Cost of Living in Colombo, Sri Lanka

If you have traveled the world and do not want to continue exploring, as you have discovered Colombo, Sri Lanka, you are not making a mistake deciding to settle there.

You will feel so relaxing and comfortable, enjoying the climate, nature and beauties of this city in every way.

Colombo has many advantages as around the city there are beautiful beaches and it is full of friendly people.

However, you should be aware that these days the cost of living is much higher than it used to be.



When we take a look at the price of the meal which is around $1.50 per person, we can say that Colombo is a bargain.

But, when this is compared to the lowest salaries of $50 per month, restaurants are inexpensive only for tourists coming there.



Food is more expensive here than the national average prices, as it is the capital city.

If you are a savvy person and want to purchase groceries at lower prices make sure you ask around and get proper recommendations, as stores have different prices and some of them are quite higher as they are for tourists.



Bus fares are quite reasonable in Colombo and using the public transport system is advisable and suggested to newcomers, as it would not be easy to get around the city by car due to the fact that you are not familiar with it.

Transportation does not take much money.



If you are looking to save money on your budget in Colombo, utilities will come to your rescue, as the price of all of the services, such as water, power, garbage and heating/cooling does not exceed $40, which does not even reach the price of the Internet access only in some American and Canadian countries.

Sports and leisure


Renting a tennis court for $6 would be considered impossible in some other cities.

However, sports people would be satisfied to find out that leisure activities are not expensive here.

It is good to know that you can watch a latest movie in the cinema for just $3.60.

Clothing and shoes


Colombo, as the whole country, is a place crowded with tourists who find it a paradise for purchasing clothes due to the low prices of designer apparel.

For the majority of locals who do not earn above the average salaries, buying branded clothing items is not the main expense, as their incomes do not allow them such a luxurious life.

Rent per month


When choosing a place to live, you should remember that the rent in the suburbs is approximately $100 lower and that is the way foreigners usually choose to live in Colombo.

The renting costs would go up if you wish to live near the city center.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Colombo

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $1.68
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $1.93
Water (0.33 Liter) $0.28
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $4.45
Loaf Bread (500g) $0.40
Eggs (12) $1.12
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $0.11
Monthly Pass $5.61
Gasoline $3.04
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $39.93
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.01
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $14.47
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $17.45
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $6.05
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $3.65
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $28.60
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $19.86
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $51.89
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $275.59
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $134.03
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $666.13

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Colombo?

The amount of money you earn each month would determine whether you will be able to live comfortably here.

The rent is not the greatest expense, while food is and it takes more than 40% of the monthly salary.

That is why it is advised to purchase foodstuff at discounts and at local markets.

The least money is devoted to utilities, leisure and clothing, as the salaries are so low, that those spendings are avoided as they are not the necessary ones.

Utilities (Monthly)
Sports & Leisure
Clothing & Shoes
Rent Per Month

Colombo: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

The average Sir Lankans local income is very low compared to the expenses and it is difficult to provide for all the basic living necessities here.

If you are making an agreement with your employer here, make sure to ask for a salary that would be satisfactory so that you can provide for yourself and your family here.

If you are one of the wise guys who are able to balance the budget, you will lead a decent life in Colombo.

Otherwise, luxurious lifestyle would not be possible with the average salary.

Average Salary$257.77
Minimum Wage$52.2
Mortgage Interest Rate14.70%

Cost of Living by City in Sri Lanka

*Click the name of the city for more information.

City Cost of Living Index
Colombo 36

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