Information & Facts
Colombo's weather stays evenly hot and humid throughout the
year, with no distinct seasons apart from two rainy seasons. Heavy
monsoon rains occur between May and August, and again between
October and January.
Catching a bus in Colombo is an experience in itself and is
perhaps recommended only for hardened travellers. Buses become
incredibly crowded and are erratic, with no obvious schedule. A far
safer way to negotiate the city is via taxi. Prices should be
agreed on before hand as very few have meters, though they are
usually cheap and easy to hail. Driving in the city is as much of
an adventure as taking a bus and normal traffic rules do not seem
to apply. It would be well worth rather hiring a car with a driver.
Three-wheeled auto rickshaws are also available, and although
usually somewhat cheaper than taxis, are not exactly a comfortable
Most people speak Sinhala, which is the national and
official language. Tamil is also spoken, and English is spoken at
most tourist establishments.
The unit of currency is the Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR), which is
divided into 100 cents. Major credit cards are widely accepted, and
travellers cheques in US Dollars are recommended. ATMs are becoming
more common, but outside the main cities they are unlikely to
accept international cards. Credit cards should be used with
caution due to the potential for fraud. Foreign currency can be
exchanged at bureaux de change, banks and hotels, but exchanging
cash is more expensive than exchanging travellers cheques. Banks
are closed on Sundays.
Local time is GMT +5.30.