Sri Lanka Airports

If you’re planning to visit Sri Lanka, it is highly likely that you would be landing at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). The other international airport in Sri Lanka – Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) -is located on the Southern region of the island and is a more recent one. If you are not sure which airport to fly in to, ask your local guides for recommendations.

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Bandaranaike International Airport

The BIA is the main airport in Sri Lanka and it can get busy during peak hours. This airport is about 30 kilometers away from the capital city of Colombo thus making it a popular choice amongst its visitors. Navigating through the airport is very easy with several signboards placed at every corner making it very convenient for its visitors. However, if you do lose your way, just ask one of the friendly local staff who should be able to guide you.

Stuck at the airport and don’t know what to do? Don’t worry! This airport in Sri Lanka is fully equipped with modern facilities such as Wi-Fi, multi-faith prayer rooms, duty-free shopping centers and much more! You will surely find something to occupy yourself with.

You can easily get to the city from the airport as you have the option of getting into a private taxi/van or use the public transport. Private taxis are the most cost-effective option if you’re traveling as a group or have many bags to carry. This airport in Sri Lanka is connected to the city through an expressway allowing you to get to the city within 20-30 minutes depending on the traffic.

The closest tourist city to the airport is Negombo and most visitors prefer stopping by there before heading to Colombo. Ask your local guide for recommended itineraries so you could save time by not having to travel back and forth.

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Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA)

This airport in Sri Lanka is on the Southern border of the country. It is the best option if you plan on exploring the Southern cities of the island. This airport is less busy as it currently serves limited flights. It does however accommodate domestic flights in case you are interested.

 The closest city to this airport is Hambantota, which has a few hotels that have recently been established. Alternatively, you could travel to the more touristic city of Mirissa, which is about 120 kilometers from the airport by road.

This is what guests are saying about our hosts

Withlocals guest
Withlocals host
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Florence Chandika
Rating

A customized trip with Chandika

You must book with Chandika, he was very efficient and had a good vehicle with air con. He kindly waited with us for our train tickets when the shop owner was out of town and we needed them to return.

Withlocals guest
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Clark Dushan
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Sacred Day Trip to Anuradhapura with a Local

Overall very, very good. Dushan arrived spot on time in a clean, up to date, air conditioned vehicle. We reviewed the itinerary and set off. Along the way there were stories and explanations to enhance our time. Dushan has a lot of enthusiasm for his country and monuments and it shows. It was the New Year time when we went but Dushan could adjust timings and routes to take best advantage of traffic flow. He was sensitive to our desires and we saw the highlights but at 37° Dushan kept us cool by avoiding the less important sights.
We did a little shopping and he pointed out certain local things and explained how things were made.
Despite the long drive from Kandy the day was worthwhile and all the more so because of Dushan's professionalism and flexibility.
Anuradhapura and Mihintale are places not to be missed and Dushan is a top guide to get you there and back.

Withlocals guest
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Mark Chaminda Roshan
Rating

Amazing Waterfalls Day Trip by Tuk Tuk including Lunch

Chaminda is a really lovely guy, nothing was too much trouble, and he was keen to make sure we had a good time. The lunch cooked by his wife was Delicious and we ate it at a waterfall in the mountains with nobody there but us. Awesome!

This is a full day tour and you will be shaken about in a tuk tuk for many hours, but we didn't mind it, in fact the breeze was better than air conditioning in a taxi and we certainly got to see things close up. Chaminda took us to places tourists don't normally go, in fact we only saw one other tourist all day and she was only there because her driver was lost! We went on a Sunday which might be a good idea as the traffic was a lot less than it would be during the week, and everyone was in their Sunday best looking very glamorous.

We got to see four waterfalls but the star was really the countryside and the local people, mostly people who work at the tea plantations in the mountains. It was interesting to see how they live. We also went to see people working the rice paddies and that was fascinating too. It was a hot day but we got to swim in a waterfall pool which was lovely.

Safety: I think it is only fair to mention that getting to the waterfalls involved some pretty dangerous clambering over rocks and climbing steep hills etc. We are 58, and overweight, but we work out so are fitter than some people our age, and we struggled a bit at times. My wife twisted her ankle slipping on a rock and there are places where you could get badly hurt if you fell. It did add some adventure to the day, but if you are unsteady on your feet you might not see as many waterfalls as you would like. To be honest, in the dry season they are not so spectacular anyway, but it's worth taking the tour for the countryside.