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, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Colombo Bandaranaike Airport.

What to Expect

Colombo Bandaranaike Airport has two commercial terminals: the old Terminal 1 services international flights and the brand new Terminal 3 handles domestic flights. Currently under construction, Terminal 2 is expected to replace Terminal 1 as the main international terminal in 2019.

Facilities include several shops and eateries, with some that stay open 24 hours. Unfortunately, many travellers have commented on expensive prices. WiFi is available is designated areas. For added comfort while you wait, economy class passengers can pay to enter a few lounges. See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below for locations and access information.

Where to Sleep

Travellers report that the airside area is more comfortable for sleeping, with a calmer vibe, better air conditioning, and more seats. Check out the area near Gates 5-8. Landside can be crowded, and most seats are equipped with armrests. Common complaints are the frequent announcements and errant mosquitoes, so bring along earplugs and mosquito repellant. For uninterrupted sleep, a hotel caters to transit travellers. Otherwise, nearby hotels offer shuttle service. See our Airport Hotels section below for more info.

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 – Foreign currency exchange services are available at 11 different locations. 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 ▪ Cafe Nescafe ▪ Coffee Bean ▪ Ex Tea ▪ Palm Strip Bar & Restaurant ▪ Pizza Hut & Deli France ▪ Relaks Inn ▪ S.V.H. Snacks.

Luggage Storage & Lockers – You can store your luggage at the left luggage counter in the Departures outer porch. Rates: US$ 6.00 for a small bag/24 hours and US$ 8.00 for an oversized bag. Hour: 24 hours. 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. Rates: US$ 20.00/bag/24 hours. Retrieve bags 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 one the 3 Spa Ceylon locations in the Transit Area. Hours: Open 24 hours.

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.


As of May 2019, Colombo Bandaranaike airport is served by the following airlines: Air Arabia • Air Asia • Air China • Air India • Cathay Pacific • China Eastern • China Southern Airlines • Edelweiss • Emirates • Etihad Airways • FlyDubai • Gulf Air • Indi Go • Korean Airways • Kuwait Airways • Malaysia Airlines • Malindo Air • Oman Air • Qatar Airways • Rossiya • Saudi Arabian Airlines • Silk Air • Singapore Airlines • SpiceJet • SriLankan Airlines • Thai AirAsia • Thai Airways • Thai Lion Air • TUI • Turkish Airlines.

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). 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.


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: 2019-05-16

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: update the airport guide or  write a review.