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Which Colombo Airport is best to fly or closest to City?

Bandaranaike Airport (CMB) or Ratmalana Airport (RML)

OVERVIEW OF AIRPORTS IN COLOMBO, SRI LANKA

Two airports serve Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka; Bandaranaike Airport (CMB) and Ratmalana Airport (RML).Bandaranaike is an international and the main airport Serving Sri Lanka. It is located in the sub-urban area of Negombo.Ratmalana Airport is the main domestic airport also serving Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is served by low-cost airlines and is the closest to the city centre. Both airports are served by public transport service into the city. We summarize all the information you need about the airports to make your next trip easy

Bandaranaike Airport Vs. Ratmalana Airport

Bandaranaike Airport (CMB)

Ratmalana Airport (RML)

    Bandaranaike Airport (CMB) Ratmalana Airport  (RML)

Getting To The Airports From The City Centre

Distance from City Centre 20 miles(32 kilometres) 9.3 miles(15 kilometres)
Public Transport Operating Hours 24-hours 24-hours
Cinamon Air & Sri Lana Airlines

Fly sea planes from the airport to Diyawanna Oya (DWO) and taxi to Colombo.

Fare: $23-$223
Journey time: 24 minutes

N/A
Train

N/A

Colombo Taxi connects travellers to the Sri Lanka Railways Colombo Commuter, and long Distance express Train station near the airport. The train leaves every hour.

Fare: $1
Journey time: 30 minutes

http://www.eservices.railway.gov.lk

Airport Shuttle

Airport inter-terminal shuttle buses depart every 15 minutes to the airport bus station 500m from the airport terminal. Travellers can board inter-city buses from this station.

Hotels also organize shuttles for their guests, contact your hotel for more information about the price.

N/A
Bus

Sri Lanka Transport Board - SLTB ICT
187-E CMB to Colombo lines run every 30 minutes.

Fare: $1
Journey time: 45 minutes

http://www.sltb.lk/

Taxis at the airport connects travellers from the airport to the National Transport Commission bus line 99, 99-10, 99-8, & 99-9.

Fare: $4-$5
Journey time: 37 minutes

http://www.ntc.gov.lk/timetable.html

Taxi

Around $10 - $13,
Journey time: 26 minutes.

Around $5-$7,
Journey time: 18 minutes.

Uber

Available on demand from $6-$8

Uber fare estimator

From $3-$5

Uber fare estimator

   

Which Airport Is Most Suitable For Me?

How Close to City Centre

This airport is not close to the city centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is 32 kilometres and the fastest means of transportation takes 45 minutes.

Buses & shuttles are available at the airport to the city centre.

Ratmalana Airport is a major domestic hub serving Colombo, it is closer to the city centre. The airport is located 15 kilometres from where the major attractions are.

The airport is linked to central Colombo by public transport systems such as taxis, hotel buses/shuttle services, and car hire services.

Cost Factor

Bandaranaike Airport is the major airport serving Colombo in Sri Lanka, it is the main international hub and handling domestic and international flights in and out of the country.

This is an expensive airport in terms of hotel prices, public transportation and car hire services, when compared to Ratmalana Airport.

Flight fares are also expensive from this airport.
You can this airport when you get a really good flight deal and want to enjoy the airports facilities.

Ratmalana Airport is mainly for regional domestic flights with Sri Lanka, it is closer to the city centre in Colombo.

The airport is served by trains, shuttles, taxis and car hire services. It is a cheaper airport than Bandaranaika Airport..

Hotel prices and flight fares are cheaper, this makes RML a better choice for travellers who want to save time and money.

Airport Delays

Avg Security & Immigration Delays: Average

Avg Flight Arrival Delays: 25 minutes.

Avg Security & Immigration Delays: Average

Avg Flight Arrival Delays: No Delays

Flight Fares This airport is mainly for regional charter flights and flight fares are lower than Ratmalana Airport by over 40% - 50%. Ratmalana Airport flight fares are more expensive by over 50%.

Hotel Prices Per Day From (01-01-2018 to 02-01-2018) Searched on 02-12-2018

Hotel

Amora Lagoon (3.5-Star) -$125,

Empyrean Hotel(3-star) -$30,

No.53 (3-Star) - $50.

