Sri Lankan rupees
Budget Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka on a Budget | One month travel

Money, even if you want to go on a backpacking trip and you are mostly going to hitchhike or couchsurf, you will always need money. That’s why we are showing you how much we’ve spent in different parts of the world. Keep in mind that we always travel like so called “flashpackers” which means we don’t sleep in dorms unless absolutely necessary. Want to know how much we spent traveling Sri Lanka on a budget? Check it out below.


Sri Lanka on a Budget | One month travel
  1. Sri Lanka on a Budget
  2. Is Sri Lanka expensive?
  3. Our expenses in Sri Lanka
  4. Sri Lanka on a Budget: How expensive is Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka on a Budget

People in Sri Lanka buy their coconuts with the Sri Lankan Rupee. In 2013 (november/december) we changed one euro for 179 rupees. In 2015 you can change 1 USD 134 Sri Lankan Rupees. The exchange rate we mentioned above (euro) is the exchange rate we kept in mind while writing this article.

Prayer flags in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Is Sri Lanka expensive?

Nowadays Sri Lanka is an upcoming travel destination in Asia and is still very affordable. Especially groceries and public transport are really cheap. For a good and affordable place to sleep you will have to look around a bit, but you will definitely find a nice spot. We’ve traveled through Sri Lanka for four weeks and we discovered some beautiful places in the south, the west and the hill country. It is just a matter of time before some coastal villages in Sri Lanka turn into a seaside resort palaces, so we recommend to book your trip to this amazing country as soon as possible.

View from train, Sri Lanka

Our expenses in Sri Lanka

We arrived in Sri Lanka from Kuala Lumpur. We booked our return flights with Air Asia and we payed €226.09 for our tickets, which is  $244.86 at the moment.


Our backpack trip in Sri Lanka started in the coastal town Negombo. Just a few kilometers from the International airport. Negombo is called “Rome of Sri Lanka” because a lot of its residents are catholic. We stayed here during Christmas and that’s we why we spent a bit more money on food and cocktails. We went to some more luxurious restaurants to celebrate Christmas, but other than that we limited ourselves to food stalls (especially kottu!). During our seven days in Negombo we spent €331.86, or $359.40 USD. This comes down to about €20, or $21.66 per person.

We stayed in New Rani Inn, which was lovely!


 Negmbo, Sri Lanka. Rani Inn Guesthouse during ChristmasNegmbo, Sri Lanka. Rani Inn Guesthouse

Sri Lanka on a budget: Galle

Galle is a fortified city in the southwest of the island and has a Dutch history, due to the Dutch Golden Age where Galle was a Dutch settlement. Although it’s way cheaper to find a nice hotel outside the fortress we found a pretty good place to stay with seasight for a reasonable price. We stayed at Rampart View Guest house (from where we could see the sea) where we payed 3500 Sri Lankes Rupees for one night. During our one-day visit to Galle we spent €73.02, or $79.08.

We stayed at Rampart View Guesthouse. Cheap, nice breakfast, in the old town and with ocean view.


 Sri Lanka on a budget: Lighthouse in Galle, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka on a budget: Going local in Talpe

In Talpe, a small town in the south of Sri Lanka, we were lucky to stay with colleagues of Erick’s father. They go to Sri Lanka every year and invited us to stay at there place for almost a week, for free, for which we are still grateful. This week we only spent money food, souvenirs and presents for the Sri Lankan family where we were invited to have dinner almost every day. We had a wonderful week in Talpe and did some amazing things we would never have done without Ties and Bianca. Bianca arranged for us to set free two baby turtles from the hatchery in Habraduwa to which we gave a donation. In Talpe we spent €111.22, or $120.45.


Habraduwa, turtle hatchery
Habraduwa, turtle hatchery. Baby turtles

Sri Lanka on a budget: Relaxing in Mirissa

Mirisa was the place where we were able to relax for a few days. We took a swim, we chilled at the beach and went snorkeling. In Mirisa we spent €94.98, or $102.86.

Poppies is a clean and cheap place we’ve stayed at. They have about a dozen nice bungalows


Sri Lanka on a budget: Mirissa, Sri Lanka. The beach

Sri Lanka on a budget: Wildlife in Udawalawe

After Mirisa we went to Udawalawe to visit the national park. We spent quite a lot of money during our day in Udawalwe because of our trip to the national park, but it was definitely worth it! We spent €86.66 in Mirissa, $94.93

This time we trusted the Lonely Planet for our accommodation, but I really don’t recommend this one. Look for guesthouses near the entrance of the national park. Lots of choice and less secluded.


Sri Lanka on a budget: Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka


Our first stop in the hill country, Haputale. Haputale is a small town where you can visit some of the most famous tea plantations of the country. We’ve spent €45.74 in Haputale, $49.54.

The town has amazing view over the tea plantations. We stayed at ABC Guest Inn which has balconies overseeing the plantation. Beautiful! The owners are a lovely family who actually live in the lobby. Very nice people:)


Haputale, Sri Lanka


If you love to go on a hike, you definitely should go to Ella. The small town is known for its hiking trails to Ella Rock, the highest peak around. In Ella we’ve spent some extra money on food and drinks because we celebrated our 100th day in Asia with a good pizza and some cocktails. In totaal we’ve spent €151.01 in Ella, $163.54.

Rock Side Inn is a guesthouse with a spectacular view over Ella Rock. Really Amazing! The owner is a young guy who lets his dad manage the property when he’s away. The dad has to get used to all the tourists because he can be quite annoying asking for all kinds of things throughout the day, but mostly cigarettes.


Ella, Sri Lanka. Stunning views from Little Adams Peak


Kandy is known as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka and has a lot to offer. Beautiful temples, tea plantations, botanical gardens and the Temple of the Tooth of Buddha. It is the place to be for backpackers from all over the world. We’ve spent €160.47 in Kandy, or $173.79.

Golden View Guesthouse is relatively cheap compared to the other places in the neighborhood and offers ok rooms with a common balcony. The vibe is nice..

Sri lanka on a budget: Kandy, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka on a Budget: How expensive is Sri Lanka?

Costs of you 28-day Sri Lanka trip – €1054.16 ($1141.66). In total we’ve spend just over €1100 in Sri Lanka. This means that Sri Lanka is one of the cheapest countries to travel to in Asia. Or maybe even in the world.


Daily travel expenses per person – €18.82 ($20.38)


  • NOTE: Our budget is based on two persons.

Sri Lanka is an amzing place to visit for all kinds of travels. Relax om the beach, see stunning nature or go on trekkings. Everything is possible! Do it quick though, because in the near future the island will be crowded with tourists.

How much did you spent travelling Sri Lanka on a budget?

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When your girlfriend (Kirsten) has the travel virus, it doesn't take long before you are infected as well. Traveling has become a big part of my life, just as Travelaar has. Web developer and translator for and it's Dutch counterpart Photo and video editing are also my tasks.

My motto: Don't take life too seriously

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1 Comment

  1. Sally says:

    Thank you for the insight, I head to Sri Lanka next week. Just wondering if the accommodation costs are correct? As overall accommodation budget for the 28 days is extremely low considering you were staying in guest houses? I’ve been pricing up accommodation for all of the different areas and average prices are €17 a night for a double room in a guesthouse/Homestay.

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