Best Sri Lanka SIM Cards for Tourists: 2024 Detailed Guide [+Internet & WiFi] 

In this blog post, we will explore the best SIM cards available for tourists in Sri Lanka, including both physical prepaid SIM cards and eSIM options. We will provide information on different mobile networks, available data packages, pricing details, and where you can purchase these SIM cards. Stay informed and connected during your trip to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka SIM card

I. Where to Buy a Tourist SIM Card for Sri Lanka?

As a tourist visiting Sri Lanka, you have several options for purchasing a SIM card or eSIM:

  • Buying online before departure
  • Buying in Sri Lanka Airport
  • Buying in city centre
  • Buying Sri Lanka eSIM

1.  Online Purchase Before Departure: 

Many mobile operators in Sri Lanka allow you to order a prepaid SIM card online and have it delivered to your address prior to your trip. This ensures that you have a Sri Lanka SIM card ready to use as soon as you arrive.

2. Airport Purchase: 

Major airports in Sri Lanka, such as Bandaranaike International Airport, have kiosks or shops where you can buy a prepaid SIM card upon your arrival. This option is convenient if you prefer to get your SIM card immediately after landing.

3. City Purchase: 

A mobitel kiosk in Sri Lanka
A mobitel kiosk in Sri Lanka

If you prefer to wait until you are in the city, you can purchase a prepaid SIM card from various mobile operator stores, convenience stores, and supermarkets throughout Sri Lanka.

4. eSIM Purchase:

 eSIMs can typically be purchased online through the mobile operator’s website or mobile app. Some providers may also offer eSIM sales at airport kiosks or stores. The advantage of an eSIM is that you can instantly activate it on your compatible device without the need to physically change the SIM card.

Note: When purchasing a SIM card or eSIM in Sri Lanka, remember to have your passport or another form of identification ready, as providers may require it for registration purposes.

eSIM for Sri Lanka
eSIM for Sri Lanka

II. What Are The Best Sri Lanka SIM Card Packages for Tourists?

1 USD = 302 LKR

There are 4 operators offering Sri Lanka for tourist to choose:

  • Dialog
  • Airtel
  • Hutch
  • Mobitel

1. Dialog

Budget Packs – Dialog Sri Lanka

Dialog Sri Lanka SIM Card plans
Dialog Sri Lanka SIM Card plans

The Budget Packs are combo plans with data (without 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.

PricePlanDataNighttime Data 14G/LTE DataOn-Net MinutesOn-Net SMSValidity
120 LKR200 Min Pack200 MB200 MB100 MB200 minutes200 SMS7 days
240 LKR400 Min PackN/AN/AN/A400 minutesN/A30 days

Daily Rental Packages – Dialog Sri Lanka

The Daily Rental Packages are data plans (without 5G NR access).

Price (excl. tax)DataNighttime Data 14G/LTE DataValidity
6 LKR40 MB40 MB20 MB1 day
12 LKR90 MB90 MB45 MB1 day
24 LKR200 MB200 MB100 MB1 day

2. Mobitel

30 Day Pocket Pack – SLTMobitel (Sri Lanka Telecom)

The 30 Day Pocket Pack are combo bundles with data (without 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.

The following 30 Day Pocket Pack are available:

Price (incl. Tax)DataLocal MinutesLocal SMSValidity
166 LKR512 MB250 minutes250 SMS30 days

Mobitel Max – SLTMobitel (Sri Lanka Telecom)

Mobitel Max plans are combo bundles with data (without 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.

These Mobitel Max plans are available, which get automatically activated if you top-up 123 LKR or 295 LKR:

PriceDataOn-Net MinutesOn-Net SMSValidityActivation Code
159 LKR1024 GB250 minutes250 SMS7 daysTop up 123 LKR
377 LKR1000 MB1000 minutes1000 SMS30 daysTop up 295 LKR

3. Hutch

Day & Night Plans – Hutch Sri Lanka (+former Etisalat Sri Lanka)

The Day & Night Plans are data plans (without 5G NR access).

