lush tropical forests, rolling hills, tea plantations, and golden beaches. The highest point in the country is Pidurutalagala, which stands at 2,524 meters (8,281 feet) above sea level. The country also has several national parks, including Yala National Park, which is known for its leopard population, and Udawalawe National Park, which is home to elephants, crocodiles, and other wildlife.

The climate in Sri Lanka is tropical and influenced by monsoons. The country experiences two monsoon seasons: the southwest monsoon from May to September and the northeast monsoon from December to February. The rest of the year is generally dry and sunny, with temperatures averaging between 27-32°C (81-90°F) in coastal areas and 14-18°C (57-64°F) in the central highlands.

Culture and Religion

Sri Lanka has a rich cultural heritage that dates back over 2,500 years. The country’s cultural traditions are influenced by Indian, Arab, Malay, and European cultures. The majority of Sri Lankans are Buddhists, and Buddhism has played a significant role in shaping the country’s culture and way of life. Other religions practiced in Sri Lanka include Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity.

Sri Lankan culture is known for its hospitality, warmth, and friendliness. Visitors are often welcomed with open arms and invited to experience local customs and traditions. Sri Lankan hospitality is demonstrated through the sharing of food, stories, and cultural experiences. Visitors can also witness cultural performances, such as traditional dance and music, and participate in local festivals and celebrations.



The official languages of Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil. English is widely spoken and understood, especially in tourist areas. Most signage and public transportation announcements are in both Sinhala and English.


The currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan rupee (LKR). Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks, money changers, and hotels. ATMs are widely available in tourist areas and major cities.


Transportation in Sri Lanka includes buses, trains, taxis, and tuk-tuks (three-wheeled vehicles). Buses are the most common mode of public transportation and are relatively inexpensive. Trains are a popular way to travel across the country, offering scenic views of the countryside. Taxis and tuk-tuks are widely available in tourist areas and can be hired for short trips or day tours.

Food and Drink

Sri Lankan cuisine is a blend of Indian, Arab, Malay, and European influences. The cuisine is known for its use of fresh ingredients, spices, and coconut milk. Rice and curry are the staple dishes, and each region of the country has its own unique specialty dishes. Seafood is also a popular option, especially on the coast.

Tea is a major industry in Sri Lanka, and the country is known for producing high-quality tea. Tea plantations can be found throughout the country, and visitors can take tours to learn about the tea-making process and sample different types of tea.


Sri Lankan culture places a strong emphasis on respect and hospitality. Visitors are expected to dress modestly and remove their shoes when entering temples and other religious sites. It is also important to be respectful of local customs and traditions, such as not touching or pointing at religious objects with your feet.


Visitors to Sri Lanka should take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito-borne illnesses, such as dengue fever and malaria. It is also recommended to drink bottled water and avoid drinking tap water or using ice in drinks. Visitors should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to Sri Lanka to receive any necessary vaccinations or medications.


Sri Lanka is a diverse and fascinating country with a rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and warm and welcoming people. Visitors to Sri Lanka can experience a range of experiences, from relaxing beach vacations to cultural tours and adventurous hiking trips. Understanding the general knowledge about Sri Lanka, including its geography, culture, language, customs, and safety considerations, can help visitors make the most of their trip and fully immerse themselves in the local experience.

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