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14 Best Budget Hotels In Sri Lanka (Under $40 A Night)

Sri Lanka is a colorful country with friendly people, delicious food, beautiful nature, ancient history, and splendid beaches.

An island located in the Indian Ocean that, despite its compact size, has everything you wish for in a perfect holiday destination.

And the good news is that Sri Lanka is an excellent budget destination, as such you will find lots of comfortable but cheap hotels in Sri Lanka.

To help you plan your Sri Lanka trip, I've created this list of the best budget hotels in Sri Lanka that cost less than $40 a night.

Note: our trip to Sri Lanka was a couple of years ago and prices have increased. However, there are still plenty of excellent budget accommodations available in Sri Lanka.

While we've personally stayed at most of the Sri Lanka hotels in this post, some hotels we stayed at during our trip are no longer available due to Covid-19.

I've done my utmost to find a suitable alternative that I'd be happy to book myself.

Best budget hotels in Sri Lanka

Palm trees lining road in Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). We're very grateful when you use our links to make a purchase:-).

Cheap hotels in Sri Lanka: tips and tricks

When you are traveling around Sri Lanka, you learn a thing or two about Sri Lanka budget accommodation. Here are some important things to know before your trip.

Finding the exact location of your accommodation

I have never had so much trouble finding the accommodation we booked online as in Sri Lanka.

In my experience, the locations listed in Agoda and Booking are usually pretty accurate. However, for some accommodations listed below this wasn't the case.

Luckily, the helpful locals pointed us in the right direction. But if you can't find the accommodation you booked, ask for help!

The kind people of Sri Lanka are more than happy to give you directions (or even walk with you until you've arrived at your destination).

Home-stays instead of hotels

Most places we stayed at were homestays, with only 1-3 rooms. I really enjoyed the small-scale setup of these comfortable accommodations in Sri Lanka.

In Southeast Asia, we spent most nights in hotels (10-15 rooms). Also very nice, just different.

Agoda versus Booking

I often book with Agoda because most of the time their price is slightly lower than and you can pay online with your credit card (thereby reducing your need for cash).

This can be very convenient in countries with hefty ATM fees or a limit on how much cash you can withdraw per transaction. However, in Sri Lanka, I found Booking often had better offers.

It's confusing that Agoda includes tax in their price while doesn't. This makes it more difficult to compare.

Anyway, I always check both and book the cheapest option!

Best budget accommodation in Sri Lanka: table

I list the Sri Lanka budget accommodation prices in USD and Euro. Check the current exchange rates for the Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR) on

LocationHotel namePrice per nightAgodaBooking
AnuradhapuraHeaven Upon Rice Fields€16/$17Click hereClick here
ColomboStay Lost & Found€21/$22Click hereClick here
EllaElla Alpine Resort€29/$30Click hereClick here
GalleThe One€17/$18Click hereClick here
HaputaleAurora View Inn€16/$17Click hereClick here
JaffnaFlamingo Villa€30/$31Click hereClick here
KalpitiyaSalt Bay Kite and Dive Resort€39/$40Click hereClick here
KandyThe Travellers Home€14/$15Click hereClick here
NegomboErandi Holiday Home€11/$12Click hereClick here
Nuwara EliyaSeeming Lodge€21/$22Click hereClick here
SigiriyaThal Sewana€17/$18Click hereClick here
TalallaTalalla Leisure€26/$27Click hereClick here
Udawalawe JunctionEagle Safari Family Bungalow€7.50/$8Click hereClick here
WeligamaTinara River Inn€29/$30Click hereClick here

Note: Prices for these hotels depend on the time of year and how far in advance you book. Therefore, the prices mentioned above are a rough indication of the average price per night to help you compare the different accommodation options. Use ‘click here' to see special deals on Agoda and Booking and book ahead to get the best price (especially during high season).

Sri Lanka budget hotels: map

In the map below you can find the names and locations of the cheap accommodation in Sri Lanka included in this post.

I've also added directions for our Sri Lanka accommodation where the map from Agoda/Booking wasn't accurate.

Sri Lanka best budget hotels map

Click here for the interactive map.

Sri Lanka budget accommodation

1. Negombo, Erandi Holiday Home

What's great

I booked Erandi Holiday Home because it's very close to the airport and we landed in the middle of the night.

Despite the fact that it was the middle of the night, the friendly owner of Erandi Holiday Home picked us up from the airport! The next day he drove us to the airport bus center where we could easily catch a bus to Colombo.

The room itself is basic but clean. There is a mosquito net above the bed and a private bathroom.

What's not so great

It’s really close to the airport which means you’ll hear some planes fly over.

