The official language in Suriname is Dutch, but Sranang Tongo, an indigenous language spoken by the Creole population in the country is far more widely spoken than Dutch. There are also several regional dialects spoken around the country including Sarnami, which is of Hindi origin, and Javanese. English is also spoken prolifically country-wide, especially in the tourism and business industries.
The official currency in the country is the Suriname dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. Most major credit cards are accepted in the country including MasterCard, Visa and American Express. Diners Club is often difficult to use as mostly only the larger hotels and restaurants accept them. ATMs are available in most of the larger cities including the capital and the local bank, RBTT accepts international cards more frequently than most other ATMs. Currency exchanges can be made at certified exchange offices and at the larger banks. US dollars are the easiest tender to exchange.
Suriname is on Argentine Time which is GMT +3.
The country operates on 110V/60Hz and uses both European and American plug outlets.
The international dialing code is +597 and there are no area dialing codes in any part of the country. There are several roaming agreements with countries around the world but travelers should double check with their service provider before leaving for Suriname. There are, however, a few local mobile operators in the country which are quite reliable including Telesur, Digicel, UNIQA. Local SIM cards and inexpensive handsets can be purchased from the airport and local convenience stores. Wireless internet services are not too prolific in the country but may be available in larger hotels and restaurants. There are many internet cafés in the main cities which offer quite reasonable hourly rates.
Duty-free regulations are often largely dependent on the country which travelers are next entering. The following information can be used as a general guide but travelers should make sure to double check the exact duty-free stipulations before embarking for their next destination. Travelers are permitted to carry 200 cigarettes or 200 cigarillos or 20 cigars or 500g of tobacco, one liter of spirits, four liters of wine and eight liters of beer, 50g of perfume and one liter eau de toilette, lotions and eau-de-cologne, other goods for personal use up to the value of US$500.
Surinam Tourism Foundation, Dr JF Nassylaan 2, Paramaribo: +597-424-878 or www.suriname-tourism.org
Consulates in Suriname
British Embassy, Paramaribo: +597-402-558 American Embassy, Paramaribo: +597-472-900 Canadian Embassy, Paramaribo: +597-424-527 Danish Embassy, Paramaribo: +597-471-222 Chinese Embassy, Paramaribo: +597-451-570 French Embassy, Paramaribo: +597-475-222 Belgian Embassy, Paramaribo: +597-472-545
Police: +597-471-111 Emergency: 112