Travel to Sri Lanka

Flying to Sri Lanka

The national carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines (, operates direct flights from London, Paris and Frankfurt. Many tourists choose to divert to Sri Lanka en-route to India and, as a result, several carriers offer direct flights between the countries. Travelling from North America to Sri Lanka usually involves a stop in the Middle East.

Flights are most expensive between December and March, which is high season on the south coast beaches and in the Hill Country, while August tends to be the cheapest time to fly.

Major airports are: Colombo Bandaranaike Airport and Hambantota Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport.

Flight times:

From London - 10 hours 30 minutes; New York - 19 hours (including stopover).

Air passes:

Star Alliance ( offers an Asia Airpass that covers more than 270 destinations within 19 countries, including Sri Lanka.

Departure tax:


Airport guides

Airport Code: CMB. Location: Bandaranaike International Airport is located 32km (20 miles) north of Colombo city centre. Money: A number of banks operate at the arrival lobby and in the transit area, providing currency exchange... Read more

Airport Code: HRI. Location: Hambantota Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport is located in Mattala, about a 26km (16 miles)... Money: There are two banks located in the common lobby area of the airport; both providing currency... Read more

Travel by rail

Getting to Sri Lanka by boat

The main ports in Sri Lanka are Colombo, Galle, Hambantota, Kankasanthurai, Point Pedru and Trincomalee. There is currently no public ferry service operating to Sri Lanka (routes to India have started and stopped over the years).

Cruise ships:

Several cruise operators offer itineraries that include Sri Lanka, with most docking at Colombo.

Ferry operators:

Ferry services between Sri Lanka and the Indian mainland ceased for 30 years during the island’s civil war, but restarted in 2011 when Flemingo Liners began operating a popular route between the southern Indian port of Tuticorin and Colombo. The route is currently suspended, along with a Scotia Prince service which ran from 2010-2011.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.