8-hour Layover In Colombo

What Are The Things To See And Do On An 8-hour Layover In Colombo And Mattala?

8-hour Layover In Colombo And Mattala

Bandaranayke international airport, Mattala international airport, and Colombo international harbour are the 3 main gateways to Sri Lanka. Recently I got an email from one of our readers saying “we are going to have an 8-hour layover in Colombo, on our way to the Maldives, what are the places you can suggest us to visit?”. Upon receiving this Email I thought of crafting this blog post and hope it is going to serve a large number of travellers in the future.

The layover in Colombo and the layover in Mattala offer you many affordable cultural experiences that act as escape routes from the overpriced tedium of standard airport and port venues.

After a long tedious flight, the descent into a new city can awaken the senses. The gradually magnifying aerial view dissolves into bright lights signifying vibrant life that can be felt even from your vantage point in the sky.

If Colombo, Sri Lanka is not the wondrous new place you are heading to, thoughts of exploring this fascinating destination are likely to be stunted, because you will not feel like being in Sri Lanka since you are still on a layover. Like in any other airport and port in the world, the chain stores bore with unnecessary offerings, the costly restaurants with customary menus that you encounter everywhere and the intolerable waiting areas make it impossible to settle into even a few minutes nap.     

How to find an escape route from the overpriced tedium of Sri Lankan airports and the harbour is definitely a worthy mission, though, and there are many places to explore on your layover in Colombo or Mattala. Layover in Colombo west coast or Mattala on the southern coast offers many cultural, wildlife and beach holiday experiences at reasonable prices.

8-hour layover in Colombo International airport: Colombo city tour
Pettah central market with labyrinthine streets, which are filled with shops and shoppers are included in most trips meant for the 8-hour layover in Colombo

5 activities to do on an 8-hour layover in Colombo International airport

  • Colombo city tour: Duration 4 hours
  • Negombo city tour and beach tour: Duration 4 hours
  • Kandy tour: Duration 7 hours
  • Southern Sri Lanka tour: Duration 7 hours
  • Day trip to Kitulgala: Duration 6 hours

8-hour layover in Colombo International airport: Colombo city tour

If you have an 8-hour layover in Colombo at the biggest international airport on the island you are well on your way to having a very enjoyable layover trip in Sri Lanka. The airport tucked 35 km away from the commercial hub of Sri Lanka, Colombo. This vibrant city has a very colourful history and it is a cultural melting pot with a large number of ethnic as well as religious groups. Colombo offers many interesting places for its visitors making Colombo one of the best places for Sri Lanka day trips. Many dozens of temples, churches, forts, and many other ancient structures are ready to make the first impression of Sri Lanka’s rich historical past.  

Many local tour operators such as Seerendipity tour offers a half-day Colombo city tour, which can be a perfect match for your Layover in Colombo. The tour has a fascinating blend of exploring temples, churches, historical monuments, sampling delicious Sri Lankan food as well as a bit of shopping.

What are the places to visit on Colombo layover?

Why 2020 Is The Year To Visit Colombo?
Gangarama temple

Relaxing beach stay on a layover in Sri Lanka

You may even convert your Layover in Colombo to a short beach vacation in Sri Lanka. If your layover in Colombo takes place during the night, you might be looking for a place to have sound sleep and a healthy dinner. Seerendipity tours offer special packages for guests, who need accommodation only to spend the night. The package also includes breakfast and dinner is optional. Most important is the price of the package because they charge only half of the daily room charge as you spend only the night in the hotel.

Daycation on your layover

If your layover takes places during the day, you can also convert it to a daycation on the beach. This includes meals, changing room and all other basic facilities on a beach resort located a few minutes away from the airport. Seerendipity tours offer special rates for daycation packages from the airport and it cost a fraction of the money you pay for the day tour in Negombo.

Layover in Colombo: Ayurveda spa

If your layover in Colombo is less than 8 hours you might be a bit short of the Colombo city tour, then we would like to invite you to go for a pamper yourself in an Ayurveda Spa and an authentic herbal massage, which is just 20 minutes away from Colombo international airport.

This inviting gem is located in the popular beach resort of Negombo, which means you can spend as much time as you need by exploring one of the most beautiful beach resorts on the island.

Venturing on a Sri Lankan Ayurveda massage is one of the best ways of rejuvenating your mind and body and prepare yourself for the next chapter of your trip. You need to disrobe ahead of your oil massage and sauna and choose a massage room based on your gender segregation. The spa therapy consists of oils massage, dry saunas, hot water bath.

The oil massage and hot water loosens your muscles, enhances blood circulation and pump endorphin and put you in a happy mood and wash away the tensions of being in transit. The Spa is open 24 hours a day and offers sleeping rooms on demand for the passengers, who have long layovers.

masage, Ayurveda Holiday Package
Ayurveda massage

Colombo harbour

The Colombo international harbour receives hundreds of cruises every year. Most cruise ships call on to the harbour to change their crews, change the passengers as well as fill up the storage compartments. Usually, the Colombo layover based on the harbour is considerably longer than the stayover at the airport.  The layover at the Colombo harbour will last at least 24 hours and it can be extended to a week-long layover.

