One more thing, travellers may notice that most of the villages may not say “Thank you” when and where you deserve it. The pictures explain more about Sri Lanka..I totally agree with this guide. Don a mask and fins and head out on your own and spot rays, eels, cuddle fish, puffers and maybe even turtles! where you might be able to meet a travel companion. Thanks for the comment and the suggestion to add a getting to/from section! Tap water isn’t safe to drink in Sri Lanka, which leads most travellers to opt for bottled water. Amazing post…! Not too many tourists come out this way so you’ll usually have the trails to yourself. My main worry is public transport and timing. During the Kandy Esala Perahera Festival in July and August you may get a chance to catch a glimpse of this sacred relic. Actually, Sri Lanka is a great destination for tourists on a budget, because you can already eat well, find accommodation and get around in the country for little money. It is important to be well prepared with the necessary equipment, however, do pack lightly, since hauling heavy luggage around the streets can be a quite a literal pain in the back. The duration of the trip can be extended to overnight, 2-day etc. If you’ve travelled a lot, you may be used to “tourist pricing” for sites and temples. Next time you’ll have to make it to Unawatuna . When we were there, there was no problem renting a motorbike or moped. Our First Backpacking Trip – Where It All Began! Make sure your smartphone is “unlocked” before coming to Sri Lanka, and purchase a local SIM card when you arrive. Sri Laka is just starting to appear on the backpacker’s radar so now is the perfect time to visit! Hi, great page, good information. I am sure there will also be other places like it. As you indicated sprays, mosquito nets are indispensable. My husband and I are trying to plan a trip beginning in south India, Sri Lanka, and ending in the Maldives. We stayed for 3.5 weeks. I think the train trip from Colombo to Hill Country (Nuwara Eliya etc.) What’s more, we’ll even give you a discount of 10% if you choose to book directly with us, via our website! Thank you So much. 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! It will afford transport, clean double rooms or bungalows on the beach, food and the entrance fees to most of the country’s sites. Sri Lanka itself is already a fairly off the beaten path destination, so by just coming here you’re bound to find places to yourself. The department sets the cost in US dollars, but you pay in rupees. is an attraction on its own. I’m sorry, I’m not sure how to reach the areas that you want to go to, as they are not typical tourist spots. Uber works well and is an affordable option for most short to mid-range journeys. They cruised up the coast of the island and had a fantastic time! Hey guys! We personally did not but slept under mozzie nets, stayed in our hut for the “mosquito hour” just as the sun is setting and wore mozzie spray. Thank you for writing this! We loved Sri Lanka too but for low budget travel Indo is a bit better value. Backpacking Sri Lanka is a lot of fun. 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. There are no required vaccinations and no hassles entering the borders by land or by air. They highly recommended it. Here are a couple of cons to backpacking Sri Lanka: We’re really reaching for cons here! Sri Lanka is an amazing place. How long would you plan to see the country? Mobitel also offers a SIM-only pre-paid package for tourists called the ‘Pre-Paid Tourist’s Pack’. Disclaimer:Goats On The Road is an Amazon Associate and also an affiliate for some other retailers. The last payments are received at 3.30pm. Thanks Helene, glad we could help out. Felt happy to going through your happy journey experience…. Ask at the hotel/guesthouse that you stay at, they should be able to point you in the direction of a class , Very informative – I am traveling june 10th for 7 days …with a Very Low Budget…any suggestion with regards to a travel plan? Western doctors don’t know about every disease in many tropical places. Great guide, thanks! But don’t worry, there are not so many tourists there. Thanks a lot! Wow, that’s one good post! It is said to have been stolen from the cremation fires of Buddha’s funeral pyre and brought to Sri Lanka for safe keeping. There is so much to see! Due to its past isolation to western influence, it remains a very authentic and intriguing place to visit for the few travellers who make it this far north. Thank you Morrel Fonseka. We’ll look into that for sure. There are loads of ruins and temples in just about every town in Sri Lanka. If you have any questions or would like any assistance in booking your stay with us, please contact us. This summer we’ve booked flights for a month in Sri Lanka to backpack with our school age children. 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. Glad we could help! ($85 USD one way), Also – getting to and from each country could be a useful section. … Sri Lankan food is as delicious as it is spicy. The food was well worth the wait though…is there anything better than freshly prepared curry?! Read more – Check out the best time to visit Sri Lanka. Pick me also provide a tour service. It’s not to our taste personally, but beer is beer and we had a few while we were backpacking Sri Lanka. There are also many home stays listed here – its much nicer than staying in large hotels. While backpacking Sri Lanka, you’ll notice that the food is a bit more expensive, and a bit more spicy than the cuisine of their large neighbour to the north, but it’s every bit as delicious. Jaffna is one of the oldest inhabited cities in lower south Asia. Hey Dharshana, Thanks for picking up on that. Enjoy! It’s a good idea to drop in for a reminder, just in case the cook falls asleep. Ask locals about little hidden gems that will likely be free and authentic. 