Sri Lanka is a tropical island, so light cotton clothing, sandals, comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunglasses, and a swimsuit are an absolute must! If you are travelling to the hill country, bring a light jacket or jumper/sweater, because it does get a bit chilly up there. If you are planning on hiking or climbing, bring a pair of comfortable shoes or boots.
Remember that visitors have to be dressed decently when visiting places of worship such as temples, shrines, and churches. Beachwear, shorts/skirts, and any clothing that is excessively revealing is NOT suitable. For men, we recommend long shorts or pants with a t-shirt. For women, a long skirt (below the knee) or pants with a t-shirt. Be sure to always carry a sarong (long piece of material) or scarf with you, so that you can use that to cover your shoulders or tie around your waist, just in case you find yourself wanting to enter a temple and you’re wearing shorts/skirts/etc.
Mosquito repellent is also a must. Even though most hotels and guesthouses are air conditioned or have mosquito nets, you will still need to protect yourself. Bring plenty of sunscreen and a pair of sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
Bring along your own basic medication for flu, fever and diarrhea and any other medication you are specifically taking as some areas of the country may not have what you need.
It’s okay if you pack light, you can always go shopping when you are in Colombo!
Although we cannot tell you exactly what to pack, we can suggest a few items that you shouldn’t forget:
Light cotton pants/shorts/skirts/jean
T-shirts/sweater/light jacket or windbreaker
Sneakers or comfortable walking shoes
A nice outfit or two if you want to go out on the town