Homestay in Mount Lavinia near Ratmalana Airport (3-Star)- $24

Colombo Lavinia Beach Hostel (2-Star) - $29,

Blue Seas Tourist Guest House (3-Star) - $35.


Car Hire Prices Per Week (01-01-2018 to 02-01-2018) Searched on 02-12-2018

Car Hire

Budget Cars: (Hyundai Eon, Suzuki Alto, Citroen C1, Perodua Viva, Peugeot 107, Hyundai I10) $90.38-$131.95

Intermediate Cars: (Toyota Hilux) $237.44-$267.11

Premium Cars: (Bmw 520 and Ford Mustang) $319.92-$359.21

Budget Cars: (Hyundai Eon, Suzuki Alto, Citroen C1, Perodua Viva, Peugeot 107, Hyundai I10) $90.38-$131.95

Intermediate Cars: (Toyota Hilux) $237.44-$267.11

Premium Cars: (Bmw 520 and Ford Mustang) $319.92-$359.21

Car Hire Companies Budget, Casons Rent A Car, Hertz, RCSL, SR Rent A Car,and Sixt. Budget, Casons Rent A Car, Hertz, RCSL, SR Rent A Car,and Sixt.
Online car hire Car Hire Bandaranaike Airport (CMB) Car Hire Ratmalana Airport  (RML)

Airport Facilities

Shopping and Dining There are many shops, restaurants, stores that offer many items and services such as Barista Coffee, Burger King, Deli Food & Spicy, Heladiv Tea Club, International Brands Ceylon, Nestle Lanka, Palm Strip Restaurant, Relaks Inn and duty-free shops that operate 24 hours at the airport. N/A
Lounges Lotus First Class Lounge, Palm Strip Lounge, Silk Route Lounge, and Executive Lounge. Silk Route Lounges and Business Lounge.
Wi-Fi Services Free Wi-Fi is available at the airport. Free Wi-Fi and Internet available in some areas of the airport.
Transfer in and Around The Airport The airport 2 commercial terminals the old Terminal 1 handles international flights, Terminal 3 handles domestic flights and Terminal 2 is under construction to replace T1 in 2019. Ratmalana Airport has 2 terminal buildings (T1 & T2). T1 handles International Corporate Jets & Domestic flights while T2 handles International Regional Operations.
Currency Exchange & ATM cash Points There are 9 banks that offer currency exchange services at the airport such as Bank of Ceylon, Commercial Bank, Hatton National Bank, People's Bank, Sampath Bank, Thomas Cook. ATM cash points are available around the airport. There are ATM cash points located in the airport terminals.
Important phone numbers CMB Airport: +94 11 226 4444, Police: 119. RML Airport: + 94 11 26 23 030, Police: 119.
Major Operating 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 and many more.

Air Senok, FitsAir, Helitours, and Millennium Airlines.

Major Connecting Destinations

Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Beijing–Capital, Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, Dammam, Delhi, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai–International, Gan, Guangzhou, Hyderabad, Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta, Jeddah, Karachi, Kochi, Kolkata, Kuala Lumpur–International, Kuwait City, Lahore, London–Heathrow, Madurai, Mahé, Malé, Melbourne, Mumbai, Muscat, Riyadh, Shanghai–Pudong, Singapore, Thiruvananthapuram, Tiruchirappalli, Tokyo–Narita, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, London–Gatwick, Manchester, Kiev–Boryspil, Singapore, Hong Kong, Chennai, Kuwait and many more.

Anuradhapura, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Hambantota-Mattala, Jaffna, Koggala, Sigiriya, Vavuniya, and many more.

Tourist Info Centres Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau is located in the arrival public concourse & walkway. Information centres are located in airport terminals
Official website http://www.airport.lk/index.php http://www.airport.lk/rma/index.php

COLOMBO AIRPORTS

Which Colombo airport is closest to central Colombo?

