Sri Lankans are a very friendly nation with people always having happy, smiling faces. The country is very welcoming for expats and they should not have any problem if they choose to reside in the right cities and areas in the country.
Where Expats Should Live in Sri Lanka
The rule of the thumb is expats should only opt to reside in the main cities and there are obvious reasons for it. Colombo being the commercial capital of Sri Lanka would be the most ideal. The city has a range of accommodation options, from houses to apartments and even individual rooms if you are on a tight budget.
Advertising websites such as ikman.lk would help you find a place of accommodation soon. Living in the heart of Colombo, such as Colombo -7, would be pretty expensive according to Sri Lankan standards with house rents amounting to over 75000 LKR/month.
An expat could check on the lesser costly places in the suburbs of Colombo. The city of Mount Lavinia is ideal. It is a beach city and is a tourist spot in close proximity to Colombo city. There are plenty of single rooms and apartments you can find in this area and it is very friendly for expats. Mount Lavinia is frequented by foreigners and has a good social and night life too.
The city also has a good railway station which makes commuting easy to the south part of the island. The colonial hotel Mount Lavinia is a famous place which has a upgrade bar along with many restaurants to select from. This coastal city too has many food joints adjacent to the rail line, serving food at reasonable rates and has an active night life.
Living in Colombo
The city of Colombo is divided into 15 sectors, out of which Colombo 3, 4 , 5 and 6 would be good locations for expats, with English speaking crowds and all other amenities. The city has a good number of Super markets such as Keels, Cargills and Arpico from which you could find all your essential items from daily utilities to even hard liquor.
Colombo is quite a safe place, but I would still advice not to walk along the streets during very late hours and to keep away from small by-roads. Travelling by car in the main roads at night is no issue. Police patrolling is present and you could reach on 119 for any emergency assistance.
Transportation should not be an issue as there is a good network of roads and the coastal railway line. Public busses are a very cheap mode of transportation or you could order a cab or a three wheeler through an online system such as ‘Pick me’ – available as a mobile app.
The Best Cities for Expats to Live in Sri Lanka
Apart from Colombo, the other cities an expat can consider is the beach town of Negombo, Hikkaduwa and main cities such as Kandy and Galle. The city of Ella is also very frequented by foreigners and is a hill station.
As a word of caution, expats should avoid living in the interiors as it has limited facilities, expats would face a language barrier and transportation frequency too will be low.
P.S. Need a place to stay when going to Sri Lanka?