Dial the Activation Code to activate Day & Night Plans:

PriceDataNighttime Data 1Validity
9 LKR40 MB45 MB2 days
25 LKR140 MB100 MB4 days
66 LKR360 MB150 MB7 days
131 LKR770 MB550 MB14 days
259 LKR1.7 GB1 GB30 days
301 LKR3 GB2.5 GB30 days
510 LKR6 GB5 GB45 days
849 LKR7.7 GB7 GB45 days

My Plan – Hutch Sri Lanka (+former Etisalat Sri Lanka)

My Plan is a customizable plan that allows you to set how much data and how many minutes and SMS you want.

The combinations are basically endless, making it impossible for me to list it all in an understandable overview.

Hutch Sri Lanka SIM Card packages
Hutch Sri Lanka SIM Card packages

4. Airtel

Basic Packs (Freedom Packs) – Airtel Lanka

The Basic Packs, falling under the Freedom Packs category, are combo plans with data (without 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.

These Basic Packs are available:

PriceDataOn-Net MinutesOff-Net MinutesOn-Net SMSOff-Net SMSValidity
99 LKR1 GBN/A25 minutes1000 SMS50 SMS30 days
133 LKR100 MBUnlimited50 minutes1000 SMS50 SMS30 days

Unlimited Data Plans – Airtel Lanka

The Unlimited Data Plans are unlimited data bundles (without 5G NR access) at restricted speeds (1 Mbps, 2 Mbps & 4 Mbps).

1883 LKRUnlimited Data Plans1 Mbps30 days
3357 LKRUnlimited Data Plans2 Mbps30 days
6388 LKRUnlimited Data Plans4 Mbps30 days

III. Do I Need to Buy a SIM Card in Sri Lanka?

Absolutely yes, you should get the Sri Lanka SIM Card due to several benefits below: 

  • Affordable Data and Voice Rates: Local SIM cards offer much more affordable data and voice rates compared to international roaming charges from your home carrier.
  • Unlimited Data Packages: Many SIM card providers in Sri Lanka offer unlimited data packages, allowing you to browse the internet, stream content, and stay connected without worrying about data limits.
  • Stay Connected: Having a local SIM card enables you to easily stay in touch with your friends and family back home, share your travel experiences, and access important information during your trip.
  • Reliable Network Coverage: Sri Lanka mobile networks provide extensive coverage across the country, ensuring stable connections even in remote areas.

When it comes to staying connected while traveling in Sri Lanka, there are several options available to tourists, including local SIM cards, free WiFi, roaming with your current plan, or renting a pocket WiFi device. Here’s a comparison:

Local Sri Lanka SIMLow cost calls/data. Works anywhere in Sri Lanka. No hunting for WiFi.Easily make calls/use maps/messaging anytime.
Free WiFiNo data costs.Only works at locations that offer WiFi, like cafes.Have to be in range of WiFi hotspots.
RoamingMay cost a lot extra per day in roaming fees.Works, but roaming fees can add up quickly.Still using your regular phone number and plan.
Pocket WiFiRental fees every few days.Portable hotspot but limited to one device at a time.Have to remember to charge it daily.

As you can see, a local Sri Lanka SIM card offers the most cost-effective solution, providing flexible coverage throughout your travels without unexpected charges.  

IV. What to Prepare to Buy Prepaid SIM cards in Sri Lanka?

To purchase a prepaid SIM card in Sri Lanka, you will need to present a valid form of identification. This can be either your passport or, if you are a Sri Lankan resident, your National Identity Card.

V. Types of Sri Lanka SIM Card for Tourists – Which One is the Best?

When it comes to SIM cards in Sri Lanka, tourists have two main options: prepaid physical SIM cards and prepaid tourist eSIMs.

Airtel SIM Cards
Airtel SIM Cards

1. Prepaid physical SIM card in Sri Lanka

Prepaid Sri Lanka SIM Cards: Prepaid SIM cards are the traditional choice for tourists. They come in standard, micro, and nano sizes to fit various phone models. These SIM cards offer voice, text, and data packages that can be easily topped up as needed.

2. Prepaid Tourist Sri Lanka eSIM

An eSIM (embedded SIM) is a digital SIM card that allows you to activate a mobile data plan directly on your compatible smartphone without the need for a physical SIM card. Some Sri Lanka mobile operators offer prepaid eSIM options specifically designed for tourists.

