Sri Lanka For Digital Nomads: Ultimate Nomad Guide

Sri Lanka is nothing short of a tropical paradise on earth. Surrounded by white sandy beaches on the coast, dense rain forests, and breathtaking mountains, this country has an abundance of stunning landscapes.

This South Asian island has become a digital nomad hotspot over the years, standing right next to Bali and Chiang Mai. Keep reading this article and find out what it’s like to live in Sri Lanka as a digital nomad.

Where is Sri Lanka located?

Sri Lanka is a beautiful island nation situated in South Asia. Located in the Indian Ocean, the island is distinguished from the Indian subcontinent by the Palk Strait. Sri Lanka is southeast of the Arabian Sea and southwest of the Bay of Bengal.

Fact: Did you know that Sri Lanka was previously named “Ceylon”?

Why Choose Sri Lanka as a Digital Nomad? Pros and Cons

Much like any other place this coastal country also has its fair share of pros and cons. While some may find it a perfect place, others may face difficulty getting over the cons. Let’s delve into each and see if Sri Lanka is the right place for you.

Pros Cons 
Stunning landscapes Power outages 
East access to public transport Congested roads
Low cost of living Limited food options 
Safe Unclean tap water
Welcoming locals 

Despite having some flaws, we like to believe that Sri Lanka makes up for it by offering other benefits. For instance, the long visa certainly attracts more nomads to come and settle here. Other than that, the warm and sunny weather all year round invites people to come and enjoy the tropical atmosphere. 

If the natural beauty and beautiful beaches aren’t enough to compel you then the low cost of living will certainly work in your favor. All in all, Sri Lanka has a lot to offer to those who are willing to look past its flaws.

How to Get to Sri Lanka?

You can get to Sri Lanka by air or sea. Unfortunately, the country isn’t connected to any nearby states which means that road travel isn’t an option.

By air 

Primarily, the best way of getting to Sri Lanka is via air travel. The country has one international airport i.e. the Bandaranaike International Airport. You can take direct flights or connecting flights to land in the country’s capital, Colombo and travel from there. The airport caters to direct flights from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. 

By sea

You can also get to Sri Lanka by sea. People in India can take the common ferry ride to enter the island while international travellers can take a cruise. While the method isn’t necessarily direct, the cruise is likely to make a stop in Sri Lanka. Make sure to check this before booking.

How to Get Around in Sri Lanka?

Once you have entered the country,  here’s how you can get around.


Taxis are a common form of transport in Sri Lanka as they are easily available. You can find them at taxi stands and main streets. However, they may cost you a little bit more in the long term. Uber is also an option but it only works properly in the country’s capital city, Colombo.


Tuk tuks are three-wheeled vehicles that are very common in Sri Lanka. If you are feeling a little adventurous then this is a great option. On the bright side, you’ll save money because they charge less than taxis.


If you are on a tight budget then consider moving around via buses. Sri Lanka has a well-developed and reliable bus network that connects the entire country. You can save a lot of money and enjoy convenient transport simultaneously.


Travelling by train is also a viable option in Sri Lanka. The train network connects all the major cities such as Colombo, Kandy, Jaffna, and Trincomalee. A 4-hour long ride from Colombo to the south coast of Sri Lanka is estimated to cost somewhere around $1.

4 Best Accommodation Options in Sri Lanka

When it comes to accommodation in Sri Lanka, there are a bunch of options. It has major cities as well as small towns. Firstly, you’ll need to choose a good city, then a good neighbourhood, and finally a good residence. 


Sri Lanka’s commercial capital is a good place for those digital nomads who prefer a big city scene and a bustling atmosphere. Located on the west coast, Colombo is home to various bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and stores. The abundance of coworking spaces here also makes it a good option for remote workers. While Colombo isn’t the most beautiful city in Sri Lanka, it is certainly cheap and amenable.

As for specific neighbourhoods in Colombo, these are our top suggestions.

  1. Kollupitiya 
  2. Cinnamon gardens
  3. Bambalapitiya


Located in the south of Sri Lanka, Weligama is one of the largest cities in Sri Lanka. This city is the perfect combination of big-city life and small-town feeling. If you are someone who can’t decide between the two, weligama is the best option for you! The variety of cafes, bars, and shops here are guaranteed to keep you entertained. As it turns out, it’s also an ideal spot to learn how to swim.

As for specific neighbourhoods in Colombo, Weligama doesn’t seem to have names for such areas. These are our top suggestions.

  1. Near the city centre
  2. Near the main surfing beach
  3. Mirissa 


Another good option is Hirikitiya. This crescent-shaped bay is located on the central coast of south Sri Lanka. The lazy atmosphere creates a cosy and chilled atmosphere that is bound to attract several tourists and nomads. Things like the regular live music and events will keep you entertained while the small-town vibe will help you feel right at home. 

As for specific neighbourhoods in Colombo, these are our top suggestions.

