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Cheap Hotels In Sri Lanka: 12 Great Hotels Under €40 A Night

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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.

During our 1 month trip around Sri Lanka, the price we paid for accommodation varied between €6 and €25 per 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.

Cheap 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, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). I’m very grateful when you use my links to make a purchase:-).

Accommodation 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 several accommodations listed below this wasn’t the case.

Luckily, the helpful locals pointed us in the right direction. I have included directions for many of the places we stayed at as well as I could. But if you’re unable to find a place, just ask for help!

The kind people of Sri Lanka are more than happy to point you in the right direction (or walk with you until you have arrived at your desired 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 the accommodation 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 Booking.com 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 a bit confusing that Agoda includes tax in their price while Booking.com doesn’t. This makes it more difficult to compare.

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

Sri Lanka Pidurangala rock view from the top

The best budget hotels in Sri Lanka

LocationHotel namePrice per nightAgodaBooking
ColomboSiebel Serviced Apartments€16 / $17
EllaElla Alpine Resort€25/$27Click hereClick here
GalleThe One€17/$18Click here 
HaputaleBawa Guesthouse€16/$17
JaffnaHotel Blue Whale€21/$23Click here
KalpitiyaNethu Villa€19/$20
KandyThe Travellers Home€14/$15Click hereClick here
NegomboErandi Holiday Home€7,50/$8Click hereClick here
SigiriyaPathum Homestay€19/$20
TalallaSeaview Resort€16/$17
Udawalawe JunctionEagle Safari Family Bungalow€7,50/$8Click hereClick here
WeligamaNaomi River View Villa€6/$7

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 price per night to help you compare the different options. Use ‘click here’ to see the latest prices on Agoda and Booking and book ahead to get the best deal.

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: important facts and figures

  • I traveled around Sri Lanka with my husband, we spent 26 nights in the country and stayed at 16 different accommodations.
  • Our trip was in February 2017, the exchange rate was approximately 160 Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR) for €1 and 150 LKR for $1.
  • Our average, our accommodation costs were 2500LKR/€16/$17 per night.

1. Negombo, Erandi Holiday Home – 1 night

What we liked

This accommodation is very close to the airport which is why I booked it. The kind owner picked us up from the airport, even though it was the middle of the night! 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 and has a mosquito net. Private bathroom, breakfast was not included.

What we did’t like

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

Check prices and availability on Agoda and Booking (we paid 1200LKR / €7,50 / $8 per night).

2. Colombo, Siebel Serviced Apartment – 2 nights

What we liked

Colombo is a busy and loud city, however, Siebel Apartments is nice and quiet as it is located in one of the suburbs. The room is medium-sized and has a private bathroom. Everything was clean and the owner was very helpful.

What we didn’t like

WiFi was very slow.

How to get to Siebel Serviced Apartment

We took the train from Fort to Kirulapona station. You can find the train schedule from Kirulapona station to Colombo Fort below.

Train schedule Kirulapona station to Colombo Fort

Exit the station and walk to the main road, turn right and walk up the hill. At the T-junction turn left and follow the road until you come to a cluster of small shops and a tiny supermarket.

Turn right just before the shop (where they sell delicious and cheap kottu for 150LKR) onto the small unpaved road. The road curves to the right, Siebel Serviced Apartment is the last house on the right.

Check prices and availability on Agoda and Booking (we paid 2500LKR / €16 / $17 per night).

3. Galle, The One – 2 nights

The One Apartment Galle breakfast

What we liked

The 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 100LKR.

The apartment is very spacious! It has a bedroom, a large living room, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a veranda where we had breakfast (included in the price).

We had a delicious home-cooked Sri Lankan breakfast, with fresh fish the owner got at the market early in the morning. WiFi was good too. We rented a scooter for a day (1200LKR) and explored the area around Galle.

Laundry service available (450LKR per kilo). Altogether a really great place to stay in Galle!

What we didn’t like

Nothing that I can think of!

Check prices and availability on Agoda (we paid 2750LKR / €17 / $18 per night).

