Contents

Overview | Train | Bus | Taxi

 

How to get from Negombo to Colombo?

As Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo is the main transport hub when heading to other popular tourist spots like Kandy, Ella, and Galle. It is also often either the starter or the finale when visiting this island-nation.

In Colombo you’ll find here a good mix of old and new: the restored Colombo Fort backdropped by high-rises that line the coast. Although a busy city, you will find small patches of peace in its beautiful gardens.

When travelling the 40km distance from Negombo to Colombo, you have 3 options: you can board a train for 1.5 hours, hop on a bus for 1.5 to 2 hours, or take the taxi for 1 hour. Travel costs range from 80 Rs ($0.50) to 2,600 Rs ($14).

Train, Bus or Taxi?

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Train1h 30m80 Rs ($0.50)Read article for info
Bus1h 30m120 Rs ($0.70)Read article for info
Taxi2h2,600 Rs ($14)Book a taxi

The train is a convenient and affordable option at 80 Rs ($0.50). Just make sure you travel on off-peak hours as train seats cannot be booked online beforehand. Travel time is around 1.5 hours.

With the bus, you run the risk of getting stuck in traffic. Still, it’s a good bargain at 120 Rs ($0.70) for a seat. The bus journey takes 1.5 to 2 hours.

Travelling with a group? You can take a taxi from Negombo to Colombo starting at 2,600 Rs ($14). It won’t be that much expensive than the other options when you split the cost. Also, the taxi completes the journey in just about an hour.

 

Itinerary from Negombo to Colombo

 

Train

Negombo to Colombo by Train


Duration: 1hr 30mins
Cost: 80 Rs ($0.50)

As per our last check, only unreserved 2nd class and 3rd class trains are available for the Negombo to Colombo route. This means you cannot book them beforehand and can only buy them at the train station on the day of your trip. Tickets cost 80 Rs ($0.50) for a 2nd class seat and 45 Rs ($0.30) for 3rd class.

Don’t worry, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a good seat on these trains as long you time your trip beyond the peak hours, or when most locals are travelling to and from work.

The train departs from Negombo Railway Station and arrives at Colombo Fort. Travel time is about 1hr 30mins and you can see all departure schedules on the Sri Lankan Railway website.

 

Bus icon

Negombo to Colombo by Bus


Duration: 1hr 30mins – 2hrs
Cost: 120 Rs ($0.70)

The bus is a cheap alternative when travelling from Negombo to Colombo. We recommend that you take an air-conditioned bus as they are faster and much more comfortable than ordinary buses. A seat costs 120 Rs ($0.70).

Travel time is between 1hr 30mins to 2hrs, depending on traffic.

If you really want to travel like a local, a seat on an ordinary bus costs 56 Rs ($0.30). However, these buses make a lot of stops to pick up and drop off passengers, so the journey can take more than 2hrs.

The buses depart from Negombo Bus Stand and arrive at Colombo Central Bus Stand, both located in the city center. There are departures every 20mins.

Taxi

Negombo to Colombo by Taxi


Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 2,600 Rs ($14)

You can book a taxi from Colombo to Negombo starting from 2,600 Rs ($14) via Uber. Note that this rate can go cheaper or higher depending on availability. If you want to find the cheapest possible rates, you can also check other taxi apps PickMe and TaxiGo, although their availability is not guaranteed outside Colombo.

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

Just in case you are unable to book with any of the above options, BookAway provides a good alternative, with taxis available for 4,800 Rs ($26).

 

More routes to Colombo

Colombo Airport

Kandy to Colombo

More routes from Negombo

Colombo Airport

Negombo to Galle

Negombo to Kandy

Most popular routes in Sri Lanka

Colombo to Galle

Colombo to Jaffna

Colombo to Nuwara Eliya

Colombo to Kandy

Kandy to Colombo

Kandy to Ella

Kandy to Nuwara Eliya

 

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COVID-19 Limitations: Transportation services have limited availability and schedules might be less frequent. Please check our recommended booking websites for the most recent schedules.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to recent travel restrictions, most of the transportation services are currently unavailable or subject to change.