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Money and costs

Rupees (₨)
Exchange Rates
Rates provided by Open Exchange Rates. Last updated September 26, 2016 10:35AM UTC
Daily Costs
Budget (up to)
  • Simple guesthouse: Rs 1500–4000
  • Local rice and curry: Rs 150–400
  • Bus fares: under Rs 300 per day
  • Double room in a nice place: Rs 4500–12,000
  • Meals at hotel/restaurant: Rs 1500–2500
  • Hire bikes, ride trains and use a car and driver some days: average per day Rs 2500
Top end (more than)
  • Top-end hotel: Rs 12,000 and up
  • Meals at top-end places: from Rs 3000
  • Daily use of car and driver: from Rs 5500

The Sri Lankan currency is the rupee (Rs), divided into 100 cents; pricing in cents is rare. Rupee coins come in denominations of one, two, five and 10 rupees. Notes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000 rupees.


Although a 10% service charge is added to food and accommodation bills, this usually goes straight to the owner rather than the worker.

  • Restaurants & Bars Up to 10% in cash to servers beyond the 'service charge'

  • Drivers 10% of total fee

  • Room cleaners Up to Rs 100 per day

  • Bag carriers/porters Rs 50 per bag

  • Shoe minders at temples Rs 20

  • Guides Varies greatly; agree to a fee in parks and religious sites before you set out