VI. Sri Lanka eSIM – Alternative to Physical SIM Cards to Get Internet in Sri Lanka

eSIMs present a convenient alternative to traditional physical SIM cards, offering numerous advantages for tourists visiting Sri Lanka:

  • Instant Activation: eSIMs can be activated instantly upon purchase, allowing you to establish a connection without waiting for the delivery of a physical SIM card.
  • No SIM Card Swapping: With an eSIM, there is no need to physically swap or insert a SIM card into your device. This simplifies the process of switching between carriers or plans.
  • Compatibility: eSIMs are compatible with a wide range of smartphones, including recent iPhone and Android models.
  • Convenience: You can effortlessly purchase and manage your eSIM plan directly from your device, eliminating the need to visit physical stores or kiosks.

To utilize an eSIM in Sri Lanka, you will require a compatible device that supports eSIM technology. 

Gigago Sri Lanka eSIM
Gigago Sri Lanka eSIM

You can choose to buy Sri Lanka eSIM from eSIM provider like Gigago. With their eSIM plans, you will have:

  • More options for data and validity
  • Better prices
  • Easier purchasing process
  • No identity document required

For Sri Lanka, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1 GB for 7 days with $7.90 . What is great about Gigago’s Sri Lanka eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $7.90$16.50 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Sri Lanka, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

VII. How to Use Sri Lanka Prepaid SIM Cards and eSIM

Once you have purchased your prepaid SIM card or eSIM for Sri Lanka, it is important to know how to set it up and use it effectively. Here are the steps:

1. Using prepaid Sri Lanka tourist SIM Cards

Step 1: Insert the SIM Card

If you have purchased a physical prepaid SIM card, power off your device, remove the existing SIM card (if applicable), and insert the new Sri Lanka SIM card.

Step 2: Set up the SIM Card

Power on your device and follow the on-screen instructions to set up and activate the SIM card.

Step 3: Top up and Activate the Plan

Most prepaid SIM cards come with a small amount of credit preloaded. To activate your chosen data package and enjoy its benefits, top up your SIM card with the required amount.

Step 4: Manage and Monitor Usage

Once your prepaid SIM card is set up and activated, you can use it for voice calls, text messages, and mobile data. Monitor your usage to avoid unexpected charges or service interruptions due to running out of data or credit.

STLMobitel SIM Card
A STLMobitel SIM Card

2. Setting up and Activating Sri Lanka eSIM:

Step 1: Check Device Compatibility

Before purchasing an eSIM, ensure that your smartphone or device is compatible with eSIM technology. Most recent iPhone and Android models support eSIM, but verify with your device manufacturer or the mobile operator’s website.

Step 2: Purchase and Activate the eSIM

Purchase an eSIM plan from the mobile operator’s website or through a dedicated app. Follow the instructions provided to scan the QR code or enter the activation code to install and activate the eSIM on your device.

Step 3: Configure the eSIM

After activating the eSIM, configure it as your primary or secondary SIM, depending on your device and preferences. Refer to your device’s manual or the mobile operator’s instructions for guidance on setting up and managing the eSIM.

Step 4: Start Using the eSIM

Once the eSIM is activated and configured, you can use it for voice calls, text messages, and mobile data. Monitor your usage and manage your account through the mobile operator’s app or online portal.


What documents do I need to purchase a SIM card in Sri Lanka?

You will typically need to provide a valid passport or national identification card (NIC) along with your personal details. Some mobile network providers may also require proof of address, such as a utility bill or rental agreement.

How do I recharge or top up my SIM card in Sri Lanka?

There are several ways to recharge or top up your SIM card in Sri Lanka:Scratch Cards, Mobile Apps, Online Recharge or USSD Codes. 

How can I block unwanted calls or SMS on my Sri Lanka SIM card?

To block unwanted calls or SMS on your Sri Lanka SIM card, you can usually follow these methods: Call/ SMS Blocking Feature or using Mobile Network Provider Services

How do I troubleshoot SIM card or network connectivity issues in Sri Lanka?

If you are experiencing SIM card or network connectivity issues in Sri Lanka, you can try the following troubleshooting steps: Restart your phone, Check network coverage, Check SIM card compatibility or Contact customer support

Having a local SIM card or eSIM in Sri Lanka can greatly enhance your travel experience, ensuring you stay connected, access important information, and share your adventures with loved ones back home. To make the best choice for your needs and budget, consider factors such as network coverage, data packages, and prices.