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

How much does it cost to travel to Sri Lanka?

You should plan to spend around $49 (LKR15,293) per day on your vacation in Sri Lanka. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $16 (LKR4,879) on meals
  • $4.84 (LKR1,515) on local transportation
  • $47 (LKR14,771) on hotels

A one week trip to Sri Lanka for two people costs, on average, $685 (LKR214,099). This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

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.

How much does a one week, two week, or one month trip to Sri Lanka cost?

A one week trip to Sri Lanka usually costs around $342 (LKR107,049) for one person and $685 (LKR214,099) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to Sri Lanka on average costs around $685 (LKR214,099) for one person and $1,369 (LKR428,197) for two people. This cost includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

Please note, prices can vary based on your travel style, speed, and other variables. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price per 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 will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to Sri Lanka on average costs around $1,467 (LKR458,783) for one person and $2,934 (LKR917,565) for two people. The more places you visit, the higher the daily price will become due to increased transportation costs.

How much do package tours cost in Sri Lanka?

Organized tours are usually more expensive than independent travel, but offer convenience and peace of mind that your trip has been planned by a travel expert.

The average price for an organized tour package in Sri Lanka is $160 per day. While every tour varies by total price, length, number of destinations, and quality, this is the daily average price based on our analysis of available guided tours.

Independent Travel

Traveling Independently has many benefits including affordabilty, freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to control your own experiences.

All of the travel costs below are based on the experiences of other independent travelers.

Is Sri Lanka expensive to visit?

Sri Lanka is a reasonably affordable destination to visit. It is in the top 25% of countries in the world for its affordability. If you're traveling on a budget, then this is a good destination with affordable accommodation, food, and transportation.

Within Asia, Sri Lanka is reasonably affordable compared to the other countries. It is in the top 25% of countries in Asia for its affordability. You can find more affordable countries such as Uzbekistan, but there are also more expensive countries, such as Maldives.

For more details, see Is Sri Lanka Expensive?

How much money do I need for a trip to Sri Lanka?

The average Sri Lanka trip cost is broken down by category here for independent travelers. All of these Sri Lanka travel prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

Category Cost
Accommodation 1 (Double Occupancy) LKR14,771 ($47)
Local Transportation 1 LKR1,515 ($4.84)
Food 2 LKR4,879 ($16)
Entertainment 1 LKR2,517 ($8.05)
Tips and Handouts 1 LKR206 - 617 ($1 - 2)
Alcohol 2 LKR821 - 2,464 ($3 - 8)
Accommodation Budget in Sri Lanka
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in Sri Lanka is $24 (LKR7,386). For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in Sri Lanka is $47 (LKR14,771). This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.

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

Hotel Prices 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.


Actual Hotel Prices
The average hotel room price in Sri Lanka based on data provided by Kayak for actual hotel rooms is $52. (Prices in U.S. Dollars, before taxes & fees.)

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

Recommended Properties

Local 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 $4.84 (LKR1,515) per person, per day, on local transportation in Sri Lanka.

  • Local Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.

Recommended Services

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 $16 (LKR4,879) per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Sri Lanka should cost around $6.24 (LKR1,951) 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 $8.05 (LKR2,517) per person, per day based on the spending of previous travelers. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.

Recommended Activities

Tips and Handouts Budget in Sri Lanka
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average cost for Tips and Handouts in Sri Lanka is $1.31 (LKR411) 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 $5.25 (LKR1,643) 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 $0.69 (LKR215) 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

Last Updated: Feb 6, 2024
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.

We've been gathering travel costs from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010, and we use the data to calculate average daily travel costs for destinations around the world. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of cities in countries around the world. You can see more here: How it Works.

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. Thus, the overall daily average cost is not a summation of the individual categories.