The local currency is Sri Lankan rupee (there are abbreviations R, LKR or Rs.). Coins are in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10 rupees; banknotes have a nominal value 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5,000 rupees. Try to avoid taking especially dirty, torn or questionable bills, and it is better to break large into small money, then you can always safely pay – very often many do not have change from large bills.
At the time of writing, the rate was about 180 rupees for $1, 204 LKR for €1, and 271 LKR for 100 Rus. rubles; in any case, you can always check the current exchange rate on the website https://xe.com/. Hotels mainly provide their prices either in us dollars or in Euros, although the calculation is made in rupees at the current rate of the Bank. Also many tourist services from entrance tickets to sightseeing tours are often priced in dollars, but the calculation will again be about in rupees (dollars are taken very rarely).
The banking network in Sri Lanka is well developed. All regional centers are the main branches: Bank of Ceylon, HNB (Hatton National Bank), Sampath Bank, Commercial Bank, People`s Bank and Seylan Bank. All of them are open from Monday to Friday from 8.00 or 9.00 am and are open until 14.00 or 15.00 PM; on weekends and public holidays banks are closed. And as everywhere provide all kinds of banking services.
Exchange offices are not many, but the Bank can be found in almost every village. However, in many banks the process of currency exchange is quite lengthy and you can spend about half an hour to fill out various forms and service in a calm Eastern manner. Therefore, it is better to exchange currency at the airport (the rate is acceptable and set by the national bank) Keep the document on the exchange, on the basis of it you can make a reverse exchange when returning home. In any case, even if not in the Bank, the exchange will help you in the hotel, in the market or any jewelry store, but keep in mind that the rate may be very different and not In your direction.
There are ATMs in the cities and larger towns. The fee for cash withdrawal depends on the Bank and is very different – it can be a fixed amount per transaction (400 rupees / 2.5$ / 150 RUB) or a percentage of the withdrawal amount (can reach up to 15%!!!). Credit and debit Bank cards are accepted in Sri Lanka many where but not everywhere.
If you do not like Bank cards, you can safely bring cash to the island. Us dollars, euros, pounds sterling and Australian dollars are widespread. New Zealand or canadian dollars as well as Russian rubles can sometimes cause difficulties, but are easily accepted by most banks and are subject to conversion. Receiving or cashing traveler’s checks is becoming increasingly difficult to find, so they are better not to take.