We will write how to get from Colombo Airport to Galle. The distance from Bandaranaike International Airport to Galle is 120 kilometers. You can go by bus, by taxi, private transportation and Uber and Pick Me apps to get transportation in Sri Lanka. Galle is UNESCO site that you can’t miss in Sri Lanka. Galle has a popular 300 year old Dutch Fort and a lot of historical buildings.
It’s hard to travel without Internet because you’ll need your GPS to track your location for apps like Uber in Sri Lanka or Pick Me this app local uses in Sri Lanka instead Uber because it’s cheaper. Also your own sim card in Sri Lanka is important for communicating with locals and meeting other travelers. Read here Sri Lanka sim card for tourist.
COLOMBO AIRPORT TO GALLE
If you are getting to Sri Lanka at Colombo International Airport (Bandaranaike International Airport) you will have a few options to get from Colombo airport to city center by bus, taxi, Grab and private transportation. If you already booked online your prepaid Sri Lanka sim card you will have to just pick up in the airport showing your confirmed booking and your passport.
BUS FROM COLOMBO AIRPORT TO GALLE
First we will tell you how to go from Colombo airport by bus to downtown. You can go by Express Bus the best option and faster than Bus Number 187 which is available 24 hours.
EXPRESS BUS FROM THE AIRPORT
The bus from Colombo airport starts at 5 30 am until 8 30pm and it’s running every 30 minutes. To get the bus you have to cross the pedestrian walk to the other side of the road where the bus will stop. You will see a few more people going there.
The bus fare from Colombo airport to city is 130 LKR which is less than $1 USD. And it will take around 1 hour depending on the traffic. The bus will stop in the Central Bus Station, Pettah Fort and Colombo Fort Station. If you are going from Colombo city center to the airport you can also get the bus in these stops.
If you are getting to Sri Lanka in this Bus Express schedule from 5 30 am until 8 30 for sure it’s a great option if you aren’t bringing so much luggage.
PUBLIC BUS NUMBER 187
The Public ordinary Bus Number 187 costs 100 LKR and it runs 24 hours every 45 minutes. But it’s not available at the airport you will have to walk 1 kilometer until Katunayake Bus Stop or you can get the Free Shuttle from the airport to the Bus Terminal.
It will take around 1 hour and 30 minutes since it has so many stops. Sometimes the driver try to overcharge for the luggage and it can be crowded. It’s not only this ordinary bus going to the airport but also in general traveling in Sri Lanka. They aren’t so comfortable but so affordable for those ones traveling on a budget.
I don’t recommend this option if you are bringing so much luggage since the ride is so long much better the Express Bus faster for only a few cents of dollar.
Bus From Colombo to Galle
The buses are leaving from Central Colombo near Colombo Fort: Bastian Mawatha Bus Station. The buses starts at 5 am running every 20 minutes. The bus fare from Colombo to Galle is 170 LKR=$1 USD the ordinary bus. If you choose private bus will be 250 LKR less than $2 USD. And buses with air conditioned will cost around 500 LKR=$3 USD. The travel time will be around 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on the traffic.
You can also get the bus at Maharagama Bus Station but it’s 15 minutes South Colombo. You will have to get there by Uber or by local Bus Number 138 for only 50 LKR that can take 30 minutes to reach there. This option will be so uncomfortable if you bring so much luggage to commute. But if your Airbnb is near by will be a great choice!
If you stay in Central area in Colombo can be a great choice going by bus since they are leaving every 20 minutes but I would recommend you going by train and enjoy the landscape better than the bus.
TRAIN FROM COLOMBO AIRPORT TO GALLE
The train from Colombo airport to Galle you will have to reach first to Colombo Fort train station. The fare Colombo to Galle: Rajadhani car which is first class prices are 990 LKR which is $6 USD. For Second Class the fare from Colombot to Galle is 180 LKR which is $1 USD and Third Class for 100 LKR which is less than $1 USD. The train travel time will be 2-3 hours from Colombo to Galle. The first strain starts at 6 50 am and last train at 7 30 pm.
