Sri Lanka has been gaining buzz as one of the top holiday destinations in the world and as you’d expect, tourism thrives on the Island.
But what a lot of tour guides and packages don’t mention is that Sri Lanka is also really cheap to travel to and around on a budget. If you don’t want to spend an exorbitant amount of money on your next holiday, read on for why Sri Lanka is one of your best options for an amazing time and an easy load on your wallet too.
Sri Lankan tourist visas are quite cheap. If you apply ahead of your arrival online, you’ll only pay a fee of $35. There’s also the possibility of a tourist visa on arrival at the Sri Lankan airport but there’s a price hike and long waiting lines if you choose this option so for a budget holiday, apply online and get your visa cheap and fast!
While your typical, touristy hotels can be a bit pricey on a budget, there’s any number of budget hotels, hostels, small bungalows and homestay opportunities for as low as $10.
What’s more, booking rooms in advance using online trip planners such as Booking.com will net you cheaper prices than if you book directly at the place. And it will also help you plan out your trip around the Island a bit better too, as a side bonus.
It goes without saying that booking private transport around the country is much more expensive than public transport. What’s surprising is how much cheaper public transport is. There’s an extensive bus network throughout Sri Lanka and even a journey of more than two hours will only set you back a couple of U.S dollars. Buses can get crowded but there’s never a dull moment in one with booming Sri Lankan music and screeching horns so it’s definitely an experience not to miss.
Sri Lanka’s train network, although not extensive and certainly not fast, is also quite cheap and is often the best way to get from one large city to another, especially in the Southern and Central regions of the country. Like buses, train rides are very cheap. Though there are air-conditioned, 1st class cabins in pretty much all intercity trains, opting for a much cheaper 2nd class seat is a much better idea. How else are you going to hang out the doors of a long winding train on a hill and take that photo you’ve only seen online and always wanted to take?
For shorter trips within cities, tuk-tuks are abundant although it’s general practice among tuk-tuk drivers to charge tourists almost double the local price. But you can ask your homestay family or the manager of your budget hotel for a local price point so that you can negotiate the price down to its normal level before you set off on the tuk-tuk ride.
There’s no shortage of cheap food options in Sri Lanka. Street-food in Sri Lanka is amazingly cheap and quite often are unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
For meals, it’s quite easy to duck into small restaurants, recognizable by their mostly local clientele and small spaces, and sit down for a full rice and curry lunch or dinner for just a U.S dollar or two. Just make sure to keep smaller notes in local currency on hand and you’ll be saving quite a lot in food expenses while still getting Sri Lanka’s iconic, delicious food experience.
Perhaps the best thing about Sri Lanka when it comes to budget travel is that there are many things to do and experience around the country, completely for free.
Because of Sri Lanka’s all-around coastline, there’s definitely any number of local beaches that are completely free and oftentimes, completely devoid of other visitors. Settle down, stretch out and get ready to lose quite a few hours on a gloriously empty and completely free beach.
It’s common practice, too, for travellers on a budget to make a beeline for a beach town like Hikkaduwa and then make full use of the beautiful coastline nearby for free while staying at cost-effective accommodation and budget hotels in Hikkaduwa like Citrus Hikkaduwa. You can even take an early morning stroll to see local fisherman prepare for the day’s first catch.
Colombo too, despite its reputation as a tourist spot, has many intriguing and free attractions for the budget traveller. To ease up on travel within the city, book an affordable city hotel in Colombo such as The Steuart by Citrus and then head off to explore the historic districts of Colombo Fort by foot, completely free of course! The local markets are an amazing way to get the feel of the city and also the perfect way to meet the friendly locals.
If you are looking for a new pub or restaurant to try out but also want to be assured of a great time, & Co Pub is the place you are looking for. Located in the Steuart hotel in Colombo there is much to love about this top tier restaurant. Here are just 7 reasons as to why you will fall in love with this place.
Serving a variety of dishes from BBQ pork ribs to steak pies and even rice and curry, unlike many traditional pubs this restaurant offers hefty and delicious portions. You can be guaranteed quality and quantity in your dishes at & Co Pub and Kitchen.
What is better than a good drink with some delicious food? Great offers on good drinks alongside the delicious food! & Co Pub have very regular happy hours with some lasting even up to 12 hours. So what are you waiting for? Follow them on their Facebook page to stay updated with their latest offers.
This cozy space is very popular even during the lunch time with the office crowd and tourists in the area ensuring a friendly buzz. This restaurant has created the perfect ambience and atmosphere for you to be able to chill, relax and just catch up with your friends.
The staff at & Co Pub prioritize the comfort and needs of the customer and is happy to make your dining experience special. The friendly servers don’t even hesitate to accommodate your special requests concerning the food making the customer service very commendable.
Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday & Co Pub hosts ‘Unwind Sessions’ featuring highly talented local artists. What better way to unwind and relax than listening to some live music while you lounge on a chair enjoying your drink?
This restaurant has its own unique twist on the old Scottish pub aesthetic. The sturdy mahogany furniture paired with the shade of green used on the walls lined with gold borders and decorated with various crests definitely adds to the Scottish atmosphere in the pub. This vibe created contributes to the unique experience you will have at & Co Pub.
In addition to the frequent happy hours, & Co Pub also has many discounts and offers throughout the week. Even without these offers the ambience, food portion and quality and overall experience you will receive at the pub, makes it definitely worth your money.