Map of Sri Lanka

And Sri Lanka Maps for Major Cities and Attractions

This page is all about Sri Lanka maps. The aim is to provide travellers enough directions, especially road maps of Sri Lanka for major attractions.

Sri Lanka is a tiny little island in the Indian ocean. Here is a map of Sri Lanka



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Road map to Kandy from Colombo

The fastest way to go to Kandy is to take A1 highway from Colombo. See the map below for more details.


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Kandy is served by bus from almost all parts of the county with many intercity busses. Travel time from Colombo is about 2.5hrs and about 2 hours form Nuwara Eliya and an hour and a half from Sigiriya.

Distances From Kandy in km
Colombo 116
Anuradhapura 138
Nuwara Eliya 77
Trincomalee 182

There is an intercity train service from the Colombo fort railway station and the travel time is approximately about 2 hours. There are several car rental companies operating from Kandy should your prefer to hire a car from Kandy

Getting into Anuradhapura from Kandy

It is possible to get to Anuradhapura on the A9 highway from Kandy. The drive is approximately five hours. Buses travel along this highway, as well, and there is a bus station in the Anuradhapura New Town. Train service also runs to Anuradhapura from the south, with two stations being in and near Anuradhapura. The A9 road will lead you out of the city, and you can find buses to Kandy, Colombo, and other destinations from the bus station in the Anuradhapura New Town. There are also two train stations in and around Anuradhapura, which can take you to Colombo.

Road map to Galle from Colombo

Galle is famous for beautiful Unawatuna beach. Take A2 highway from Colombo to visit Galle. See the map below for more details.


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Getting into Polonnaruwa from Colombo


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Polonnaruwa is 216 km or 134 miles from Colombo.To travel there, you've got several options. They are, in order of preference, car, train and bus. Car is the easiest. Any taxi service (+94 11 2556 556 or +94 11 2818 818 are two numbers of cab companies you can call) will charge you around LKR 30 per km (approx LKR 13,000 roundtrip - 2007) . Make sure you ask for a Nissan Sunny or Toyota Corolla. Advantage is that you will sit in air-conditioned luxury all the way to Polonnaruwa and the road is quite nice with plenty of greenery along the way. The old, massive trees tend to shade into the road once you leave the urban areas, creating a canopy effect. Trip is five to six hours inclusive of breaks for food, fruit and shopping (although shopping along the way is just overpriced and not recommended).

Train is next, though frankly; bus is kind of tied with it. It's quite cheap: you'll that find the three wheeler ride to the train station costs about as much.

You get on the train to Trincomalee at Colombo Fort station), connect in Gal Oya and you're in Polonnaruwa. The trip'll take you a good part of a day and the train leaves the station at 6.15am so plan accordingly. It is not however an air conditioned experience but it is a train with all the scenery.

Bus is always another option. Buses also leave from Colombo Fort but from a slightly different location. Take the intercity to Polonnaruwa. With luck and blessings from whatever deity you subscribe to (god help us atheists!) you should arrive in Polonnaruwa in six to eight hours.

Sigiriya

The Sigiriya Village is the nearest tourist hotel, situated in the now dry lake bed of Sigiri Maha Weva. There is also a Rest House managed by the Hotels Corporation of Sri Lanka. Sigirya is also in close proximity to Kandalama Hotel, Culture Club, Habarana Lodge and Habarana Village.

Other Useful Facts of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is located in Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean and south of India
Latitude of Sri Lanka: 700 North of the Equator
Longitude of Sri Lanka: 8100 East of Greenwich
Area :- 65,610 sq km
Terrain - mostly low, flat to rolling plain mountains in south-central interior
Population approximately 20 million
Religions - Buddhist 69%, Hindu 15%, Christian 8%, Muslim 8%
Languages - Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18% note: English is commonly used in government and is spoken by about 10%-20% of the population
Capital - Colombo
There is air service to and from Colombo, provided by the national airline Sri Lankan Airlines. Flights are available from origins throughout Europe, United States, Southeast Asia, China, Japan, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan. Other airlines, include Qatar Airlines and Emirates. If you were to Fly Emirates, you can stop over in Colombo on your way to Singapore (e.g. Dubai - Colombo - Singapore)
Colombo's international airport is at Katunayake, close to Negombo, on the coast north of Colombo. The journey to Colombo will take about an hour by taxi.
Getting into Colombo from Katunayaka airport
You may grab a travel map of Sri Lanka from one of the tourist information centres, prior to planning your visits.

