Is Sri Lanka Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On November 7, 2023
Sri Lanka
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 87 / 100 based on 15 user reviews.

Sri Lanka FlagSri Lanka : Safety by City

Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is an island located in Southern Asia.

It’s actually an island country in the Indian Ocean, south of India.

Sri Lanka is home to numerous cultures and languages.

The majority of the population is from the Sinhalese ethnicity, and much of the territory of Sri Lanka is inhabited by the Sinhalese people, while a large minority of Tamils, who have also played a significant role in the island’s history, are mostly located on the north of the island.

Christians in both groups are recent converts who have kept the traditional culture, though there are all kinds of religions here: Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.

Sri Lanka offers such a colorful specter of friendly people, cultural heritage, gorgeous beaches, huge cities with loud streets packed with people, markets, children, streetcars, and millions of treats characteristic to this part of the Asian continent, that it makes this country a perfect place to start exploring this region of Asia.

Warnings & Dangers in Sri Lanka

Overall Risk


Sri Lanka is generally a safe country to visit. It is a country where you are unlikely to encounter violence, but you should be careful when it comes to petty crime because its rate is high. However, it is still filled with tourists, and if you venture to this country you are likely to have a smooth trip with no incidents.

Transport & Taxis Risk


As mentioned, some taxis do not have meters so make sure you negotiate the price before entering the vehicle. It is relatively safe to take tuk-tuks at night, just be careful that you don't get ripped off.

Pickpockets Risk


There is a great risk of pickpockets. In this country, you definitely shouldn't let your guard down. Avoid carrying your belongings with you, and if you do, never carry anything in your pocket or a purse.

Natural Disasters Risk


The greatest natural threat in Sri Lanka is flooding, tsunamis and sea level rises. These often generate disasters. The biggest tragedy caused by a tsunami in the past decade was in 2004 when the tsunami killed more than 5000 people.

Mugging Risk


Mugging is relatively rare in Sri Lanka, but it does happen. There have been reports of criminals using knives to cut off tourists' bags. Avoid poorly lit and deserted areas and be wary of people sending you free drinks.

Terrorism Risk


Sri Lankan military conflicts between Tamils and Sinhalese ended in 2009, and since then, there has been peace in this country. Still, you should remain vigilant and avoid military areas and High-Security Zones.

Scams Risk


There is a number of scams performed in Sri Lanka, mostly distractions executed in order to separate you from your belongings or take advantage of you in another way. Many taxis do not have meters so be sure to negotiate the price of the ride before entering the vehicle, and do not use your credit card unless it's at established buildings and businesses.There is the common scam when taxi drivers suggest making a short stop to a so-called Spice Garden where they offer you fake Ayurveda medicines and cosmetics.

Women Travelers Risk


Sri Lanka is, generally speaking, safe for women travelers. Try avoiding dark alleys, walking alone along with dark, poorly lit or deserted areas, or finding yourself late at night in areas filled with bars or clubs as you might receive some unwanted attention. Apart from that, use your common sense and apply all basic precaution measures.

So... How Safe Is Sri Lanka Really?

Sri Lanka is a safe country to visit! Your biggest problems here are probably going to be scammers and pickpockets, and even pickpockets aren’t that much of a problem.

You should be wary of scammers because everyone will try to trick you into buying something from them.

If you are a first time visitor to Sri Lanka, never say it, though they ask you, and ignore all interactions and unsolicited advice from strangers.

Some of them may offer you help, ask you if you remember them or tell you they work at your guesthouse or hotel.

This is just a way for them to start a conversation with you and trick you into buying something from them.

Then there are transportation scams, like in most countries in this region: tuk-tuk scams are common in Colombo urban area and other larger cities, so be sure to tell the driver where you want to go and always agree on the price beforehand (the price for the whole ride) and check if the driver understood it.

This goes for all other types of transportation, such as taxis.

As for crime, there is some street crime and petty theft, but taking care of your belongings and being vigilant at all times should minimize the risks of something going wrong.

Violent crime is usually not any more serious for tourists in Sri Lanka than anywhere else, though there has been an increase in violent crimes towards tourists in the last couple of years, it is still very rare, though vigilance is recommended.

How Does Sri Lanka Compare?