You can read above how to get to Colombo Fort Station from the airport by bus. If you prefer to get Uber or Pick Me will cost around $10 USD and it will cost around $15 USD by taxi. The travel time from Colombo airport to Colombo Fort Station is around 45 minutes.
The train is so beautiful in Sri Lanka that’s why I recommend going from Colombo to Galle by train. But it can be crowded if you go on the peak hours. I would recommend going first thing in the morning. If you want to book first class (more expensive but more comfort and air conditioned) make sure you do in advance sometimes they aren’t selling tickets. And you will have to buy 2nd or 3rd Class ticket which is so cheap but it can be so crowded.
TAXI FROM COLOMBO AIRPORT TO GALLE
The taxi fare from Colombo airport to Galle around $70-80 USD. Just make sure you agree the price and you have good negotiation skills making clear your final destination. I personally wouldn’t recommend going by taxi from Sri Lanka airport since they always try to overcharge.
I would go by Pick Me or Uber since I find easier. It will take 1 hour and 40 minutes from Bandaranaike International Airport to Galle to drive 120 kilometers.
UBER AND PICK ME FROM COLOMBO AIRPORT TO GALLE
You can use Uber and Pick Me for transportation from Colombo airport to Galle. These apps are so useful and they are usually cheaper than a taxi and you will know the exact price to your final destination with no overcharge. The fare from the airport to Galle will be around 10000 LKR which is around $50-60 USD. It’s not cheap but so comfortable if you are traveling 3-4 people can be a great idea for saving time.
Pick Me is so popular between locals in Sri Lanka because it has better rates than Uber. It will take 1 hour and 40 minutes to get to Galle from Colombo airport. You can ask for the ride to the airport and you don’t have to go outside like other countries that Uber it’s not allowed to pick inside the airport passengers.
PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION FROM COLOMBO AIRPORT TO GALLE
If you had a long flight or you are able to arrange the private transportation from Colombo airport to Galle with your hotel or any other transfer company. It will be the most comfortable since they will pick you up with a sign until your final destination in the city avoiding the hassle. The drive will take 1 hour and 40 minutes from the airport to Galle.
WHERE TO STAY IN GALLE
You can get accommodation starting from $15-20 USD for a room in a guesthouse in Galle. If you are two of you traveling in Sri Lanka it will be $10 USD each. If you prefer luxury accommodation and hotels with rooftop and infinity pool in Galle prices starts at $80 USD. We found interesting to spend a few days in Galle in our Airbnb in the picture above. A really beautiful place!
If you are looking for budget accommodation in Sri Lanka you can also try AirBnB starting from $15 USD. Click here to get $30 USD off your first booking with AirBnB!
BUDGET TRAVEL IN SRI LANKA
If you decide to eat street food and local restaurants, you will find meals starting from $1-3 USD. In local places we didn’t see so much variety at night, sometimes there are jsut a few options for dinner. Our favorite meal was Kothu, Hoppers, Vegetarian Rotis and as for dessert, Pineaple Curry was our favorite one.
Juices and fresh coconut were so delicious. Prices start from $1 USD and we loved the papaya juice with lime which was served for breakfast in most of the hotels that we stayed in Sri Lanka. Beers are cheap for $1 USD and you will find them in the liquor store, my favorite one was Lion beer and it was good!
CASH AND ATM IN SRI LANKA
You will find ATMs and office where you can exchange your money almost everywhere. The exchange rate is around $1 USD for 190 Sri Lankan Rupees, and the ATM does not take commission to our card. Click the link to see the current exchange rate.
BEST TIME TO VISIT SRI LANKA
The weather in Sri Lanka can be complicated so it will be a tad bit confusing to decide when it’ll be the best to visit the country, and this is because the island is affected by two separate monsoons year-round.
But if you are heading to the west and south coasts and hill country, December to March is the best time to visit Sri Lanka. And if you’d visit the east coast, May to September will have the best weather.
Having insurance while you are traveling outside your home country is very important. Make sure that you have one too, to keep you safe in your trips around the world.
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