4. Welligama, Naomi River View Villa – 3 nights

Naomi River View Villa Weligama Sri Lanka

What we liked

Excellent price-quality, it was the cheapest room we stayed at during our Sri Lanka trip while still very comfortable. Large room, a nice owner who spoke perfect English. WiFi was good, but not very stable.

The view over the river is great (though we couldn’t see it from our room). There is a nice place for lunch/dinner across the street called Proud Resort (on the main road between Weligama and Mirissa).

What we didn’t like

Shared bathroom (which was reasonably clean).

How to get to Naomi River View Villa

It took us ages to find this place! The location on Booking is incorrect and the name of the property is also different than on Booking. On Booking the accommodation is called River View Villa, the actual name is Naomi River View Villa.

A small difference but it made it quite hard to find the place. A very kind Sri Lankan local walked with us for more than 1 km to make sure we would find it.

Once you know where it is, it’s actually very easy to find this place. You can take a bus from Weligama city center (10LKR per person) and get out at Proud Resort.

Take the small road opposite Proud Resort which crossed the railway and curves to the right after a couple of hundred meters. Follow this road and take the first road on the left. Naomi River View Villa is signposted, it’s at the end of the road on the right.

Check prices and availability on Agoda and Booking (we paid 1000LKR / €6 / $7 per night).

5. Talalla, Seaview Resort – 1 night

Talalla beach Sea View Resort Sri Lanka

What we liked

We hadn’t booked anything before coming to Talalla because everything online was fairly expensive (€25+). When we stepped off the bus we were welcomed by a man asking if we already had a place. No, as a matter of fact, we didn’t. He subsequently led us to his home-stay and showed us the room.

The room looked nice and the price was good, so we decided to stay. The room was a bit small, but the adjacent (shared) balcony was very large. It was a great place to sit, read, relax, and do a bit of blogging.

When we wanted to do some swimming we didn’t have to go far, It’s was only a 50-meter walk to beautiful Talalla beach!

WiFi was good but the owners did turn it off every now and then (I don’t know why and I asked for it to be turned on again several times).

Breakfast was included (fresh bread, omelet, jam, and tea) and the vegetarian dinner was 650LKR per person. Delicious vegetable curries, crispy papadum and a special kind of rice.

What we didn’t like

No hot water in the shower (but with the hot weather in Sri Lanka it wasn’t really an issue).

How to get to the Seaview Resort

It’s very easy! Just get off the bus at Wajirawansa Maawatha bus stop (see Google Maps), cross the street and walk towards the beach. You’ll see Seaview resort on your left after about 300 meters.

Check prices and availability on Agoda and Booking (we paid 2500LKR / €16 / $17 per night).

6. Udawalawe Junction, Eagle Safari Family Bungalow – 1 night

A to Z Family Guest Udawalawe Sri Lanka

What we liked

Our only reason to spend a night in Udawalawe Junction was to visit Udawalawe National Park the next morning. There is nothing to do in the village itself so 1 night is enough.

That being said, Eagle Safari Family Bungalow was a nice surprise! Our room was clean and spacious and we got 2 queen-sized beds.

WiFi was fast and overall our stay was excellent value for money. We booked a 4-hour safari via the guesthouse and paid 4500LKR per person.

What we didn’t like

There was one thing that annoyed me a bit: the owner 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. Sure enough, the next morning there were 5 people in the jeep…

Don’t get me wrong, we had a great safari! 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.

How to get to Eagle Safari Family Bungalow

Get off the bus at the clock tower at Udawalawe Junction, there is a little alley just behind the tower. Keep walking until you see the sign (the property is on the left).

Check prices and availability on Agoda and Booking (we paid 1200LKR / €7,50 / $8 per night).

7. Ella, Ella Alpine Resort – 3 nights

What we liked

This accommodation is brand new, has big rooms and a stunning view from the rooms and the terrace! There are tea facilities, toiletries were provided and breakfast was included (toast, omelet, fresh fruit juice, fresh fruit, and tea).

