Sri Lanka 6-day tour, 4-day Sri Lanka tour, Is Sri Lanka a cheap holiday destination?

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Most importantly, Sri Lanka is an affordable Asian tourist destination compared to most other countries, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Japan. However, if you pose the question, “Is Sri Lanka a cheap holiday destination? or How much does a Sri Lanka trip cost?” or “How much would a Sri Lanka trip budget be?”, “What is the cost of travel in Sri Lanka?””I would estimate that a trip to Sri Lanka costs between USD 20 and several thousand USD per day.”
If you are a frugal traveler looking to keep your expenses to a minimum, consider basic housing options such as dormitories or rental rooms. Accommodation significantly affects your Sri Lanka travel costs. However, if you are not bothered about your budget and want to have a premium Sri Lanka holiday, there are plenty of possibilities for you.

How can I keep my Sri Lanka travel budget around $20 a day?

  • Stay in rented rooms, dormitories, or homestays.
  • Use public transport to go around Sri Lanka.
  • Avoid expensive tourist destinations like national parks and historical places.
  • Eating at local restaurants or cooking at home.
  • Shopping in Sri Lanka resort areas might be costly, so get what you need at the grocery store instead.

Sri Lankan travels have been popular with travelers all over the world for millennia. Sri Lanka is a popular holiday location, attracting millions of visitors each year (more than 2 million in 2019). Sri Lanka is a multifaceted holiday destination with a diverse range of attractions, including decaying historical sites, primate rain forests, and fascinating wildlife reserves. Most importantly, Sri Lanka is an affordable Asian tourist destination.
As you travel through this fascinating island, you can engage in a variety of interesting activities, such as visiting historical sites, engaging in fun-filled activities, participating in adrenaline-pumping adventures, and, of course, sunbathing on white sandy beaches with occasional dips into the turquoise water of the Indian Ocean. In your dream, can you see swaying palm trees and a snow-white beach next to crystal clear water? You discover this idyllic environment on the island and must embark on your Sri Lanka holiday.

Is Sri Lanka a cheap holiday destination??

I receive a lot of emails from our readers with questions about Sri Lanka travel costs.

One of the most frequently asked inquiries are how much the Sri Lanka trip cost, and is Sri Lanka a cheap holiday destination? Other variations of this topic are:

“What is the cost of travel in Sri Lanka?””,

“How much would be our Sri Lanka travel budget?”,

“How much would be the Sri Lanka travel budget for one week?”

After conducting some research, I discovered that the reason I am frequently asked this question is because information about the cost of a Sri Lanka holiday is difficult to find. Although some resorts publish rates on their websites, it appears that these websites have not been updated in a long time.
If you ask, “How much does a Sri Lanka trip cost?” I would estimate it ranges from USD 20 per day to several thousand USD. And the expense of a Sri Lanka trip is heavily dependent on how you arrange it. If you have a limited budget, consider your lodging, sightseeing, transportation, and food options carefully.

Plan your Sri Lanka trip smartly and reduce costs.

As with all other vacation spots throughout the world, how much you should pay for a Sri Lanka vacation is highly dependent on the type of vacation you plan. You can easily plan a luxurious Sri Lanka holiday with accommodations at expensive high-end hotels and resorts, or you can save money by backpacking around Sri Lanka.
That isn’t especially useful, therefore, this lengthy essay will provide you with a better understanding of the budget you’ll need to plan your Sri Lanka holiday.
Note: This article was prepared in 2019, therefore the prices are current as of May 2019. Inflation in the island is currently about 4%, but it is expected to rise to a record high of 10-15%. Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange rate is likewise very volatile against hard currencies like the US dollar. As a result, all prices are shown in USD to help you assess the budget for a Sri Lankan vacation.

Reduce your travel budget with package tours.

Booking Sri Lanka trip packages through travel agents is the most common way for foreign travelers to arrange a Sri Lanka holiday because it usually results in lower pricing than the official listings on hotel websites. It is also good to call the resort directly and inquire about special deals. Most hotels have unique discounts and freebies, which are rarely advertised on their websites.

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

Sri Lanka has two monsoons: the south-west monsoon and the north-east monsoon, which coincide with the northern hemisphere’s summer and winter seasons. The peak season for visiting Sri Lanka is during the northern hemisphere’s winter season, which runs from November to April. This is the time of year when you can expect pleasant and sunny weather, particularly along the western and southern coasts, as well as the lowest amount of rainfall.

