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.lk, airport 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 SriLankan 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
It is best to use the official airport taxi or ordering through the Uber app or local app PickMe, which presents even tuk-tuks. The cost of the official taxi fixed, depending on the place in Colombo from 2500 to 3000 rupees (939.98 RUB, refer to the currency of Sri Lanka, the exchange rate), using Uber is even cheaper, from 1600 rupees. 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, but it is at your own risk. 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 >Find the right routeBooking a transfer onlineThe driver meets you at the airport or at the station
From airport, a budget can be reached by bus №187 to the city centre. On this route in the daytime go to the big city buses, and night (once an hour) only a small private minibuses. The cost of 100 rupees, and private buses can also charge for large Luggage, and an increased rate night but you can bargain. The real price is not more than 150 rupees.
Buses depart from the exit of the airport directly (need to get out and cross the road) (Parking 187 buses on the map). Colombo arrive at the bus station in the Pettah district (avalance on the map), and then go to the railway station in Colombo. And the bus station and railway are within walking distance from each other. But small private buses only go to their station, which, however, is also within a five minute walk from the railway station (private avalance 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.
Attention! This route runs several different buses, including some very slow, not going on the highway. So if you plan to get to No. 187 from Colombo to the airport, it is better to lay on him for 3 hours, otherwise there is a chance not to catch a flight.
Read more about buses of Sri Lanka here...
About a mile from the terminal of arrival is the railway Katunayaka South station (the station on the map), buses to Colombo and Negombo. 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. Check the schedule here - https://eservices.railway.gov.lk
To get from the terminal to the railway station, Katunayaka South station on a tuk tuk for 200 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. Ticket price from 30 rupees.
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.
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 of the Pettah district:
- Public bus station in the far areas of Colombo Central (station on the map) .
- Private bus station distant destinations (the station on the map) .
- Bus commuter (station on the map) .
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.
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
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 on the Seating and standing places. 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.
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
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)
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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.
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.
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, 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).