Two airports serve Colombo; Bandaranaike Airport (CMB) and Ratmalana Airport (RML). Ratmalana airport is the closest to central Colombo at 9.3 miles, and the fastest public transport will get you to the central Colombo in 30 minutes. Bandaranaike airport is 20 miles further away from the city centre, and the fastest public transport will take you 45 minutes to central Colombo. Alternatively, passengers can use small planes from the airport to Diyawanna Oya (DWO) and take a taxi to Colombo in just 24 minutes.

Compare airport distances and transfer times to the center of Colombo by public transport below.

Distance to Central Colombo:

Ratmalana Airport: 9.3 miles / 15 km
Badaranaike Airport: 20 miles / 32 km

Ratmalana Airport to Central Colombo Journey Times:

By Train: 30 minutes
By Bus: 37 minutes
By Taxi: 18 minutes

Badaranaike Airport to Central Colombo Journey Times:

By Plane: 24 minutes
By Bus: 45 minutes
By Taxi: 26 minutes

What is the best airport to fly into in Colombo?

Ratmalana airport is the best airport to fly into when flying to Colombo. It is very close to the city centre and all the major attractions in the country's capital and is served by low-cost carriers. This airport is mainly used for domestic travel and it handles smaller crowd ensuring lower queues at the airport with fewer flight delays. Due to the close proximity to central Colombo, transfer journey time from the airport to the city centre is shorter and faster. Ratmalana is served by a few airlines like Air Senok, FitsAir, Helitours, and Millennium Airlines which handles International Corporate Jets & Domestic flights and international regional operations. The airports fast and efficient public transport services transfers passengers from the airport to the city centre in 25 minutes by taxi-to-train connection, which can be inconveniencing for those with a lot of luggage and travelling with kids because of the switch at the train station. It has two terminals which can be covered on foot but not to worry because it sees fewer crowds and has less queues so security processes will be fast and easy compared to the main airport CMB. Alternatively, you can use Uber to the city centre for a journey time of 18 minutes.

CMB (Badaranaike airport) is the primary airport serving the city of Colombo, the airport has two terminals and handles more crowds so flight delays and long queues should be expected. The airport is served by major airlines like Air China, Emirates, Etihad Airways, FlyDubai, KLM, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, and many more with short haul and long haul flights to many major cities of the world. A trip from the airport to central Colombo takes around 24 minutes by flying a plane from the airport to Diyawanna Oya (DWO) and taking a taxi to Colombo. Which is also an inconveniencing way to travel to central Colombo and also expensive, but you can opt for the slower direct bus that takes 45 minutes to the city centre. Most travellers with extra time to spare and extra cash will use this airport, but business travellers will go for the nearest to the city centre Ratmalana airport.

Is Ratmalana airport better than CMB?

Based on the fact that Ratmalana airport is closer to the city centre in Colombo, it can be regarded as a better airport to CMB. It is also cheaper and transfer journey times from the airport to central Colombo is shorter and faster, taxi-train connections take 30 minutes while bus takes 37 minutes. You can use a taxi $5-$7 or Uber $3-$4 for an 18 minutes trip. Ratmalana airport has less queues at immigration, and lower flight delays, it is served by a few airlines with domestic flights and some international charter flights to some cities of the world.

Which airport is closest to the top attractions in Colombo, Sri Lanka?

Ratmalana is closest to all the top attractions in Colombo, due to its closeness to the city centre just 15 kilometres. You can get to the Kelaniya Temple, Pettah, Sri Lanka, Galle Face, Galle Face Green, Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, National Museum of Colombo in 15 minutes using a taxi at $4-$6 or Uber $2-$3. Other places to see around Colombo and its environs include Minneriya National Park, Mihintale, Unawatuna Beach, Hakgala Botanical Garden, Bundala National Park, Ventura Beach, National Museum of Colombo, Ramboda Falls, Nilaveli Beach, Wasgamuwa National Park, National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka, Seetha Amman Temple, Pigeon Island National Park, Udawattakele Forest Reserve, Udawattakele Forest Reserve, Galle Fort, Temple of the Tooth, Dambulla cave temple, Yala National Park, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Sri Pada / Adam's Peak and many more.

How much does it Cost from Ratmalana or Badaranaike to Central Colombo?