The best weather for outdoor activities on the island is between November and April. However, Sri Lanka vacations are pricey during this time, as lodging prices have increased due to heavy demand.

Which days are the most expensive to go to Sri Lanka?

The 20 days beginning December 20th are the most expensive days to travel in Sri Lanka. Every hotel saw an almost 100% spike in room rates. If you stay in a hotel on December 31st and January 1st, there will be two additional compulsory supplement costs named “Xmas eve” gala dinner and “New Year’s eve dinner,” which would cost roughly USD 100 per person in a 5-star resort. However, in lower-category hotels, the supplement is cheaper. This tendency has led to great demand.

The period to ensure you get the most value for your travel expenses

If you plan to visit Sri Lanka between April and November, during the low season, you can still have a great time by staying on the east coast. However, due to the summer monsoon rain, the weather on the West Coast is unsuitable for outdoor activities at this time. However, now is the best time to book cheap flights and hotels for your Sri Lanka vacation.
Shoulder season provides a considerably more conducive atmosphere for Sri Lankan vacations. Beginning in May and June, exclusive offers will become available. Typically, May, June, and October offer the finest combination of weather and price. If you want a better understanding of how the east and west coasts correlate with the Sri Lanka weather pattern, then read this article, Sri Lanka Weather Pattern and Holidays in Sri Lanka.
If diving is part of your vacation plans, you should be familiar with the monsoon pattern and avoid monsoon-affected locations because the sea is turbulent and visibility is poor when it rains.

Cost of Traveling to Sri Lanka

Where you are coming from heavily influences the cost of visiting Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has connections to the majority of Asia, Europe, and Arabia’s main cities. However, there are no direct flights from numerous nations, particularly the South American region, thus, travelers from such countries must take a connecting flight from Dubai or a European country. If you come from far distant places in North America, the South African region, and several European countries, the cost rises dramatically, and your options are limited.
During the low season, ticket prices drop dramatically; for example, a round-trip ticket from Heathrow costs roughly $600. During the peak holiday season, which runs from November to April, round-trip tickets can cost more than $900.
A layover in Sri Lanka is excellent, as is a side excursion to India or the Maldives. A large percentage of visitors who visit India and the Maldives book Sri Lanka vacations with us, allowing them to visit Sri Lanka as well as other holiday destinations for little extra money.
Tourists, particularly those visiting the Maldives, prefer to take sightseeing tours in Sri Lanka before traveling there because Sri Lanka has a large number of places to visit, such as historical sites, wildlife reserves, rainforests, mountains, adventure sites, and so on, that they cannot find in the Maldives. Sri Lanka is only a few minutes away from the Maldives and India, and there are dozens of direct flights between the two nations every day.
The island has two international airports: Mattala International Airport and Katunayake International Airport. However, all international carriers arrive at Katunayake International Airport in Colombo, with only a few planes making a stop at Mattala International Airport in southern Sri Lanka.

Transportation in SriLanka

Sri Lanka now has a well-developed transportation network, in contrast to the past. If you require luxury and want to save time, consider one of the seaplanes or domestic air services. If you’re on a budget, public transportation is your best option. The most obvious benefit of public transportation is that it is less expensive, although it takes longer than other modes of transportation. Buses and railroads connect all areas of the island, which is convenient for adventurers. It also allows you to interact with ordinary citizens of the country and learn about their way of life.

How much should I spend on lodging in Sri Lanka?