2. Colombo, Stay Lost & Found

What’s great

Stay Lost & Found is a comfortable and affordable hostel in Colombo. It's only a short walk to Kollupitiya Railway Station and easy access to several of the must-see sights in Colombo (such as the Colombo National Museum and Beira Lake).

The rooms are spacious with comfortable beds. If you prefer a private bathroom, book the Standard double room or the King room (the standard rooms and the dorms have shared bathrooms).

There is an onsite restaurant serving up some delicious food and the hostel managers go out of their way to make your stay a pleasant one.

What's not so great

There is a school next to the hostel so it can get noisy in the morning.

3. Galle, The One Apartment

The One Apartment Galle breakfast

What's great

The One Apartment is close to the center but not in the center of Galle, which means it is nice and quiet. A tuk-tuk to the center costs approximately 100LKR.

The apartment is very spacious. There's a large living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom, and a veranda to enjoy your home-cooked Sri Lankan breakfast (pictured above).

The owner told us he bought the fish that was served for breakfast at the local market very early in the morning. It was a delicious meal and a sumptuous breakfast, that alone is enough reason to stay here.

We rented a scooter for a day to explore the historical sites and the area around Galle which I can highly recommend. There is a laundry service available (450LKR per kilo) and the WiFi is good too.

Altogether the One Apartment is a perfect place to stay in Galle!

What's not so great

Nothing that I can think of!

4. Welligama, Tinara River Inn

What’s great

Tinara River Inn in Weligama offers spacious rooms and great amenities at an affordable price. The hotel is nice and quiet but within easy walking distance from downtown and the beach.

Breakfast is delicious, extensive, and varied; different local dishes are served every day (the coconut pancake is exceptionally tasty).

The nicely designed rooms are clean and comfortable, some have a balcony with a garden and river view.

However, what really sets Tinara River Inn apart is the friendly staff! They offer the best service and are always happy to help you with any questions, from arranging a scooter and doing laundry to booking tours.

What's not so great

For beach bums, this hotel isn't directly on the beach (however, the beach is only a 5-10 minute walk).

5. Talalla, Talalla Leisure

What’s great

Talalla Leisure offers affordable beachfront accommodation and beautiful ocean views.

Guests can relax in the beautiful garden, and the private beach area or grab a bite to eat at the onsite restaurant that serves some really tasty dishes. There's also a rooftop terrace offering wonderful views.

Rooms are clean and well laid out, with ensuite bathrooms and air conditioning. What's more, the family running Talalla Leisure is really sweet and welcoming.

What's not so great

Wifi can be a bit slow.

6. Udawalawe Junction, Eagle Safari Family Bungalow

A to Z Family Guest Udawalawe Sri Lanka

What's great

We spent one night in Udawalawe Junction because we wanted to visit Udawalawe National Park. As there isn't much to do in the village itself, a one-night stay is enough.

That being said, Eagle Safari Family Bungalow was a nice surprise. Rooms are clean and spacious and come with queen-sized beds.

WiFi is fast and overall Eagle Safari Family Bungalow offers good value for money.

What's not so great

We booked a wildlife safari in Udawalawa National Park via the guesthouse and there was one thing that annoyed me a bit.

The owner of the hotel, who sold us the safari tour, insisted that it was impossible to have more than 4 people in the jeep.

We wanted to team up with a family of 4 (there would be 6 people in the jeep in total) and split the costs of the safari tour.

But he insisted that was impossible due to insurance issues. However, when we were picked up at the hotel the next morning there were 5 people in the jeep…

Don't get me wrong, we had a great safari (definitely look into booking one for your Sri Lanka trip)!

But it's just a little annoying to be told one thing and the truth turns out to be slightly different. Anyway, I still recommend staying here, it's a really nice place.

7. Ella, Ella Alpine Resort

What's great

Ella Alpine Resort is perfect for those looking to enjoy nature. This wonderful hotel offers big rooms and stunning views, both from the rooms as well as the terrace.

Tea-making facilities and toiletries are provided. Breakfast is included and it really tasty (toast, omelet, fresh fruit juice, fresh fruit, and tea).

Our hotel room even had a bathtub and although we didn't use that, we really appreciated the hot showers (this can be an issue in Sri Lanka). Wifi is fast and stable.

The owners are very kind and go out of their way to make you feel welcome and at home. They helped us with our laundry and gave helpful directions for the hike to Ella Rock (the resort is more or less on the way to Ella Rock).

What's not so great

It wasn't an issue for us, but keep in mind that this hotel is a little out of town. You have to follow Waterfall Road for about 1.5 kilometers to reach Ella Alpine Resort.

