Sleeping in Airports

Colombo Bandaranaike Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Colombo Bandaranaike Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

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 Colombo 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.
  • 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.
  • Economy class passengers can pay to enter one of the airport’s first class lounges. See our Airport Lounges section for locations and rates.

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

  • Buses are a clean, safe and cheap alternative to taxis, if you have the time to wait for one.

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 lounge membership program (ie. Priority Pass). Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

  • Lotus First Class Lounge – Location: Departures Terminal, Airside, 1st Floor, adjacent to Gates 6 and 7. Hours: Open 24 Hours. Lounge Access: Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]
  • Palm Strip Lounge – Location: Airside, International Departures, 1st Floor. Lounge Access: Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]
  • Silk Route Lounge – Location: Airside. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (Rate unknown)
  • Executive Lounge – Location: Airside. Lounge Access:  Pay at the Door (Rate: US$ 15/10 rupees for a 3 hour stay)

Airport Hotels

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

In Transit 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. » Check Rates

Near Airport Airport City Hotel Katunayaka – (7 minutes from the airport) Airport shuttle is available for a fee. » Check Rates

Near Airport Airport City Hub Hotel – (6 minutes from the airport) Free airport shuttle is available 24/7 upon sending the hotel your flight details. The driver will page you at the airport. » Check Rates

Near Airport Empyrean Hotel – (3 minutes from the airport) Free airport transportation available. » Check Rates

To see more options there is a list of hotels near Colombo Bandaranaike Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport WiFi/Internet

WiFi is available at Colombo Bandaranaike Airport in designated areas.

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

ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: arrivals and departures halls.

Child Care Rooms – Location: Airside.

Currency Exchange – Nine banks offer foreign currency exchange onsite. Hours: Open 24 hours.

Duty Free & Shopping – Duty Free shopping is available as well as a good variety of shops to pass the time. All shops are open 24 hours.

Food & Drinks – All of the airport’s restaurants 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 – A reader let us know that mobile charging outlets can be found airside, in the duty free area. There are also several outlets on the upper level, next to the bank monitors, and in the corridor of the terminals.

Pharmacy – Healthguard Pharmacy is open 24 hours.

Rest Zones – Not available.

Post Office – Location: Arrivals Hall. Hours: open 24 hours.

Showers – Not available.

Spa & Salon Services – Pamper yourself at the following locations: Nature’s Beauty • R.S. Leisure • Spa Ceylon. Hours: Open 24 hours.

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

Airlines

As of March 2018, Colombo Bandaranaike airport is served by the following airlines: Air Arabia • Air Asia • Air China • Air India • Austrian Airlines • Azur Air • Cathay Pacific • China Eastern • China Southern Airlines • Emirates • Enter Air • Etihad Airways • FlyDubai • Gulf Air • Indi Go • Jet Airways • KLM • Korean Airways • Kuwait Airways • Malaysia Airlines • Malindo Air • Oman Air • Qatar Airways • Royal Flight • Saudi Arabian Airlines • Silk Air • Singapore Airlines • SpiceJet • SriLankan Airlines • Sriwijaya Air • Thai Airways • Thomson Airways • Travel Service • Turkish Airlines • Ukraine International.

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Bus

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). 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 Colombo • Ramada Katunayake Colombo International Airport •  Tamarind 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.

Taxi

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.

Last updated: 2018-10-23

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   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/update any items mentioned in the guide, write a review or send an email to [email protected] and we will update this guide.