Sri Lanka is an incredible country for travelers and can be traveled on a budget. To give you an idea of the travel budget for 3 weeks in Sri Lanka, we listed down our own expenses and a complete breakdown of this trip. Our international flights are not calculated into our travel budget as this cost is different for everyone. We used Skyscanner to find the cheapest and best flights to Sri Lanka and flew with Qatar Airways (check the best deals here).
Travel budget Sri Lanka: good to know
We like to spend our money rather on experiences and healthy food than on overpriced accommodations and could describe our travel style the best somewhere between budget and mid-range. We also divided our total travel budget for 3 weeks in Sri Lanka into 5 categories: accommodations, transport, food & drinks, excursions & activities & others like SIM-cards, visas, and tips.
NOT INCLUDED IN OUR TRAVEL BUDGET
ACCOMMODATIONS – 22 DAYS- $526
When we travel to a country we try to find a balance between cheap, comfortable places to stay & accommodations that gives an extra experience.
Money-saving tip: use this link to get a $45 discount on your first booking on Airbnb.
- 10 nights in guesthouses – average $20,1/night
- 9 nights in mid-range hotels – average $24/night
- 1 night glamping in Udawalawe – average $35/night
- 2 nights in an eco-retreat – average $50/night
Read also: Best hotels & guesthouses in Sri Lanka
TRANSPORT – 22 DAYS – $ 372
When we arrived in Colombo we took the train to the South as this is one of the best options to travel in Sri Lanka but we also used a personal driver for some parts. A personal driver is easy when you have limited time and you support local people.
- 4 trains
- Train from Colombo to Galle Rs 200$ per person ($1)
- Train from Ella to Kandy Rs 200$ per person ($1)
- 2 buses
- Bus from Kandy to Sigiriya Rs 200
- 5 days personal driver – Rs 8000/day ($44)
- A lot of tuk-tuk drivers – Rs 70 per km is an average price if you take a tuk-tuk
- Taxi to the airport – which was an overpriced $40 taxi ride due to the attacks in Colombo
- Scooter rental – Rs 1000/day ($8)
FOOD & DRINKS – 22 DAYS – $ 645
Most of our budget was spent on food and drinks, probably because we never cooked our own meals and the food is just amazing!
- Eating out – $580
- Groceries like water, snacks & fruit – $65,5
EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES – 22 DAYS – $ 298
During our 3 weeks in Sri Lanka, we did some activities and the most expensive ones were definitely the safaris. We did 3 safaris in total, but it’s worth the money. Besides the safaris, we also took some surf lessons and rented some boards as well.
- Snorkeling in Hikkaduwa – Rs 300/pp ($2)
- Taking pictures on the Wijaya swing in Unawatuna – Rs 500/pp ($1,5)
- Surf lessons in Mirissa – Rs 2500/pp ($14)
- Surfboard rental in Mirissa – Rs 250/pp ($1,5)
- Surfboard rental in Weligama – Rs 750/pp ($4)
- Yoga classes in Weligama – Rs 1000/pp ($5,5)
- Coconut Tree Hill in Mirissa – FREE
- Parrot Rock in Mirissa – FREE
- Watching a turtle hatching in Tangalle – FREE (included in our accommodation)
- Private half-day morning safari in Udawalawe – Rs 4000/pp ($22) + Rs 4500/jeep ($25)
- Private half-day morning safari in Yala – Rs 4000/pp ($22) + Rs 6500/jeep ($36)
- Hiking Little Adams Peak in Ella – FREE
- Nine Arch Bridge – FREE
- Train ride between Ella and Kandy – Rs 200 /pp ($1)
- Big Buddha Statue in Kandy – Rs 500 /pp ($3)
- Pidurangala Rock in Sigiriya- Rs 500/pp ($3)
- Afternoon safari in Minneriya National Park – Rs 4000/pp ($22) + Rs 5000/jeep ($28)
OTHERS – 22 DAYS – $ 125
There are always some extra expenses while traveling, most of our extra’s went to the visas and some small souvenirs.
- Visas – our visa-on-arrival costs Rs 7200 per person ($40) but now you can enter for free temporarily.
- SIM-cards & data package of “Dialog”- Rs 1600/pp ($8,5)
- Laundry – Rs 200/kg ($1)
- New flip flops – Rs 2000 ($11)
- Souvenirs – Rs 1000 ($5)
Read also: Sri Lanka what to know before you go
TOTAL COST – 22 DAYS – $1966
This is an average daily budget of $45/per person.
The safaris and the personal driver were the biggest costs, which quickly increased our budget. But safaris are in our opinion an unmissable experience in Sri Lanka. If you would skip the safaris you can easily reduce your daily budget to $39/per person. At the end of our trip, we had to deal with the attacks in Sri Lanka, luckily we were on a safe distance in Hikkaduwa. Due to the attacks, transport to the airport was very limited and we had to pay an overpriced taxi ride.
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