It’s about $35 for Sigiriya! These are some of the prices you can expect to pay for safaris and excursions: The typical cost of lessons is as follows: Based on the prevailing prices as discussed above, we recommend that your Sri Lanka backpacking budget allows for about $30-40 per day. Wildlife and the National Parks. You can also apply for your ETA upon arrival. When we were there it was about $15/night. I guess depending on where you want to be in India/Nepal, it may be worth it to fly? During the pilgrimage season (December until Vesak festival in May) candles light the way and it is best climbed in the dark of pre-dawn. Any guesthouses to recommend and transportation? Probably go for Indo guys! I would suggest researching the main back packing areas or travelers hostel in your first destination (probably Colombo?) Many tnanks for sharing your experience and thoughts on Sri Lanka, it has been an interesting read, and as we arrive in SL in four days time, it was really helpful too! Many thanks. Sticking to a budget is easier thanks to … I have heard that the drive along the coast is super beautiful. In fact, Sri Lanka boasts more Unesco World Heritage Sites per kilometer than just about anywhere on Earth! Well its a great article..But let me correct you..Sri Lanka is 75% Sinhalese(and Buddhist) and 90% of the Sri Lankans speak Sinhalese NOT tamil..Only about 12 % speak Tamil and Tamils too can normally speak Sinhalese.Tamils came to Sri Lanka from southern part of India (Tamil Nadu)..Sinhalese are the main ethinicity and lived in Sri Lanka for 3000 years thus our culture , temples , architecture everything is based on Sinhalese/Buddhism.Sri Lanka is also the only country where Sinhalese live. There are lots of hotels and hostels available on these sites. That’s so exciting that you’re leaving in 3 weeks . The traffic was bad enough for me to cancel my trip! We can’t get much more leave from work but plan to bagpack and see as much as we can! For the motorcycles, do you still need to have the international driving license et all? In New Zealand and Japan, it was around €100 per day (€50 per person). We hope to have one for every country we’ve visited! Depending on where in the country you are, and which time of year it is, it can take a long time to order, but that’s because the curries are fresh and made to order. This is a perfect country for those who enjoy this travel style, as it is usually budget friendly (with some exceptions) and – despite what one may think – it is quite easy to move around. I recommend checking out the detailed 3 week Sri Lanka itinerary post we wrote. There are also many home stays listed here – its much nicer than staying in large hotels. We were originially thinking of Thailand and Laos, but we have been to Asia multiple times before (lived in Thailand), we think maybe we should try Sri Lanka. My sister in law living in Canada hopped to srilanka for a week on route to Australia. We don’t want to rent car with drivers, which are too expensive for our budget, and we are thinking about renting motorbikes here and there. A Daily Budget in Sri Lanka. If you have any questions or would like any assistance in booking your stay with us, please contact us. If you’ve travelled a lot, you may be used to “tourist pricing” for sites and temples. Although it can be a bit difficult to eat when your hungry (order 2 hours in advance) the food is delicious in Sri Lanka. And don’t forget to sign up to our email newsletter for more travel tips and special offers. Just like in India, mingling with the local people and making friends in Sri Lanka is easy. is it good enough? With most of the staples such as rice and curry, koththu roti, dosai, hoppers and string hoppers being major hits with first-time visitors, there’s plenty to choose from. They can be rented just about everywhere for as little as $8/day and they will give you a lot of freedom that buses and trains lack. Some of the prices for admission to popular sites are as follows: You can get cheap, reliable and fast mobile phone/data service in Sri Lanka and two of the leading service providers have special packages aimed at tourists. The old rickety buses and trains (donated by Canada) are an exciting and scenic way to see the countryside. Hi, I just rented a large bike and embarked on a tour of Sri Lanka–only to discover the hard way that no 2 wheeled vehicles are allowed on the highways here! Or, you could wash it in your sink – but bring a universal sink plug. If you’re here in the dry season, consider spotting elephants at Ampara. Overall, I’d recommend a daily budget of around 4,300 – 6,900 Rs (~$25 – 40 USD) per day if you’re backpacking Sri Lanka (depending on how much splurging you want to do). It is well-known for the Sri Pada, i.e., “sacred footprint”, a 1.8 metre (5 ft 11 in) rock formation near the summit, in Buddhist tradition it is thought to be the footprint of the Buddha. Often (usually) they don’t ask to see proof of funds. Budget Backpacking in Sri Lanka – Tip 3: Get mobile data. This information should definitely be included in your sections on renting a motorbike, as it challenges pretty strongly your claim that “By far the best way to get around in Sri Lanka is on a motorbike or moped.”