All international flights land at Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake, 30kms from Colombo. Most of the major airlines flying to and from Sri Lanka are Middle Eastern or Asian, including Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Malaysian Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Singapore Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines and Thai Airways. Lufthansa is the main European airline.
European and American travelers receive a tourist visa when they enter Sri Lanka, which is valid for 30 days. If you want to extend this period, you’ll need to visit the Department of Immigration in Colombo: 41, Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha, Colombo 10 (www.immigration.gov.lk; 9411/532-9000), for an extension of up to three months.
Immunizations and other health issues
The World Health Organization recommends a number of vaccinations for anyone planning on traveling to the country, including diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, polio, rabies, tetanus, typhoid, meningitis and tuberculosis. There is a malaria risk in Sri Lanka, but it occurs mainly in the north rather than central and southern tourist hot spots. Even with a low risk, it’s still advisable to take insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites (products containing DEET are particularly effective), plus covering up arms and legs after sunset and sleeping underneath mosquito nets where possible. The only required vaccination for Sri Lanka is yellow fever, but this is only for those who have visited a country in the yellow fever zone in the preceding six days before arrival.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.