How to get to Colombo, transport

On the plane

To get to Colombo by plane via airport located 35 kilometers to the North of the Bandaranaike international airport (Bandaranaike International, also known as Katunayake International Airport, Negombo International Airport Colombo International Airport website http://www.airport.lkthat airport on the interactive map of Colombo). This airport is the only way to get from Russia to Sri Lanka. Another international airport Rajapaksa International, located in the South of the country, still does not accept flights from Russia.

The Bandaranaike international airport from Russia direct flight are only available during high season (winter) companies Aeroflot and Vietnam Airlines. It is possible that in connection with sharp growth of popularity of the island among tourists, there will be open and the other direct flights. However, any time inexpensive and quick to get from Russia to Sri Lanka flights with a stopover. The flight takes 9-11 hours.

Find and book tickets to the main Colombo airport in Sri Lanka, you can through the search form. Search is very flexible, and allows you to search for flights on different dates, with or without transfers, in both directions or one, etc.:

The cheapest flights from Russia to Colombo:

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How to get from Colombo airport to the city

  • Taxi

    It is best to use the official airport taxis. The fare is fixed, depending on the place in Colombo from 2500 to 3000 rupees (about 20 dollars refer to the currency of Sri Lanka, the exchange rate). The trip takes about 1 hour. You can go outside the airport and agree with the taxi driver on the street or hire a three-Wheeler tuk-tuk. The cost of such trips should be arranged in advance, and for a trip on a tuk-tuk you can bargain for a price two times lower than airport taxi.

    The cost of taxi rides to other cities of Sri Lanka from the airport you can view or transfer via the search form:

    How does a transfer bookingDetails >
    Поиск трансфераFind the right route
    Бронирование онлайнBooking a transfer online
    Встреча водителемThe driver meets you at the airport or at the station
  • Bus

    From airport, a budget can be reached by bus №187 to the city centre. The bus goes to the last stop near the railway station, Colombo, but not before making a stop at the bus station in Colombo, where's the best place to go if you need to continue on its way to Sri Lanka on the bus. On this route go as a state bus or private, including minivans. Travel in state costs 50 rupees, in a private 120. Sometimes need to pay more or pay for baggage, in this case, it should be traded. In any case it is necessary to know the fare beforehand with the driver or the conductor.

    Buses run approximately every 30 minutes from 06:00 to 21:00, from two hours before. They depart from the Parking lot near the exit of the airport (Parking 187 buses on the map). A 10-minute walk from the exit of the airport terminal is a bus station Avariata (bus station on the map), which can be reached by tuk-tuk (100 rupees) or walk. From this bus station buses depart to other cities of Sri Lanka, and you can reach Negombo.

    Read more about buses of Sri Lanka here...

  • Train

    About a mile from the terminal of arrival is the railway Katunayaka South station (the station on the map), from where you can reach the railway station in Central Colombo. And if you're lucky with the departure of the train, you will arrive in the city even faster than the bus. But the train there is about 1-2 times a day.

    To get from the terminal to the railway station, Katunayaka South station on a tuk tuk for 100 rupees (after bargaining) or on foot (go 2 km). At the station buy a ticket on the next train to Colombo and wait on him. All the trains passing here and usually late. The cost of a ticket is 30 rupees.

  • By car

    At the airport you can rent a car to get to Colombo or any other city in the country. Book a car via the Internet one of the leading distributors of automobiles.

By bus

Коломбо, Шри-Ланка Bus in Colombo

Colombo is connected with almost all cities of the country by bus. This is the main form of travel for locals, and a very convenient way for tourists. You can get anywhere, and very inexpensive.

Buses on routes are of varying quality: from the old and rotten to modern air-conditioned depending on route and company. The most common carrier in the country - the Sri Lanka Transport Board (buses with the logo of the S. L. T. B.). Tickets this company the cheapest, but the buses are the worst. There are also many other small bus companies offering buses of better quality but at higher prices.

In Colombo buses arrive and depart from three stations, which are located in one place near the centre (bus station Colombo on the map) in the Pettah district. It is the largest transport hub of the country and hence you can reach to any corner of the island. Here, within walking distance from the station Colombo Fort.

