Is Sri Lanka cheap to visit?

Budget for travel to Sri Lanka

If you have the question, “Is Sri Lanka cheap to visit?” the simple answer is yes. Sri Lanka is a reasonably priced Asian vacation destination compared to most other places in Asia. We get a large number of emails from our readers daily and many of them are directly involved with the cost of the holiday package in Sri Lanka. These are the very common question about the cost of Sri Lanka trip package,

  • What is the cost of a trip to Sri Lanka?
  • How much would a travel budget to Sri Lanka be?
  • What is the airfare to Sri Lanka?
  • Sri Lanka holiday package from Malaysia?
  • Sri Lanka holiday package from Qatar?
  • How much does it cost to visit Sri Lanka from India?
  • Is Sri Lanka cheap to visit?

My estimate of the expense of a trip to Sri Lanka is between $20 and several thousand dollars per day.
If you are a frugal traveler who has to keep expenses as low as possible, consider booking a room or staying in a dorm. The lodging has a big impact on the cost of your Sri Lankan vacation. If, on the other hand, you would prefer a lavish Sri Lankan vacation and are not bothered about cost, by all means, there are many possibilities available to you.

How can I travel to Sri Lanka for less than $20 USD?

  • Remain in rental rooms, dorms, or houses
  • Take public transportation to go throughout Sri Lanka
  • Steer clear of pricey attractions and locations like national parks and some historical monuments.
  • Eating out or preparing meals for yourself
  • Buy what you need at the grocery store to save money when shopping in Sri Lankan vacation regions.

Why is Sri Lanka cheap to visit?

Travelers from all over the world have been flocking to Sri Lanka for millennia. Sri Lanka is a well-liked vacation spot that draws millions of tourists each year (more than 2 million in 2019). Sri Lanka is a varied vacation spot with a lot to offer, including fascinating wildlife reserves, ancient rain forests, and crumbling historical ruins. Above all, Sri Lanka is a reasonably priced Asian vacation destination.
While exploring this intriguing island, there are plenty of interesting things to do, like visiting historical sites, having fun, going on heart-pounding adventures, and, of course, tanning on white sand beaches and occasionally diving into the Indian Ocean. The dream of the swaying palms and the snow-white beach next to the glistening water? You have to start your Sri Lanka holiday as soon as you discover this ideal location on the island.

What is the cost of the vacation to Sri Lanka?

I get a lot of emails from people asking me about the expense of traveling to Sri Lanka. How much does the trip to Sri Lanka cost? is one of the most frequently asked questions. Other iterations of this query are “How much does travel to Sri Lanka cost?What would be the cost of our trip to Sri Lanka?How much would a one-week trip to Sri Lanka cost?”
After doing some research, I discovered that the reason I am asked this question so frequently is that it’s hard to get information about the cost of a holiday to Sri Lanka online. While some resorts list pricing on their websites, it appears that those pages haven’t been updated in a while.
In response to the question, “How much does a trip to Sri Lanka cost?” I would suggest that it can range from $20 per day to several thousand dollars. And a lot of it depends on how well you arrange your trip to Sri Lanka. So, if money is tight, pick your lodging, activities, mode of transportation, and restaurants carefully.

Make smart travel plans and save money when visiting Sri Lanka.

The cost of your Sri Lanka vacation will largely depend on the type of trip you choose, just like it will for any other vacation spot in the world. You can easily arrange a lavish trip to Sri Lanka that includes lodging in pricey, upscale hotels and resorts, or you can choose to travel on a shoestring budget and take a backpacker-style holiday instead.
That’s not very helpful, though, so this long post will help you understand more clearly how much money you’ll need to plan your trip to Sri Lanka.
Note: Since May 2019 is when this post was created, the prices are current as of May 2019. Currently, the island’s inflation rate is about 4%, but it might reach a record high of 10% to 15%. When compared to hard currencies like the USD, Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange rate is likewise very erratic. For the purpose of making it easier for you to determine the necessary budget for a visit to Sri Lanka, all prices listed here are displayed in USD.

Package tours might help you save money on your trip.

Foreign tourists who want to plan a vacation in Sri Lanka most often purchase trip packages through travel agencies, where they may typically get better deals than what is listed on the official hotel websites. It’s also a good idea to get in touch with the resort directly to find out about any current promotions. Because the majority of hotels have exclusive deals and freebies that are frequently not listed on their websites,.

