Travel

Airports

The Bandaranaike International Airport is located at Katunayake, 30 kilometres from the city of Colombo. Taxis can be hired from the airport at a cost of around Rs1300 for the trip and there is also a bus and rail network that connects the airport to Colombo and other major cities.

Ground transport

Taxi services are available 24-hours a day in Colombo and for metered cabs the fare is approximately 45 rupees per kilometre. Drivers speak fluent English and should be given precise instructions about the destination.

Travellers can also hire cars from reputed travel agencies either with or without a chauffeur.

Sri Lanka Railways has regular train services between major cities and towns throughout the island. A bus service operated by the regional transport boards also has links to all major cities and towns.

A large number of three-wheelers (auto rickshaws) are also available; these vehicles are not metered so it is best to negotiate a price before engaging their services.

Hotels

Business travellers are advised to confirm hotel accommodation prior to arrival through their travel agent. Bookings can also be made directly with hotels. Less expensive options include three-star hotels and guesthouses in Colombo and resort hotels on the coast and throughout the country. Visitors can also book accommodation at self-service apartments at competitive rates.

Tipping

Tipping is optional. Most hotels are restaurants include a service charge of 10 per cent in any bill. However a tip of between five to 10 per cent of the bill is acceptable if a customer is satisfied with the service provided.