Get in and Getting Around – How to Get in to Sri Lanka
“You can get in to Sri Lanka by flying. Colombo – Bandaranayake International airport (BIA) is the international gateway for the international flights from Europe, US, Southeast Asia, Japan, China , India and Middle East. The airport is located 32 km north of Colombo closer to Negambo.
The National carrier is Sri Lankan Airlines. Other International carriers like Cathay Pacific, Qatar, Jet airways, Air Sahara, Thai, Singapore, LTU flies to Sri Lanka as well. Sri Lankan Airlines has direct flights to Colombo from many detonations in Europe ( cities like London, Parse, Amsterdam, Munich, Zurich, Frankfurt, Brussels) from Middle east Dubai, Doha, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Riyadh, Damman from East Asia cities like Bangkok , Hog Kong, Singapore, Jakarta, Tokyo, Beijing, Kuala Lampur, Maldives and from India ( Delhi, Chennai, Thrivanthapuram, Kochi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Tiruchirappali and Kozikode). If you are
expecting cheap flights to Sri Lanka most probably you have to come to Madras, Trichy or Thrivanthapuram to get a cheap flight.
Note: There are no scheduled ferry services for Sri Lanka.
Getting Around in Sri Lanka
The faster, comfortable and safer method for getting around Sri Lanka is to get the service of Chauffer driven cars or mini vans. As a respectable tour operator we are more than happy to provide you with this service. Our fleet of vehicles includes air-conditioned cars, mini vans and busses. The prices are very economical and no more expensive than self driving.
Car Rental-Self Driving and Road use
It is not advisable to rent a vehicle from your own and self driving. The traffic conditions of Sri Lanka especially Colombo and suburb make driving a challenge to foreign visitors. As mentioned earlier chauffer driven cars are not expensive. If you are determined to use a vehicle by your own you have to have an International Driving License or a temporary Sri Lankan Driving License. A temporary Driving License can be obtained from Automobile Association of Ceylon. If you are driving use the left-hand side of the road where walking should be done from the right had side of the road.
Use of Busses and Trains.
We do not advice to use busses for your traveling needs in Sri Lanka. If you really want to travel using public transport use “Inter-city Express” busses which are smaller busses air-conditioned and with good seats. But think before jumping in to a bus as the seats are smaller and leg space is minimal. The bus fare is relatively cheap of theses busses. The bus faire of the government and private busses are very cheap but crowded and slow. The “semi luxury” type busses are also available which are faster than normal busses and the fare is bit high than the normal busses.
Trains offer a slower way of getting around in Sri Lanka. There are three main rail roads starting from Colombo. The main line goes to east along Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, to Badulla with one of the best scenic locations. The Colombo Puttalam rail road runs north of the country passing Negombo where the south line goes to Matara passing Galle. The northern line goes to Vavniya passing Anuradhapura. Most trains occupy 2nd and 3rd class carriages. The 3rd class carriages are always crowded and cheap you can’t guarantee getting a seat of this type of carriages. Some trains especially to Badulla and Kandy carry a “Observation car” which is bit expensive and guarantee a seat for you. You can reserve a seat in advance as well.
Taxis and Rickshaws (Tuk – tuks)
You cant get metered taxi service from Colombo and suburbs which you have to call the taxi service and arrange it. The service is good and reliable and the price is depending on the type of the vehicle you want. Apart from the taxi you can get a rickshaw as well. Rickshaw have many names commonly used in Sri Lanka such as “three-wheelers, trishaws, tuk-tuks (very popular among tourists for the sound it makes).You can get the rickshaws service from any part of the island, Traveling using a tuktuks is fun and but it is
sometimes dangerous specially in the busy streets. We do not advice to use rickshaws even it is relatively easy for short distance. The fare depends on the distance you travel but as the rickshaws are not metered you should agree upon the price before getting in.
Air Taxi Service (Seaplanes)
The national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines operates air taxi service to various destinations from Colombo. Taking the Seaplane is the quickest way to get around and you will love the spectacular view of the island from the Seaplane. The Seaplane land on natural reservoir’s, hydro power tanks or in the sea. You can visit Southern Costal Line destinations, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy and many other requested locations. The fare is not that much cheap but convenient. Contact Golden Lanka Travels for reservations and for further information.
Please note that Air Taxi services have been temporarily suspended by Sri Lankan Airlines for security reasons.