The island of Sri Lanka off the southern coast of India attracts many travellers drawn to the beauty of its natural landscape and its rich historical and cultural heritage. Sri Lanka's recored civilisation stretches back to the 6th century BC and historical sites like Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya point to a long and fascinating history. The country is also one of the most important regions for Buddhists with many scared sites and temples. Interesting reminders of European rule include British hill stations and the Portuguese/Dutch fort at Galle. The natural beauty of Sri Lanka is perhaps the island's greatest draw with striking highlands regions, dense jungle and rainforest and a beautiful tropical coast. Explore in depth highlights of Sri Lanka.

Travel Information for Sri Lanka
Time zone:GMT +5.5 (Sri Lanka standard time) Daylight savings:    None
Main languages:Sinhala, Tamil
Currency: Sri Lankan rupees (LKR)

1 = Rs166, $1 = Rs149, £1 = Rs198

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.lkInternational Dialling Code:    94

For help planning your trip to Sri Lanka including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Sri Lanka trip planning page.

Further information on Sri Lanka

Discover more about Sri Lanka - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of sri_lanka

Total area: 65,610 sq km (870 sq km under water)

Coastline: 1,340 km (Indian Ocean)

Neighbours (border lengths): No land borders

Climate: Tropical monsoon climate with a northeast monsoon from December to March and a southwest monsoon from June to October. Weather is warm and sunny all year round with rainy seasons from April to June and September to November.

Highest mountain: Pidurutalagala (2,524m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Sri Lanka from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldPartly Free -
Democracy IndexHybrid regime 87/167
Economic FreedomMostly Unfree 101/179
Press FreedomVery serious situation 163/179
ILGA LGBT rightsNo rights -
Corruption PerceptionsMedium corruption 85/174
Overall Ranking:    152/195

Other Data & Links

Full name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka     Status: Independent Country

Population: 21,866,445 (rank: 56/196)     Density: 333.2 people/sq km (rank: 27/196)

Ethnic groups: Sinhalese 73.8%, Sri Lankan Moors 7.2%, Indian Tamil 4.6%, Sri Lankan Tamil 3.9%, other 0.5%, unspecified 10% (2001 census provisional data)

Religions: Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census provisional data)

GDP (PPP): $134.5 billion       GDP per capita: $6,500 (rank: 117/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.