Federica from A Stroll Around The World shares the Sri Lanka trip cost including prices of accommodation, food, transport, and attractions.
We know how hard it can be to budget and plan a trip to a new country. Prices online can vary and it can be hard to find a fixed range of prices for anything further than a hotel and flight. That is why we have created this Cost of Travel series where we ask travel experts and expats about the travel costs and prices in their favorite countries and homes.
The exchange rate at the time of publishing (January 2022): $1 USD = £0.74 = 202 LKR Sri Lankan Rupee)
Why visit Sri Lanka?
As I was attracted by the enchanting archaeological ruins and the tea plantation landscape, I spent one week in Sri Lanka to experience this Southeastern Asian country. This road trip was designed as a compromise between my desire to cover the heritage and my husband’s wish to discover the underwater world of the country.
We ended up with a perfectly balanced itinerary among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the beauty of the colony-era heritage, and a deep unwind in the jungle by the sea.
Cost of travel in Sri Lanka
Accommodation prices in Sri Lanka
Overall Sri Lanka is not an expensive country.
While we stayed only in luxury accommodation, the country yearly attracts backpackers offering a wide variety of lodging.
During our one week in Sri Lanka, we booked the first nights at two different Amaya resorts. To sleep in these five stars hotels, we spent on average $140 for the night.
Our third accommodation was an eco-resort in the south of Sri Lanka. Close to the beach, it cost us $235 per night.
However, in the cultural triangle, you can find mid-range rooms for $35 per night or even a bed in a dormitory for $5 or 7 per night. The price doesn’t vary in the area of the Central Highlands or near Ella.
In Nuwara Eliya, in the heart of the tea plantation area, you can find mid-range rooms at $35-70 per night or guest rooms for backpackers at $12-20 per night.
Transport costs in Sri Lanka
During our stay in Sri Lanka, we used a luxury company that provided us with a driver guide for one week. This service costs on average $600-700 for seven days. We then paid a tuk-tuk ride to reach the Lipton seat, a very touristic spot with a stunning panorama over the tea plantation. The 40-minute trip varies between $20 and $28 depending on if a local guide can contract the price for you. We also paid for some tuk-tuk rides in Unawatuna to reach the diving center from our resort in the jungle. A journey of 5-minutes cost circa $3.
Food and drink prices in Sri Lanka
During our days in Sri Lanka, we dined every night in our hotels spending on average $40 per meal for two.
During the daytime, we experienced different options. Near the archaeological ruins of Polonnaruwa, we had a delicious lunch in a mud house where we paid $17 for two.
In the Central Highlands, we ate at sit-down restaurants spending $30, a maximum of $40 circa for two persons.
A bottle of water costs $0.28.
Activities and attractions in Sri Lanka
The main costs regard the visit to the UNESCO sites.
Entering inside Sigirya costs $30, Polonnaruwa costs $25, and Dambulla $8.50.
In Kandy, you can visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic by paying $8.40. For the same amount of money, you can visit the Royal Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya.
Furthermore, visiting an organic tea plantation costs less than $2 per person.