Just before the Curd Shop, take a left turn (onto a very steep road), walk up to Zion View, continue to Ella Eco Lodge, and follow the numbered guest houses. Ella Alpine Resort is across number 6 (via the steep steps down).

8. Haputale, Aurora View Inn

Dambatenne Tea Factory in Haputale, Sri Lanka

What’s great

We loved our time in Haputale, it's such a beautiful area in Sri Lanka and really peaceful. Aurora View Inn offers spacious rooms with private bathrooms.

Everything is basic but clean and tidy. There is a nice garden and a terrace where you can relax and enjoy the views.

Breakfast is included in the price and both the breakfast, as well as dinner, is delicious and prepared with love.

There is a washing machine in case you need to do laundry. It can get cold at night so request extra blankets if necessary.

What's not so great

It’s a 2km walk from the train station so if you've got a lot of luggage you may want to take a tuk-tuk.

9. Nuwara Eliya, Seeming Lodge

What’s great?

First of all, the owners are incredibly kind and go out of their way to make you feel welcome (with cookies and hot tea amongst other things:-).

You can also book tours with owner Chami, he's a very knowledgeable guide and will make sure you've got a wonderful day exploring Nuwara Eliya and its beautiful surroundings.

The rooms at the Seeming Lodge offer great views of the surrounding mountains and tea estates. The beds are comfortable and plenty of warm blankets are provided to keep you warm at night.

While breakfast is not included, it's really delicious, as is the homecooked dinner that's available. Altogether, the Seeming Lodge is a highly recommended place to stay in Nuwara Eliya!

What's not so great

It's a 15-20 minute walk to the center, which is something to consider before you book.

If you like walking (we do;-) it's not an issue but if you prefer to stay in the city center this may not be the most suitable option for you.

10. Kandy, The Travellers Home

Travellers home Kandy Sri Lanka homestay

What's great

The Travellers Home is run by a lovely family and is a really nice and affordable place to stay in Kandy.

Manik and Mahesh are wonderful hosts, they greeted us every time we went out or came back to the house. Also, whenever we had a question they were happy to help out.

Rooms are beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean, as is the shared bathroom. There is a mosquito net above the bed and warm blankets (although it's much warmer than Haputale and Nuwara Eliya),

Towels and toiletries are provided, Wifi is stable and reasonably fast.

What's not so great

The homestay is 5 kilometers from the center of Kandy and you'll need to catch bus 602 (to Kurunegala) to get there.

While we didn't feel this was an issue, it's something to take into account before booking the Travellers Home.

Also, the road in front of the house is quite busy and the buses and trucks that pass by are loud, but nothing a pair of earplugs cannot solve.

11. Sigiriya, Thal Sewana Homestay

View over Lion Rock Sigiriya from Pidurangala Rock

What’s great?

Thal Sewana is a lovely homestay in Sigiriya and is situated just a short walk from the famous Lion Rock (the most visited heritage site in Sri Lanka) as well as Pidurangala Rock.

Nice and spacious rooms with air conditioning and a hot shower. Everything is very clean and well taken care of.

What makes Thal Sewana homestay a place you never want to leave is the wonderful hostess, who makes you feel so very welcome.

She's an excellent cook and serves delicious kottu (Sri Lanka's signature dish) as well as lots of other dishes. If you need help with tours or transportation, she and her son are happy to help out.

What's not so great


12. Anuradhapura, Heaven Upon Rice Fields

What's great

Does watching a sunrise over the rice fields from the comforts of your room sound as good to you as it does to me? If so, Heaven Upon Rice Fields is your best place to stay in Anuradhapura!

With very accommodating hosts, delicious homecooked meals, comfortable rooms, and a perfect location, you can't go wrong by booking this lovely homestay in Anuradhapura.

At the hotel, you can rent bicycles to explore the Anuradhapura complex or book a tuk-tuk tour.

The tuk-tuk driver will show you all the good spots and make sure you have a great day exploring this famous temple complex (the Sacred City of Anuradhapura is one of the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka).

Altogether, Heaven Upon Rice Fields offers excellent value for money and I highly recommend staying here. The family who runs it is truly wonderful and will make you enjoy your stay even more.

What's not so great

Nothing to complain about!

13. Jaffna, Flamingo Villa

What's great

Flamingo Villa is a great place to stay in Jaffna. The location of the hotel is excellent, it's situated in the heart of the city and very close to the train station as well as to many good restaurants.

The hotel offers clean air-conditioned rooms with comfortable beds. There is a laundry service and luggage storage, which is very convenient if you want to explore Jaffna before catching a train later that day.

What's not so great

Wifi is very limited and often only works in the reception area.