How much would it cost to travel to Sri Lanka between November and April?

There are two monsoons in Sri Lanka: the north-east and south-west monsoons, which run parallel to the northern hemisphere’s summer and winter. November through April is the busiest travel month in Sri Lanka during the northern hemisphere’s winter. This is the time of year when it’s warm and sunny, with the lowest amount of rainfall, particularly along the western and southern coasts. On the island, November through April offers the best weather for outdoor activities. However, because of the great demand, vacations to Sri Lanka are costly during this time because of the skyrocketing cost of lodging.

Which days are the most costly to visit Sri Lanka?

In Sri Lanka, the most expensive days to travel are those beginning on December 20. In every hotel, the cost of a room went up by nearly 100%. There are two additional mandatory supplement fees if you stay in a hotel on December 31st and January 1st. These fees are termed the “Xmas eve” gala dinner and the “new year eve dinner,” and they would cost about $100 per person at a five-star establishment. Nonetheless, the surcharge is smaller in hotels in lower categories. Demand is very high as a result of this trend.

The time to ensure you are getting the most out of your travel expenditures

Even if you plan to travel to Sri Lanka during the off-peak months of April through November, choosing the east coast as your base will increase the likelihood that you will have a pleasant trip. However, because of the summer monsoon rains, the West Coast does not offer favorable weather for outdoor activities during this time. On the other hand, now is the ideal time to get low-cost travel and lodging for your trip to Sri Lanka.
The shoulder season in Sri Lanka provides far more favorable travel conditions. Offers for special discounts are beginning to appear in May and June. The greatest months to discover the finest weather and price combination are often May, June, and October. Please read this article, Sri Lanka Weather Pattern And Holidays In Sri Lanka, to get a much better understanding of how the east and west coasts relate to the country’s weather patterns.
If diving is on your vacation itinerary, you should be familiar with the monsoon pattern and avoid the affected areas because visibility is poor and the sea is choppy during the rainy season.

Expenses of Traveling to Sri Lanka

Your point of departure largely determines the cost of traveling to Sri Lanka. The majority of significant cities in Asia, Europe, and Arabia are connected to Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, there aren’t any direct flights available from a number of countries, particularly from South America, so visitors from such nations must take a connecting trip from Dubai or another European nation. Traveling from distant North American, South African, and European countries results in a significant increase in expense and a reduction in available options.
The cost of tickets drops significantly during the off-peak months; a round-trip ticket from Heathrow, for example, was approximately $600. The price of a round-trip ticket is estimated to reach approximately $900+ during the busiest holiday season, which runs from November through April.
A worthwhile option or side trip on the route to India or the Maldives is to visit Sri Lanka during a layover. Many visitors to India and the Maldives reserve their trips to Sri Lanka with us, allowing them to visit Sri Lanka in addition to other tourist spots for a little extra cash.
Travelers to the Maldives, in particular, often take sightseeing tours of Sri Lanka prior to their trip because the country has many attractions not found in the Maldives, like historical sites, wildlife reserves, mountains, rainforests, and adventure sites. There are numerous daily direct flights from Sri Lanka to India and the Maldives, both of which are only a short distance apart.
Mattala International Airport and Katunayake International Airport are the two airports that are located on the island. But only a small number of planes stop at Mattala foreign Airport, which is situated in southern Sri Lanka; all foreign carriers arrive at Katunayake International Airport in Colombo.

Getting around in Sri Lanka

In contrast to past times, Sri Lanka boasts a highly developed transportation network. If you want to travel in luxury and save time, consider taking a domestic flight or seaplane. Public transportation is your best bet if money is scarce. The most obvious benefit of public transportation is its low cost, although it takes longer than other modes of transportation. For those seeking adventure, buses and trains that travel to every area of the island are convenient. It also gives you the chance to socialize and learn about the way of life of regular citizens of the nation.

What is the approximate cost of lodging in Sri Lanka?

