Backpacking Sri Lanka : Itinerary and Expenses

Our Sri Lanka itinerary and Expenses from our last backpacking trip to Sri Lanka.

I was traveling to the Maldives prior to my arrival in Sri Lanka so I will not include my expenses before arriving in Sri Lanka. I made a detailed Maldives Itinerary and Expenses which you can read if you want to know my expenses starting from the Philippines. This post talks about my Sri Lanka itinerary and expenses.

Sri Lanka Itinerary and Expenses


Sri Lanka Itinerary and Expenses

I stayed in Sri Lanka for only four nights so I wasn’t able to explore much but I definitely had a great time in most places that I visited except in Colombo. I will tell you in my next post why I don’t like Colombo and why it’s a good idea to totally avoid when visiting Sri Lanka. Just for your reference, 1USD = Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR) 150 and 1LKR = PHP.30. This is a rough estimate as exchange rate fluctuates from time to time.


Day 0 of Sri Lanka Itinerary and Expenses: Depart in Male, Maldives 
Plane Ticket from Male to Colombo, Sri Lanka via China Southern Airline Php8,500 booked via Wego
I arrived at Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake, Sri Lanka at around 1am. I did not book and accommodation so I decided to stay in the airport until 4am. 
Day 1 of Sri Lanka Itinerary and Expenses: Arrival in Sri Lanka / Travel to Nuwara Eliya / Explore Nuwara Eliya (Tea Factory)
Prepaid sim card – LKR800
Bus from Airport to Colombo to catch the train to Nuwara Eliya from Colombo Fort Railway Station – LKR500 (overcharged). It should be less than LKR200 but I later found out they charge foreigners with LKR300. I was asked to pay LKR1,000 but I insisted not to pay this much so I gave him LKR500. Be cautious, scammers are everywhere in Colombo.
Train from Colombo to Nuwara Eliya LKR600 (second class reserved) Book your train ticket now.
Tuktuk from Train Station to tea plantation + guesthouse LKR2,000
Snacks LKR100
Tea for pasalubong LKR1,400 (expensive, tourist trap – you can buy cheaper Ceylon tea from supermarket)
Overnight at Gregory Lake Holiday Home LKR3,360. Book here.


Day 2 of Sri Lanka Itinerary and Expenses: Explore Nuwara Eliya (Town and Gregory Lake) / Travel to Ella / Visit Nine Arch Bridge
Tuktuk to town center LKR200
Brunch LKR410
I walked around town so I did not spend much on transportation.
Gregory Lake Park Entrance LKR200
Tuktuk from Guesthouse to train station LKR500
Train from Nuwara Eliya to Ella LKR600 (second class reserved)
My accommodation in Ella is just a walking distance from the train station so I saved on transportation cost.
I just walked from my accommodation to Nine Arch Bridge but I decided to take a tuktuk back to the town center because I was tired. I paid LKR500.
Dinner at Chill Restaurant LKR1,000
Water LKR50
Accommodation at Adhi’s Place Ella LKR4,000 Book here


Day 3 of Sri Lanka Itinerary and Expenses: Travel to Mirissa / Explore Mirissa / Visit Mirissa Beach
Van Ella to Mirissa LKR2,000 (If you have much time, you can take a bus to Matara and take another bus from there to Mirissa). If you are taking a van, make sure to haggle. I was quoted LKR4,000 then when I said no, it dropped to LKR3,000 then finally LKR2,000.
Airtel Load for internet LKR480
Accommodation at Latheena Resort LKR3,500 Book here
Lunch ate Latheena Resort LKR600
Dinner LKR310


Day 4 of Sri Lanka Itinerary and Expenses: Visit Galle / Travel to Colombo
Bus from Mirissa to Gall to Mirissa LKR200
Mirissa Beach to Resort tuktuk LKR250
Van from Weligama to Colombo Shared by 3 LKR3,700 each. There was a transport strike so there were no trains going to Colombo. Good thing I found two German travelers so I shared a van with them.
Dinner at Ministry of Crabs LKR8,200
CityRest Fort Hostel LKR2,700 Book here




Day 5 of Sri Lanka Itinerary and Expenses: Explore Colombo / Shopping
Bag LKR1,500
Pasalubong LKR4,000
Tuktuk from Shopping Mall to Hostel LKR300
Tuktuk from Hostel to Bust Terminal LKR200
Bus from Colombo to Airport LKR300
Lunch at Airport LKR500
Dinner at Burger King USD10
Colombo to Kuala Lumpur Airfare via Airasia LKR14,899

This blog post is part of our comprehensive BACKPACKING IN SRI LANKA TRAVEL GUIDE. This will help you explore Sri Lanka on a budget. We hope you find this Sri Lanka Itinerary and Expenses useful.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. how much was the Visa? and was it Visa upon Arrival?

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