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. Cheers for the comment. Great post! We can’t get much more leave from work but plan to bagpack and see as much as we can! This website is wonderful and extremely helpful. But this will cost you an additional $5 (making it $25 in total). Carved from a rock that towers 160 m over the surrounding plains, there are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Get a sim card at the first day and put it … The island of Sri Lanka is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations for a budget backpacking trip in Southeast Asia. We’re Hangover Hostels, Sri Lanka’s number one provider of budget accommodation and the winner of Hostel World’s ‘Hoscar Award’ three years running. Hello Andt, We appreciate your comment and concern but I believe your information on Malaria in Sri Lanka is either incorrect or simply out-dated. Anyone kindly support us by replying me this Big Doubt (for us)…. These are usually ‘cheap and cheerful’ restaurants that cater to the locals. They’re all very unique and in beautiful settings. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and we’ll send you our 101 Ways To Earn Money For Travel eBook for Free, plus we’ll send you a series of emails to show you how to earn money and travel in a financially sustainable way. The places we found we waited were in Unawatuna and in Ella, mind you, we were there in the off season so they were cooking to order at that point. Sri Lanka is well deserving of this 9 star rating. A bottle of water (1 litre) will cost around LKR 60 (U.S.¢33). We hope this post will be helpful to you when you plan your backpacking budget for Sri Lanka. Food and drink are relatively cheap in Sri Lanka, provided you stick mostly to Sri Lankan food. Tuk tuk taxis also provide good value for shorter trips with fares based on distance travelled. That would be a beautiful ride! Sri Lanka has been called the best island of its size in the world, and for good reason. Their package costs LKR1,600 ($9 approx.) When we were there it was about $15/night. Cheers (: Excellent! I have been trawling the internets for weeks researching our upcoming Sri Lanka trip, and finally stumbled across this. Do you need an international driving permit also for that? It’s a great way to make some friends and learn a bit about this confusing sport. In general, you should therefore have no problems to travel through Sri Lanka for 20-30 € per day. Although it’s way cheaper to find a nice hotel outside the fortress we found a pretty good place to … To book, simply visit our Booking Page and use the promo code BOOKDIRECT at checkout to receive your discount. Ella is a beautiful mountain town where you can spend your mornings sipping coffee from the patio of one of the hilltop guesthouses overlooking the hills. Also, I love how helpful your whole website is, such an easy layout and it’s got everything I need to know. Follow our trip on . If you find yourself eating out at cafes and restaurants, sipping cocktails regularly and taking classes and excursions, then you will need to budget more than that. Enjoy your trip . Beautiful nature, lovely culture and so many cool things to visit. But Sri Lanka’s own app, PickMe can provide cheaper fairs using their bike and tuk tuk options. Their rates for Colombo to Kandy or Colombo to Galle in their smallest vehicle (4-seater) for a return trip of 12 hours in duration starts from LKR 8,750 ($49). I’ve read pretty much all the goat guides, especially impressed with the india guide! is it good enough? Medicine is very cheap in Sri Lanka as well compared to countries like Canada or England. Hey, great website you have! Many people who come here travel for a lot less. Make sure you book your accommodation ahead of time during the holidays – things can book up well in advance. If you only have 1 to 2 weeks in Sri Lanka, I suggest sticking to either the South Coast, East Coast, or Central Area, rather than trying to cover the whole country. at £91 per night for a double room, this isn’t a budget option, but if you’re looking for luxury then this is it. Kuruwita-Erathna road is somewhat popular as well. We could never list all of the must see places here, but we will list a few definite highlights that will make for a great backpacking trip to Sri Lanka. You get stunning views of the land, mountains, waterfalls etc. This is a 2,243 metre (7,359 ft) tall mountain located in central Sri Lanka. I just wondered, having in mind the easy Thai laundry service experience: how can a backpacker take care of his dirty laundry in SL? Backpacking Sri Lanka Budget. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain statues and pagodas. I never managed to make it to Unawatuna beach which sounds amazing, maybe next time. Do have you have a place you can recommend? That’s the best way to see the country, with a local . The local places are called “hotel” for some reason and they are everywhere, in every little town at every corner in Sri Lanka. It’s like having a home cooked meal every time you eat in a restaurant! Sri Lanka is not a seriously budget destination, although you can get by on $30 – $50 all in by being careful. My friends are from Kandy so ill have a personal guide on our trip! You can also smile back. Take care on your travels, enjoy it all and please keep posting/blogging about your adventures x, Thank you for the comment Carol! Her medical bill was around $10,000, lucky they had medical insurance. There are many tourist places with high entrance fees, so we need to visit just one park (because we need then to add Sigiriya, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura –> too much? Well, I’ve updated my list of the top destinations for budget backpackers to give you some inspiration. 