Is Sigiriya worth the 30 USD? Why is it so expensive?

The ticket costs 30USD – Is it worth it?

Sigiriya costs 30 US Dollar entrance fee. If this would be nearly an expected ticket price for main sights in Europe, it seems pretty expensive for Sri Lanka. Especially in comparison with the local prices for food and accommodation. Therefore many travelers think about skipping Sigiriya or doing Pidurangala instead. But think about it twice. While there are many ruins all over the world and some of them are quite interchangeable, Sigiriya is unique in this world.

So it’s not a questions of whether it’s worth 30USD or not, it’s a question whether it’s worth being seen or not. In my opinion and the one of many guests and travelers it definitely is. And you might only be in Sri Lanka once, means there might never be a second chance. And honestly so many of our guests come back saying “I wouldn’t have thought I’ll say this, but it’s definitely worth the money!” Or “Now that I know what you get to see for the money I wouldn’t have to think about it twice whether I should see Sigiriya or not. I would just happily pay and see Sigiriya”. Only very few people find it not worth the money and are disappointed.

Why is Sigiriya so expensive?

Nevertheless there are proper reasons why Sigiriya costs that much. I keep explaining to our guests how come Sigiriya is so expensive. So here’s why:

  1. First of all there are many many people working. I don’t know the exact number, but it will be about 150 people. There are about 60 people only sweeping the property every day – and many visitors do agree that it’s spotless clean. Then there is the museum with its employees. And the ticket counter, the first and second ticket checkpoint, a couple of security guards etc. I.e there are many names on the monthly salary list. I also have the impression they rather employ 2 people too many then one too less. Which is good. This way they give many people a reliable income every month, keep them off the streets, give them a life perspective.
  2. Also there is a government tax on the ticket. And with the taxes the government finances among others infrastructure, hospitals, schools and subsidizes the transportation system. That’s why bus rides are so dirt cheap.

Knowing all this doesn’t make Sigiriya any cheaper. But at least you know that the money does not go to private pockets, but is actually spread quite socially. Look at it as kind of a development aid.

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