Where to stay in Sri Lanka

Well, this is quite a late post. But I promise it’ll be useful to you guys. I’ve been meaning to put this information together for over a year now but somehow never got to it. I visited Sri Lanka last year with a couple of my friends and it was an amazing experience. You can read about it all here. If you’re travelling from India, like we did, then keep in mind that Re 1 INR is equal to Re 2 in Sri Lankan Rupees. That literally makes life much simple and easy for us! Budget travelling, for the win.

We went almost during their peak season time, in February, so we booked everything at least four months in advance. The round-trip flight ticket booked during the month of November, cost Rs 9,000 INR (which is cheaper than a round-trip to Delhi or Jaipur). There’s visa on arrival and that costs about $15-$20 and contact the Sri Lankan High Commission for details regarding the documents required for the same, as it varies depending on the ties between the nations. We only had to carry our passports and print outs of our return tickets for the visa. It’s a smooth process and ideally doesn’t take more than five minutes.

Now, I’m gonna give you all the information regarding the accommodation we used during our visit there. We went to Colombo, Galle, and Nuwara Eliya. So, here we go.

In Colombo we stayed at a dormitory called Colombo City Hostel as all other options that were available on TripAdvisor were expensive for us. It is located in the heart of the city and is close to the Pettah market and other places of interest you might want to visit. They charge USD 15 per night per bed (exclusive of tax), with complimentary breakfast of bread, eggs, and tea/ coffee, and free Wi-Fi. It’s a clean facility and has lockers for storing your backpacks or trolleys. The showers and toilets are also neatly maintained. During the humid evenings you can hang out at the terrace where drinking and smoking is allowed. The same people also have similar accommodations in Kandy and Dambulla. Check out their website here.

Wall art at Colombo City Hostel | Image subject to copyright.
Wall art at Colombo City Hostel | Image subject to copyright.

The next place we went to was Galle. This is a scenic place with a lot of blue-green beaches where you can scuba-dive, snorkel, and what not. We found a cute little place called Galle Center Home on booking.com. Excluding tax, this place charges USD 30 per night for a triple-bed room with free Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, this stay does not come with a complimentary meal and you will have to fend for yourself. However, it’s a walk-able distance from the Galle fort which has many cafes and restaurants, and very close to the local fruit market with friendly shopkeepers where fruits are available for nominal prices. Check out their Booking listing here.

Nuwara Eliya is a beautiful hill station with tea estates everywhere. It also has a quaint little downtown with a colonial-influenced post office where you can get postcards for a steal! We booked our stay here as well on booking.com, and it happened to be warm home-stay. Located somewhere on top of the hill is New Sun Shine Holiday Bungalow where you’d rather wish the sun shone a tad more than it does. It cost us USD 22 per day for a triple-bed room with an attached bath, an extra USD 2 for Wi-Fi (which did not work due to some issues, and the manager did not take money from us), and extra USD 2.5 per meal for the food. The bedding and the quilts were clean, and the manager ensured we were comfortable. The food deserves a special mention! As it was home cooked, it was the most delicious and authentic Sri Lankan food we had during our trip. Make sure to ask for rice and curry for lunch, and coconut roti with tea for breakfast. Check out their website here.

Rice and curry dinner at New Sun Shine Bungalow in Nuwara Eliya | Image subject to copyright
Rice and curry dinner at New Sun Shine Bungalow in Nuwara Eliya | Image subject to copyright

Our trip ended with these three places. Hoping for more travel in the coming months. Will post other experiences here. So, watch this space for more.

Cheers.