If you have a layover based on Colombo harbour, you get many dozens of optional activities such as exploring Colombo city and walking tour, visiting historical monuments, Colombo shopping, visiting casinos, playing golf, fine dining and visiting Colombo beach.

Colombo harbour is just 5 minutes from your cruise ship means you do not need to waste much time travelling. The location of Colombo port makes it possible to spend your time very sensibly while immersing in various Sri Lankan experiences.

If you have an 8-hour layover in Colombo or longer, then you can head on to one of the finest beaches in the country on the Southern and west coast, where watersports, boating, snorkelling, diving, dining experiences, and interesting monuments await the visitors.

If you are not in a mood to do much and travel 1 hour to visit the west coast take a Colombo city tour with walking tour and explore some of the fascinating places in Colombo such as Gangarama temple, Wolvendaal church, Galle face beach, Beira Lake, Dutch hospital, independent memorial hall and museum.

Buddhist temples are on the bucket list of every traveller that is venturing through Colombo, Gangarama temple is the most popular Buddhist temple in Colombo and it is one of the most historical temples in the city. The people are visiting the temples since the late 19s, and have been worshipping the temple’s statue of the Buddhist for more than a century of years. The museum of Gangarama is the most attractive of the temple, which harbours hundreds of thousands of valuable artefacts.

If you have less than 3 hours, worthy shopping options available in Pettah, near the harbour. Head to the passenger deck and take a taxi to Pettah, where hundreds of shops line up along the narrow streets, selling textile to gems and jewellery to leather products to Ayurveda medicines and many other items.  

Sri Lanka West Coast Tour

Dining in Colombo

Colombo is not short of dining experiences, which also includes many food courts. Drop into a good court, which offers a large collection of restaurants serving local and international menus. The food courts not only offer a wide range of food varieties but also the customers can buy food at a very reasonable price. Every shopping complex in Colombo has a food court and these food courts are located either on the ground floor or in the basement. There are many dozens of food outlets in the food courts and they offer varied items. The customers need to choose the best menu and pay at the food outlet to get it cooked. The stalls serve tasty Sri Lankan dishes, halal food, Indian food, Chinese food, Mongolian food, Pizza, salad, soup and many delicious food items.

Places to visit on a stopover in Mattala Sri Lanka

  • Yala national park
  • Hambantota beach
  • Rekawa turtle beach
  • Yatalatissa temple
  • Kataragama temple

Everything set to welcome visitors touching down at the Mattala international airport. The recently built Mattala international airport was neglected by the government, which was in rule from 2015 to 2019. The multi-million-dollar project had not earned any considerable amount of money over the last several years for the island. However, the newly elected government (2019), had opted to use the Mattala international airport as one of the main airports on the island. Many leading airlines such as Emirates and Sri Lankan airlines have given their consent to fly to Mattala airport. If you are flying to Sri Lanka in the future, there is a good chance that you will be landing in Mattala.

Mattala international airport sits in the deep south of Sri Lanka, which is one of the most scenic parts of Sri Lanka. Southern Sri Lanka hosts a large number of interesting tourist places and included in most Sri Lanka trips. Among the interesting places are historical temples, national parks, Buddhist temples, and palm-fringed pristine beaches.

Yala national park is just a few minutes away from the airport and is one of the best places for wildlife safari in Sri Lanka. In fact, Yala national park is the best wildlife reserve to spot leopards in the world.

Yala national park, Kataragama temple, Rekawa turtle beach, Hambantota beach, Kirinda temple, Yalatissa temple are some of the leading tourist places that you can explore during the layover. It is advisable to take a layover tour from Mattala airport because Mattala international airport does not offer many possibilities for in-house dining and shopping.   Visiting the Kataragama temple is mandatory for visitors that travel to southern Sri Lanka, which is the most sacred and most visited temple in southern Sri Lanka. This sacred temple is visited by Buddhist and Hindus as well as Muslims.

Why should you choose Seerendipity for your trip during the 8-hour layover in Colombo?

Seerendipity tour is a fully locally owned travel company with the head office in Colombo. The highly experienced local staff is a key strength of Seerendipity tours and they can plan your dream holiday to Sri Lanka.

Best price for your Sri Lanka trip

When you book a tour with us, you directly book the tour with the local company, it means there are no middlemen and therefore you can guarantee the best price. Simply get in touch with us and let us know when you travel and what you like to see.

Local expertise and personalize service

Our staff make a personalized program for you, which you can change until you find the best package for you. You can also browse our existing tour packages for inspiration; all our ready-made tour packages are customizable and can be tailored to meet all your expectations. Write us on admin@seerendipitytours.com

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