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Colombo Bandaranaike Airport Guide

colombo airport guide

In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our Colombo Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!

I concur with the other reviewers--turn left and walk to the end of the terminal--there is a small 24-hour convenience store with regular (not airport!) prices AND that's where the chairs without armrests are. - Herodotus

Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us during their time at Bandaranaike International Airport.

What to Expect

  • A large international airport with clean facilities, friendly staff and two separate terminals for domestic and international flights. A new terminal, for international flights, is currently under construction. A small variety of pricey shops and restaurants are available, but most are open 24 hours.
  • Power outlets are almost non-existent at this airport, so charge up your electronics before you arrive and carry a power bank with you.
  • The Left Luggage department is almost always full to capacity and may not accept your luggage for storage.
  • TONS of mosquitoes outside of the terminal and some of them make their way inside.
  • WiFi is available in designated areas of the airport. See WiFi in the airport guide below.

Where to Sleep

  • Although Bandaranaike Airport is not ideal for sleeping in, airside is quieter, air-conditioned and has more seats (limited armrest-free seats available). We hear that the area around Gates B5-8 looks like a good place to rest. Please note, you will not be allowed into the airport without a boarding pass or plane ticket for onward travel.
  • For uninterrupted sleep, there are hotels near the airport. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.

Good to Know

  • Economy class passengers can pay to enter one of the airport’s first class lounges. See our Airport Lounges section for locations and rates.
  • Buses are a clean, safe and cheap alternative to taxis, if you have the time to wait for one.

For more information about the services and facilities available, scroll down to continue exploring our Colombo Bandaranaike Airport Guide. Send us your airport tips to help us keep this information up to date.

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Colombo Airport Information

In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door or through a membership program:

  • Lotus Lounge - Location: Departures Terminal, Airside, 1st Floor, adjacent to Gates 6 and 7. Hours: Open 24 Hours.  Lounge Access:  Priority Pass.
  • Silk Route Lounge - Location: Airside. Lounge Access: economy class travellers can pay to use the lounge. Rate: to be advised.
  • Executive Lounge - Location: Airside. Lounge Access: economy class travellers can pay to use this lounge. Rate: US$ 15/10 rupees for a 3 hour stay

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Airport WiFi / Internet

WiFi is available at Colombo Airport in designated areas.

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Airport Hotels

If sleeping in Colombo Airport does not appeal to you, there is a hotel inside the transit zone as well as hotels near the airport:

  • Serendiva Transit Hotel - Located inside the airport on the 2nd level, above the main pier of the Arrival / Departure area, near the immigration counters. If you are in transit, you do not need to leave the airport or pass through immigration to access the hotel. The hotel is not accessible to travellers who have not passed through security. Rates from: $50 (SGL) ▪ $55 (DBL) ▪ $60 (TRP) for 6 hours.
  • Airport City Hotel Katunayaka - (7 minutes from the airport) Airport shuttle is available for a fee.
  • Airport City Hub Hotel - (6 minutes from the airport) Free airport shuttle service is available 24/7 upon sending the hotel your flight details. The driver will page you at the airport.
  • Empyrean Hotel - (3 minutes from the airport) Free airport transportation available
  • Sasha Transit Hotel - (5 minutes from the airport) No airport shuttle is available.

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More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

  • ATMs / Cash Machines - Cash machines are available in the arrivals and departures halls.
  • Child Care Rooms - Location: Airside.
  • Currency Exchange - Nine banks offer foreign currency exchange onsite. Hours: Open 24 hours.
  • Food & Drinks - Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. These options are open 24 hours: Barista Coffee ▪ Burger King ▪ Deli Food & Spicy ▪ Heladiv Tea Club ▪ International Brands Ceylon ▪ Nestle Lanka ▪ Palm Strip Restaurant ▪ Relaks Inn.
  • Luggage Storage & Lockers - You can store your luggage at the left luggage counter in the Departures outer porch for Rs. 100/- per bag, per day. For valuables and other items that you don’t wish to take into the country, there is a bonded storage available at the Bonded Storage counter located in front of Baggage Belt 1 in the Customs area. Bonded storage is Rs. 1000/- per bag, per day, and your baggage can be retrieved from Check-In upon your departure from the country. Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Massage - Foot massages and more are available at the aptly-named Foot Rub. Hours: Open 24 hours.
  • Medical Services - Location: Arrivals Hall, Baggage Area. Hours: open 24 hours.
  • Mobile Charging - At the time of this update, we did not have any information about mobile charging availability. If you know, write a review or email us at guides@sleepinginairports.com.
  • Pharmacy - Healthguard Pharmacy is open 24 hours.
  • Rest Zones - Not available.
  • Post Office - Location: Arrivals Hall. Hours: open 24 hours.
  • Shopping & Duty Free - Locations: Arrivals, Departures and Transit Areas.
  • Showers - Not available.
  • Spa & Salon Services - Pamper yourself with an ayurvedic treatment at Spa Ceylon. Hours: Open 24 hours.

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Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

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Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport


Public bus 187-E3 is operated by Sri Lanka Transport Board, and runs from the airport’s car park to Colombo bus station (total trip time: 1 hour). At the time of this update, the bus fare is LKR 110. Beware of scammers attempting to charge baggage fees for the bus. There are no additional baggage fees for this bus service.

Hotel Shuttles

Several area hotels provide airport transportation service for their guests. Contact your hotel of choice for availability and details: Gateway Hotel Airport Garden ColomboRamada Katunayake Colombo International AirportTamarind Tree Hotel.

Inter-Terminal Airport Shuttle

A shuttle bus departs every 15 minutes from the airport terminal to the airport bus station located 500m from the terminal. From there, passengers can board inter-city buses. See above.

Mini Van Taxi

These multi-seater taxis are not cheaper than air-conditioned taxis, but they are useful to those who are traveling in small groups. The minivan taxi counter can be found in the Arrivals Hall. This service is primarily used by locals, so foreign passport holders may be denied service.


The Airport Taxi Service operates a fleet of over 600 vehicles. The taxi counter is located in the Arrivals Hall of the airport. Passengers can opt for non air-conditioned taxi service or pay a higher fare for a ride in an air-conditioned taxi.

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Last Updated: 13 November 2017

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning and is subject to change at any time. The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors, or to add/change any items mentioned in the guide, please contact us .