Information on Sri Lankan currency
The Sri Lankan rupee (LKR or Rs.) is not convertible. So, you can’t buy rupees before leaving. But you are allowed to carry foreign currency when you enter the country.
There are many changing counters upon your arrival at the airport. Most banks offer to buy all major currencies. Banks like Bank of Ceylon, Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Hatton National Bank, People’s Bank and Sampath Bank operate all over the country and have specialised exchange counters. You generally do not have to queue for a long time. You must produce your passport at these counters to prove your identity.
Hotels offer to exchange currency but at a slightly reduced rate. If you have too many rupees left when you depart, you can change them to any foreign currency at the airport. A special desk is at your disposal after the customs check. You must however produce the receipt the bank delivered when you initially converted your foreign currency to Sri Lankan rupees.
1$ equalled about Rs.130 in July 2015. 1 GBP = Rs.205, 1 € = Rs.145, 1 AUD = Rs.95 and 1 INR = Rs.2.10.
Other options are to pay through widely accepted credit cards. There have been reported cases of credit card frauds by unscrupulous employees at hotels and shops. A safe method to use them is to restrict their usage only to withdraw cash at ATMs.