CountrySafety Index
Sri Lanka60

Useful Information



Visas for entering Sri Lanka are given upon arrival and most nationals do need one in order to enter Sri Lanka. This visa is initially limited to 30 days validity from the date of arrival although it may be extended for up to six months. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.



Sri Lanka rupee is the official currency of Sri Lanka. ATMs are available in most cities and larger towns and credit cards are accepted in most establishments such as restaurants and hotels.



Sri Lanka has a tropical climate characterized by very distinctive dry and wet seasons. The best time to visit the west and south coasts and the central region, where Kandy and Colombo are, is from December to March, while the best time to visit the east coast is from April/May to September.



Bandaranaike International Airport usually referred to as the Katunayake Airport and Colombo International Airport is the main international airport serving Sri Lanka. It is located about 20 miles north of Colombo.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Sri Lanka, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Sri Lanka Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 27° C
Feb 28° C
Mar 29° C
Apr 29° C
May 29° C
Jun 29° C
Jul 28° C
Aug 28° C
Sep 28° C
Oct 28° C
Nov 27° C
Dec 27° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Sri Lanka - Safety by City

CitySafety Index

Where to Next?

15 Reviews on Sri Lanka

  1. The British government state that Sri Lanka has a high risk of terrorist attacks.. please review this

    1. H
      Hansani says:

      Zero Terrorists

      💯 no risk here now.

      1. Is it safe?

        So no major risks at the moment?
        A lot of countries are issuing a warning to re-schedule travel plans and to avoid travel to Sri Lanka…
        We are hoping to come in June 2022

    2. lol! Britain has highest risk of terrorist attacks than Sri Lanka

  2. Stunning

    Love Sri Lanka, beautiful country, no risks

    1. A
      Amila Jayasinghe says:

      Inaccurate infor.

      Christians in both groups are recent converts who have kept the traditional culture, though there are all kinds of religions here: Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.

      Above statement is false. Buddhism is the main religion with more than 70% of the population.
      70.2% Buddhism
      12.6% Hinduism
      9.7% Islam
      7.4% Christianity
      0.1% Other/None

      1. What about people who do not have a religion? Do you have the accurate data.
        One can not rely the data coming out of the country as there are no accurate statics coming out of the statistics department. A good example is during the Covid 19 time the number of deaths reported was very low. This was purposefully done in many occasions in order to show that SL was safe to some tourists. The action failed as many foreign visitors contacted their own country health departments to verify before travel.

        1. covid is a flu…you are more at risk of death having taken the vaccine.

  3. N
    NOT TRUE says:

    Sri Lanka HOLY SH_T

    WE ALL LOVE THIS NATION CALLED Sri Lanka!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Sri Lanka IS ONE OF THE SAFEST COUNTRIES IN South Asia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. T
      Tom Chimes says:

      I think this really depends on where you go and what you do. Some aspects of Sri Lanka are VERY unsafe and there are places where you can get robbed, hurt, or even killed if you are not careful. I won’t say this place is 100% unsafe but you can’t claim it is 100% safe either.

      1. S
        Shirantha says:

        Safe place to travel

        Yes, any country for that matter is unsafe today, for example USA, Canada, UK where there is gun violence, and compared to these countries Sri Lanka is much safer. There are killings on personal grounds but tourists are unharmed. There was terrorism more than a decade ago but last 13 years had been peaceful. Sri Lanka has party politics and corruption in that realm, but, that’s nothing much to be concerned by nature and peace loving tourists.
        But, yes, you can be Scammed by some if shown vulnerable. So please act confident and comfortable and as someone mentioned do not fall in to unsolicited support or opinions. Have a safe trip and Sri Lanka is one of the places!!!

  4. n
    nova goodwin says:

    i give 9/10

    as you saw in article please be aware about scammers otherwise it’s safe to travel, they are very respectfull and friendly people, no terrorists,

  5. Sri Lanka is a most beautiful country , i ever visit. Good peoples, Good weather. Amazing historical places to visit. Amazing 😍
    With love SL 🌹


  7. A
    Anna Smith says:

    Super country! Sinhalese are the top nation in the world!

Sri Lanka Rated 4.33 / 5 based on 15 user reviews.

Share Your Experience

Facebook Pinterest Review