Colombo Airports

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Bandaranaike International Airport

The Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is the main airport in Colombo and is approximately 30 kilometers North of the city center. It is one of the two airports near Colombo where the other is the Ratmalana Airport that primarily serves domestic destinations. So, if you are flying from overseas, you will be landing at the Bandaranaike International Airport which can be busy at certain times but with recent renovations that took place, it has geared up to serve the visitors better.

The Colombo Airport is well organized with signboards and directions marked very clearly in English as well as Tamil and Sinhala. There is very little chance of you getting lost at the airport but even if you do, you can always seek the help from one of the many friendly staff who will be more than happy to guide you. The airport is equipped with free Wi-Fi, has many restaurants and also a duty-free shopping center that sells chocolates, consumer electronics, leather bags and essential travel accessories at very affordable prices. Ask the sales staff about some of the exclusive deals that they usually have on offer.

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Transport to/from the city center

You will have the option of leaving Colombo Airport to the city either by a taxi, bus or train. There are plenty of taxis parked outside the departures lounge and you will have no problem finding one. If you are accompanied by your family, it is best that you opt for a taxi as it can be a more cost-effective option and more convenient too.

However, if you choose to use the public transport, you can get on the bus which can get you to Fort within 45 minutes through the Expressway. The buses run every half an hour daily from 5:30AM to 6:30PM so if you need to get to the airport outside these times, you will need to get a taxi. This is a much cheaper option compared to the taxi and a good option if you’re traveling alone.

Make sure you get well ahead in time if you are to catch a flight taking into the account the Colombo traffic. There are also many ride-sharing services that have come up that lets you book taxis from Colombo Airport to get to the city center. This can be a very useful option if you are traveling alone. Alternatively, you can hire one of our local hosts to transfer you from the Colombo Airport to get to the city center. The drive to the city center through the expressway should take you about 20-30 minutes depending on the traffic.

This is what guests are saying about our hosts

Withlocals guest
Withlocals host
Andrew Prasanna

City Tour with a Licensed Tour Guide

There was no better way to see Colombo than with Prasanna. His knowledge was first rate and his courtesy and patience in allowing us to enjoy as much time as required was brilliant. I have no hesitation in recommending Prasanna as the person to show you around the wonderful city of Colombo.

Withlocals guest
Withlocals host
Frank Dulshan

A customized trip with Dulshan

Dulshan is probably the best „thing“ that can happen to you during your stay in Sri Lanka. He planned our tour exactly how we wanted it to be and we did this very spontaneous (at the moment we met). The whole tour was just perfect! Would we book Dulshan again? Absolutely! Dulshan is a friendly, funny and great guy with a lot of historical knowledge about Sri Lanka and can explain everything. His car is new, clean and got A/C.
As mentioned: all perfect!