Foreign Exchange Guide to Sri Lanka
In this guide we review :
- Sri Lankan rupee info - general info about the Sri Lankan rupee
- Travelling in Sri Lanka - currency & money saving tips
- Buying Sri Lankan rupee cash online - travel money for Sri Lanka
- Sending money to Sri Lanka - save on Sri Lankan rupee bank transfers to Sri Lanka
- Sri Lankan rupee exchange rates - latest info & charts.
Sri Lankan rupee (LKR) general currency information
Sri Lanka currency and money saving tips
Sri Lanka is very safe place to travel despite the 26 year civil war that finished in 2009. The currency of Sri Lanka is the rupee (LKR), and no other currencies will be accepted so be sure to exchange your dollars or get rupees from the ATM when you arrive at the airport. It is often possible to change your currency at hotels, but the rate is often not as good. In the cities ATM's are no problem to find and accept most cards, however be sure to let your bank know you are travelling in Sri Lanka before you leave to avoid having your card blocked by your bank due to high fraud risk in this region.
Getting around in Sri Lanka can be quite time consuming and a little frustrating so be sure to plan for that. The roads are thin and congested slowing down buses and can make the journey and a little uncomfortable, while trains are just slow, perhaps even slower but a bit more charming. An affordable and convenient way of getting around is hiring a 'car and driver'. If you need to save time you can fly most places on SriLankan Airlines which is efficient and fast, but considerably more pricey.
While Colombo is commonly thought to be the capital, the technical capital is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, which is the political capital of Sri Lanka. Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (SJK) is however only 12km from Colombo and is thought of by many to be a suburb of Colombo, which is the larger more industrial city of the two.
Sri Lanka Trip Checklist
Travel money for Sri Lanka
Save money and time by Ordering your Sri Lankan rupee online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the LKR cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Sri Lankan rupee otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Sending money to Sri Lanka
When sending money to Sri Lanka it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 3 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Sri Lankan rupee amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted LKR amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Sri Lanka.
By comparing the rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Sri Lankan rupee deposited into the recipient bank account in Sri Lanka and less margins and fees kept by the banks!