News report | | 22/10/2020 | ±3 minutes reading time

The currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). In Sri Lanka, it is therefore not possible to pay with pounds or euros. Nevertheless, the costs for the Sri Lanka visa (ETA) can easily be paid in either euros or pounds. Besides applying for a visa for Sri Lanka, there are a few other things to take into account, such as the payment habits in the country and activating your payment card for use outside Europe.

Payment habits in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, payments are made with the Sri Lankan rupee. One £ is currently worth about 240 rupees. Rupees are available in notes of 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000. It is useful to keep smaller denominations at hand as well, as change is not available everywhere for larger notes. Be careful with torn notes, because these are often not accepted any more.

It is customary in Sri Lanka to tip, for example, employees in restaurants, luggage carriers, chambermaids and guides. In restaurants a tip of 10% of the amount is generally appreciated, in other places a tip of 100 rupees (less than 50 cents) is already enough. Prices are negotiated at markets and in local shops in Sri Lanka. Haggling is especially common in tourist areas and the asking price can be significantly reduced

Cost of the Sri Lanka visa in pounds

If the Sri Lanka visa is applied for on this website, the fee is paid in pounds and not in rupee or any other currency. This has the advantage that you are not dependent on fluctuating exchange rates and no exchange surcharges or transaction costs are charged. The visa is paid safely and easily using reliable payment methods, which include Visa, MasterCard, American Express and PayPal.

The total amount of £44.95 includes all costs such as service charges, consular fees and VAT. This covers all costs of the visa. On arrival in Sri Lanka, you will not have to pay anything extra for the visa. This way you will not face any unexpected fees.

Exchange pounds for rupees

It is not advisable exchanging pounds for Sri Lankan rupees before departure. Banks and exchange offices often charge high commissions for exchanging currency. Currency exchange offices can be found on arrival at the airport where pounds can be exchanged for rupees. In general, however, it is recommended to withdraw cash directly from an ATM in Sri Lanka. Exchange offices in Sri Lanka also charge a fee for exchanging pounds.

Withdrawing money in Sri Lanka

Rupees can be withdrawn from ATMs at the airport or in the centre of Colombo. It is cheaper to withdraw money than to exchange pounds for rupees. Although cash withdrawals are also subject to transaction fees, these fees are often lower than the commissions paid at exchange offices.

Most debit cards are accepted in Sri Lanka. This is because they usually have a Maestro or Cirrus logo and can therefore be used at foreign ATMs. Take note that payment by bank card outside Europe usually has to be activated first. As a security measure, European banks block the use of bank cards outside Europe. That is why it is necessary to activate the use of the bank card outside the Eurozone before leaving the bank.

Higher transaction fees with credit cards

Carrying both a debit card and a credit card can be useful when travelling abroad, as in some cases one of them might not be accepted and you can easily switch to the other. However, it is recommended that you use your credit card as little as possible because credit card companies charge higher transaction costs for cash withdrawals compared to banks.

If you read up on the payment habits in Sri Lanka, activated your bank card for use outside of Europe and applied for a Sri Lanka visa (ETA), then the journey to Sri Lanka can begin!