Anuradhapura has some of the best-value budget accommodation in Sri Lanka, with dozens of excellent family-run guesthouses scattered around the pleasant leafy neighbourhoods southeast of Main St.
Prices given are for direct bookings. Rates for budget places on booking websites can be up to 50% higher; the opposite is true for top-end places. The oversupply of budget accommodation means there's room for bargaining here.
Note that commission-seeking hotel touts sometimes board trains a few stations outside of town and hassle visitors. Three-wheeler drivers can be equally pushy. Many places offer free pick-up from transport terminals.