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How to travel around Colombo

For hassle-free commuting

By Sewmini James Published about a year ago 3 min read
How to travel around Colombo
Photo by Anil Thakur on Unsplash

When contemplating a visit to Colombo, Sri Lanka, one will be confronted with having to agree on a preferred mode or mode of transportation that will get you from Point A to B almost effortlessly. Outlined below are the popular choices made available to those wanting to traverse through its bustle.

Public transport

Not only does Colombo’s public transportation boast a wide array of facilities but in terms of cost, nothing quite would come close to what you will have to pay for when compared with the more luxurious facilities that can be availed of. Operating out of the Central Bus Stand and the Gunasinghapura Bus Terminal which are both located almost adjacent to each other in the region called Pettah is where you can hail the next available bus. The network features a range of intra-city buses that cover the entirety of the city of Colombo and its suburbs and by far, is the most utilised means of public transport. Though, the buses can be crowded, especially during work hours in the morning and thereafter, come evening; the experience cannot be rivalled by any other means. With bus stops spread out across designated routes that are found near some of the area’s celebrated leisure hotspots, travelling by bus will also place you in a prime position to come to terms with how the locals go about their daily business. On the flip side, the city’s train services cannot be overlooked, particularly if you happen to be staying in the country on a strict budget. Tickets to several towns can be purchased from the Colombo Fort Railway Station which serves as the nucleus for train travel for not merely Colombo but Sri Lanka as well. From being able to commute to cities and towns found along the way down south to having the opportunity to ride the Kelani Valley line that snakes through the suburbs of the city; opting for the train can help you save up more than what you might have initially bargained for.  


Though, not for the fainthearted by any stretch of the imagination, Colombo’s tuk-tuk culture warrants experiencing at least once before your time here draws to a close. However, it is best to stay well clear from hopping into one travelling or parked on the main roads as you will need to bring your best bargaining skills to the table to ensure that you do not have to pay for more than what’s desired. Thus, it is wise to obtain the services of PickMe and Uber by downloading the relevant applications on your smartphone where in turn, you will be well placed to book a ride to your destination. With these applications, one is guaranteed of smoother experience where you will only need to pay for the distance covered.


One of the more convenient methods of covering the breadth and scope of the city is by renting out a vehicle of your choice that matches your style and overall expectations. Facilitators in the likes of Malkey Rent A Car or Colombo Car Rental can be contacted ahead of any journey where you will indeed have the luxury to select from a wide range of brands. To the “do it my way” type of vacationer or business traveller, renting out a comfortable vehicle would be one of the best decisions that one could ever end up making if one cannot be bothered by strict timetables and daily routines.


Considered the pricier of the available options, hailing a taxi does bring with it its own perks. This is attributed to the fact that you can reserve a ride either for a certain duration or for your entire stay in Colombo. If you’re keen to tick off every tourist hotspot on your bucket list in one day, then choosing a taxi will be well worth the time and money for you will be able to rest assured of the fact that your ride will always be by your side no matter where in the city you decide to head to or for how long you stay. For instance, when you book into a luxury hotel Colombo has to offer such as the Cinnamon Grand Colombo, then you can also discuss your travel plans and have such services at your beck and call when the time arrives for you to pack your belongings and fly back home.  

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