Discover Sri Lanka for less than $50 a day

Discover Sri Lanka for less than $50 a day

Discover Sri Lanka for less than $50 a day

Most of travellers know that slowing down your travel is a good way to enjoy more and spend less. However, let’s face it: we don’t all have the possibility to go on trips for more than 2 or 3 weeks but it doesn’t mean we want to spend lots of money.

Good news is, Sri Lanka is one of the countries in the world where you can experience a lot, in a short amount of time (see my 2 weeks highlights itinerary) and stay on a budget of $50 a day.


Travel budget Sri Lanka: 2 weeks

IMG_2148We had a LOT of fun during our 2 weeks in Sri Lanka. We didn’t over spend but were not too cheap ever, we spend on the things we really wanted to do.

We saw so much: archeological sites, hill country, bouddhist temples, tea plantations, lovely beaches, elephants and leopards. We had awesome rice and curry, and noddles, traditional breakfast, sea food plater with fresh fish… and we had beer every evening!

Sounds expensive?

We spent a total of 910 euros for 2 people for 13 full days over there . In total, this means 35 euros/ 48 USD per person per day! 

(Note: The trip was in April 2013, does not include flights)


 Example of costs in Sri Lanka

I didn’t wrote down the details of all my expenses during the trip -unfortunately. But here are a few to give you an idea.

  • Taxi from Colombo airport to Colombo bus station: $20
  • Pollunaruwa – Sigiriam by tuktuk: Rs 2,500
  • Dambulle – Kandy by bus: Rs 100. Yes, for real. Take the bus
  • Hatton – Ella by train: second class unbooked ticket Rs 160. Yes, take the train as well
  • Tissa – Kirinda by tuktuk: Rs 300 (local price)

SL (147)Accommodation:

Fron 1500 Rs to 3000 Rs for a double room in modest but nice guesthouses.


  • Local beer Lion Lager: Rs 200
  • Sea food plater for 2 at Mirissa beach: Rs 1300

Activities/ Extras:

  • Half day safari in Yala National Park : Rs 12,000 all included for our jeep (safari, guide, park fees, 2 people…)
  • Hair cut and shave at local barber: Rs 300


Tips for budget travel in Sri Lanka

  • The country has a lot to offer and many attractions are almost free (park fee or donation only). Awesome Adam’s Peak hike is a good example.
  • Go around with local buses, it’s cheap and fun.
  • If you want/ have to take a tuktuk, ask your guesthouse what would be the local price. Be ready to negotiate. Even better, ask the guesthouse to arrange it for you.
  • Be aware that you will spend more on accommodation travelling solo. The country has a huge network of guesthouses and no so many hostels and the price of single and double rooms are (almost) the same.
  • Homemade food is a delight, if your host offers to cook dinner for you say YES. Delicious abundance describes best what you will get.
  • Enjoy local breakfast. Once again it’s of course delicious and will keep you going longer than a “continental breakfast”.
  • Enjoy local delicious fruits, perfect as snacks
  • South coast is more expensive than the hill country – remember it when you are on the road.

What are your best tips to travel on a budget in Sri Lanka?

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