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). Hope this helps. Also, extra mileage is charged at LKR 35 per km PLUS LKR 240 per additional hour. 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. Expense Broke-Ass Backpacker Frugal Traveller Creature of Comfort; Accommodation: $5-$9: $10-$15: Surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures, this is the most awe-inspiring site in all of Sri Lanka. We spent 3 weeks in Sri Lanka but could have spent longer. Dialog offers a SIM-only pre-paid package called the ‘Tourist’s Plan’. A friend of mine a doctor got infected after a trip to Udawalawe national park and he finally died due to a miss diagnosis. Going through agents and third-party websites will cost you more. It’s so blissfully untravelled that you can easily find your way off the beaten path and really get into some authentic culture. Enter your details below and get a free quote: Sri Lanka has numerous places that tempt the adventurous backpacker. A burger with fries at a trendy cafe will cost you anywhere from LKR 1,000 to1,500 ($5-8). And it’s usually one of the largest costs too. The package costs LKR1,300 ($7 approx.) You’ll find lots of chick pea curries, cheese curries and lentils. Keep in mind that they are outstanding, and you only live once. can obtain their ETAs free of charge. If you have the foresight, consider ordering breakfast, lunch and dinner all in the morning and just return at a predetermined time for each meal. And, you can easily one of these filling meals for about $1 – $3 (LKR 150-550). We plan to go December/January time.. Do you think it’s necessary to book all hostels/hotels before? You’ll pay a bit extra for the service, but you can save yourself a considerable amount of time and headache trying to figure out what paperwork, flights, photos and documentation you need for your visas. And also your Indian? A popular company is Mobitel which has good coverage and reasonable rates. Learn more and book yours here: Buses and trains are cheaper than anywhere else we’ve been, and despite destinations often written on the bus in Singhalese or Tamil, you can usually find a driver who speaks English and can direct you to the right bus. We would suggest packing a medical kit that includes some antibiotics for traveller’s diarrhea, Peptol Bismol for upset stomachs and Paracetamol for hangover headaches, and fever. Best Regards, John. 3 week backpacking Sri Lanka itinerary . How much money do we need to carry minimum? Of course, this is a very general guestimate. Perhaps nowhere else do foreigners pay so much more than locals for sites and temples. Despite the small list of negatives we’ve listed in our Budget Guide To Backpacking India, Sri Lanka is a different country with different people and really can’t be compared. In fact, friends our ours were just there last year and rented a bike. The massive carved rock shoots up from the surrounding farmland and appears out-of-place. The Cost of Travel in Sri Lanka: A Budget Breakdown . Also, there’s a ton you can do in Indo like waterfalls, volcanoes, diving, partying etc. Unfortunately, we haven’t been to the Maldives….yet! No matter how long they explain it, you probably won’t get it (depending on where you’re from), but just swing the paddle and try to hit the bouncing ball… it’s a blast! The price of accommodation is one of the most important factors in any backpacking budget – Sri Lanka or otherwise. Buses and trains were our mode of transport. If you hold a passport from The Seychelles, Maldives or Singapore, you are exempt from needing an ETA and can get a visa for free on arrival. We two are also backpackers, we traveled most of the areas in India…Now we need your support and guidance at priority…. To travel Sri Lanka on a budget you will be looking at paying between $20/£15 and $30/£23 per day. The staff was really friendly as well. Enjoy Sri Lanka! Backpacking Sri Lanka is delightfully affordable. Sri Lankans love children! It can be frustrating to see such a discrepancy between fees for locals and foreign visitors, but keep in mind that it’s official and there’s not much you can do about it. We’d love to see elephants and hopefully bears, then crocodiles and monitor lizards. The ascent is considered a holy pilgrimage by many, so be respectful and do as the locals do. Sri Lanka offers a great variety of hostels, hotels, guest houses and AirBnB’s. Many people rent holiday homes just off the water along the southern shores and they sometimes have a great understanding of local culture and customs. We are Sinhalese and we speak Sinhalese..Others (15%) are all immigrants (muslims , tamils , arabs , kaffirs , malays etc). This means people on motorbikes need to deal with crushing traffic around Colombo and elsewhere (I’m assuming Colombo isn’t the only area with horrible traffic). For further details please see Dialog’s website at I actually lived there for 6 months in 2016, so I know a lot about the island. Cheers, Nic. What an amazing place! Great information! It is thought to have once been a mountain fortress monastery but still no one is sure of its historical purpose. Where it had said “the official language is Tamil” we changed it to say “the official languages are Tamil and Singhalese” according to Wikipedia this is correct. You’ll need a local SIM/number to download and use the PickMe app. Can you tell me which tracks are most quietly with good roads? 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. Also, if you have a credit card. We stayed at Peacock Hotel. Wildlife and the National Parks. I hope this helps. nice share. Great site thank you! Cocktails will be between $4-$6. The laid back local communities are always willing to let you into their circles and are delightfully curious about foreign visitors. 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!