Planning a trip to Sri Lanka — and any other destination — is exciting but can also become stressful: figuring out the Sri Lankan visa, budgeting for the trip and coming up with an itinerary takes time and research.
The beautiful island of Sri Lanka sits just South of India and offers something for every taste. Friendly people, UNESCO heritage sites, temples, breath-taking beaches and jungles — travelers heading to Sri Lanka can expect all that and more. In this article, you will find information about the cost of enjoying a trip to Sri Lanka.
How much money do I need to Travel in Sri Lanka?
Compared to India, foreigners find Sri Lanka less chaotic and cleaner but also slightly more expensive. Yet, Sri Lanka can still be considered a budget destination in terms of cost of living and transportation.
Of course, it’s also easy to upgrade your holiday from backpacker to five-star depending on the type of activities and accommodation you prefer. As a rule of thumb, a budget of about $ 30-50 per day is enough for a solo low-cost traveler.
Sri Lanka Travel Budget: Planning the Trip
A big portion of your Sri Lanka travel costs will be faced before leaving. We’re talking about booking international flights, applying for a Sri Lanka visa, and signing up for travel insurance.
In order to avoid unforeseen expenses before even starting your holiday, it’s important to book your flights and insurance well in advance allowing yourself enough time for research and comparison. Getting your visa should be your first step as you may find yourself delaying or even canceling your trip should the application not be approved in time.
Finally, make sure to check the Sri Lanka customs requirements to avoid fines at the border.
Sri Lanka Travel Cost while in the Country
Those who have never been to South East Asia will be surprised by how affordable accommodation is in Sri Lanka. Solo travelers can easily find private rooms for $ 10-15 per night.
Transportation can be incredibly cheap as well with a 6-hour bus ride only setting you back $ 2. However, public transport can be very crowded and many tourists prefer to hire a private driver which costs around $ 50 per day.
Food is also very reasonably priced with delicious local buffets costing $ 3-5 per meal.
What can really raise your expenses is sightseeing and activities. Historical sites can charge as much as $ 30 per entry and safaris are often $ 60 per person. Yet, they are worth your time and money.
Sri Lanka Travel Tips: Money
Travel money card Sri Lanka. Travel money in Sri Lanka should be a good mix of cash and card. Popular credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard are accepted in major cities. Prepaid travel cards don’t support the Sri Lankan currency so it’s important that you find one without currency conversion fees.
Bargaining. There is no Sri Lanka travel money advice that doesn’t include bargaining. In most places, you’ll find that’s the expected way of doing business. Although foreigners may not be used to this practice, it will significantly lower the original price.
Tipping. A 10% service charge will be added to your bills. However, this often goes to the owner rather than the worker. It’s then good practice to add a cash tip.
What currency can I use in Sri Lanka?
The official currency in Sri Lanka is the Rupee (Rs). Although Rupees are made of 100 cents, you’ll rarely find prices in cents. You’ll use Rupees in coins of 1, 2, 5, and 10. Notes will come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, and 500.