The housing industry bears a significant portion of the cost of your Sri Lanka visit. However, the percentage of your budget that should be dedicated to housing varies substantially depending on the sort of accommodation you select. There are limitless hotel options in Sri Lanka, and there is something for everyone’s budget. Accommodation options range from high-end luxury boutique resorts to low-cost single-bed dormitory-style accommodations.
Planning is essential for getting the most out of your hotel budget. If you are a budget-conscious traveler looking for low-cost lodging, there are numerous options available. It is not difficult to locate comfortable, clean, and safe accommodations for $10 per night. If you want luxury and aren’t concerned about the cost, there are star-class hotels of various grades throughout the island.
Backpackers adore Sri Lanka because the island is concerned about their financial limits. The Sri Lankan government has encouraged low-cost accommodations such as rent rooms, dormitories, rest houses, and guest houses, among others. Some prominent resorts, such as Hikkaduwa, Weligama, and Unawatuna, are quite affordable and offer a variety of options for budget-conscious travelers. Most dorms cost under $10 per night, while a dorm room is around $20 per night.
Accommodation in a mid-range hotel is slightly more expensive than dorm-style accommodation; however, if you have a little more room in your budget, you can opt for a 3-star hotel at a rate of $50-$70 per night for a double room. You may also stretch your dollar further by looking for unique bargains.
In terms of luxury lodging in Sri Lanka, the sky is the limit. If you have the financial means, you can rent out a complete villa. There are numerous luxury villas and hotels that appear like they came straight out of a postcard.

Choose the best lodging and save on your Sri Lanka travel budget.

Budget accommodation is readily available throughout the island, particularly in areas near tourist attractions; most large resorts provide economical dorm rooms, guest and rest house accommodations, as well as luxury facilities for those seeking luxury.

Homestay accommodations

Homestay lodgings are just as safe as hotel accommodations, and the providers are registered with Sri Lanka’s national tourism authority. Most of the time, these hotel providers just offer room facilities with private utilities. However, you may be able to arrange your Sri Lankan meals as well; discuss this with them, since I am aware of some homestay housing providers who arrange all facilities such as food, laundry, and transportation.
The Sri Lanka Tourist Board maintains a list of homestay accommodation providers across the island. Accommodation rates vary according to room conditions and location. Accommodation in famous tourist destinations is typically more expensive than elsewhere on the island. The most expensive accommodations are those located near Sri Lanka’s beaches.

Rest Houses

The Ceylon Hotels Corporation manages a well-developed network of rest houses across the island; however, some of these buildings are now privately operated. It is another popular and reasonably priced housing provider in the country. They have villas in renowned holiday locations in Sri Lanka.
There are some private rest houses and guest houses that provide accommodation throughout the country.

Even though there are numerous rest rooms and guest houses in some of the places;

  • Kandy
  • Nuwara Eliya
  • Bentota
  • Kataragama

it can be difficult to find a room due to strong demand, particularly during the festivities. The simplest approach to guaranteeing your room is to call and pay in advance by bank transfer.

Cost of food and beverages in Sri Lanka

It is not difficult to discover affordable dining options. All large resorts have restaurants, pubs, and bars outside of the hotels where the food and drinks are substantially cheaper than in the hotel. Typically, all hotels offer breakfast in their room rates.
Making a room reservation with lunch or dinner is optional; however, most travelers choose only breakfast at the hotel due to the abundance of outdoor eateries in the resort regions. Almost every hotel offers a couple of restaurants to serve meals to their guests. If you are not in the mood to go out for a meal, use the hotel meal plan, which is usually less expensive than ala carte.
If you visit major resorts like Bentota, Hikkaduwa, or Negombo, there are numerous options for outdoor dining. For example, Hikkaduwa Beach Resort has around 100 beach restaurants. Local restaurants in Sri Lanka are reasonably priced, particularly roadside boutique cafes.

Eating at local places to save money on your Sri Lanka vacation budget

However, the local restaurant serves most native foods, which can be spicy for a European palate. Restaurant buffets are a terrific way to fill up on a range of various items for a set price. However, these local eateries provide a variety of other goods, such as fast food, fruits, and sweets, which can be quite useful for visitors. International fast food chains include Pizza Hut, Burger King, and McDonald’s. Donald, KFC, and other popular fast food restaurants can also be located in cities.
Local restaurants serve delectable food created specifically for locals. Local restaurants can be found in both cities and villages. Specialty restaurants may be found in large cities like Colombo, Kandy, and Galle. Locals prefer spicy foods; otherwise, they find them unpalatable. They typically consume either highly spicy or very sweet. Sri Lankan cuisine is spicier than Thai and Indian cuisine. Local eateries that cater to locals are extremely cheap, yet the cuisine is mainly limited to rice and curry.

Alcohol is a major Sri Lanka travel budget increaser.

