Rupee is the Sri Lankan currency (abbreviated as R. or R/ or R/- or Rs.) Coins are in denominations of Rs. 1/2/5 & 10 whereas notes are in Rs.10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000. Try to avoid accepting particularly dirty, torn or disreputable-looking notes. At the time of writing, 1 USD equals to Rs 153, 1 EURO equals to Rs. 182, 1 British Pound is Rs. 202. Please check xe.com for more updated rates.
Sri Lanka has good supplies of banks with the six main chains being the Bank of Ceylon, Hatton National Bank, Sampath Bank, Commercial Bank, People’s Bank and Seylan Bank. Banks open Monday to Friday from 8 or 9am in the morning until 2 or 3pm in the afternoon, and all closes at weekends. Exchange rates for foreign currency, whether travellers’ cheques, cash or making withdrawals by credit or debit card, are fairly uniform; you may get fractionally better rates if you shop around, but you won’t make any dramatic savings. Exchanging money outside the banking hour, you should check out top-end hotels where most exchanges cash or travellers’ cheques but the rates comes up to ten percent poorer than bank rates. If not then try out guesthouse or shops or at more tourist oriented areas but you’ll probably have to accept poor rates. All the towns now have at least one bank ATM which accepts debit and credit cards. ATM at the Commercial Bank (accepts Visa & Mastercard) are the most reliable. You might want to carry some cash for emergencies where US dollars, Euros, pounds sterling and Australian dollars can be easily changed though New Zealand or Canadian dollars might occasionally cause problems but they are accepted in banks.