A large portion of your Sri Lankan holiday cost came from the lodging industry. However, depending on the kind of lodging you select, a different amount of your money should be set aside for lodging. There are countless options for lodging in Sri Lanka, with something to suit every taste and budget. You can discover everything from luxurious boutique resorts to affordable hostel-style rooms with a single bed here.
Planning is essential in order to get the most out of your hotel budget. There are several options if you are a frugal traveler in need of finding lodging at a reasonable cost. It’s not hard to locate decent, safe, and clean lodging for ten bucks a night. There are star hotels with varying ratings spread out around the island if you are a luxury traveler who does not care about cost.
Backpackers adore Sri Lanka because the island is considerate of their financial limitations. Along with other forms of lodging, the Sri Lankan government has pushed inexpensive lodging options, including guest houses, rest homes, rent rooms, and dorm accommodation. Many well-known resorts, including Hikkaduwa, Weligama, and Unawatuna, are quite reasonably priced and offer plenty of options for travelers on a tight budget. The majority of dorms run about $10 per night, while a dorm room would cost about $20 per night.
If you have a little more room in your budget, you can choose a 3-star hotel, which can cost between $50 and $70 per night for a double room. Mid-range hotels are slightly more expensive than dorms. You can even get more value for your money by looking for discounts.
When it comes to luxurious lodging options in Sri Lanka, the options are endless. If you have the funds, you can rent out the full villa. There are several opulent homes and hotels that genuinely appear to be straight out of a postcard.

Select the best lodging option to maximize your Sri Lanka trip budget.

Budget lodging is widely available throughout the island, although it is particularly easy to get in tourist areas. The majority of large resorts provide reasonably priced dorm rooms, guest houses, and rest houses, in addition to luxurious lodging for those seeking extravagance.

Accommodations for homestays

Homestay operators are registered with Sri Lanka’s national tourism bureau, and their lodgings are just as safe as those found in hotels. For the most part, these lodging businesses exclusively offer private amenities for their rooms. However, you might be able to plan your Sri Lankan meals as well; talk to them about it. I’m aware of certain homestay hosts that handle all the details, including transportation, laundry, and meals.
The Sri Lanka Tourist Board provides a list of homestay providers on the island. Accommodation costs vary according to the locations and state of the rooms. Generally speaking, lodging in the tourist hotspots is more costly than in other parts of the island. The most expensive lodging is found near Sri Lanka’s beaches.
rest homes
The extensive network of rest homes on the island is under the management of the Ceylon Hotels Corporation. It is yet another well-liked and reasonably priced lodging option in the nation. They own villas in well-known Sri Lankan vacation spots.
You may find private rest houses and guest houses all around the nation, offering lodging services as well. Some of the destinations, such Bentota, Kataragama, Nuwara Eliya, and Kandy, have a lot of rest houses and guest houses, but because of the high demand, especially during the festivals, it can be challenging to get a room. Calling and transferring money via a bank transfer in advance is the best approach to guaranteeing your room.

The price of food and drink in Sri Lanka

Finding affordable dining options is not difficult when it comes to the culinary landscape. Travelers can find eateries, pubs, and bars outside of hotels in all major resorts, where the cost of food and beverages is far lower than within the hotel. Most hotels offer breakfast as part of the price of their accommodations.
Although booking a room for lunch or supper is not required, most guests choose to just stay for breakfast because there are plenty of outside restaurants in the resort regions. In order to serve meals to its patrons, almost all hotels have one or more restaurants. If you’re not in the mood to eat out, you may always use the hotel meal plan, which is typically less expensive than ordering ala carte.
There are a plethora of options for dining outside when you are in well-known resorts like Bentota, Hikkaduwa, and Negombo. For example, Hikkaduwa Beach Resort has about 100 beach restaurants. Sri Lankan local restaurants are reasonably priced, particularly if you go for roadside boutique establishments.

Eating at neighborhood eateries helps reduce the cost of your trip to Sri Lanka

Still, most native foods are served in the local restaurant, but they may be too spicy for a European palate. A restaurant buffet is a great way to eat a wide range of foods at a set price. But these neighborhood eateries also provide a good deal of other things that are helpful to visitors, like fast meals, fruits, and sweets. international fast-food restaurants like Mc, Burger King, and Pizza Hut. Cities are home to numerous well-known fast-food restaurants, including KFC, Donald, and others.
Local eateries serve delectable meals that are uniquely made for the local population. Local eateries are available in both urban and rural areas. There are specialty restaurants in big cities like Galle, Kandy, and Colombo, among others. The locals enjoy spicy food; otherwise, it is not to their taste. Usually, they consume extremely sweet or spicy food. Compared to Thai or Indian cuisine, Sri Lankan cuisine is spicy. Local eateries that serve mainly locals typically have relatively low prices, but their menus are typically limited to rice and curries.

Alcohol is a big budget buster for trips to Sri Lanka.