Коломбо, Шри-Ланка Bus station in Colombo

Summary information about routes on Sri Lanka is not on the Internet, but something you can get on the website S. L. T. B. and

In General, about the schedule and routes here too much bother not worth it, buses run frequently. To find a bus to the places you want Sri Lanka can apply to local residents. In most cases they will gladly bring you to the right bus, or at least indicate the direction.

See also more information the Buses in Sri Lanka

By train

Коломбо, Шри-Ланка Railway station in Colombo

In Sri Lanka there is an excellent and extensive network of Railways, and to most popular places and cities can be reached by train. The most important railway junction of the country is Colombo, namely railway station Colombo Fort. It is located in the city limits close to the centre (station Colombo Fort on the map).

The train tickets to buy via the Internet is impossible, they are only sold at the stations at the ticket office. At the station, Colombo Fort even has a special office for foreigners to make it easier to communicate when buying, but it's not mandatory, you can buy a ticket to any ticket office. It is best to buy tickets in advance, but even before the sending the train, you can always obtain tickets for the lowest classes. Given that the country is small and trains are, as a rule, are not long, a large portion of tickets sold - seats and standing room. Yes, most trains during rush hour run Packed and they just have to hang on to the handrails. The fare is very low, is several dollars to the most popular destinations.

There is also a special tourist train (or rather, trailer cars) on the most popular tourist destinations, and tickets can be purchased online at sites and

Information about schedules and prices is available at:,

Urban transport in Colombo, than to move on

In Colombo there is a system of public transport in the form of buses, is the city's train transportation (something like trains, but they are mostly suburban). But both these means of transport are inconvenient for use by tourists, and much easier to use for travel around the city taxi, the stories of tuk tuks or leased vehicles.

Find car rental in Sri Lanka


Бюджетное такси в аэропорту Коломбо, Шри-Ланка Budget taxi at Colombo airport

Taxi in Colombo is not very common (much less than tuk-tuks), but you can find them. It is best to use metered taxis (Taxi-meter), the cost of travel for them cheaper. One kilometre trip costs about 60 rupees.

Taxi drivers often offer the trip at a fixed price or say that they have no counter. Better from leaving to give up if you don't know the real cost of a trip.

Motorickshaws (tuk-tuk, Three Wheelers, Tri-shaw)

Коломбо, Шри-Ланка The most fashionable tuk-tuk in Colombo View photos in 3D

Motorickshaws or tuk-tuks is a scooter converted into a three-wheeled machines for transportation of passengers. They can be quite easy to navigate even the three of us+the driver. They are cheaper than a taxi by about a third, and even twice (for one kilometer around 30 rupees), however, somewhat less convenient and more dangerous. First, they are without air conditioning; and secondly, when travelling on them in rush hour you have to inhale the fumes and the dust. But to visit in Colombo and not go by tuk-tuk is simply impossible.

Tuk-tuk are with counters and without them (those with counters, sometimes labeled on the front a sticker or a sign taxi-meter). Tuk-tuks with meters is much easier and cheaper, so it's best to use it. Just make sure before you travel that your trip will be paid for by the meter as there are pitfalls. The cost of the trip without a meter should be arranged in advance, but don't be surprised if you refuse to carry a cost comparable to the cost of the same trip by taxi. Especially the "start" prices tuk-tuks awaiting passengers near the tourist places. Therefore, in order to find cheap tuk-tuk, better to grab those that wander the roads.

And yet, sometimes the local tuk-tuks cheating in such a simple way: they seem to agree on mentioned price after haggling, inviting you to sit in a tuk-tuk. But when you arrive at the place, Tucker begin to charge you a large amount and make a surprised look, as if he did not agree to your price, just suggested you to sit in a tuk-tuk. Comes to serious scandals. Therefore, before the trip will receive from him an affirmative answer that he just understood and accepted your price, and there will be no surprises.