14. Kalpitiya, Salt Bay Kite and Dive Resort

What’s great

The Salt Bay Kite and Dive Resort is a beautiful small-scale resort in Kalpitiya, although the kind owner Thusitha lovingly jokes that ‘it's not a resort, it's your home‘.

And that's exactly how it feels when you're staying at the Salt Bay Kite and Dive Resort!

The owner is an excellent cook and the free breakfast is delicious (as is dinner so basically you don't really have to leave Salt Bay Kite and Dive Resort in order to eat great food.

On the property grounds, you'll find hammocks to relax in, a volleyball net, a dartboard, and a minigolf.

There's a bike rental service as well, making it easy to get around Kalpitiya (although we rented a scooter to explore a bit further afield as well).

Rooms are lovingly designed and have private bathrooms. The beds are comfortable and there are mosquito nets.

What's not so great


Cheap accommodation in Sri Lanka: in conclusion

I hope this list of budget hotels in Sri Lanka will help you plan your trip. If you've got any questions about this post, leave a comment below or send me a message. I'm happy to help!

If there's one thing I experienced during our 1 month in Sri Lanka, it's that Sri Lankan hosts go out of their way to make you feel at home!

They will do everything they can to make you feel comfortable and even if they speak little English they will strike up a conversation.

For me, the hospitality of the Sri Lankan people really added something extra to our trip to this beautiful country.

Click here to find the best budget hotels in Sri Lanka! 12 great budget accommodations for less than €40 a night.

This post was updated in November 2022.

David Cameron

Wednesday 3rd of July 2019

Glad to know Sri Lanka has turned to be a lovely destination! Beautiful pictures. Really an informative itinerary. Would to visit those places soon. Thanks for sharing your experience, Lotte.


Thursday 4th of July 2019

You are most welcome David, happy to hear you liked my Sri Lanka itinerary and photos!


Saturday 2nd of March 2019

Thanks Lotte, this and your other posts are incredibly useful! Here are my questions:

- Did you book all the hotels/guesthouses before beginning your travel or did you book some while you were already in Sri Lanka? - Do all hotels and guesthouses organize excursions for their customers? Is that the best way to do such excursions?

Thanks in advance, Mark


Sunday 3rd of March 2019

Hi Mark, thanks for reading and I'm happy to help:-)

Regarding your questions: - We booked all accommodations when we already in Sri Lanka and never had any issues to finding a nice place. - I don't know about all guesthouses, but yes, most offer excursions for their guests. This is generally a good way to book, though it never hurts to shop around a bit to compare prices;-)

Enjoy your trip! Lotte

Heather Gibson

Tuesday 1st of May 2018

Wow lotte,

I'm so glad I stumbled across you post! Myself and Bob are going for 6 weeks and your post is really going to be a great help to us. We are thinking of a 6 week trip. We are off to Vietnam this January for 6 weeks and the year after that we'll be going to Sri Lanka. We do a trip every year for 6 weeks.

Again thanks, Heather


Tuesday 1st of May 2018

Hi Heather,

Thank you, I'm happy to hear that! A 6 week trip each year sounds like a great idea, have a wonderful time in Vietnam and in Sri Lanka the subsequent year:-)

Happy travels, Lotte


Wednesday 22nd of November 2017

Beautifully written! Thank you for such detailed info. What time of year where you there? How were the mosquitos? Traveling in Feb. and March and was wondering about the bugs. Thanks for the fun glimpse into Sri Lanka


Thursday 23rd of November 2017

Hi Ella,

Thank you for your kind words:-). I was in Sri Lanka in February and while there were mosquitoes, it wasn't that bad. Buy a good spray and cover up during dusk and dawn. Every accommodation we stayed at had a mosquito net so no waking up covered in bites;-).

Have a great trip! Lotte


Thursday 19th of October 2017

We just booked our trip to Sri Lanka and so are scouring looking for info. What a treat to find your posts filled with great information and tips! Thank you so much for taking the time and making my research so much easier! One question: did you book most of your accommodation ahead of time? I'm not a huge fan of looking for a place the day of - I'd rather spend time exploring/having fun! I'm hoping those are all affiliate links and I can help you out for all the work you've done!!


Thursday 19th of October 2017

Hey Gillian,

Thank you so much for your kind comment! I'm so happy to hear you find my Sri Lanka posts helpful:-). How long will you be traveling around Sri Lanka?

About your question, we booked one city/place ahead. I hadn't planned out our itinerary so that worked best for us. However, if you already know your itinerary you can easily book your accommodation before your trip so you don't have to worry or spend time on finding a place to stay during your time in Sri Lanka.

Haha yes they are affiliate links and your support is very much appreciated!!! Have a wonderful time in Sri Lanka and let me know if you have any other questions.