Sri Lanka Travel Budget - Visit Sri Lanka on a Budget or Travel in Style

How much does it cost to travel to Sri Lanka?

Budget-Friendly Travel Planning

How much money will you need for your trip to Sri Lanka? You should plan to spend around LKR6,698 ($18) per day on your vacation in Sri Lanka, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, LKR1,407 ($3.86) on meals for one day and LKR589 ($1.62) on local transportation. Also, the average hotel price in Sri Lanka for a couple is LKR6,918 ($19). So, a trip to Sri Lanka for two people for one week costs on average LKR93,776 ($258). All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - How it works. Put these numbers on your website.

A vacation to Sri Lanka for one week usually costs around LKR46,888 for one person. So, a trip to Sri Lanka for two people costs around LKR93,776 for one week. A trip for two weeks for two people costs LKR187,551 in Sri Lanka. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in Sri Lanka can often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

How expensive is Sri Lanka? How much money do I need for Sri Lanka?

How much does a trip to Sri Lanka cost? Is Sri Lanka expensive? The average Sri Lanka trip cost is broken down by category here. All of these Sri Lanka prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

Accommodation Budget in Sri Lanka
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price for one person for accommodation in Sri Lanka is LKR3,459. For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price for a hotel room in Sri Lanka is LKR6,918.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room

Hotels in Sri Lanka

Looking for a hotel in Sri Lanka? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.

Find the best hotel for your travel style.

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world.

Transportation Budget in Sri Lanka
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The cost of a taxi ride in Sri Lanka is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent LKR589 per person, per day, on local transportation in Sri Lanka.

  • Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.

Featured Services

Intercity Transportation Budget in Sri Lanka
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Transportation between cities and towns in Sri Lanka costs an average of LKR4,007. Naturally, prices vary by the length of the route, the type of transportation used, and the date.

  • Intercity Transportation1 Travel between cities

Flights to Sri Lanka
How much does it cost to go to Sri Lanka? Naturally, it depends on the dates. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all airlines.

Rental Cars in Sri Lanka
The price of renting a car in Sri Lanka will depends on dates, the type of car, the location, and your age. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all car rental companies.

Food Budget in Sri Lanka
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in Sri Lanka can vary, the average cost of food in Sri Lanka is LKR1,407 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Sri Lanka should cost around LKR563 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Sri Lanka is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

  • Food2 Meals for one day

Entertainment Budget in Sri Lanka
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Entertainment and activities in Sri Lanka typically cost an average of LKR1,909 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.

Featured Activities

Tips and Handouts Budget in Sri Lanka
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average price for Tips and Handouts in Sri Lanka is LKR312 per day. The usual amount for a tip in Sri Lanka is 5% - 15%.

  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers

Alcohol Budget in Sri Lanka
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about LKR1,528 on alcoholic beverages in Sri Lanka per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day

Water Budget in Sri Lanka
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • On average, people spend LKR133 on bottled water in Sri Lanka per day. The public water in Sri Lanka is not usually considered safe to drink.

  • Water2 Bottled water for one day

Sri Lanka On a Budget
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an interesting island country that is located to the south of India in the Indian Ocean. It is a tropical island with a diversity of culture and people. There are two official languages, Sinhala, which is spoken by the majority population of Sinhalese, and Tamil, spoken by the minority Tamil and Muslim groups. In most large cities you can find people who speak English but it is more challenging when you're in the smaller towns and rural areas.

The island is divided into several different provinces. The most popular areas for tourists are found in the North Central Province, the Southern Province, and the Western Province. In the Western Province you'll find the country's capital city of Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte as well as some popular beach resorts. The Southern Province is well known for the historic city of Galle, but there are also several national parks worth visiting nearby. In the North Central Province you'll find a rich culture and history which is fascinating to experience.

Traveling around Sri Lanka is a fun experience. The most common form of transportation is the tri-shaw, or three wheeler. This vehicle is comparable to a tuk tuk in most nearby countries. While they're fun to ride in, there are some safety concerns. Many visitors choose to rent cars during their time in Sri Lanka. These cars often come with a driver so you are free to enjoy the scenery and don't have to worry about the crazy traffic that is ubiquitous in most cities around Sri Lanka. If you're on a particularly tight budget then you can travel around Sri Lanka in a public bus. These buses go almost anywhere around the island. They're quite uncomfortable but they're very cheap. For about twice the price you can buy a ticket for a bus that has air conditioning and a guaranteed seat. A seat reservation is very appealing because many of the buses can become very crowded. Train travel is another popular option. It's more comfortable than buses, but it's also slower. There are observation cars available for tourists who are hoping to enjoy the scenery during the trip.