Alcohol, like always, is a significant fiscal drain in Sri Lanka due to its high cost. If you choose an all-inclusive plan, all types of drinks and cuisine are available 24 hours a day, without restriction. However, only a few hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka provide all-inclusive packages. If you consume a lot of alcohol, one of the greatest strategies to cut your alcohol budget is to buy hard liquor at duty-free shops upon arrival; this will allow you to save roughly 50% on booze purchases.

What is the cost of traveling to Sri Lanka and what activities can you do there?

I assume this is the most enjoyable part of your vacation! Like many other travelers. Lying on the beach and bathing in the sun is equally enjoyable, but you cannot overlook the fun-filled activities available to tourists in Sri Lanka. There are numerous activities to choose from, including whale watching, surfing, diving, safari, elephant riding, whitewater rafting, cultural attractions, museums, galleries, shopping, and rainforest exploration.

Water-related recreational activities

Sri Lanka is an island, so there are numerous water-based recreational activities available. Snorkeling and diving are among the most popular sports on the island, with various locations along the west, south, and east coasts featuring crystal clear water and the most gorgeous sea creatures in the world.

  • Diving rates vary by location, but a single dive typically costs $75–150. Signing up for a package with many drives reduces costs significantly. The Hikkaduwa Marine Sanctuary on the west coast and Pigeon Island Marine Sanctuary on the east coast are two of the best spots to explore Sri Lanka’s amazing underwater environment.
  • A boat tour with snorkeling costs roughly $30 per person, including all equipment.
  • Exploring a foreign country’s wildlife and flora is a popular and fascinating activity. Sri Lanka boasts a diverse wildlife population that includes elephants, leopards, bears, monkeys, buffalos, crocodiles, and a variety of other mammals, reptiles, and bird species. Some of the top safari destinations include Yala National Park, Udawalawe National Park, and Minneriya National Park. A safari costs roughly $50 per person based on two people, which includes the admission fee, vehicle rental, tracker charges, and all taxes.
  • Boat tours are a popular family activity in Sri Lanka, with breathtaking river rapids. If you visit Sri Lanka’s west coast, you can go boating on the Madhu River estuary or the Bentota River.
  • Explore Sri Lanka’s cultural and historical sites, including one of the world’s oldest cultures from the 2nd century BC. Many of these cultural and historical monuments are UNESCO World Heritage monuments, with Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla Cave Temple, Kandy, and Galle among the most popular.

Sri Lanka Travel Budget Tips

Sri Lanka is not a budget holiday destination like Thailand, but with good planning, it may become one. Perhaps you can make it even cheaper than Thailand, with proper planning. If you are a cheap traveler or want to get the most bang for your buck, here are a few things to consider to keep your costs low:
Book a package tour to decrease your Sri Lanka travel expenses.
Independent travelers are sometimes hesitant to do this, yet it is one of the most effective strategies to save money on your Sri Lanka visit. Try to find an offer that includes lodging, transportation, food, and activities. This allows you to delegate the organization of your holiday to a local tour operator, such as Serendipity tours, while still enjoying the tour and saving money.

Visit Sri Lanka as a stopover.

Visiting Sri Lanka during a lengthy layover on a round-the-world ticket or between India and other South Asian countries. If you are planning a large trip, consider including Sri Lanka in your schedule.

Stay longer at your resort and get a cheaper hotel cost.

There are special discounts for travelers who stay for an extended period of time in hotels and resorts; the longer the stay, the lower the price.
Transportation can be expensive, especially if you choose a handy mode of transportation like a cab. However, this is the most efficient way to travel in Sri Lanka. It saves time and allows you to explore more destinations while traveling at your own leisure.
Visiting faraway areas causes your Sri Lanka trip budget to balloon due to transportation costs.
Instead of staying at a resort or hotel, do a round trip to many key sites in a different area of the island each day, changing the location of your overnight stay in parallel with your excursions. Visiting faraway attractions from your beach resort requires you to spend a big transportation price while depriving you of time to explore the places.


There have been a few odd incidences in which criminals have hurt, beaten, or robbed tourists. However, this is not limited to foreigners; it also affects locals. Such events are infrequent and can be prevented with caution. Recently, the Sri Lanka police expanded the number of police officers employed in the tourism sector in order to provide better security for the country’s tourists. Tourist police stations have been erected around the country, providing great security for visitors to the island.

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