Compare Cheap Flights from Melbourne to Colombo, Sri Lanka
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Sri Lanka is a small island nation located off the southeast coast of India. As the capital and largest city in Sri Lanka, Colombo is full of things to see and do. The city surrounds a large harbour and has played an important role in trading throughout history. Colombo is full of temples, government buildings, parks, markets and excellent beaches. The culture of Colombo is unique, having been influenced by many other countries over the years, such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and India. Sri Lanka was a British colony until it gained its independence in 1948. Colombo is a fast-paced and exciting city that’s full of people, bright colours, and tuk tuks. Since the majority of flights to Sri Lanka arrive in Colombo, it’s the perfect place to start and end your holiday around the country.
Book cheap flights from Melbourne to Colombo with Webjet, and use our guide to start planning your Sri Lankan holiday
The best time to visit Colombo
Due to its location, Sri Lanka experiences warm weather all year long, thanks to its tropical climate. Colombo is at its busiest between November and March. It’s hot and humid at the beginning of the high season and days are filled with sunshine. A couple of large festivals are also held during this season: Diwali is held in November, and Duruthu Perahera happens in January, bringing large crowds into Colombo to celebrate. While the city is busy during these festivals and hotel prices increase, it’s an exciting time to learn more about Sri Lankan culture.
Sri Lanka experiences two different wet seasons, and Colombo’s monsoon season lasts from June to September. It’s wet during this time, but there is still plenty of sunshine. If you don’t mind a bit of rain, this is a great time to book cheap flights from Melbourne to Colombo to take advantage of the lowered hotel rates. Plan your visit for May or October for low season prices without heavy rain.
Departing From Melbourne
Melbourne Airport (also called Melbourne Tullamarine) is about 25 kilometres (15 miles) north of the CBD and is the departure point for most international flights leaving Melbourne. Avalon Airport is Melbourne’s second airport. It’s a small airport servicing mainly domestic flights, but some international flights depart from Avalon if they connect through Sydney.
There are more than 400 return flights from Melbourne to Colombo every week. Several airlines offer cheap airfares from Melbourne to Colombo, including AirAsia, Qantas, Malindo Air, Virgin Australia, SriLankan Airlines and Emirates. Direct flights are available from Melbourne to Colombo, getting you into Colombo Airport in 10 hours 40 minutes.
Getting to Melbourne Airport
For a quick and easy ride to Melbourne Airport, catch the city’s SkyBus. It operates five different routes with the most popular departing from Southern Cross Station 24 hours a day. Other SkyBus routes pick up passengers from the Southbank, Docklands, St Kilda, Western suburbs, and Mornington Peninsula. Ticket prices start at $18 AUD and vary based on the route you take. Each bus has WiFi and runs seven days a week.
You can also catch a taxi or an Uber from all over Melbourne. Leaving from the CBD, a taxi will get you to Melbourne Airport in less than a half hour with the fare costing about $55 to $75 AUD.
If you plan to drive to Melbourne Airport, the Long Term Car Park is the most budget-friendly option. You can park for less than $10 AUD a day, and the sooner you reserve your spot online, the lower your rate will be. A free shuttle bus is available to ferry you from the car park to the airport terminals in less than 5 minutes, getting you on your way to Sri Lanka.
Getting to Avalon Airport
Avalon Airport is located just outside of Geelong, about 50 kilometres (31 miles) southwest of Melbourne’s CBD. The SkyBus offers an Avalon City Express route, which picks up passengers from Southern Cross Station and on Synnot Street in Werribee. Tickets from the CBD cost $22 AUD, and $19 AUD from Werribee. The SkyBus will get you to Avalon Airport in 50 minutes from the CBD and 30 minutes from Werribee.
Avalon Airport has one car park for all of its passengers. The longer you park, the lower your daily rate will be. A weeklong park costs $79 AUD and two weeks costs $132 AUD. The car park is under 24-hour surveillance and is located just outside the airport, so you can walk from your car to the terminal in just a few minutes.
Arriving in Colombo
Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) is located 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of Colombo and is the main airport for visitors arriving to Sri Lanka. Bandaranaike currently has two terminals, but a third terminal is being built and is set to open in 2019. Terminal 1 is international and Terminal 3 is domestic. Once Terminal 2 is complete, it will receive more international flights to Sri Lanka.
How to Get from Bandaranaike Airport (CMB) to Your Colombo Hotel or Accommodation
There are a couple of quick and affordable options to get from Colombo Airport into the city. The most affordable option is to take public bus number 187. The bus departs from the airport every half hour between 5:30am and 6:30pm. It makes a few stops around the airport and then takes the airport expressway to Colombo Central Bus Stand. The bus arrives into the city in about 45 minutes and costs 110 Sri Lankan rupees (90 cents AUD). Once you’ve arrived to the city, you can catch a tuk tuk to your hotel if it isn’t within walking distance.
Taxis from Colombo Airport into the city are affordable and offer a direct ride straight to your hotel. A taxi from the airport will arrive to the city in about 35 minutes, and the taxi fare costs about 2900 rupees ($24 AUD). Tuk tuks are not available from the airport, but be sure to take one at some point during your time in Colombo. They’re a fun way to get around in Sri Lanka.
Things to do in Colombo
Go to the Beach
Colombo is located on Sri Lanka’s coast and has a couple of nice beaches to visit. Both Galle Face Green and Mount Lavinia Beach have a lively atmosphere, and are lined with restaurants and bars. Galle Face Green is an urban park located right in the city centre, making it easy to get to. Mount Lavinia Beach is about 10 kilometres (6 miles) down the coast, which you can get to by tuk tuk. It is a sandy beach with palm trees and has a real tropical feel.
National Museum of Colombo
If you are interested in learning more about the history and culture of Sri Lanka, be sure to visit this museum. It’s the largest museum in Sri Lanka and holds a number of important artefacts from the country’s history. It includes the throne and crown of the Kandyan monarchs, as well as textiles, pottery, painting and exhibits showcasing different periods in Sri Lanka’s history. Entrance to the museum is 500 rupees (about $4 AUD).
The Floating Market
Located right in the heart of Colombo, Beira Lake is home to the city’s popular floating market. Market vendors sell their products out of boats in the lake. There are close to 100 stalls selling everything from food and souvenirs to clothing and jewellery. It’s a great place to find good deals on traditional Sri Lankan items.
Explore the Fort Neighbourhood
All throughout Colombo, you’ll see examples of its colonial past. The best neighbourhood for this is Fort, where there are a number of British and Dutch-style buildings. Some places of note in the Fort neighbourhood include the Old Parliament Building, the Old Dutch Hospital, the Clock Tower, Central Point and Old Galle Buck Lighthouse.