Local Taxi (mini van)

Local taxi (Mini Bus), is one is the taxi service provided by the taxi counter in the arrivals hall. They provide a mini van without air conditioning but it will be cheaper (about 1/3) than taxis provided by 'hotels'. This service is primarily intended for the locals so, the counter staff may try to persuade you to go to one of the 'hotel taxi' counters outside the arrivals hall but insist that you only want a mini van!

Hotel Taxi

Most of the four and five start hotels have their own counter just outside the arrivals hall. You can get a taxi from one of these places. They will supply an air-conditioned car and the cost to Galle Face could be about US$ 20 - 30.

By Bus

Catching a Bus is the cheapest way to get into Colombo, but will take some effort and time. There are public, private, air-conditioned mini buses from Katunayake airport to Colombo Fort (where the main railway station is). These buses used to stop outside the airport from the bus depot just outside the airport. You can get there by free shuttle or walk (about 10 - 15 mins). To catch a shuttle bus, come out of the airport, turn left and walk all the way to the end of the building. You will not find any signs so ask a few people (it is not unusual for people to give you an answer, even if wrong, in order to be polite. So, best to always ask a few people and compare the answers!).

Once to get to the bus depot, you can catch a bus to Colombo Fort. The journey cost about US $ 1 - 2. The buses do not have any space for luggage so; you can buy two or three seats for your luggage). The journey into Colombo Fort could take anything between an hour to two hours depending on the time of travelling. The bus will stop at major town en route. They also have collapsible seats along the aisle which will get used as the bus becomes busy so, try to get a seat at the front. The one opposite the door is preferable! Ask the conductor to tell you when the bus gets to the Fort station (as opposed to the Colombo bus depot). Note that some buses do not go as far as the Fort station and stop at the bus depot, which is about 5 min walk from the station. Others go via the depot to fort station and then double back to the bus depot. Always take care of your luggage.

Once you reach Colombo Fort, you can get a three-wheeler to get to your destination. You will pay a little premium for catching a three-wheeler from the bus station or outside Fort station (on the main road so there will be a choice of three-wheeler) but it should not cost more than US $ 2 - 3 to go to hotels near Galle Face (e.g. Cinnamon Grand, Taj or Galle Face Hotel).

You can also catch a bus to Galle Face (less than 20 cents) but you will not welcome on-board with large luggage. You may get away with a backpack though.

Get around

In Colombo, everything works that works for the country. Getting around by Tri-Shaw (Three wheeler, tuk-tuk) is most convenient. You should always negotiate, bargain and agree on a price before you take a trip. For shorter trips inside Colombo you can skip the dealing and just pay US $ 2 3 (SL Rs 200 300) when you get off. If they argue, just tell them 200 is double of what locals would pay. Taxi is also good. The cars often have meters starting on cents 40 (SL Rs 40). You seldom pay more than US $ 3 (SL Rs. 200 300) for a trip inside Colombo. US $ 6 (SL Rs. 600 700) will get you to Mount Lavinia. Then you get more safety than in a three-wheeler. And you get A/C.

Stay safe

Colombo is like most South Asian capitals. Although probably not as dangerous as you would think, tourists should be very vigilant. Some first time travellers to Colombo find themselves falling victim to scams and touts. Be on guard for anybody trying to help you by giving you unsolicited directions or travel advice, and take any advice from taxi and auto drivers with a grain of salt, especially if they tell you the place you want to go to is closed, dangerous, etc. If you are unsure, check a map. If you have been told your hotel is closed or full, give them a call. If you are a first time visitor to Sri Lanka, don't admit it, as it will make you a mark for the scam artists.

Once you are pass the scamsters, Colombo is a far more welcoming destination than other South Asian ones. Certainly single women, although not advised to explore every nook and cranny of the city on their own late at night, will not find the pestering attentions of leering men that they may do in some cities in Sri Lanka's big brother to the north.

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