  1. Along the main Hiriketiya bay
  2. Dikwella
  3. Nilwella 

Arugam bay 

If you are a huge surfing fan then this beach town is the best option for you. Arugam Bay is known as one of the most famous surfing destinations in all of Asia. Living here means getting to enjoy stunning landscapes and beautiful surroundings. Bonuses include the abundance of bars and cafes as well as the small yet friendly digital nomad community.

To find the best accommodation, consider looking at and You can also find good residences by looking at Airbnb, joining Facebook groups, and simply walking around town.

Internet connectivity in Sri Lanka

Internet connection is one of the most important things for a remote worker. Sri Lanka has a good connection overall but it’s not always so reliable. The internet speed will vary based on your location which is why we suggest you get a local SIM card upon your arrival. 

Dialog is one of the most common providers in the country and they offer budget-friendly data packages. You can pick up a SIM card at the airport or other stores to ensure a seamless flow of work.

Apart from that, coworking spaces and cafes have strong wifi connections as well.

E Sim

If you want to make things simpler then consider opting for an e-SIM and avoid the hassle of a physical card. Compare these packages before choosing your provider.


Data allowanceValidity Price 
Unlimited 5 days 19$ (17.50€) 
Unlimited7 days27$ (24.87€) 
Unlimited10 days 34$ (31.32€) 
Unlimited15 days47$ (43.30€) 
Unlimited20 days 57$ (52.51€) 
Unlimited30 days 69$ (63.57€) 


Data allowance Validity Price 
1 GB7 days 4.50$ (4.14€)
2 GB15 days 7.00$ (6.44€)
3 GB30 days 9.00$ (8.27€)
5GB 30 days 13.00$ (11.95€)
10 GB30 days 21.00$ (19.31€)

4 Best Places to Work in Sri Lanka

As a remote worker, you’d be happy to learn that there are a lot of places to work from. Based on the city you choose, you can find various coworking spaces with comfortable seating and high-speed internet. 

Verse collective 

Verse Collective is one of the best coworking spaces in Sri Lanka. This minimal and modern place, located in Hiriketiya is a two-in-one coworking and coliving space. They have dorm rooms, private rooms, a restaurant, a bar, and even a tattoo studio within the premises. 

Hangtime hostel 

Hangtime Hostel is another one of coworking and coliving establishments, located in Weligama. The good news is that you can live across from the beach, work at their rooftop cafe, or use their allocated working area. Hangtime Hostel is a great place for digital nomads and it offers private rooms, yoga classes, and even a boutique.

Hari Hari House co-working

Located in the centre of Ahangama, Hari Hari is a relaxing co-working space that overlooks the ocean. They have desk spaces, a rooftop bar, a cafe, and a surf shop within the premises. You can enjoy their live music during a hectic workday and enjoy the ocean views. 

Nomads coworking space 

Located in Arugam Bay, this place is one of the only designated coworking spaces in the area. This is a popular spot that offers desks, coffee, and a productive working environment. You can even work in the outdoor garden area on a pleasant day.

Cost of Living in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is known and popular for its affordable cost of living. Here is a rough breakdown of general prices there.

Average meal3$(2.76€)
Domestic beer2.08$(1.91€)
Coffee 2.34$(2.15€)
Taxi (1 mile)0.54$(0.50€)
Gasoline (1 gallon)4.98$(4.58€)
Basic utilities 44.41$(40.83€)
1-bedroom apartment (in the city centre)217.39$(199.87€)
1-bedroom apartment (outside the city centre)123.06(113.14€)

The cost of living ultimately depends on your preferences and spending patterns but if you follow an average digital nomad lifestyle then you’ll find these estimations to be accurate. An individual can expect to spend around 1000$ per month for a mid-range lifestyle in Sri Lanka. 

These costs may vary based on currency fluctuations. 

Culture, Nature, and Food in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is close to the Indian subcontinent, both in terms of geography and history. Hinduism and Buddhism are the two main ethnicities found here and the local culture is derived from their traditions. Sri Lanka is a multicultural country whose diversity is depicted by its art, literature, music, and architecture. 

As for nature, this tropical island is surrounded by lush forests and palm trees. The white sandy beaches and stunning landscapes add to the intrigue of the country. Sri Lanka is also a haven for wildlife lovers as it houses various species.

Unfortunately, the food variety here is limited at best. However, Sri Lanka has some of the richest herbs and spices in the world. The local cuisines and delicious street food are some of the best things about this country.  

Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, being close to the equator, has humid weather. While the coast is likely to be warmer, mountainous regions experience a cooler climate. The island has good and sunny weather all year long but the best time to visit is between December and mid-April. This is the peak time when one of the two monsoon seasons hits the country and the “rainy season” begins. For those of you who wish to avoid the rain, consider visiting between November and April.

If you plan to visit during the summer months (May to September) then be prepared to deal with inflated prices and huge crowds as it is the peak tourist season countrywide.

12 Best Things to Do in Sri Lanka

One of the best parts about Sri Lanka is the fact that there is a ton to do! You can participate in various activities but here are the 12 best things. 

