Am cruising in a few weeks time & wondering what currency I should take ashore in Sri Lanka as will only be there for one day & will be going on a pre organized tour. Thought a very small amount of local currency would be appropriate for purchase of water, tips etc., but the Rupee is very hard to get hold of in Australia. Would Euros be acceptable for small purchases or what would you suggest?

  • 3
    I suggest you bring the Euros to Sri Lanka and exchange them there. Should not be a problem.
    – gmauch
    Feb 25, 2015 at 23:12
  • If you're confident, you can probably get a better rate exchanging unofficially, as Sri Lanka has currency exchange restrictions. When I was last there, tour guides (as an example) quotes much lower prices in GBP or EUR than the official exchange rate would have led you to expect
    – Gagravarr
    Mar 2, 2015 at 10:05

4 Answers 4


From a friend who is currently travelling in Sri Lanka, and is a reasonably experienced solo-traveller:

I don't think so, from what I've seen. It's easy enough to change money though - can do so at the airport and banks for a not unreasonable amount. They'll change Aussie, Euro and USD.

Certainly, if there's a better solution your cruise briefing when you arrive will let you know, but in the meantime, we also have a question on exchanging AUD before arrival which may be of use.


Not a chance. But for small purchases, you can use credit/debit cards. They're widely accepted and card scamming is much rarer than in the ROW. Any major supermaket (Every notable town has at least one) accepts them.


No you can't use Euros here. You can exchange them to LKR at the airport or from a bank. They accept foreign currency exchanges and the service is quite fast.

However, if you're in the airport and wants to buy something from the duty free shops, they do accept USD and EURO


Exchange counters at Sri Lankan airport are open 24hrs. Just carry money in some major currency -USD, EURO, AUD etc and exchange it when you arrive. Convert it back to your currency while leaving Sri Lanka. Most of the banks at Colombo offer a little better rate than the counters at airport, but it is not worth spending a day at Colombo just for this.

  • People on cruises don't normally go to airports. But I guess this might be useful to other people viewing the question, who are travelling by plane.
    – AndyT
    Apr 20, 2018 at 10:53
  • This is a copy of an answer to a question from someone flying into Sri Lanka. There is was a good answer, here it is not. I would delete it.
    – Willeke
    Apr 20, 2018 at 15:42
  • I did exactly this when I visited Sri Lanka. None told me to do this, or I didn't copy this answer from anywhere. Just shared from my practical experience. I couldn't find LKR from my home country easily. Though I converted currency two times, it proved to be cheaper and easier.
    – rjose
    Apr 23, 2018 at 10:29
  • Please note there is a commission charge of LKR500 when you convert LKR to USD (or any other foreign currency).
    – rjose
    Jun 6, 2018 at 8:25

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