From Ratmalana Airport by:

Train Taxi + Train: $1 - http://www.eservices.railway.gov.lk Trains run every hour from daily.

Bus (Taxi + NTC line 99): $4-$5– http://www.ntc.gov.lk/timetable.html Bus runs every hour daily.

Taxi: $5-$7 – http://www.colombotaxicabs.com/Available 24/7.

Uber: $3-$5 - https://www.uber.com/en-IN/fare-estimate/Available on demand.

From Badaranaike Airport by:

Plane: Cinamon Air & Sri Lana Airlines(+ Taxi) $23-$223 - Flights operate daily from the airport.

Bus: (SLTB ICT 187-E CMB) $ - http://www.sltb.lk/ Bus runs every 30 minutes daily.

Taxi: $10 - $13 –http://www.colombotaxicabs.com/Available 24/7.

Uber: $6-$8 https://www.uber.com/en-IN/fare-estimate/Available on demand.
But Private taxes are cheaper than Airport taxis, here to Book at

Badaranaike

Hotel prices can vary greatly depending on how far in advance you book, the demand for rooms, and which hotel you book but the prices below will give you a rough idea and you can do further research and hotel booking at http://www.tripindicator.com/hotel.html

Ratmalana Airport Hotels: From $24 per night
Bandaranaike Airport Hotels: From $30 per night

How much does car hire cost at Ratmalana or Badaranaike Airports?

All of the airports mentioned offer competitive prices and a range of cars to suit your needs. Prices are based on the type of car, driver age, length of hire, and demand but you can get a rough idea for each airport below.

Ratmalana Airport Car Rental:
Budget Cars: (Honda Fit, Ford Figo etc) $90.38 per day
Intermediate Cars: (Peugeot 408, Toyota Corolla, etc) $237.44 per day

Compare prices here - http://www.tripindicator.com

Bandaranaike Airport Car Rental:
Budget Cars: (Honda Fit, Ford Figo etc) $90.38 per day
Intermediate Cars: (Peugeot 408, Toyota Corolla, etc) $237.44 per day

Compare prices here - http://www.tripindicator.com

What Is The Main Airport In Colombo?

Bandaranaika International Airport is the main hub for international and domestic travels in and out of Sri Lanka; serving Colombo the countries capital

How Many Terminals Does Colombo Airports Have?

CMB Airport has two passenger terminals - Terminal 1 & Terminal 3, T1 handles international flights, T3 handles domestic flights while T2 is still under construction to replace T1. Ratmalana Airport has only 2 terminals T1 & 2. T1 handles international corporate jets & domestic flights while T2 handles International regional operations

Which Airport Is Closer To The City Centre?

Ratmalana Airport is closer to Central Colombo which is the city centre, it is 15 kilometres and takes 25 minutes by train to see major attractions in the city centre.

What Best Hotels Are Near The Airports?

At CMB, the following hotels are the best for travellers, Amora Lagoon (3.5-Star) -$125, Empyrean Hotel(3-star) -$30,and No.53 (3-Star) - $50. At RML, Homestay in Mount Lavinia near Ratmalana Airport (3-Star)- $24, Colombo Lavinia Beach Hostel (2-Star) - $29, and Blue Seas Tourist Guest House (3-Star) - $35.

What Things To Do Near Bandaranaike Airports?

There are many places to see in Johannesburg close to the airport such as Sigiriya, Galle, Yala National Park, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Arugam Bay, Dambulla, Mirissa, Colombo,Nuwara Eliya, Polonnaruwa, Bentota, Sri Lanka Air Force Museum; National zoological gardens of sri lanka, Beddagana Wet Land Park, Independence Memorial Hall,Old City Hall (Colombo Municipal Council), Main Street in Colombo; Old Parliament Building, Dutch Period Museum, Ape Gama, Sri Jayawardenapura, Traditional Puppet Art Museum, AnagarikaDharmapala Mawatha, Colombo National Museum, Lionel Wendt Memorial Art Gallery, Excel World, Water World Lanka, Leisure World, Seethawaka Wet Zone Botanic Garden,and many more.

 

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