How Much Does It Cost to Live In Sri Lanka?

What attract so many people to Sri Lanka are not only diverse landscapes such as rainforest, highlands and sandy beaches, but also a very affordable standard of living.

Even though it used to be, over recent years Sri Lanka is no longer the bargain.

It cannot be exactly estimated how much you are going spend there as that amount depends entirely on you and your lifestyle.

When you are thinking about the costs here, another thing to bear in mind is that many of them are tourist prices.

Cost of Living Index:

Sri Lanka : Cost of Living by City



If you drink cheap drinks and eat meals in budget cafés and inexpensive restaurants, you will consider Sri Lanka so cheap and affordable.

Otherwise, visiting expensive restaurants might make a huge hole in your budget.



Food is not so expensive here, especially if you are earning your wages in your home country.

If your salary is the minimum one here, everything would be expensive.

Controlled prices are imposed on eight essential food items and some of them are rice, onions and canned fish.



Sri Lanka has an extensive road network for transportation and the buses are very efficient and the best way of commuting.

The monthly pass is more than a bargain, and it costs only $5.

The price of gasoline is also low, so people fond of driving can afford it.



As the monthly salaries are so low, the prices of utilities have to be based on them, so services are not quite pricey here.

Paying less than $50 for all the bills, with the Internet access included is impossible in the majority of countries around the world.

Sports and leisure


As a foreigner, you might think that fitness clubs and tennis court rents are inexpensive.

However, bearing in mind the fact that the average salary here is $200, locals would not think so.

Cinema lovers would pay $3.50 for the latest movie.

Clothing and shoes


Even though designer clothing items are cheap here, very little money is spent on them.

The locals do not have much money left after all the bills are paid, so they do not devote much to clothes.

That is why tourists would consider Sri Lanka a paradise for shopping.

Rent per month


Besides the fact that average monthly salaries are low, the rent prices are not so inexpensive in Sri Lanka.

Quite contrary, those who earn the minimum would not be able to afford paying it, while those with the average salaries would need to give the whole salary for just the rent.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Sri Lanka

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $1.45
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $1.96
Water (0.33 Liter) $0.29
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $4.17
Loaf Bread (500g) $0.36
Eggs (12) $1.14
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $0.11
Monthly Pass $5.61
Gasoline $3
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $39.46
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.01
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $14.42
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $16.12
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $5.71
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $3.50
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $27.18
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $19.04
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $46.35
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $238.34
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $112.75
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $567.35

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Sri Lanka?

If you are on a budget, you will need to think about all the possible costs once moving here.

Sri Lanka can be inexpensive, if you are not interested in leading luxurious lives, keep using local public transport for commuting and eat out from time to time in cheap restaurants.

Renting an apartment will raise your costs up considerably, but not as much as food which is essential.

Try leading the life of Sri Lanka’s citizens and you will be able to survive the month without many difficulties.


Sri Lanka: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Based on the provided data, it can be said that living conditions for locals in Sri Lanka are not so great.

If you are supposed to earn the salary there, bear in mind the fact that you will need to have salary higher than average to provide for basic necessities here.

Your work should provide an adequate income to cover the essential living costs of you and your family, and since you will need to pay the rent, the income needs to be quite high.

Average Salary$247.27
Minimum Wage$52.2
Mortgage Interest Rate14.48%

Cost of Living by City in Sri Lanka

City Cost of Living Index
Colombo 36

2 Reviews on Sri Lanka

  1. L
    Lin Watson says:

    Please clarify for me: ave. Salary is $247.27 is what? Weekly, monthly? Minimum wage: $52.2/what? Also what are you using Sri Lanka or US currency in your entire article?

  2. S
    Saranga says:

    Around 35,000 lkr monthly

Rated 3 / 5 based on 2 user reviews.

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