As usual, alcohol is a big budget buster due to its high cost in Sri Lanka. If you choose an all-inclusive plan, a limitless variety of foods and drinks are available around-the-clock. Nevertheless, all-inclusive packages are scarce in Sri Lankan hotels and resorts. If you drink a lot, one of the best ways to cut back on your alcohol spending is to purchase hard liquor at duty-free stores as soon as you arrive. This will cut your overall alcohol spending by about 50%.

What are the travel expenses and activities for Sri Lanka?

I assume that this is the enjoyable portion of your trip! similar to numerous other travelers. While lounging in the sun and on the beach is wonderful, you also can’t overlook the exciting things Sri Lanka has to offer visitors. There are countless things to do, such whale watching, surfing, diving, safaris, riding elephants, whitewater rafting, seeing cultural sites, galleries, and museums, shopping, exploring rain forests, and more.

Recreational activities involving water

Since Sri Lanka is an island, there are tons of exciting water-based activities to enjoy there. One of the most well-liked activities on the island is snorkeling and diving, which is available in numerous locations along the east, south, and west coasts with pristine water and the most exquisite marine life on the planet.


The cost of a single dive will range from $75 to $150, depending on the location you select. If you sign up for a package that includes numerous drives, the cost will be significantly less. Some of the greatest locations to view Sri Lanka’s amazing underwater life are the marine sanctuaries of Hikkaduwa on the west coast and Pigeon Island on the east.


The cost of a boat excursion, including snorkeling, and all equipment, was about $30 per person.


Discovering a foreign nation’s flora and wildlife is unquestionably an exciting experience and a popular pastime. Elephants, leopards, bears, monkeys, buffaloes, crocodiles, and numerous other mammals, reptiles, and bird species are among the abundant and diverse wildlife found in Sri Lanka. Yala National Park, Udawalawe National Park, and Minneriya National Park are some of the top safari destinations. Based on two people, a safari would cost about $50 per person, which would cover all taxes, tracker fees, entrance fees, and jeep rentals.

Boat tours:

These are another well-known and well-liked family activity, and Sri Lanka has some amazing river rapids. You can go boating in the Bentota River or the Madhu River Estuary if you’re on Sri Lanka’s west coast.

Visiting historical sites:

Sri Lanka is home to many historical and cultural sites, and its cultures date back to the second century BC, making it one of the oldest in the world. Several of these historical and cultural locations are UNESCO World Heritage Sites; among the most well-known are Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla Cave Temple, Kandy, and Galle.

Budget-conscious travel advice for Sri Lanka

While Sri Lanka is not as inexpensive as Thailand for vacations, it can be made more affordable with good planning. Maybe you could even make it less expensive than Thailand—of course, if you plan well. Here are some things to think about to reduce your costs if you are a frugal traveler or want to get the best value for your money:
Reduce the cost of your trip to Sri Lanka by booking a package tour.
While this may not always be the first choice of independent travelers, it is one of the best methods to save on your trip to Sri Lanka. Look for packages that include lodging, transportation, food, and entertainment. In this manner, you may enjoy the tour and save money at the same time by giving the organizing of the holiday to a local tour operator like Seerendipity Tours.

Make a stopover in Sri Lanka

Traveling to Sri Lanka during a lengthy stopover when traveling across the globe or between India and other south Asian nations. If you’re planning a big trip, consider including Sri Lanka in your schedule.
Reduce the cost of a room by remaining longer at your resort.
Longer stays at hotels and resorts are rewarded with better rates; the longer the stay, the better the deal.
Using a cab or other convenient mode of transportation can result in a high payment for transportation. That is, nevertheless, the most efficient method of transportation in Sri Lanka. By saving time, you can do the tour at your own pace and see more locations.
Your Sri Lanka trip budget will increase if you visit distant locations because of the cost of transportation.
Rather than staying at a resort or hotel, take a round-trip tour of the island, stopping at many significant locations each day in different parts, and alternate where you spend the night in between the visits. Traveling to faraway attractions from your beach resort will cost you a lot of money and take away from your time to see the sights.


There are a few sporadic instances where thugs beat, hurt, and steal from tourists. That does, however, happen to natives as well as to visitors. These are uncommon occurrences that can be prevented with caution. To improve security for visitors to the nation, the Sri Lankan police have recently expanded the number of officers working in the tourism industry. The majority of the nation is home to tourist police stations, which offer good security for visitors to the island.

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