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
CMB 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 Airport (Code: CMB) 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 guide below for locations and access information.
Sleeping in Colombo Airport
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 or read some traveller reviews for more tips.
Some airport reviews and tips in this guide and elsewhere on the site were written before March 2020 and may no longer be valid. To help us keep this guide up-to-date, you can add or update information or write a review to submit airport tips and photos. You can also visit the airport’s web site for current information.
For more airport information continue scrolling down to explore more in our Colombo Airport Guide.
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. For more information on Europe’s Schengen Area, click here.
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. 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.
Palm Strip Lounge – Location: Airside, International Departures, 1st Floor. Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs.
Silk Route Lounges – There are two Silk Route Lounges, in the arrivals and departures sections. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: you can buy different packages that include access to one, two or three lounges. Prices start at from $20 to $120 for three hours. You can see the packages here.
Executive Lounge – Location: Airside. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (Rate: US$ 20 rupees for a 3 hour stay)
If you are a First or Business Class traveller you may have access to the lounges listed below. For more information, check the airline’s website.
Araliya Lounge (Main Terminal, Airside) • Emirates Lounge (Main Terminal, Airside) • SriLankan Airlines Lounge (Main Terminal, Airside)
Related Pages: Bandaranaike Airport Lounges
If sleeping in Bandaranaike airport sounds like a nightmare, there is a transit hotel and several nearby hotels:In Transit Serenediva 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) ▪ $60 (TRP) for 6 hours. » Check Rates Near Airport Ramada by Wyndham Katunayake Colombo International Airport – Airport shuttle is available. » Check Rates
For more options, visit Tripadvisor to see a list of hotels near Colombo Bandaranaike Airport that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.
WiFi is available at Colombo Bandaranaike Airport in designated areas. A reader tells us “there are computers available which can be used to access the internet if your 3 hour wifi voucher runs out. No chairs though.” (July 2022)
More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport
ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: arrivals and departures halls.
Child Care Rooms – If you are travelling with an infant, there are baby care rooms for breastfeeding. Location: Airside.
Currency Exchange – Foreign currency exchange services are available in the arrivals hall, departures hall and the transit area. Hours: Open 24 hours.
Duty Free & Shopping – Duty Free shopping is available as well as a good variety of shops to pass the time. All shops are open 24 hours.
Food & Drinks – All of the airport’s restaurants are open 24 hours: Barista Coffee ▪ Burger King ▪ Cafe Nescafe ▪ Coffee Bean ▪ Ex Tea ▪ Palm Strip Bar & Restaurant ▪ Pizza Hut & Deli France ▪ Relaks Inn ▪ S.V.H. Snacks.
Luggage Storage & Lockers – You can store your luggage at the left luggage counter in the Departures outer porch. Rates: US$ 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 – If you feel unwell or injure yourself, a medical center is available. 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 – If you need to pick up any last minute medication, stop by the Healthguard Pharmacy. Location: Departures Transit Area. Hours: 24 hours.
Porter Service – Available with a fee of Rs.100 per baggage.
Rest Zones – There are no dedicated sleeping areas, quiet areas or rest zones. If this information has changed, click here to update this guide.
Post Office – Send your last minute postcards to friends and family from the airport’s post office. Location: Arrivals Hall. Hours: open 24 hours.
Showers – Not available.
SIM Cards – A reader tells us “Data sims can be purchased from the dialog in the duty-free area. ” (July 2022)
Telephone booths – Should you need to make a call, telephone booths are available both in the departure and arrival hall. Communication counters equipped with email and fax facilities are located at the departure lobby and transit lounge.
The airport is open 24 hours.
Colombo Bandaranaike airport is served by the following airlines: Aerofloat • Air Arabia • Air Asia • Air France • Air India • Azur Air • Cathay Pacific • China Eastern Airlines • China Southern Airlines • Edelweiss • Emirates • Etihad Airways • Fits Air • flydubai • Gulf Air • IndiGo • Jazzira • Malaysia Airlines • Oman Air • Qatar Airways • Singapore Airlines • SpiceJet • SriLankan Airlines • Thai AirAsia • Thai Airways • 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.
A few area hotels provide airport transportation: Ramada Katunayake Colombo International Airport • Tamarind Tree Hotel.
See also Airport Hotels above.
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. Passengers can opt for non air-conditioned taxi service or pay a higher fare for a ride in an air-conditioned taxi.
Last updated: 2023-03-20
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.