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 175km distance from Colombo to Sigiriya, you have 4 options: you can hop on a train for 4 hours ($24); take the bus for 5.5 hours ($2.40); ride a taxi for 4 hours ($78); or take a flight for 2 hours, including taxi transfers ($226).
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 $24.
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 $2.40. Ask to be dropped off at Inamaluwa Junction. From here, Sigiriya is 10km away.
The taxi is the only direct option available for this route. For $78, you can get a 3-seater car for a hassle-free door-to-door journey.
Although the flight takes only 30 minutes, it departs from Bandaranaike Airport, which is 1 hour away from Colombo city center. If you include the flight waiting time, you wouldn’t save much time compared to taking the train.
Also is there another reason why we don’t recommend to take this $200+ flight. Aside from being very expensive, short-haul flights like this are extremely harmful to the environment.
Schedule from Colombo to Sigiriya
|4,360 Rs ($24)||Check train tickets|
|Bus||5.5 hours||440 Rs ($2.40)||Read article for info|
|Taxi||4 hours||14,160 Rs ($78)||Rent a taxi|
|41,020 Rs ($226)||Check flights|
Colombo to Sigiriya by Train
Duration: 4 hours, excl. transfers
Costs: 4,360 Rs ($24)
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: 3hr 37min
Costs: 3,270 Rs ($18)
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 ($18) for a 2nd class seat and 3,810 Rs ($21) for a 1st class seat. Both cabins are airconditioned for this route.
Online tickets from Colombo to Habarana are only available on 12go.asia. Just click the link below.
Warning for unreserved seats
Unreserved seats are also available on the day of your trip at the railway station. However, as there are only limited trips for this route, there’s a great chance the trains will be very 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
Costs: 1,090 Rs ($6)
From Habarana Railway Station, you can easily hail a taxi to Sigiriya, which is about 15km away. The journey takes 30mins and a ride costs around 1,090 Rs ($6).
Colombo to Sigiriya by Bus
Duration: 5.5 hours
Costs: 440 Rs ($2.40)
There are no local buses that go straight from Colombo to Sigiriya. The nearest bus stop is at Inamaluwa Junction, which is some 10km away.
From Bastian Mawatha Bus Terminal in Colombo city center, 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 ($2.40). Ordinary buses are also available, but we don’t recommend them if you want to be comfortable for 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
Costs: 14,160 Rs ($78)
The only direct option from Colombo to Sigiriya is by taxi. Hailing one from the street is easy, but you might want to get better car choices for the 4-hour journey.
We recommend that you either ask your hotel for assistance or book a taxi online through the link below. A 3-seater car costs 14,160 Rs ($78) when booked online.
Colombo to Sigiriya by Flight
Duration: 1.5 hours, excl. transfers
Costs: 41,020 Rs ($226)
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
Costs: 4,720 Rs ($26)
From Colombo city center, the best way to get to Bandaranaike is by taxi. This taxi journey takes around 1 hr and costs 4,720 Rs ($26).
You can hail a taxi on the street, book one through Uber, ask your hotel to book one for you, or book a taxi online through the link below.
Step 2: Bandaranaike Airport to Sigiriya
Costs: 36,120 Rs ($199)
Cinnamon Air and Sri Lanka Airlines offer 4 trips from Colombo to Sigiriya daily. Fares start at 36,120 Rs ($199) and the journey takes 30mins.
From the airport, you can take a taxi or tuk-tuk to the ancient town for 180 Rs ($1) – 540 Rs ($3).
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