Is Sri Lanka Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Sri Lanka is generally a safe destination for solo female travelers. The locals are friendly and willing to help, and it's common to encounter many female tourists. However, it's important to be cautious especially in crowded areas to avoid pickpockets or scams. It is also recommended to follow cultural norms, particularly when visiting religious sites. A good practice is to always let someone know your itinerary and keep in regular touch. Night travel is usually considered safe, but as always, vigilance is essential.

Safety rating

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How safe is Sri Lanka?

Safety at night:

Safety at night:Moderate

Sri Lanka is generally safe for solo female travelers, however caution is advisable, especially at night. While the risk of violent crime is relatively low, petty crime such as pickpocketing or bag snatching can occur, especially in crowded areas. Walking alone late at night in deserted areas or small side streets is not recommended. It's best to stay in well-lit, populated areas and use trusted modes of transportation after dark. Always trust your intuition and follow local guidance on safety measures.
Public transportation:

Public transportation:Safe

Public transportation in Sri Lanka is mostly safe, reliable and commonly used by locals and tourists. Buses, trains, and tuk tuks are the main forms of local transport. There might be instances of overcrowding on buses and trains during peak hours. However, taking a tuk tuk at night might need some cautiousness. As a female traveler, it's better to use reputed apps for hailing tuk tuks. Always be vigilant about your belongings on public transport, and avoid traveling alone late at night.
Street harassment:

Street harassment:Moderate

While Sri Lanka is renowned for its stunning landscapes and warm hospitality, when it comes to street harassment, it's a bit of a mixed bag. Many solo female travelers report light to moderate instances of unsolicited advances, particularly in heavily touristic areas. This could range from persistent offers of goods and services to unnecessary compliments. However, Sri Lankans are generally respectful and friendly, and severe cases are not widespread. Always be alert, maintain a firm assertiveness, and where possible, align your movements with busier times of the day to blend into the local crowd.
Petty crimes:

Petty crimes:Moderate

Sri Lanka is generally a safe destination for travelers. However, like many tourist destinations, petty crimes such as pick-pocketing and bag-snatching can occur, especially in crowded areas and popular tourist spots. It is suggested to always be vigilant, secure your belongings, and avoid flashy displays of wealth. However, the local people are usually warm and welcoming.
Tap water:

Tap water:Unsafe

While tap water in Sri Lanka is technically treated and should be safe to consume, it is still generally recommended for travelers to avoid drinking it due to pollution concerns and different treatment processes that may not remove all potential illness-causing microorganisms. Bottled water or treated water through reliable filters is preferred.

Is Sri Lanka safe to travel?

3.8 /5

Based on 24 experiences

Solo travel experience

I was alone in Sri Lanka and felt safe. People really like to talk and offer their hospitality to travelers. But if you don't like to be squeezed or hanged on public transportation then traveling between cities is quite challenging.

Posted: April 7, 2024
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Anna

Anna (38)

Spain

Solo travel experience

Wear a ring and say you're married. Even if you say you have a boyfriend, guys are going to insist. Be careful with CouchSurfing. They think it's tinder, so unfortunately I had bad experiences. Be careful. When I was in Mirissa, a touristic beach place, I went out to a bar. Some girls were drunk, completely, and local guys were there trying to take advantage. Thanks to some friends we walked two of them to their hostels. So if you travel solo, try to avoid a man thought apps (like CouchSurfing). Try to find someone to travel Apart from very insistent men, it's a safe place ( well they will try to make you paid like European prices, but apart from that, it's nice)

Posted: March 14, 2024Experienced: November, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I felt safe travelling alone, people are extremely friendly. However, I was sexually harassed while just walking at daytime at the beach. Also, stuff was stolen from me. I wouldn't recommend walking alone at secluded beaches.

Posted: February 28, 2024
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Solo travel experience

I felt perfectly safe solo traveling Sri Lanka for 3 weeks. The people of Sri Lanka are the nicest and most friendly people I ever met. This small country has so much to offer and it's very affordable. Mountains, hiking, temples, history, great wildlife, amazing beaches, beautiful towns, and delicious food.

Posted: February 11, 2024
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Solo travel experience

I traveled alone in Sri Lanka in April and I can only say good things. I spent most of my time on the coasts and in the mountains. I loved this country, its culture, and its food and felt very safe.

Posted: December 27, 2023
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Group travel experience

I felt absolutely safe, I spent part of the time with friends, and part traveling alone, my friends wouldn't let me travel if they didn't think I would be safe. I used drivers/cars arranged by my friends or hotels, taxis, Uber and tuk-tuks, both during the day and in the evening, I also went to restaurants in the evening.

Posted: December 18, 2023
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Solo travel experience

Sri Lanka was the first country I visited alone. I stayed in the south of the island and used public transportation as much as possible, as it was very cheap. The people there are the friendliest I have ever met. I felt very safe throughout the whole trip. When travelling between cities, it was difficult to get there by public transport, so I had to ask someone from the hotel I was staying at to give me a ride to the next place (agree on the price in advance).

Posted: December 4, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I traveled alone to Sri Lanka and I loved it, I never felt unsafe. I traveled by train, it was very cheap and super friendly. I booked accommodation one day ahead during my whole trip and did all the tours I could, in the time I had.