City buses

Коломбо, Шри-Ланка City bus in Colombo

Colombo works good extensive network of public and private buses. But move them unprepared tourists – even the extreme. Their routes are confusing, no air conditioning, they are going very slowly, almost always Packed, and the passengers pop up almost on the go. Although in General this kind of move is quite easy and costs a mere penny, the main thing – to learn how to use it.

The fare depends on the distance of travel is determined by the conductor. The inspectors do not always understand tourists, and just give the price to of course stay, but even in this case, the trip will be much cheaper than a taxi or tuk-tuk. The maximum fare is 25 rupees.

On the buses the number (without the knowledge of the routes and maps you will get nothing from it), and the area where you want the bus. If you decide to use the buses, it is better to buy a map of the routes. Some buses are suburban and go far beyond the city limits.

Маршруты автобусов в Коломбо

Railway transport

Коломбо, Шри-Ланка Train in mount Lavinia

In Colombo there is the railroad, which runs commuter trains (like our trains, but not on electricity). They all arrive and depart from the main railway station in Colombo Fort and they can get to the outskirts of the city.

Of greatest interest is the southern branch. From Colombo Fort train on her way to the South along the coast, making fairly frequent stops at the city stations. So it is very inexpensive to get to and from the popular tourist area Maunt Lavinia (Mt Lavinia).

Comments / recent posts on the topic on the forum
Lauryn 15 Dec 2017, 17:33
1Добрый evening! Going to Sri Lanka in the second half of January. If I'm on the ETA, do not tell me when it's ready? (including the upcoming NG) Or is it better to do it at the airport on arrival? I read that this is possible. Is this true? Thank you for your answer. ...
admin 15 Dec 2017, 17:38
1 do Not see the advantages of what to do at the airport. First of all expensive and secondly have at the airport to spend more time, you need it. Make from home a few days everything will be ready. ...
Yanita 05 Feb 2018, 18:35
1 > we are flying with a child. In Thailand no problem we went with the baby on the motorbike. Can there be a problem with the police in Sri Lanka if the motorcycle will be 2 adults and a child? ...
admin 06 Feb 2018, 09:29
1 Hello! Yes, it seems that even we are not forbidden to carry on a motorcycle in the front seat, and after 12 on the rear. But in Sri Lanka, motorbikes for transport is generally not considered, all ride, and many times with children seen. Well, even if there are complaints, the police (police on the roads, by the way, very little), solve the problem on the spot. The cops are here Oh-Oh-Oh-ry is corrupt, everything can be solved for a few bucks. Do not swear with them, and smile and even laugh, and everything will be OK. P. S. in Kandy into oncoming traffic on the bike flooded, and then as luck COP. He blowed, poulybalis each other, turned around and went back. ...
Lukas 07 May 2018, 18:55
1Hello! I'm going to Sri Lanka in about a month and have thoughts on renting a scooter when I'm in Ella and perhaps also in/around Arugam Bay. I only have my Swedish drivers license (I know more is required) but I wonder about the consequenses if being pulled over? I was several times in Bali and just paid for a temporary license the first time which I could then show when it happened again. How expensive would a fine be in Sri Lanka, it is high risk to get pulled over as a tourist on bike and also, what is worse case scenario if I do get pulled over? Answers would be appriciated! Regards Lukas ...
admin 09 May 2018, 05:13
1 Hi Lukas! You are right, officialy you need to get a local drivers permit. But on practice you don't really need this, actually like on Bali too. I have expirience in driving all around Sri Lanka, have met twice policemens on the road and they cheked-out my russian driving license, and I don't have any problems and fines. ...
Оксана1083 31 may 2018, 13:16
1A how much is one day delay in the visa. We have tickets for 32 days. And how to do better. To change tickets or expired visa to pay ...
aksinew 13 may 2018, 13:54
1C visoiu to decide ...
ucy6ucy 16 may 2018, 11:08
1Скажите please, here I was in Sri Lanka in spring of this year, I was there 2 and a half months, returned in April, now I want to go there for a month, will you give me a visa? ...
admin 16 may 2018, 11:36
1 Make ETA, there will be no problems. ...

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