Colombo to Sigiriya

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How to get from Colombo to Sigiriya

On the central plains of Sri Lanka lies what is probably its most significant historical monument. Sigiriya is a 200-meter-high rocky plateau, which was once a 5th-century fortified palace. Its history is written on the walls up the granite rock, which you have to climb to see up close.

The so-called Lion’s Rock itself is a wonder as it was formed from magma from an extinct volcano. It is surrounded by a lush forest, now a maze of fortress ruins that will take you back to the time of legendary King Kashyapa.

When travelling the 175 km distance from Colombo to Sigiriya, you have 4 options: you can hop on a train for 4 hours; take the bus for 5.5 hours; ride a taxi for 4 hours; or take a flight for 2 hours, including taxi transfers. Rates range between 440 Rs ($5) to 37,920 Rs ($465).

4 ways to get from Colombo to Sigiriya

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Train4 hours
excl. transfers
4,360 Rs ($53)Check Train Tickets
Bus5.5 hours440 Rs ($5)

Read article for more info

Taxi4 hours11,000 Rs ($135)Check Private Transfers
Flight1.5 hours
excl. transfers
37,920 Rs ($465)Check Flights

There is no train station in Sigiriya, which means you have to take the train from Colombo Fort to Habarana Railway Station. Then you can transfer to a taxi for another 30-min ride to Sigiriya. Total cost is around 4,360 Rs ($53).

When taking the bus, you can choose from several bus routes going to Anuradhapura (#4-3), Kaduruwela (#48-3) or Trincomalee (#49). An aircon bus ticket costs 440 Rs ($5). Ask to be dropped off at Inamaluwa Junction. From here, Sigiriya is 10 km away.

The taxi is the only direct option available for this route. For 11,000 Rs ($135), you can get a 4-seater car for a comfortable door-to-door journey.

Although the flight takes only 30 minutes, it departs from Bandaranaike Airport, which is an hour away from Colombo city centre. If you include the flight waiting time, you wouldn’t save much time compared to taking the train.

TIP: If you decide to travel by plane, please consider including a carbon compensation fee to help reduce your impact on the environment.

Colombo to Sigiriya by Train

Duration: 4 hours excl. transfers
Cost: 4,360 Rs ($53)
Duration: 4 hours excl. transfers
Cost: 4,360 Rs ($53)

Sigiriya doesn’t have its own train station. From Colombo, you will first have to take a train to Habarana. From here, you can hail a taxi to Sigiriya.

Step 1: Colombo to Habarana by Train

Duration: 3hrs 40m
Cost: 3,270 Rs ($40)
Duration: 3hrs 40m
Cost: 3,270 Rs ($40)

We recommend taking train #7075 from the Fort Railway Station. This departs at 15:05 and arrives at 18:42 at Habarana Railway Station.

Sri Lanka Railways offers trips daily for 3,270 Rs ($40) for a 2nd class seat and 3,810 Rs ($46.50) for a 1st class seat. Both cabins are airconditioned for this route.

Online tickets from Colombo to Habarana are only available on 12GoAsia. Just click the link below.

Check Train Tickets

Warning for unreserved seats

Unreserved seats are also available on the day of your trip at the railway station. However, since there are only limited trips for this route, there’s a great chance the trains will be quite crowded. Be aware that you might miss your chance to get a seat and have to stand throughout the 3.5-hour journey.

See our page on How to Book Train Tickets in Sri Lanka to secure a seat from Colombo to Sigiriya.

Step 2: Habarana Railway Station to Sigiriya

Duration: 25 minutes
Cost: 1,090 Rs ($13)
Duration: 25 minutes
Cost: 1,090 Rs ($13)

From Habarana Railway Station, you can easily hail a taxi to Sigiriya, which is about 15 km away. The journey takes 30 minutes and a ride costs around 1,090 Rs ($13).

Colombo to Sigiriya by Bus

Duration: 5.5 hours
Cost: 440 Rs ($5)
Duration: 5.5 hours
Cost: 440 Rs ($5)

There are no local buses that go straight from Colombo to Sigiriya. The nearest bus stop is in Inamaluwa Junction, which is some 10 km away.

From Bastian Mawatha Bus Terminal in Colombo city centre, you can take a bus bound for Anuradhapura (#4-3), Kaduruwela (#48-3) or Trincomalee (#49). A ticket for an air-conditioned bus costs around 440 Rs ($5).

Ordinary buses are also available, but we don’t recommend them if you want to be comfortable during the 5.5-hour journey.

Ask the driver to drop you off at Inamaluwa Junction. From here, you can take either a tuk-tuk or a taxi to Sigiriya.

Colombo to Sigiriya by Taxi

Duration: 4 hours
Cost: 11,000 Rs ($135)
Duration: 4 hours
Cost: 11,000 Rs ($135)

The taxi from Colombo to Sigiriya costs around 11,000 Rs ($135) when you book via Uber, but fares can be slightly cheaper or more expensive depending on the availability. For the cheapest rates, you can also check the taxi apps PickMe and TaxiGo. But, unfortunately, these apps have limited availability outside the capital city, Colombo.

PRO TIP: Use the code “hpam1ue” or this link to order your first ride with Uber for free!

On the off chance that none of the above options is available, you can also book a taxi via BookAway for 14,200 Rs ($170).

Colombo to Sigiriya by Flight

Duration: 1.5 hours excl. transfers
Cost: 37,920 Rs ($465)
Duration: 1.5 hours excl. transfers
Cost: 37,920 Rs ($465)

When flying from Colombo to Sigiriya, flights depart from Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB), which is located in the suburbs of Negombo.

Step 1: Colombo to Bandaranaike Airport by Taxi

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 1,800 Rs ($22)
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 1,800 Rs ($22)

From Colombo city centre, the best way to get to Bandaranaike is by taxi. This taxi journey takes around an hour and costs 1,800 Rs ($22).

You can hail a taxi on the street or ask your hotel to book one for you. You can also book via taxi-hailing apps like Uber and Pickme, as well as TaxiGo and BookAway.

Step 2: Bandaranaike Airport to Sigiriya

Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 36,120 Rs ($440)
Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 36,120 Rs ($440)

Cinnamon Air and Sri Lanka Airlines offer four trips from Colombo to Sigiriya daily. Fares start at 36,120 Rs ($440) and the journey takes 30 minutes.

From the airport, you can take a taxi or tuk-tuk to the ancient town for 180 Rs ($2.20)540 Rs ($6.50).

Check Flights on Skyscanner

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Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.

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