The towels were very fluffy and there was even a bathtub! We didn’t use it but we did use the shower (hot water!). WiFi was fast and stable.

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

What we didn’t like

It’s a little out of town, a 1,5 kilometers walk on Waterfall Road.

How to get to Ella Alpine Resort

Just before the Curd Shop turn left (a very steep road), walk up to Zion View, continue to Ella Eco Lodge, and the railway tracks, and follow the numbered guesthouses. It’s across number 6 (steep steps down).

Check prices and availability on Agoda and Booking (we paid 4000LKR / €25 / $27 per night).

8. Haputale, Bawa Guesthouse – 2 nights

Bawa Guesthouse Sri Lanka Haputale view from balcony

What we liked

Farwin, the owner, is a lovely host! He made us tea upon arrival and gave us a nice room with an amazing view. The second night we asked for extra blankets, it gets quite cold at night in Haputale!

Breakfast was included and the delicious vegetarian dinner was 500LKR per person (different kinds of vegetable curry, papadum, rice, tomato, and cucumber, as much as you like). Very good value!

What we didn’t liked

The beds are not very soft (but I’ve slept in worse).

How to get to Bawa Guesthouse

It’s not far from the railway station but it’s not so easy to find. Walk from the railway station to the main road and turn right (left is to the village), walk about 1km.

Just before the big Olympus Plaza Hotel, there is a small shop selling water and snacks, after that shop, there is a tiny dirt track going down the hill. Take that road, turn right and walk down and that’s where you’ll find Bawa Guesthouse.

Check prices and availability on Agoda and Booking (we paid 2500LKR / €16 / $17 per night).

Dambatenne Tea Factory in Haputale, Sri Lanka

9. Nuwara Eliya, The Cottage – 1 night

What we liked

The host is a chef and cooked us a delicious dinner. There were other travelers staying there as well and we had a great evening together. The bed was comfortable and the blankets were warm (essential in Nuwara Eliya).

What we didn’t like

First of all, as with several of our accommodations in Sri Lanka, the location did not correspond at all with the map on Booking making it very difficult to find. We asked several locals how to get there and after a lot of walking managed to find the place.

When we arrived, there was no power (due to the heavy rain the previous days) and WiFi was not available during our stay (the cable was broken and wouldn’t be repaired until after the weekend). However, our host kindly used his phone as a hotspot so we could go online to research how to get to our next destination.

The shower did not smell clean. Let me rephrase that: it smelled terrible. Plus, we could not shower because the shower head was missing and there was only a hose.

Overall this was probably my least favorite place in Sri Lanka (well, it’s a tie with Hanoi Palace and Park View, see below). I wouldn’t stay here again, which is why I am not providing links and directions.

10. Kandy, The Travellers Home – 2 nights

Travellers home Kandy Sri Lanka homestay

What we liked

Manik and Mahesh are great hosts and their children very cute! They greeted us every time we went out or came back to the house. The room is new and spotlessly clean (as is the shared bathroom). Mosquito net, blankets, towels, shampoo are all provided. WiFi was good too!

Manik did our laundry (40LKR for underwear and socks, 60LKR for shirts and trousers) and was always helpful when we had questions. Altogether a nice place to stay!

What we didn’t like

The home-stay is 5 kilometers from the center of Kandy. We didn’t feel this was an issue but it is something to take into account when booking.

Also, the road in front of the house is quite busy so we woke up relatively early because of the buses and trucks.

How to get to The Travellers Home

Take bus 602 to Kurunegala (12LKR per person), get off at Katugastota (directly after the bridge). Take the first street on the left and walk along this road until you see a Highlands Supermarket on the lefthand side.

There is a road leading up to the house just after the shop. Open the big iron gate and there you are!

There is also a bus to Hallolula (I think 651) that passes the house but that one doesn’t run very often.

Check prices and availability on Agoda and Booking (we paid 2250LKR / €14 / $15 per night).