The island has two major monsoon seasons. You should take these into consideration when you're planning your trip as they can dramatically effect travel times. Roads are difficult to navigate and flooding can be a major hazard during the monsoon seasons. The first season runs from October to January and the second from May to July.
At A Glance
  • There are many interesting historical sights and national parks around Sri Lanka. In order to see it all, check out this itinerary for Sri Lanka. While the prices remain quite low, don't be surprised if you're charged substantially more as a foreigner. Sometimes the prices are upwards of ten times as much. This is par for the course so it's best not to get too frustrated by the experience. It's beneficial to the local population that they can afford to visit local attractions at a reasonable price for their budgets.

  • Tap water in Sri Lanka is not potable so you will find yourself drinking a lot of bottled water. Whenever you purchase bottled water make sure it has the Sri Lanka Standard Institute (SLS) label present. This ensures that you are buying the highest quality of water.

  • Thambili is a popular local drink that you can buy off the streets around Sri Lanka. It's made from fresh coconut water and is very refreshing. It's also a cheaper option than bottled water.

  • If you're interested in hiring a guide, consider renting a car (see car rental prices here). Or, you can hire a car with a driver instead of driving it yourself. The driver is often quite knowledgeable on the area's history and culture. The automobile is often free and you pay for the service of the driver. Make sure you meet the driver in advance so that you know his area of expertise and are familiar with how well he speaks English.

  • Because Sri Lanka is an island the weather can vary dramatically throughout the country. Make sure you're visiting during the best time of year for your set destinations. It is best to avoid the monsoon season as well.

Sri Lanka has so much to offer. So, if you're not sure where to go or what to see, check out this great 10-day itinerary for Sri Lanka.

Looking for a hostel in Delhi or Goa? Heading to Kathmandu or want a party in Tel Aviv?
Top Tourist Attractions
Arugam Bay: This is a city that has a nice strip of beach that is attractive to many tourists. It's located on Sri Lanka's east coast and the area is very traveler friendly. It's a popular place for surfing or relaxing, but it was hit hard by the tsunami in 2004.

Ella: This is a small town that is located high in the Sri Lankan highlands. It offers an incredible view through Ella Gap. There are some great hiking opportunities nearby and it's a comfortable climate where you can relax for a few days. One of the best things to do here is to hike up Little Adam's Peak.

Nuwara Eliya: This small town sits at a higher elevation right in the middle of the country. As a base for exploration, you can visit nearby tea plantations, wilderness areas, and waterfalls. It's also suggested to go rafting on the nearby river. For more information, check out this guide to Nuwara Eliya and Yala National Park.

Yala National Park: This national park is a great place to go if you're hoping to do a safari in Sri Lanka. It's the most visited national park in the country and is the second largest. It is possible to see elephants, leopards, and reptiles of all kinds.

One of the easiest ways to get to Sri Lanka is with Tripadeal. Check this out for more information and a review of Tripadeal.

Popular Foods
Sri Lankan food is very similar to South Indian Cuisine. Many of the restaurants often advertise that they serve both Sri Lankan and South Indian cuisine. The food is often made with rice and curry and can be very spicy. There are local restaurants that serve up cheap eats for under a dollar, but there are also more touristy places where you might pay upwards of ten U.S. dollars.

Below are some common dishes. Or, check out this comprehensive guide to Sri Lankan food with some great photos and descriptions.

Kottu Roti: This is a uniquely Sri Lankan dish that is made from a mixture of roti (bread), vegetables and meat. It's delicious when it comes from street vendors but do make sure that the quality is high and the ingredients are fresh.

Coconut Sambol: This is a popular side dish that is made from ground coconut, chilies, fish and lime juice. It's often served with curry and can be quite spicy.

Lamprais: This dish is made from rice that is cooked in a curry sauce and served with meatballs. It is often wrapped in a banana leaf before it is cooked. You can get either vegetarian or meat based versions.

1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase.

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Travel Tips


By backpackguru in Transportation
The Tri-Shaw is the most common transportation you'll find in Sri Lanka. They're motorized three wheel vehicles that are similar to taxis but much cheaper. They do have a tendency to overcharge tourists, so it is best to have your guard up. Negotiate hard, and expect to pay between 50 and 75 Rs for a shorter trip. If there's a meter of the Tri-Shaw, make them use it.

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