Backpacking Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka internationally acclaimed tropical holiday destination attracts more than a million tourists a year, since 2009. Sri Lanka provides luxurious holidays for the upmarket holidaymaker, budget holiday packages and cheap backpacking holidays. Sri Lanka is surrounded by endless beaches and you find hundreds of top beach resorts that can be used for holidays at any given time of the year.

Most of the beach resorts such as Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Rekawa beach, Kalutara, and Negombo are providing all facilities needed for local and international travellers. For instance, you can find accommodation in a luxurious boutique hotel and bungalows or cheap homestay accommodation just for 20$ a day.

Homestay accommodations

Homestay accommodations are also as safe as the hotel accommodations and those accommodation providers are registered with the national tourist board of Sri Lanka. Most of the time, these accommodation providers are catering only the room facilities with private amenities. But you may be able to arrange your Sri Lankan foods as well, discuss with them, because I know there are some homestay accommodation providers, who arrange all the facilities such as food, laundry and transport as well. Sri Lanka tourist board provides a list of homestay accommodation providers throughout the island.

The prices for accommodations are varied depending on the room conditions and locations. Accommodation in the areas that popular among the holidaymakers are usually more expensive than other places on the island. Most expensive is the accommodation close to the beaches of Sri Lanka.

Rest houses

There is a well-developed network of rest houses on the island and it is managed by the Ceylon hotels corporation, some of those properties are under the private management now. It is another popular and inexpensive accommodation facilitator in the country. They have properties covering popular holiday destinations in Sri Lanka.

Private rest houses and guest houses are also providing the accommodation facilities and can be found in all parts of the country. Even though there is a large number of rest houses and guest houses in some of the destinations such as Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Bentota and Kataragama, it can be difficult find a room due to the high demand, especially during the festivities. The best way to secure your room is to call them and make an advance payment via a bank transfer.


Unlike earlier, there is a well-developed transport network in Sri Lanka. If you need luxury and need to save time using one of the seaplanes or domestic air services.

If you are on a tight budget, the best option is public transport. But public transport sucks your time and they are always behind the schedule, and you will find it difficult to travel using public transport due to lack of facilities. E.g. if you go for wildlife safari at Yala national park you will not find it difficult to get public transport from Tissamharama to Yala and you have to arrange a taxi with a private driver-guide.

The most evident advantage of public transport is the low cost but it consumes more time than other transport facilities. Buses and trains are available to all parts of the island can be handy for adventure lovers. It also enables you to hang around with average people in the country and get to know their lifestyle.

What to eat

Local restaurants are providing mouth-watering dishes that especially prepared for local people. The local restaurant can be found in cities as well as villagers. Speciality restaurant can be found in major cities such as Colombo, Kandy, and Galle etc.

Locals are like to eat spicy otherwise not palatable to them. They usually eat very spicy or very sweet. Sri Lankan kitchen is spicier than Thai or Indian kitchen. Local restaurants that especially cater to locals are very cheap in price but the menu is usually restricted only to rice and curry.


Sri Lanka is a country, where several languages are spoken. Sinhala and Tamil are the national languages and English is the 3rd most popular language in the country. If you can converse in English, it will be a definite advantage to communicate with the local community and have an enjoyable holiday.


There are some isolated incidents in which, the tourists are injured, beaten and robbed by the gangsters. But it happens not only to foreigners but also to locals. Such incidents are rare and can be avoided with vigilance. Recently the Sri Lanka police have increased the number of policemen that employed in the tourism sector, in order to provide better security for the holidaymakers in the country. Tourist police stations are established in most parts of the country and provide excellent security for travellers on the island.