Important advice for travellers vacationing in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka offers a good choice of different modes of transport to travel inside the country. Before you choose a particular one, we recommend you read the following. Also note that you can combine two or more ways of travelling during your stay.
Sri Lankan roads are not very wide. Traffic on a few routes can be quite heavy. After the monsoon season, potholes are aplenty. You will have to watch out for teams that conduct road repairs in certain areas. Since 2009, the authorities have launched an ambitious programme of highways. When calculating the duration of travel between different cities, it is better to consider 50 km per hour as a good average. If your travel includes going through towns and cities, remember that traffic can be congested during peak hours and festival times.
The best road maps of Sri Lanka in print version are the Sri Lanka Map published by Nelles Verlag and the Road Map of Sri Lanka edited by the Sri Lanka Survey Department.
Sri Lankan cities are well connected by trains through a network of 1,500 km railway lines. The Sri Lankan Railway is a good option not only to travel but also to catch unique glimpses of the landscape and get a real feel of the country. Trains can be a bit slower than buses but they are a lot safer.
If you opt to travel by road, you can either travel by bus, hired car or chauffeur-drive car. Inside cities, you can use tuk-tuks. You can also hire bicycles to cycle around villages on deserted but picturesque roads.
Hitchhiking is very uncommon in Sri Lanka. It could be dangerous to try it as not all vehicles are insured.