. We’ve never had one when renting scooters in Asia. Enjoy Sri Lanka! Great site thank you! If you’ve never rode a motorbike before, don’t worry, it’s like riding a bike. It’s hard to know where to start with planning what to see and do but I feel more informed now! For such a tiny island, it packs in some of the best sites in the entire region. If you’re like us and cricket makes absolutely no sense to you, don’t worry, the Sri Lankans don’t care. Great information! Thank you We really enjoyed travelling there. It’s like having a home cooked meal every time you eat in a restaurant! A taxi from Ella to the southern coast will be around $50 while a bus will be less than $5. We were there in October and had some rain in Kandy, but then pure sun down at the beach in Unawatuna and in Galle. Waiting for food in Sri Lanka never happens at the local plazes. Here are a couple of cons to backpacking Sri Lanka: We’re really reaching for cons here! It’s one of Sri Lanka’s particular quirks that most local eateries and food halls are referred to as ‘hotels’ by the locals. For further details please see Dialog’s website at https://www.dialog.lk/tourist-plans. During the Kandy Esala Perahera Festival in July and August you may get a chance to catch a glimpse of this sacred relic. You can find Western and other types of food at the more up-market cafes and restaurants in some towns and cities. Thanks Helene, glad we could help out. Having never traveled by myself I have got to say I am very nervous and it does feel a bit like jumping in the deep end. I’m not sure I quite understand what you mean about “people need to deal with crushing traffic around Colombo and elsewhere” I’m sorry to hear that you thought the traffic was so horrible that you ended up cancelling your trip! There is so much to see! Cheers. The usual precautions apply, but we haven’t heard of any women having issues there. Perhaps nowhere else do foreigners pay so much more than locals for sites and temples. Got a good overview from the country. I have linked your articles about Sri Lanka in my Facebook, (http://www.facebook.com/Homestay.Strand) I think they are useful to any would be traveler. Our hostels are conveniently located in the following places, close to tourist attractions and places of interest: Our prices start from just $10 per night and include hot-water, AC and wifi. You’re right, there aren’t dorms in Sri Lanka – that we know of! A friend of mine a doctor got infected after a trip to Udawalawe national park and he finally died due to a miss diagnosis. But many backpackers and travellers favour trains over other modes of transport on account of the price and comfort (busses can get very crowded) and also because travelling by train offers the best opportunity to take in the beautiful scenery. This is by far our favorite beach in Sri Lanka. You get stunning views of the land, mountains, waterfalls etc. If you have time, try to check out Ella and surrounding waterfalls as well as Unawatuna Beach . your article is highly informative about Sri Lanka and what’s the cost of traveling inSri Lanka. ($85 USD one way), Also – getting to and from each country could be a useful section. My husband and I are trying to plan a trip beginning in south India, Sri Lanka, and ending in the Maldives. This is a 2,243 metre (7,359 ft) tall mountain located in central Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is beautiful . Chances are that you’ll leave the country with a heart full of memories that you’ll treasure for the rest of your life. Goats on the Road Posts » Travel Blogs » Backpacking Sri Lanka: The Ultimate Budget Guide. Thank you So much. Agree with Salika. Kim. nice share. The price of accommodation is one of the most important factors in any backpacking budget – Sri Lanka or otherwise. Connect with Nick Wharton & Dariece Swift -, 5 Reasons Why You Should Travel To Sri Lanka. Can you really hire a motor cycle in Colombo and take it all the way to maybe, Galle? ☞ Click here to compare costs of hotels, guesthouses & hostels in Ella on Booking.com. A bottle of water (1 litre) will cost around LKR 60 (U.S.¢33). For this, you’ll probably want to head north or east. We two are also backpackers, we traveled most of the areas in India…Now we need your support and guidance at priority…. Whilst it can be fun to experience a sleeper train, sometimes 24 hours is just too much time! for 1 traveller how much is a daily budget? Also, I love how helpful your whole website is, such an easy layout and it’s got everything I need to know. A burger with fries at a trendy cafe will cost you anywhere from LKR 1,000 to1,500 ($5-8). My Second Question: We are interested to visit War Held area… in Particular we are looking visit Terrorist Prabhakaran Hideout Den in north side of srilanka (at Puthukuttiyuruppu)…. Hey, We’re an Australian couple planning on backpacking (on a budget) Sri Lanka and southern India in October and November. it seems very helpful. Thanks! I’ve read pretty much all the goat guides, especially impressed with the india guide! Thanks for the compliment on the Goat Guides, we’re working on improving our future ones , Thank you for all this helpful insignts. The staff was really friendly as well. Thank you for sharing that with us. A lot of people just go there once and then pack up and move! But this does mean that you have to eat where the locals eat. Going through agents and third-party websites will cost you more. Hi! But even if there isn’t a meter, you can bargain with the driver and agree on a fee before setting off (recommended). In fact, friends our ours were just there last year and rented a bike. Thanks for sharing this informative blog. I don’t have a driver’s license, but know how to ride it (took a tour in Cambodia for 2 weeks), can this be a problem? Be sure to apply directly at the Sri Lankan Government’s visa website at http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/. I am not being racist here just that calling Sri Lanka tamil is like calling England or Canada, Tamil or muslim..I am sure most ENglish people will go mental if you reffer them as a muslim or tamil country..We are no different ! My boyfriend and I are going to Sri Lanka for two weeks in November and I’ve found this post really helpful – thank you! You can pick up a SIM card at the Colombo airport and at many shops around the country. Sri Lankans love children! If you would rather book an apartment or stay with a host on Airbnb in Sri Lanka, why not get an Airbnb