Travel Planning

Backpacker's Guide: Affordable Lodging Options for Exploring Sri Lanka on a Budget

Discover budget-friendly Sri Lanka: stunning vistas, cultural gems, and cosy lodgings for every traveller, from backpackers to honeymooners.

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Sri Lanka, a land of breath-taking landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. For the intrepid traveler on a budget, Sri Lanka offers a plethora of affordable lodging options that not only provide comfort and convenience but also immerse you in the island's rich tapestry of experiences. Whether you're seeking stunning vistas, cultural immersion, or simply a tranquil escape, Sri Lanka has something to offer every backpacker. Let's delve into some of the best options for exploring this island paradise without breaking the bank.

Best Places for Views:

  1. Ella: Nestled in the lush hills of Sri Lanka's central highlands, Ella boasts some of the most stunning views in the country. Hike up to Ella Rock for panoramic vistas of tea plantations, waterfalls, and verdant valleys below. The cost for this experience is minimal, typically comprising transportation and perhaps a small entrance fee if accessing certain viewpoints.
  2. Sigiriya: For a bird's-eye view of the island's cultural heritage, climb the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya. Though there's an entrance fee of around $30 for foreign visitors, the awe-inspiring vistas from the summit, including the surrounding countryside and the iconic Lion Rock, make it a worthwhile investment.
  3. Mirissa Beach: If sunsets over the ocean are your idea of paradise, head to Mirissa Beach on the southern coast. Many guesthouses offer affordable beachfront accommodation, allowing you to soak in the breath-taking hues of the evening sky without breaking the bank.

Affordable Lodging Options:

  1. Hostels: Backpacker hostels are plentiful in Sri Lanka and offer budget-friendly accommodation with shared dormitories or private rooms. Places like Hangover Hostels in Mirissa or Clock Inn Colombo provide comfortable stays at around $10-$20 per night, making them ideal for budget-conscious travellers.
  2. Guesthouses: Opting for guesthouses or homestays not only provides a glimpse into local life but also offers affordability and authenticity. Places like Araliya Guest House in Ella or Anusha Homestay in Kandy offer cosy rooms and warm hospitality for around $15-$30 per night.
  3. Camping: For the adventurous souls, camping is a budget-friendly option to immerse in Sri Lanka's natural beauty. Many national parks and scenic spots allow camping for a nominal fee, such as Yala National Park or Horton Plains National Park.

Best Places to Stay for Honeymoon:

  1. Bentota: With its pristine beaches and luxurious resorts, Bentota is a romantic haven for honeymooners. Stay at the Temple Tree Resort & Spa or the AVANI Bentota Resort for a blend of luxury and tranquillity, with prices ranging from $100-$200 per night.
  2. Kandy: Surrounded by misty mountains and serene lakes, Kandy exudes romance and charm. The Elephant Stables or Earl's Regent Hotel offer intimate stays amidst lush landscapes, with rates starting from $80-$150 per night.
  3. Galle: Steeped in colonial history and coastal beauty, Galle is perfect for couples seeking a blend of culture and relaxation. The Fort Bazaar or Tamarind Hill by Asia Leisure provide boutique accommodation with old-world charm, priced at $100-$250 per night.


Whether you're chasing sunsets on the beach or hiking through misty mountains, Sri Lanka promises an enriching and budget-friendly travel experience for all.