11. Sigiriya, Pathum Homestay – 2 nights

Pathum homestay Sigiriya Sri Lanka

What we liked

Great location as this homestay is within walking distance of the entrance to Lion Rock and Pidurangala rock. The room and private bathroom were very clean. Easy to find (just 100 meters from the main road) and close to several restaurants.

The complimentary breakfast was really tasty, on the first morning we had milk rice and fruit and the second morning delicious pancakes with coconut and honey. A large mosquito net protected us from the many mosquitoes in Sigiriya. Great WiFi and very nice hosts. Comfortable bed and large room.

What we didn’t like

Nothing!

Check prices and availability on Agoda and Booking (we paid 3000LKR / €19 / $20 per night).

View over Lion Rock Sigiriya from Pidurangala Rock

12. Anuradhapura, Hanoi Palace – 1 night

What we didn’t like (there really wasn’t anything I liked here apart from the friendly staff)

This hotel could be so much more than it is right now. It’s just a bit… neglected. The staff is nice but the entire hotel is dusty and slowly crumbling apart.

Our room was so hot when we entered! We had a fan but that didn’t help. We kept the door to the balcony and to the hallway open for hours in a desperate attempt to get the room to a manageable temperature. WiFi only worked in the hotel restaurant (which serves good omelets).

Also, it’s 2km from town and it’s not easy to get a bus to stop. We walked to Jaffna Junction and whenever there were locals also waiting for the bus we could get on but if we were alone the buses didn’t stop. I have to say that was a first in Sri Lanka, everywhere else the buses always stopped to pick us up.

Altogether not recommended, so no links and directions provided. After all, I would never recomend a place where I wouldn’t opt to stay again myself.

13. Jaffna, Hotel Blue Whale – 1 night

Hotel Blue Whale Jaffna Sri Lanka

What we liked

After our night at Park View, we moved to Blue Whale. The room was clean, the bathroom a little less (it also did not smell so nice). There was air-conditioning and also a fan in the room. We stored our bags here during the day which was very convenient too.

What I didn’t like

Many of the staff members don’t speak English, which can be a bit inconvenient. WiFi didn’t work (well, there is a network but it was too slow to use).

How to get to Hotel Blue Whale

The hotel is easily reached by walking along the railway tracks for about 500 meters (in the direction of Anuradhapura). It’s on the right, next to the tracks.

Check prices and availability on Agoda and Booking (we paid 3400LKR / €21 / $23 per night).

14. Kalpitiya, Nethu Villa – 3 nights

Nethu Villa Kalpitiya Sri Lanka

What we liked

Nethu Villa is a quiet place, with very kind and welcoming hosts. Excellent mosquito net, good bed, and awesome bathroom (semi-outside). Breakfast was plentiful, delicious, and different every day.

Laundry service (500LKR per machine load) and scooter rental (1000LKR per day) available. You’ll need the scooter as the accommodation is not in Kalpitiya but in the tiny town Kandakuli.

What we didn’t like

Room 2 and 3 have a wall between them that doesn’t quite reach the roof, so you can hear everything your neighbors say. Not a problem if you have nice neighbors, but I suggest going for bungalow 1 if you have the option as this is a separate bungalow and gives you more privacy.

How to get to Nethu Villa

We took a bus from Puttalam to Kalpitiya, got out at Kandakuli junction, and took a tuk-tuk to Nethu villa (300LKR).

Check prices and availability on Agoda and Booking (we paid 3000LKR /€19 / $20 per night).

Budget accommodation in Sri Lanka: in conclusion

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 and ask you:

Where are you from? How long have you been in Sri Lanka? Where in Sri Lanka did you come from and where are you going next?

For me, the hospitality of the Sri Lankan people really contributed to our travels around the country.

If you’ve got any questions about this post, leave a comment below or send me a message. I’m happy to help!

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 July 2020.

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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.

Lotte

Thursday 4th of July 2019

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

Mark

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

Lotte

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

Lotte

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

Ella

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

Lotte

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

Gillian

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!!

Lotte

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.

Lotte