discount while you’re at it? For one person, if you stay in hostels, eat cheap food and take local buses, then between $30-40 would be a good budget. are quite high. That’s what we did actually and it was the cheapest we could find. First-class on the same service with air conditioning and reserved seats will only cost you LKR 900 ($5). Amazing post…! Thanks for the tip. You can also find King Fisher and other imported beers around most touristy areas. Superb guide guys.! How long did you stay in Sri Lanka and how long would you recommend staying for? Kuruwita-Erathna road is somewhat popular as well. There are some stunning rooms in Sri Lanka and most can be paid for on a backpacker’s budget. Thank you! at the Colombo International Airport. You’ll also receive a copy of our ebook A Backpacker’s Guide to Sri Lanka when you sign up. There are massive animal effigies cut out of the rock including a remarkable Lion that guards the entrance to the tip of the palace entrance. We plan to go December/January time.. Do you think it’s necessary to book all hostels/hotels before? Sure, you might find places that are cheaper than that, but we’re confident that they will not offer the same quality, comfort and service that we do. When backpacking Sri Lanka, it’s easy to make friends! It will afford transport, clean double rooms or bungalows on the beach, food and the entrance fees to most of the country’s sites. That’s what this post is all about. You’ll find lots of chick pea curries, cheese curries and lentils. Thanks a lot guys! So I think it is all up to the individual to take pills. Visa extensions for up to 90 days are still quite easy to obtain. It is a spam free group offering support and advice only. With this detailed guide on Sri Lanka budget travel, we hope you plan your trip to Sri Lanka … Im going to backpack in Sri Lanka 15th of December this year (2013). Please note that locals pay a subsidised entry fee which is much lower that what you would pay. Prices are increasing in Sri Lanka, but it’s still a very affordable place to visit. Do you think Sri Lanka would be a good place to meet people and make friends, or would I be better off going somewhere else? Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Make sure to get some sort of guidebook, it’ll list places to stay around the country. Click here to check out the best hostels in Sri Lanka on HostelWorld, Click here to compare prices on the best hotels in Sri Lanka on Booking.com, Click here to compare costs of hotels, guesthouses & hostels in Ella on Booking.com, Click here to compare prices on the hotels & guesthouses in Unawatuna on Booking.com, Click here to compare prices on hotels & guesthouses in Kandy on Booking.com, 12 Best Things To Do in Guanajuato, Mexico. Now I’m hungry! Hi , I am a srilankan/canadian. The biggest health risk in Sri Lanka is probably food poisoning and traveller’s diarrhea. Yes, we spent $50/day for two people. The tooth lies inside a stunning Buddhist temple and is guarded religiously. Learn how to make money on the road, so you can travel forever. In Ella, we stayed at a small place that was listed in the Lonely Planet guidebook. We use lodging suggestions found in our Lonely Planet Guidebooks as well as using these sites: HostelWorld.com http://www.hostelworld.com/index.php?affiliate=goatsontheroad, Booking.com http://www.booking.com/index.html?aid=353338. … This is reflected in the pride that they have for their country, its history and its culture. Many have meters installed, which make the pricing more transparent. Here’s where Sri Lanka will get you. We operate a network of five hostels and offer high-quality, comfortable and affordable accommodation. A gigantic rock formation created by volcanic activity. Stupid , stupid , stupid. More and more people are making their way to Sri Lanka each year, and although more people are realizing the island’s beauty, they are often a more mature, well-travelled crowd. Yes, you will need to show them proof of a flight out of the country. . Temple of The Sacred Tooth Relic (Dalada Maligawa, Kandy) – $10, Sri Lanka Money-Saving Tips – How to Spend Less Money While Travelling in Sri Lanka, https://www.mobitel.lk/faq/pre-paid-tourist-pack, A list of prices relating to goods and services in Colombo from Numbeo.com, A Beginner’s Guide to Train Travel in Sri Lanka from Seat61.co.uk, Planning Your Sri Lankan Backpacking Route and Itinerary, Staying Safe While Travelling in Sri Lanka, How to Meet Other Travellers and Backpackers While Travelling, The Extras – Additional Services and Activities Offered by Hangover Hostels, Most national parks, including Yala, Minneriya, Udawalawe etc (see the full list, Half-day safari, including pick up and drop, plus entry fees – $65, Cooking lessons (3-4hrs) – $30-60 with most charging around $40. What proof we need to submit for showing our money balance in immigration???? Ask to join one of their games or just stand on the sidelines and wait to be invited in. We thank-you for your comment and hope that you will rethink using Malaria pills in areas where there is no malaria. This had been the 2nd case in Australia. Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page. Malaria has been nearly completely iradicated in Sri Lanka and some studies show that there will be 0 cases of Malaria in Sri Lanka in 2014. We’re trying to decide between Indonesia and Sri Lanka and can’t figure out which one. One more thing, travellers may notice that most of the villages may not say “Thank you” when and where you deserve it. I’ve never been to srilanka. That is very exciting that you are planning to travel to Sri Lanka! Enjoy Sri Lanka, it’s an amazing little country . Sri Lanka is an Incredibly cheap country to travel. Thanks for the comment and the suggestion to add a getting to/from section! 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