Colombo is Sri Lanka’s capital and home to its largest international airport, but that doesn’t mean you should plan on spending any real time here. There are no checklist attractions and the city is short on charm as well so it’s better to spend most of your Sri Lanka time elsewhere. With that in mind, the prices listed here for food and drinks and transportation are valid for the whole country.

Sri Lanka is quite cheap overall and it’s good value even compared to neighboring countries, but it does lack a real budget traveler infrastructure. In other words, there are very few hostels and 1-star hotels anywhere in the country. The good news is that standards for 2-star places are good so those sharing a room can still get great deals.

Food can be incredibly inexpensive if you eat rice and curry like most locals, or even cheaper if you stick with the “short eats” (finger foods) that can be filling and delicious as well as safe. Beer and local spirits are well priced, though they are hard to find unless you put in some effort.

Colombo prices


1000 LKR = 4.93 USD

Colombo facts

Population 750,000
Metro area 5,600.000
Time zone UTC+5.5
Currency Sri Lankan rupee
Airports Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB)

Colombo hotel prices

Rating Price (USD)
12.32 - 23.16
24.38 - 45.21
26.30 - 50.63
35.29 - 114.84
103.29 - 123.39

Hotel seasons


Hotels all over Sri Lanka have their high season between Christmas and March with most of the rest of the year being the off season. Some places also have higher rates in July and August but not by much. The rates on cheaper hotels don’t change much through the year so it’s the high end where the off season bargains can be found.

Colombo hostel prices

Type Price (USD)
Hostel bed
5.91 - 14.76

Colombo attraction prices

Location Description Type Price(USD)
Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple This temple also displays artifacts and is the most popular sight in central Colombo. adults (foreigners) 0.00

Colombo transportation prices USD

Taxi from airport to city center 12.32 - 15.28
Bus from airport to city center 0.59
3km tuk-tuk ride in Colombo 0.81 - 0.99
Uber ride from airport to city center 8.87

Colombo food and drink prices USD

Food type   Price
Budget breakfast Most hotels include a simple breakfast of fruit, coffee or tea plus eggs and toast. If not it will be available at an extra charge. 1.48 - 3.45
Budget lunch Most Sri Lankans eat rice & curry for breakfast and lunch every day so it's very cheap in restaurants. 1.48 - 3.45
Budget dinner Sit-down dinners in Sri Lanka can be very cheap, or quite expensive at the high-end hotels. There aren't many independent restaurants yet. 3.15 - 7.39
Beer (.7 liter bottle) Lion Beer is quite good and cheap in most places, but alcohol is hard to find in some parts of Sri Lanka. 1.72 - 2.37

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Avg temps & precip


Best months to visit

January, February, March, July, August

weather advise for AmsterdamWeather advice

Colombo’s temperatures are nearly the same every day of the year, but the city (and country) has two separate monsoon seasons every year so the rainfall varies wildly. January through March are the best and busiest months for reasonable temperatures and little rainfall, though July and August are fairly dry as well. Avoid May as well as late September through November.

Sunrise and sunset


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