Travel Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Travel Guide

The exotic island of Sri Lanka is perfect for that extra special getaway. From stunning tropical beaches and bright green tea fields, to mesmerising ruins and lively towns, Sri Lanka means plunging into a vibrant culture and mixing it up between adventure and chill out time. Explore incredible national parks, wander through pretty colonial streets, discover beautiful temples and perhaps best of all, dine on amazing local cuisine. After something different for your next trip? Let Sri Lanka win you over...

The cost of travel in Sri Lanka

sri lanka food cost

Food

Don't expect to pay more than 500 rupees (£2.60) for a slap-up street dinner of curry, dhal or string hoppers. Snacks, such as kottu are even cheaper. A sit down meal in a nicer restaurant will cost around 1000 rupees (£5.50).

Drinks cost Sri Lanka

Drinks

There are plenty of local bottle shops and bars in Sri Lanka. A local beer will cost you around 300 rupees (£1.50). Imported brands, and spirits will set you back a bit more.

cost of Taxis sri lanka

Taxis

A taxi in the capital of Colombo will cost you around 50 rupees per kilometre - that's less than 30p! For a 10 km taxi or rickshaw ride, don't pay more than £5.

Transport cost Sri Lanka

Other transport

A three hour bus journey in Sri Lanka will cost you up tp 400 rupees (around £2). A train ticket from Colombo to Kandy is 100 rupees for 2nd or 3rd class, or 500 rupees (just £2.50) for 1st class air-conditioned.

Cost of hotels Sri Lanka

Hotels

Sri Lanka has some absolute bargains when it comes to hotels. You'll be able to find a spacious, clean en-suite room in a 3* hotel for an average of £20 per night. Larger beach resorts can cost upwards of £100.

Cost of hostels Sri Lanka

Hostels

A bed in a hostel or cheap, family run guesthouse will set you back £5-12 per night.

Sri Lanka Fast Facts

Sri Lanka languages spoken

Languages spoken

Most Sri Lankans speak Sinhalese, with another large proportion speaking Tamil. Many locals can effectively communicate in English, whist those working in tourism are often fluent.

Sri Lanka currency

Currency

Sri Lankan rupee (LKR).100 LKR is approximately 50p.

Sri Lanka time zone

Time Zone

Sri Lanka is on the same time zone as India: GMT+05:30, meaning the island is five and a half hours ahead of the UK.

Sri Lanka Kandy to Ella train

Sri Lanka's highlights

Colombo
Colombo
The main port of entry and exit for any traveller who visits Sri Lanka, the island's capital city is bursting with culture, awesome food and a burgeoning bar scene. Sip tea and watch the city fly past, explore incredible Hindu temples, and watch the sun set over the Laccadive Sea at Galle Face Green with a plate of delicous street food. 
Ella tea lady
Kandy and the Hill Country
Tea lovers, rejoice! Catch a train east from Colombo to the cultural hub of Kandy, high in the forested hills of central Sri Lanka and you'll find your zen. From here, you can hike the 7000+ steps to the top of Adam's Peak and journey through sky-high tea plantations and colourful villages to find your happy place in Ella. 
Sigiriya rock
Sigiriya and the cultural triangle
Head north from Kandy and you'll find yourself amidst the ginormous temple complexes of Anuradhapura, exploring impressive Buddhist caves in Dambulla, and gawping at the awe-inspiring Sigiriya rock. Yes, Sri Lanka has its own cultural triangle, and it's pretty damn easy to get around too. 
Sri Lanka beach
Sri Lanka's beaches
Head to Arugam Bay or Hikkaduwa for chilled out surf vibes and backpacker banter, to Marissa or Uppiveli to spot blue wales in the wild, and just about any one of the hundred others for awesome locals, tasty seafood and all-round tropical bliss. We kid you not, Sri Lanka has some seriously unspoiled beaches. 

Sri Lanka adventure tours

Sri Lanka Adventure Tours

Sri Lanka
Sailing Sri Lanka - south coast | 15 days
Discover the culture and wild, natural beauty of Sri Lanka on a seven-day sailing with the perfect mix of chill-out time and exploration. Sail along the southern coast of Sri Lanka, stopping along the way at the old trading fort of Galle, remote beach towns, and the fishing village of Kudawella.
From £1,139
view tour
Sri Lanka
Pure Sri Lanka | 10 days
Say Ayubowan to Contiki's newest hot spot, Sri Lanka. This adventure is going to take you all over, from national parks to beaches to the world-famous tea country, we've squeezed in all the highlights to create the perfect 10-day trip. Imagine hand-picked inclusions and free time add-ons that deliver the best Sri Lanka has to offer.
From £1,079
view tour
Sri Lanka tea picker
Sri Lanka Express | 8 days
This cultural and natural tour of Sri Lanka's major highlights is the perfect introduction to such a unique destination. Experience a safari at Yala National Park, stay in the rainforest in Kitulgala and stuff yourself full of Sri Lanka's amazing cuisine, history and culture. Departing from Colombo, this tour is designed to allow you to add on some amazing beach time at the end.
From £799
book now

Sri Lanka beach breaks

Pining for an island in the sun? We think Sri Lanka is a good place to start. With nearly 1000 miles of coastline, offering everything from turtle conservation, to whale spotting, to prime surfing to simply kicking back with a coconut full of arak, there's bound to be a spot of sand that suits you. 
search beach breaks

Tailor make your world, your way

Want to discover Sri Lanka your own way? INDI tailor made gives you the freedom and flexibility to design your own trip, exactly the way you want it. You choose the destinations, our Travel Experts will connect the dots.
Get £50 off if you start creating your adventure today!
Find out more

When is the best time of year to visit Sri Lanka?

Like in other countries in the region, the Monsoon makes an appearance in Sri Lanka every year. Despite the small size of the island, the weather patterns vary depending on your location. The south and west coast and hills (so we're talking Marissa, Arugam Bay, Udawalawe, Adam's Peak, Kandy and Ella) experience rains from May to August. The north and east however (Sigiriya, the Cultural Triangle and Trincomalee), are dry and hot during this time. There can be exceptions to these rules, and nowhere is off limits at any time of year.

Average temperatures in Sri Lanka are in the high twenties on the coast and high teens in the hills. It's worth nothing that Sri Lankan new year falls in April, and so accommodation and transport get very booked up this time. 
 

Need a little more inspiration? Check out the STA Travel blog!

STA Travel Blog

High five Sri Lanka!

Read On
STA Travel Blog

10 reasons to visit Sri Lanka... now!

Read On
STA Travel Blog

Ask the Experts - How safe is it to travel Sri Lanka as a solo female?

Read On