1. Little Adam’s peak 

Unlike the world-famous Adam’s Peak which requires a tedious hike, little Adam is an easily climbable target. When in Sri Lanka, make sure to wake up before sunrise and participate in the 1-hour hike to see the sunrise from the top. The stunning view will be worth the early morning climb! 

2. Visit the Bundala National Park

Located in the south of the country, Bundala National Park houses over 200 species of unique birds. This place is perfect for bird watching. If you want to make the best out of the experience then make sure to join the guided tours. They tend to start early at 6 am and each lasts for 3-4 hours. 

In addition to the birds, you’ll be able to spot other wildlife such as crocodiles and elephants as well. 

3. Visit the Hapu Tale mountains

Camping at the Haputale Mountains is a must-do during your time in Sri Lanka. Surrounded by tea plantations, these breathtaking mountains are the epitome of natural beauty. You can visit this family-run campsite and camp in the mountains during the night. 

4. Enjoy a city tour 

Sri Lanka is a country that has a lot to offer. If you happen to find yourself in a mesmerising city, take advantage of the situation and explore it properly! We recommend you take one of the many guided tours and learn more about your desired city. 

5. Go to a massage parlour 

If you are tired of all the working and exploring then take a day off and indulge in a massage! Colombo has some of the best spas in Sri Lanka with trained professionals. If the message isn’t enough to soothe you, the zen atmosphere and peaceful Surroundings will do the job. 

6. Visit the Gangarama temple

Sri Lanka has a lot of religiously significant temples and Gangarama is one of them. Make sure to visit this temple and admire the remarkable architecture. The delicate brass work, Buddhist art, and stone carvings are guaranteed to capture your attention as well. The Gangarama temple also has a museum and a residential hall. 

7. Go shopping! 

While this may sound like a mundane activity, it’s worth it. Cities like Colombo house some of the best malls and shopping malls in the entire country. You can get everything from designer clothing to jewellery and other accessories. Once you have browsed the malls, make sure to visit the local markets and stock up on souvenirs. You would be amazed by the affordable rates and good quality of the items. 

8. Visit the leisure world 

If you want to have a fun-filled day in the summer heat, consider going to the leisure world. This place is Sri Lanka’s very first water amusement park and it promises an unforgettable experience. You’ll find everything from thrilling rides to log flumes. Don’t forget to try out their world-famous roller coaster! The best part about this park is that there are kid-friendly rides as well. 

9. Visit the Colombo National Museum 

The Colombo National Museum is a heaven on earth for art lovers. This beautifully constructed museum is home to various ancient paintings. Other than that, it also displays sketches and sculptures that date back to the 4th century. When in Sri Lanka, be sure to visit this sanctuary and take in the art! 

10. Visit the Yala National Park

Whether you are a wildlife lover or not, this park is a must-visit location during your time in Sri Lanka. Yala National Park is home to various species including but not limited to magnificent elephants. During your visit, you are bound to spot them bathing in streams or going about their day. This park promises a refreshing and tranquil atmosphere that is sure to connect you with nature. 

You can also camp there and enjoy stargazing during night time. 

11. Visit the temple of tooth 

If you are somewhat interested in history then make sure to visit this interesting landmark. Located at Kandy, the temple of Tooth has great historical value. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. 

12. Visit the Galle Fort

Lastly, one of the best things to do in Sri Lanka is visit the Galle Fort and take in the history of that place. The arched windows and ornate verandahs perfectly depict the Dutch influence. Furthermore, this fort is an archaeological and heritage monument that is worthy of a visit. 

Is Sri Lanka Safe?

Yes, Sri Lanka is considered a very safe place. Tourist crime is extremely rare and the overall crime rate is also low. Some might argue that Sri Lanka is relatively safer than several other digital nomad hotspots. 

However, petty crimes are not unheard of so make sure to remain cautious at all times. We recommend foreigners stay on their guard, remain vigilant while travelling, and keep an eye on their belongings. 

Sri Lanka is a safe place for women and minorities but it’s better to take precautions. Most importantly, try to avoid the dangerous bus drivers in the country who are known for their aggressive driving.

Visa Requirements in Sri Lanka

Even though the Sri Lankan government doesn’t offer a digital nomad visa right now, they offer several alternatives such as tourist visas that are just as suitable. Digital nomads and remote workers can apply for a 180-day tourist e-visa online and enter the country easily. The ETA (electronic travel authorization) visa costs around 36$ (33.10€)

and remains valid for 30 days. After that, it can be renewed for up to 180 days. This visa is a viable option for several nationalities including but not limited to the citizens of the U.S. and Canada.

It is best to contact an embassy for proper details but some of the visa requirements include:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Financial document
  3. Proof of payment
  4. Return ticket 


Sri Lanka is gradually becoming one of the best destinations for digital nomads all over the world. This island offers everything from friendly Sri Lankans and good food to breathtaking landscapes and good weather. If you want to escape the everyday dullness and delve into a tropical paradise then Sri Lanka is the perfect place for you.

The abundance of coworking spaces, low cost of living, and moderate internet make it a good option for remote workers. If you are planning on settling here then make sure to remember the necessary information we discussed above.

If you have any further queries, feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help.

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