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Is there an ATM at the airport?

London, United...
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378 posts
33 reviews
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Is there an ATM at the airport?

Hi - have never been to SL before and was wondering if it is possible to get SL rupees at the airport (Colombo) from an ATM or should I bring Sterling and change at the airport banks? Have never been a fan of travelers cheques but would they be useful in SL?

We are going off on a 8 day trip and can't imagine there will be ATMs where we will be visiting - so - what amounts of cash would we need to take with us to cover lunches etc (other meals are included in the tour) - I realise we all have different "lunches" but just an average daily figure would give me an idea.

What sort of tips would the guide and driver expect at the end of a tour?

Can anyone recommend an internet currency converter site - as the ones I have found so far only seem to mention Indian Rupees not SL.- or am I being plain daft as they are the same!

Many thanks

TB

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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49,661 posts
174 reviews
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1. Re: Is there an ATM at the airport?

Hi there,

1] Yes there are two, in the corner behind the banks and the tourist office. As 'reliable' as ATM's in Asia in general, often working but in 10-20% of the cases at least one of them not.

2] So always helpful to have some cash at hand for electronic emergencies, or TC''s if you wish.

3] Any midsize or bigger town WILL have an ATM in the city centre, which is not always close to the hotel zone. Sampath, Hatton and Commercial Bank have the widest network.

4] But anyhow, lunches generally Rs 700-1000 per person including local banks.

5] www.oanda.com/convert/classic is our favourite for interbank rates. Sampath Bank site however gives the best estimate of what you get at SL bank counters.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

London, United...
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378 posts
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2. Re: Is there an ATM at the airport?

WOW that was a quick reply!

Many thanks for the info - that will keep me busy until the next set of questions!

TA

Ahungalla, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka, Kalutara, Ahungalla
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5,447 posts
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3. Re: Is there an ATM at the airport?

Hi there..

Just to add a little about card use in general in Sri Lanka, make sure that you tell your card issuers that you intend to use a card there, sadly Sri Lanka has a bit of a "reputation" for card frauds, so banks here in UK are very wary if a first time use of a card there without being informed, and may lead to your card being blocked...

Regards

Dave

Colchester
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898 posts
186 reviews
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4. Re: Is there an ATM at the airport?

Here is the link to the Sampath Bank site, updated every working day:

http://www.sampath.lk/exchangerate.php

Sadly sterling seems to be on a downward slide again. Not so long ago it got up to Rs 190 to the pound and now it is almost down to Rs 180.

London, United...
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378 posts
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5. Re: Is there an ATM at the airport?

Thanks everyone and Merry Christmas!

6. Re: Is there an ATM at the airport?

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