Airports in Sri Lanka

This mythical place, Sri Lanka has a very rich history, and a medley of cultures can be found here. This island country even finds its mention in the Indian epic, Ramayana and tourists visit the place to listen to the untold narratives of Ravana. Sri Lanka is also the home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is decorated with verdant gardens, mighty peaks, scenic beaches and a lot more. The airports in Sri Lanka have immensely helped tourists to discover the charm of Sri Lanka. Over the years the airports in Sri Lanka too have been expanding their boundaries to ease the journey of the travellers. Airports in Sri Lanka are no less than a lifeline for all frequent travellers who prefer air routes over others.

Know all about the airports in Sri Lanka for a convenient journey

Want to know about the airports of Sri Lanka in detail? We’ve got you covered.

1. Bandaranaike International Airport

The Colombo Airport, also known as the Bandaranaike International Airport is located in Colombo, about 35 km away from the city centre. A number of airlines including IndiGo offers flights on a regular basis to the Bandaranaike International Airport. The airport has 3 terminals and a cargo terminal. Some of the facilities which can be availed at the Colombo Airport are ATMs, child care area, parking facility, free medical facilities and several more. 

  • Airport address: Canada Friendship Rd, Katunayake 11450, Sri Lanka
  • Airport code: CMB

2. Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport

The Mattala Rajapaksha International Airport is the first greenfield airport in the country. It serves the North-East part of Sri Lanka and offers both international and domestic flights. The then-president Maharaj Rajapaksha inaugurated the airport in 2013. Owing to the less demand, this airport was even called “World’s emptiest international airport” by Forbes. However, with several ongoing renovation projects, the Mattala Rajapaksha International Airport now receives a considerable number of passengers.

  • Airport address: Mattala, Sri Lanka
  • Airport code: HRI

What is Sri Lanka famous for?

Sri Lanka is renowned for its diverse cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and a host of attractions. It is famous for its pristine beaches that line the coastline, attracting sun-seekers and water sports enthusiasts. The country's rich history and ancient cities, such as Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, are UNESCO World Heritage sites, showcasing its historical significance. Sri Lanka is also known for its lush tea plantations, producing some of the finest Ceylon tea in the world. 

The Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy is a symbol of the country's deep-rooted Buddhist traditions, and the annual Esala Perahera festival is a spectacle of grandeur and devotion. The diverse wildlife in Sri Lanka, including leopards, elephants, and a wide variety of bird species, makes it a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Additionally, the warm hospitality of its people and delectable cuisine, featuring dishes like curry and hoppers, make Sri Lanka a favourite among food lovers.

Places to visit in Sri Lanka

  • Colombo: The capital and largest city of Sri Lanka, Colombo is a bustling metropolis with a mix of modern and colonial architecture. You can explore its vibrant street markets, historic sites like the Colombo Fort, and cultural attractions like the National Museum.
  • Kandy: Known as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy is famous for the Temple of the Tooth Relic, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the annual Esala Perahera festival. The city is also surrounded by lush hills and tea plantations.
  • Galle: Galle is a historic city on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka with a well-preserved Dutch colonial fort. Stroll through the charming streets, visit the Galle Fort, and enjoy the coastal views.
  • Polonnaruwa: Another UNESCO World Heritage site, Polonnaruwa is known for its well-preserved ancient city ruins, including grand palaces, statues, and temples.
  • Anuradhapura: An ancient city and one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world, Anuradhapura is a UNESCO World Heritage site with numerous historical and religious ruins, including enormous dagobas and sacred Bodhi trees.
  • Sigiriya: This iconic rock fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers breathtaking views from the top. It's also known for its ancient frescoes and well-planned gardens.
  • Nuwara Eliya: Often referred to as "Little England," Nuwara Eliya is a hill station with a cool climate and picturesque landscapes. It's a great base for exploring tea plantations and enjoying outdoor activities.
  • Ella: Nestled in the central highlands, Ella is famous for its stunning scenery, hiking opportunities, and the famous Ella Rock. Don't miss the Nine Arch Bridge and Rawana Falls.

Visa and immigration

A Sri Lanka visa is all you need to enter the country and experience it all. To apply for a Sri Lanka visa online is hassle-free. There are several types of visas, which include those for tourism, business, residence, and transit. Sri Lanka visa for Indians has an added benefit with visa on arrival option. But for this, you will need to apply for an electronic travel authorization (eTA) before leaving for Sri Lanka.

Note: Sri Lanka is offering visa-free for Indian nationals with immediate effect as a pilot project and it will last till 31st March, 2024. 

IndiGo flights to Sri Lanka from India

IndiGo, one of India's leading low-cost carriers, offers convenient and affordable flights to Colombo options to several destinations in Sri Lanka from various major cities in India. Passengers can choose from a range of departure points, including cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai, to reach destinations in Sri Lanka, such as Colombo and other key cities. IndiGo is known for its punctuality and quality service, making it a popular choice for travellers looking to explore the beautiful island nation of Sri Lanka.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the most important airport in Sri Lanka?

Bandaranaike International Airport or the Colombo Airport is the major airport in Sri Lanka.

What is the best time to visit Sri Lanka?

The best time to visit Sri Lanka is during winters - November to March.

What is the currency of Sri Lanka and will I get a currency exchange centre at the Colombo Airport?

Sri Lankan rupee is the currency of Sri Lanka and a currency exchange centre is available at the Colombo Airport.

Can I get a visa on arrival in Sri Lanka?

Yes, a visa on arrival is provided to citizens from prominent cities like India.

Which places can I visit in Sri Lanka?

Some of the popular places to visit in Sri Lanka include the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Little Adam’s Peak, Galle Fort, Mirissa Beach and a lot more.

How many international airports are there in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka has a total of 5 international airports.

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