Posted: October 31, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I do not recommend Sri Lanka for solo travel, although this country is absolutely beautiful. I spent a month there and never felt so unsafe and uncomfortable. Everything was fine when I was with male friends, but when I traveled alone or with girlfriends, it was a completely different experience - we were chased, touched without our consent, and subjected to being administered intoxicating substances. I recommend traveling with a tour or group.

Posted: October 25, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I travelled alone to Sri Lanka and I would never recommend this to anyone. Every other solo travelling woman said the same thing. I felt so insecure, harassed and disregarded by men everywhere. I am a black woman, and they treated me like trash. Sri Lanka is one country that I will never return to, even for free.

Posted: October 24, 2023
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Is Sri Lanka safe for women?

Sri lanka is moderately safe for solo female travellers as. Long as they take necessary precautions. Make sure you do not go out alone at night or travel long distances with unknown people. While most people are very kind and helpful, there are black sheep who ruin the experience. So better safe than sorry.

Posted: April 24, 2024
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Is Sri Lanka safe right now?

Before your visit to Sri Lanka, it's essential to check travel advisories for Sri Lanka, including your home country's official travel advisory. These advisories can provide up-to-date information on safety, health, and any specific considerations for travelers.
🇺🇸

United States Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The United States government advises exercising increased caution in Sri Lanka due to civil unrest and terrorism. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: September 5, 2023
🇨🇦

Canada's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Canadian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution in Sri Lanka due to demonstrations, potential terrorist attacks, and crime. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: May 17, 2024
🇦🇺

Australia's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Australian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution in Sri Lanka, due to the risk of public demonstrations and security threats. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: May 17, 2024

Is Sri Lanka worth visiting?

Overall rating

4.3 /5

based on 24 experiences

Family travel experience

Sri Lanka is one of the safest travel destinations for women traveling alone (at least according to the rankings and even though I didn't travel alone, I would have felt safe anyway). The locals, in my experience, are very hospitable and helpful, even though they like to negotiate at least at all shopping opportunities/taxis/tuk-tuks. It's better to always start with low prices to avoid having to pay too much ;) Some of my highlights included a safari near Arugambay (our guide's name on Insta is lesitha_prabath - I can recommend him 100%, he has eyes like an eagle and finds leopards without much difficulty) :) The best hostel, in my opinion, is the Yoyo Surf Hostel Ahangama, a host with a golden heart, you feel like part of the hostel family. There are opportunities for parties with transport organization to top locations every second/third day and Sunday curries at family dinners <3 Whale watching trips are ok, but the safari was better. Restaurant prices are very cheap, especially breakfast on the beach in Wedigama which is highly recommended after the perfect surf wave at the Blue Wave surfboard rental. Don't underestimate the sun, 50+ sun cream is a must in the tropics. Always drink water only from packaged/sealed bottles (even my filter bottle was unable to protect me from poisoning). Enjoy the Sun, Waves and people :) The food was too spicy for me.

Posted: May 3, 2024Experienced: February, 2024
Things to do: 5/5Food: 3/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 4/5
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Sally

Sally

Malaysia

Solo travel experience

I love Sri Lanka where lots of wonderful people, beautiful nature and the most important they have magnificent beaches. Having seafood dinner and watching sunsets in front of the beach is the most enjoyable time for me.

Posted: November 23, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Meet locals in Sri Lanka

Meet local women in Sri Lanka who are open to meet up for a coffee or a drink, show you around, give local advice or practice a language with.
Nelum

Nelum

About Me

I'm Nelum 55yrs old doctor married has 2 teenagers. I like travelling reading books music. interested in exploring different cultures and people and meet a travel buddy .

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Dashini

Dashini

About Me

Hi Gals I’m a 42year old lady living in the colombo suburbs. I wish I could say I’m a a regular person at day and moonlights at night, however I’m a doctor working at one of the largest hospitals in Colombo. Don’t let my profession discourage you! I was brought up in Dubai, so I’m quite fun loving and I know the ropes to surviving in SriLanka . I am also an extensive travel enthusiast and have travelled to over 30 countries. I’m the nature lover and an adventure sport junkie

Speaking

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Stay with locals in Sri Lanka

Stay with local women in Sri Lanka who offer free accommodation as part of cultural exchange. Couch surfing is a great way to meet new people, learn more about new cultures and experience destinations like a local.
Dashini

Dashini

Colombo

Can host for:

3 days

About me

Hi Gals I’m a 42year old lady living in the colombo suburbs. I wish I could say I’m a a regular person at day and moonlights at night, however I’m a doctor working at one of the largest hospitals in Colombo. Don’t let my profession discourage you! I was brought up in Dubai, so I’m quite fun loving and I know the ropes to surviving in SriLanka . I am also an extensive travel enthusiast and have travelled to over 30 countries. I’m the nature lover and an adventure sport junkie

Speaking

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Nelum

Nelum

Colombo

Can host for:

3 days

About me

I'm Nelum 55yrs old doctor married has 2 teenagers. I like travelling reading books music. interested in exploring different cultures and people and meet a travel buddy .

Speaking

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Upcoming visitors to Sri Lanka

Connect with upcoming visitors to Sri Lanka who are looking for travel buddies or meet ups.
Emna

Emna

About Me

Hi, I'm a 20-year-old second-year law student eager to explore the world and embark on exciting adventures. I'm passionate about delving into new experiences and learning from different cultures.

Speaking

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Safety in Sri Lanka