There are numerous ways to travel around Sri Lanka, whether by road, rail, or air. As the island is small, getting about is easy and efficient and can be done so in a couple of hours!
The most popular way to travel around whether you’re a tourist or a local. Buses are frequent and fares are quite reasonable. Travellers looking to travel across main cities should head to the Pettah Central Bus Depot to access a wide range of buses to anywhere on the island. There are many bus routes travelling all over Colombo as well are travelling to other cities and towns in Sri Lanka. Bus routes can have many stops and these can take you anywhere in the island. For more information on which buses to take click here
Sri Lanka has a good connections to most of the main cities from Colombo to a number of tourist towns like Kandy, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Galle or NuwaraEliya. The Rail network also has a separate line for cities and towns down south on a separate line. Most trains have a first class second class and third-class compartments. The cost of the tickets will vary based on which class you travel on. All trains depart on time thus, it is advised to be available 1 hour – 30 minutes ahead of your departure time to find your train platform and train compartment.
Sri Lanka Railways has information on making your reservation to your preferred destination. First Class Tickets and Second Class tickets can be booked in advance. The reservations office is located in Colombo Railway Station in Fort. Tickets purchased online can be shown to the ticket counter who will then issue the ticket before you get on to the platforms. Ensure to keep your ticket with you safely for the entire journey. Tickets are viewed 3 times.
- At the Entrance to the Platform
- On the Train by the Ticket Master
- At the End of Journey at the Exit Gate
Tuk-Tuk (Three Wheelers)
An easy and adventurous way to travel within city limits; Tuk Tuks are great for those with a spirit for wanderlust and being part f a new experience. Most taxis in the cities are metered. Metered rates range currently between Rs, 100 -120 per kilometer, (remember to check the rates before you travel). For those Tuk Tuks which are not meters, remember to agree on a price beforehand and ensure to use google maps to ensure you take the most accurate route to your destination. Attain the support of a trusted local to communicate if language might be a issue.
If you have your international driving license, you can rent a vehicle or hop into a cab to get around the island. Two of the main cab companies are Uber and PickMe, and both apps can be downloaded to your phone. Uber and PickMe have intercity travel, which is useful to travel in Colombo or to other cities/ towns. The travel cost will vary based on availability and schedule of your travel requirements.
Beat the traffic and save time by flying across the island. Inland domestic air transfers will get you to your destination while offering stunning aerial views. A list of domestic airlines is available here. Contact their reservations and ticketing offices to attain a confirmed travel itinerary based on your travel plans. Tickets can be booked online on their respective sites.
The Domestic Travel Airport is Ratmalana Airport which is 15 Km from Colombo which is on Galle Road on the main road from Colombo. Book your travel to Jaffna, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Hinurankagoda, Minneriya, Passikuda, Batticaloa, Ampara and Katukurunda. Air travel times range between 15 -45 minutes.