I'll be flying from Chennai (MAA) to Singapore (SIN) on September 30. I plan to book my flight with a 20-hour layover in Colombo. My plane will reach Colombo by 11:25 am (September 30) local time and my outbound flight is at 07:30 am (local time) on the morning of October 1. I wonder if I would be allowed to spend the 30th night at the Colombo airport if I return back after visiting local tourist attractions.

I would probably be back to the airport at 10:00 pm on September 30 and wish to catch some sleep before I board my outbound flight to Singapore. Is it really essential for me to book a hotel to stay for a night in Colombo? I am an undergrad student planning to travel on a shoestring budget.

1 Answer 1


The airport is 24h so you will be able to sit down, rest and perhaps even doze off on the (extremely uncomfortable) lobby seating.

If you let me know the airline you're traveling with, I can call the airport again and ask if your particular airline will have a separate seating area that would be open during that time, which may have potentially better seats for you to catch a bit of sleep on, but generally speaking, BIA - unlike many other airports - does not have those comfortable seats meant for sleeping.

Also, just FYI, the airport is near the Negombo area, and the only "local attraction" there is the beach. You wont have enough time to travel to the actual tourist destinations near the center of the country.

That being said, that area does have many cheap (and I mean cheap) hotels/motels, so you could potentially find yourself a nice room with a decent bed for a cheap price which would be infinitely better than trying to sleep on the crappy airport lobby chairs.

  • Thanks a lot! I'd be flying with Srilankan Airways. I think I should be out of the airport after the immigration check by 1400 local time. I'd work on an itinerary and post it here please let me know if this possible. Also will I be able to access any public transport to commute between BIA and Colombo or BIA and Negombo? Sep 13, 2017 at 10:35

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