How to get from Negombo to Galle?
Although Negombo has its own Dutch Fort, many travellers head to Galle for a more cultural and historical immersion. The fortified town features iconic European monuments and just walking around Galle feels like travelling back in time. About 6km from the city center, you will find Unawatuna, one of Sri Lanka’s most popular beach town.
When travelling the 160km distance from Negombo to Galle, you have 3 options: you can take the train, with a transfer in Colombo, for 300 Rs ($1.60); you can hop on a bus, also with a Colombo transfer, for 465 Rs ($2.60); or you can take a direct taxi transfer for 9,100 Rs ($50). Travel time is between 3 to 4.5 hours, excluding transfers.
Train, Bus or Taxi?
|Train||3.5 hours, excl. transfers||300 Rs ($1.60)||Read article for info|
|Bus||4.5 hours, excl. transfers||465 Rs ($2.60)||Read article for info|
|Taxi||3 hours||9,100 Rs ($50)||Book a taxi|
The train is the cheapest option to reach Galle from Negombo. There are no direct trains operating this route, so you will have to make a transfer at Colombo Fort Railway Station. Total fare is 300 Rs ($1.60) for unreserved 2nd class seats and the journey takes 3.5 hours, excluding transfers.
Buses run more frequently than the train, although they are not nearly as comfortable. Still, they offer a good alternative for only 465 Rs ($2.60). Note that you will also have to transfer to another bus in Colombo.
The taxi is the only direct option, although it can be very expensive. You can get a taxi from Negombo to Galle starting at 9,100 Rs ($50).
Itinerary from Colombo to Galle
- Negombo Railway Station
- 1 hour
- Colombo Railway Station
- 2.5 hours
- Galle Railway Station
- 1.5 hours
- 3 hours
- 3 hours
Negombo to Galle by Train
Duration: 3.5 hours, excl. transfers
Cost: 300 Rs ($1.60)
There are no direct trains from Negombo to Galle. You will have to divide your train ride into two: from Negombo to Colombo Fort, and then from Colombo Fort to Galle.
Note that only 2nd and 3rd class trains are available for both routes.
From your accommodation in Negombo, you can take a short tuk-tuk ride to the train station.
Step 1: Negombo to Colombo by Train
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 80 Rs ($0.40)
The first train from Negombo to Colombo Fort departs at 06:30 and the journey takes at least 1 hour. If you’re hoping to transfer to another train bound for Galle within the same day, the last train you can take from Negombo to Colombo departs at 17:09.
You can check out more train schedules here.
Tickets are available at the train station for 80 Rs ($0.40) for an unreserved 2nd class seat. See our guide on how to book train tickets in Sri Lanka for more info.
Step 2: Colombo to Galle by Train
Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 220 Rs ($1.20)
The earliest connecting train you can take from Colombo Fort to Galle departs at 10:30, while the last train leaves at 19:30. Travel time is about 2.5 hours and tickets are available at the train station for 220 Rs ($1.20).
Negombo to Galle by Bus
Duration: 4.5 hours, excl. transfers
Cost: 465 Rs ($2.60)
Like the train, there are no direct buses operating from Negombo to Galle. You will also have to make a bus transfer in Colombo.
Note that apart from being uncomfortable, buses are normally cramped. If you’re carrying huge luggage, you might have to pay for an additional fare so that your luggage can “sit” beside you.
Step 1: Negombo to Colombo by Bus
Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 120 Rs ($0.70)
From Negombo Bus Terminal, buses bound for Colombo are available every 20mins.
You can take an aircon bus for 120 Rs ($0.70) and you can expect to reach Colombo Central Bus Stand in about 1.5 hours. Ordinary buses are also available for 56 Rs ($0.30), but they make more stops and take longer.
Step 2: Colombo to Galle by Bus
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 345 Rs ($1.90)
From the Central Bus Stand, walk a few minutes to Bastian Mawatha Bus Terminal. Here, take bus #2-1 bound for Galle.
You can also choose from ordinary and aircon buses. Fares start at 170 Rs ($0.90) and travel time is about 3 hours. Most buses take the road overlooking the coast should it should be a very scenic journey. For more info, check out our page on Colombo to Galle.
Negombo to Galle by Taxi
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 9,100 Rs ($50)
The easiest and most comfortable option for this route is to travel by taxi. However, it is also the most expensive.
Prices start at 9,100 Rs ($50) when booked with Uber, but fares can be slightly cheaper or more expensive depending on availability. If you’re hoping to find cheaper rates, you can also check the taxi apps PickMe and TaxiGo, but unfortunately, these apps have very 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!
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