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Best currency in Sri Lanka

Saltburn-by-the-Sea...
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Best currency in Sri Lanka

I'm visiting Sri Lanka soon and wondered whether it is best to take the local currency or do they prefer US Dollars? Any advice would be great

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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for Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Best currency in Sri Lanka

Hi there,

Bring sterling (or ATM card or TC) and exchange locally into rupee. It's a closed currency, hence buying rupees abroad gives a lousy rate. The banks at airport are open 24-7.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

newcastle upon tyne
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2. Re: Best currency in Sri Lanka

If you have a look at all the recent currency threads on the forum, they should give you a lot of good information about money in Sri Lanka.

Basically change your money when you get to Sri Lanka

London UK
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3. Re: Best currency in Sri Lanka

We used a CaxtonFX prepaid Global Traveller debit card throughout Sri Lanka. . We used the ATM at the airport, in Koggala and for paying our hotel bill. The country is geared up for tourism so it would be half baked not to have ATMs for credit and debit cards, especially as the Sri Lankan rupee is a closed currency.

Pre-paid debit cards are a highly convenient means of taking large amounts of cash as the commission, on my card, is 2.5% and the exchange rate is the inter-bank rate at the moment of transaction. The card provider does not charge for the use of the ATM. You should find it very useful to check out CaxtonFX’s website. I have used mine in some nine countries in four continents and found it the best way of carrying cash. You should find it well worthwhile to check out CaxtonFX's website.

Saltburn-by-the-Sea...
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4. Re: Best currency in Sri Lanka

That's very helpful, thanks Erik

Saltburn-by-the-Sea...
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5. Re: Best currency in Sri Lanka

Thanks Jayne, that was really helpful, so ATM it is then

Saltburn-by-the-Sea...
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6. Re: Best currency in Sri Lanka

Thanks, great help

Winchester, United...
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7. Re: Best currency in Sri Lanka

My wife and I didn't take any money to Sri-Lanka.... We simply withdrew local currency from ATM.

20000 rupees = approx £100 GBP

Tewkesbury, United...
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8. Re: Best currency in Sri Lanka

I am flying to Sri Lanka on 9th Feb and saw this post - as we will be travelling around I was advised by the cashier at Thomas Cook, who said she had been herself, to take US dollars as there would not be too many ATM's available where we were going. We are staying for 12 days travelling to Habarana, Kandy, Tea Factory in Kandapola, Yala National Park, Bentota before transferring to the Maldives. We only need money for lunches, entry fees to temples etc and other incidentals during the day - any advice on how much to take and whether dollars vs sterling?

Fredericia, Denmark
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9. Re: Best currency in Sri Lanka

Unfortunately wrong information from the cashier at Thomas Cook.

Why first change your GBP to USD and then to LKR? You can't spend USD in Sri Lanka, but have to change to LKR. There are banks, ATMs and money changers all around the island.

Hans

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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10. Re: Best currency in Sri Lanka

Hi there,

See sites like

http://sampath.lk/branch_atm_locator.php

for the ATM's. Plenty for your route. As you would need to change both pound and USD locally into LKR it would be totally useless to buy USD first. Flame that cashier, probably she wants to earn a bit extra on the conversion from GBP into USD...

Entry fees vary widely and can be relatively high too (e.g. Rs 3,000+ for a Cultural Triangle site), lunch is hardly above Rs 1,000 including local softdrinks.

Hope this gives some idea...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]