9 Reasons Why Sri Lanka Is a Great Destination for Expats

Sri Lankan beaches are waiting for expats
Sri Lankan beaches are waiting for expats | © Hafiz Issadeen / Flickr

Sri Lanka Hub Writer

Sri Lanka is becoming more cosmopolitan every year. The 30-something generation is bringing the island to a new place, full of modern eateries and worldly locales. The original Sri Lanka is still here, beating fiercely and ready to be discovered. Living in Sri Lanka for a year or two can be an experience like no other. Why not consider living in Sri Lanka as an expat? Keep reading to discover nine reasons why Sri Lanka is a great destination for expats and why you might miss it when you leave.

The culture is rich

Sri Lanka is living a post-war, post-colonial era, the culture is rich, complex and full of nuance. Four religions sharing a country, each with their own stories and realities, makes for an interesting day-to-day experience for any foreigner looking to settle for a while on the island.

Buddhist monks in Kandy

The country is evolving

Colombo is a growing city

The 30-something generation are the children of the people who left the country during the civil war. Their international educations have given them the tools to come back to Sri Lanka and make their city better. New and modern restaurants, coffee shops, and delis are popping up all around the city. This was not so only a few years back.

The Colombo skyline

The internet isn’t too bad

There are at least three different internet providers. It’s true that Sri Lanka’s internet is not one of the best in the world, but it’s also not the worst. Getting a router for your home isn’t too difficult and, depending on your data package, you can either have minimal internet capacity or enough for plenty of torrent downloads.

You can live by the beach

If living in the city isn’t your preference, living on the beach or very close to it is pretty easy. Colombo is on the coast as well, but there are nicer places for beachy living. The coastal area of preference for expats is Galle and Unawatuna. This area is full of great places to stay and also places to work remotely. Digital nomads and expats who love the coast will feel right at home in Galle and Unawatuna. Other beach areas to live in are Negombo, Tangalle and Bentota.

Living on the beach

It’s easy to get away on the weekends

Living on an island that, according to lots of travelers, has “everything”, is the best place for weekend getaways. If living in the city, the weekend can take you to the beach, to the mountains, to the jungle, or historical and religious temples. Leaving on a Friday after work will give you a full two days’ break from the hustle and bustle.

The food is good

Sri Lankan food is similar to south Indian food. If you love Indian food, you will love Sri Lankan food. The flavors in the curries is so varied that every rice and curry you try will be different. The best meal in Sri Lanka is breakfast—especially the egg hoppers with seeni sambol and dahl. The best way to really appreciate Sri Lankan food is in one of the weekend getaways to places like Horatapola Estate.
All prepared and ready for lunch #horathapolaestate#heritagebungalow#offthebeatentrack#relaxandunwind#travel#srilanka#exploreruralsrilanka #traditional#treadlightly#harithacollection
A post shared by Horathapola Estate (@horathapola_estate) on Oct 1, 2015 at 1:38am PDT

It’s easy to get around

Getting around the city or the small towns is very easy with all the available tuk tuks everywhere. Going from one place to another on the island can be done by train or by bus, or even with a rented car and driver. It is really not hard to get around anywhere and that is a definite plus, especially when you have lived in places where if you don’t have a car you are pretty much stranded.

It will challenge you

A large part of the expat charm is living in places that will challenge you. Even if things are getting better for expats in Sri Lanka, there are still challenges to be faced. Culture shock is not something expats can easily steer clear of, but it’s also part of the magic of living in a different place.

Getting around by tuk tuk
landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

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