Sri Lanka Guide

Sri Lanka Guide

Sri Lanka – country information

Country name Sri Lanka
Official name Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Capital Colombo
Continent Asia
Area 65,610 km2
Population 20,277,597 (2012)
The highest mountains Pidurutalágala 2518 m
Longest rivers They were swinging
State system a presidential-type pluralistic republic and a unicameral parliament
The biggest cities Colombo (capital) 1,550,000, Moravia 180,000, Japan (Jaffna) 150,000
Official language Sinhala, Tamil
Ethnicity/National Composition Sinhalese 76%, Tamil 17%, Sri Lankan Moors 7%
Religious affiliation Buddhist 70%, Hindu 15.5%, Muslim 7.5%, Christian 7%
Currency 1 Sri Lankan Rupee (SL Re, pl. SL Rs) = 100 cents
gross domestic product (GDP) US$6,046 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 73.41 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture and fishing 21.5%, mining 1%, industry 19.5%, construction 7%, services 51%

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Sri Lanka is a multicultural country located on the island of Ceylon in the Indian Ocean.


The first mentions come from the ancient Indian epic Ramayana, which mentions a king from Lanka. Whether it is based on true events is uncertain. The history of the whole country is surrounded by a number of myths, legends and stories. The fact is that the first Sinhalese came from northern India most likely around the 6th century BC. Thus the Sinhalese kingdom was born. Since the 3rd century BC, the Sinhalese also become followers of Buddhism. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Portuguese arrived on the island. From this time, Sri Lanka experienced European domination, which was completed in 1815 by the British. Sri Lanka became important mainly for trade in tea, coffee and spices. Also during this period of British rule, more Tamils ​​were transported to India as very cheap labor. The country gained independence in 1948. Already at this time, conflicts between the two groups – the Tamils ​​and the Sinhalese – began. This ethnic problem is quite complex and historically developing. Since 1983, however, a Tamil group called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has been violently striving for the creation of an independent state. Nowadays, armed conflicts are taking place in the north and northeast of this republic. Another disaster in history came in 2004. A devastating tsunami wave took the lives of 35 people here.

Natural conditions

Sri Lanka is sometimes compared in shape to a teardrop flowing down from India. It is similar in size to the Czech Republic, but twice as many people live here. The central part of the island consists of mountains, which are bordered by coastal plains. The best-rated beaches are located in the south and southeast of the island. The largest river is the Mahaweli Ganga. The climate is tropical and the monsoon comes twice a year. The island also boasts a number of national parks and reserves. The largest national park is Wilpattu. Not only this mentioned park, but also other reserves protect unique species of flora and fauna, among which the elephant has a special position, of which around 2000 live here in the wild.

Social conditions

The country is a democratic socialist republic headed by a president who is elected for a six-year term. The official official language is Sinhala along with Tamil. The connecting language is English. The capital is Colombo, but the city of Kandy, located in the central part of the country, is of great importance. It was founded as the seat of the Sinhalese Kings and is still an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists. About 20 million people live in Sri Lanka. Of these, 70% of the population profess Buddhism, 15% Hinduism, and around 7% are followers of Islam and Christianity. All 4 religions meet at the top of Adam’s peak. The time difference is six hours ahead directly from Greenwich. Sri Lanka offers countless ancient historical monuments.

Did you know that…

Sri Lanka is the third largest exporter of tea in the world? is it ok to eat with your hands in sri lanka? a typical means of transport is a tuk tuk? (a tricycle similar to a rickshaw).

Country data

Location: South Asia

Time zone: CET + 4.5 (during summer time: CET + 3.5)

Total area: 65,610 km²

Land area: 64,630 km²

Water area: 980 km²

Length of the state border: 0 km

Coastline: 1,340 km

Capital: Colombo

Provinces: 9
Central, Eastern, North Central, Northern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western

Electric current: 240 V / 50 Hz

Telephone code: 00 94 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Pidurutalagala 2,524 m


Population: approx. 21.9 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 0.9% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 334

Life expectancy: 73 (male), 80 (female)

Official language: Sinhala, Tamil


  • 69% Buddhists
  • 8% Muslim
  • 7% Hindu
  • 16% other


  • tropical climate
  • there are no distinct seasons recognizable
  • it is much cooler in the mountains than in the plains
  • Rain falls especially in the second half of the year

Sri Lanka

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR)

Classification: 1 rupee = 100 cents

ATMs: Available in most major cities.

International credit cards: These are only accepted by larger hotels and shops.

Regulations: There is no limit to the amount of foreign currencies that can be imported. The export is allowed in the amount of the declared import minus the exchanged amounts.

The local currency can be imported and exported up to an amount of 1,000 rupees.

All exchange receipts must be kept in a safe place until departure, as there are often controls.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Valuable pieces of jewelery and technical devices must be declared upon entry.

Articles made from protected animal and plant species may not be imported.

The export of antiques is only permitted with a special permit.

Travel advice

The north and east of the country should be avoided when traveling, as there have been violent conflicts here in recent times.

Due to construction work, air traffic at Bandaranaike International Airport currently only takes place at certain times. Please inquire with the airline in good time about the actual departure time of your flight.

Behavioral advice

After dark you shouldn’t be out at night.

There are frequent police checks, during which the instructions should be followed.

Photographing military installations and uniformed people is not permitted.


More than half of the population is employed in agriculture. Rubber, coconuts and, above all, tea are produced there for export.

The industrial upswing is slow to start because the political situation in the country is very unstable.

Industries: Oil production, rubber production, agriculture, tobacco production, textiles

Natural resources: precious stones, graphite, limestone, phosphates

Land use:

  • Land: 14%
  • Grain cultivation: 15%
  • Pasture area: 7%
  • Forests: 32%
  • other: 32%


For nature lovers, Sri Lanka is a very nice travel destination. Many different types of plants, grass, bushes and trees grow all over the island.

The Bodhi tree, the oldest tree on earth, also grows there.


Especially in the nature reserves there is still a diverse fauna. Hundreds of bird species, insects and many large mammals live in Sri Lanka.

The protection of the animal world is still taken very seriously here.

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