Jul 08

Budget-friendly Colombo

by in Asia, Sri Lanka

Colombo is a favorite city among budget-travelers as it is a very cheap city. In fact, some travelers have claimed that it is actually cheaper than India. The city is aptly called the ‘paradise for budget travelers’. There are many areas in which you can save a lot of money while visiting Colombo. Some of these are:

1) cost of food
2) cost of transportation
3) save on accommodation
4) save on shopping
5) fees in tourist attractions

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Image: CAPRA initiative via Flickr

When you consider the living standards on a daily basis, it is possible to tour Colombo on a budget. But this also means that you need to stay away from the national parks and the more expensive tourists attractions. There are many ways to save money in Colombo and we will focus on that.

1) Cost of food in Colombo

Food is the main area where you will save a lot of money if you are planning to stay in Colombo on a budget. The food in this nation is very, very cheap. Vegetarian meals are very cheap and you can easily afford seafood and fish. However, chicken is a bit pricier here. You can get vegetable curry and rice for less than a dollar and if you are willing to spend around $2 then you can have a huge meal consisting of paratha, dal and fish curry.

2) Transportation cost in Colombo

Colombo Transit

Image: mgrenner57 via Flickr

There are a few cheap methods of transportation in the city like tuk tuk and bus. The cost of transport is cheaper than any other country bin Asia, at least. But there are certain disadvantages which you must accept in order to travel for less. The buses won’t budge until they are full and they are definitely not the most relaxing mode of transport in Colombo although they are very cheap. A local bus ride will only cost around $0.30 and a ride on the tuk tuk or rickshaw (as it is locally called) will cost you around $3 for a 4 – 5km trip.

3) Save on accommodation

If you are planning to stay in Colombo on a budget then you must try to save on accommodation as much as possible. The guest houses are the best place to stay in the city when you are on a budget. These have fairly large double rooms with shared bathrooms. The charges are usually $10.00 per night for 2 persons. However, if you choose one with better amenities, then be prepared to shell out something like $14 per night. Dorm beds are cheaper as they come at $7.25.

4) Don’t indulge in shopping


Image: CINNAMON VOGUE via Flickr

If you are a big fan of shopping then Colombo will not disappoint you as there are lots of things you can buy and bring it home. Even if you are on a budget you can buy one half of a kg of loose Ceylon tea at just $5.00 or get a bag of spices for $3.00

5) Free or low priced tourist attractions

Your entire trip can be cheap and yet amazing if you know which tourists attractions do not charge high fees. You must avoid going to national parks as they are pretty expensive. You can visit a public library, take a 2 hr tour of Colombo on a rickshaw which will cost around $8.00, go to a Hindu temple to take photos or just take a stroll through the different roads of Colombo to explore the city on your own.

Traveling to Colombo on a budget is not a Herculean task at all if you know correctly where to spend the money and how to save. Colombo is one of the cheapest cities in this part of the world where nobody will rip you off just because you are a foreigner.

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