Katunayake airport (CMB) is closer to Negombo than Colombo. Most Hotels arrange pick up but at a very high cost (around 1500 to 2500 LKR). An official airport taxi costs 1450 LKR, book at one of the counters in the departure lounge.
A cheaper option is to take the free shuttle bus (exit the airport, turn left and walk until the shuttle bus stop at the end of the building) from the Arrival Terminal to Katunayake bus stop which is just 5 minutes away from the airport. Then take a tuk-tuk to your hotel in Negombo for 400 to 500 LKR or take a regular bus to Negombo centre for around 50 LKR.
Update 11/2013. I did not find the free shuttle to the bus stand and waiting is no option (after leaving arrival
building many taxi drivers want to sell you a ride and tell you wrong information (no bus exits, does not run anymore, ...).
You should not pay more than 700 LKR for a tuk tuk. Taxi is only interesting if you are a group of 6+ person.
If you want to go by public bus (Recommeded only at daytime 6am - 3pm) :
1) leave Airport and turn right (There is a sign, to the left to colobmo, to the right to Negombo).
Note: You must be strong and ignore all the TukTuk.
2) Walk along road for around 2+ km until a T-Crossing on the left; Avariwatta Road. You cannot miss it - there are
3) Turn left and go to next crossing with a clock tower. You will pass on the left the entrance to a airport export
area or somthing like that). You can take a shortcut to the bus stand or keep going on the street.
4) On the clock tower crossing turn left - many shops and restaurants - Bus Stand on the left.
I think the village/area is called Katunayake. The name of the bus stand is "AIRPORT" (in case you come from Colombo).
6) Within Bus stand find the bus to Negombo Beach (every 20-30 min; Tickets are paid within bus - should be
15 LKR, Maybe they overcharge you 25 LKR).
7) Within Bus Stand in Negombo search bus 905 and goto Negombo Beach (13-20 LKR).
Dions Guest House (Dions Guest House), 137 Lewis Place (50 meters from the beach, close to famous Beach Villa Guest House), ☎ +94 312237373, . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. A comfortable 'home away from home' -type guest house with friendly staff, spotless rooms and free WiFi. All rooms have spacious private bathrooms and a television. Free pickup from Bandaranaike International Airport.With/without A/C and breakfast Rs5500/4500 (January 2013). (7.227755,79.840671)
Star Beach Hotel, 83/3 Lewis Place (The hotel is on the beach (beside Golden Star Beach Hotel, Opposite Ocean View Tourist Guest House.), ☎ +94 (0) 31 2222606 / 531082, . Older hotel with beach front access, a nice sitting area, hammocks, and free WiFi. Friendly staff and new owners who are currently improving the hotel (May 2013). Throw back a couple glasses of arrack with the owners, they're fun to talk to.Non-air conditioned room ground floor 2450 Rupiya, clean and simple rooms. Air conditioned rooms first floor 7000 Rupiya..
St. Lachlan Hotel & Suites, St. Lachlans Beach Villa, St. Anthony's Lane, Ettukala, ☎ 0094 (11) 4766350, . The hotel comprises of 16 elegantly appointed guest rooms and Suites, all of which have LED TV, DVD Player, mini-bar, and tea/coffee making facilities. Some of its amenities are a pool bar, swimming pool, and a gift/souvenir Shop.Rates on official website start at USD 176.00.
Marine Tourist Guest House, 118 Lewis Place (1 km from the city center), ☎ +94 715641827, . checkin: noon; checkout: noon. A modern guest house with friendly staff, spotless rooms free WiFi and with private balcony. All rooms have spacious private bathrooms and a television refrigertator. 24 hour front desk , pickup from Bandaranaike International Airport. With/without A/C and breakfast Rs3500/4500 Dormitory female only and Mixed with Air conditioning and Hot water per bed Rs.13001,500.
Mr Silal Fernando Homestay, Just outside Negombo, ☎ +94 31 2222481. Mr Fernando is an amicable gentleman who runs this small homestay. He offers airport pickups for 800 rupees. Meals available.Sgl 1000, Dbl 1500 With A/C 2500.
Windmill Hotel, (On Beach Rd, close to Topaz Beach Hotel). The rooms here are pretty basic and could be cleaner, but the staff are friendly. As of September 2012 the hotel was halfway through putting in a pool.Family room 4500.
Suriya Arana, 92 Park Lane (One block back from Beach Road, close to shops and restaurants), ☎ +94 71 4151511, . This is a small guesthouse with an apartment, large family room and two double rooms. The rooms are clean, there is WiFi, and the owners are helpful. Meals, tours and airport pickup are available.Prices vary according to season - we had a family room for 5000R (September 2012).
Hostel Negombo Beach, 42, Kannattha Para, (Cemetery Road), ☎ 0312239308, . Amazing new and cheap place with super nice lady, great to meet other travelers, clean toilets, new house, superfast WIFI, free kitchen and very near the beach. Basic meals of fried rice/noodles can be arranged for 200 LKR. There is no sign at the door yet, so you have to check for the house at the number 42 (it's near by Blue Horizon hotel) 1300LKR dorm. (7.232252,79.843032)
Blue Horizon Guest House, 81 Cemetary Road, Kudapaduwa, Negombo, ☎ +94 0312233078, . Clean and comfortable. Rooms have TV and hot water. Free wifi. Free tea and coffee in the lobby. single/double with AC: $33/38.50.
Villa Flywing Guesthouse, 72/A Cemetary Road, ☎ +94 0773455415. New homestay that feels like crashing with messy relatives. Fun vibe. Big sunny rooms with private bathroom (hot water). There is a kitchen that guests can use, as well as free wifi. Call Gayan Randeni for more pricing.Double: $30 (with AC and breakfast).
Hotel Dorset, 70/1A Cemetary Road, Kudapaduwa, Negombo, ☎ +94 031-2237775; +94 072-4747087, . Free wifi. Rooms have private baths with hot water. This guesthouse has a split personality: the rooms vary in quality so ask to see them. There are cheaper rooms available for 1800 LKR but they are damp and dark, whereas the rooms upstairs are bright, sunny, and very clean. Tell Don (the manager) that you got these rates off wikitravel:Single with fan/AC: 2100/2400 LKR; Double with fan/AC: 2200/2500 LKR; Triple: 2400 LKR..
Sha Residence, 80 Cemetary Road, ☎ +94 077-7488746; +94 077-7205828, . Free Wi-Fi. Rooms have cable TV and private bathrooms with hot water. Clean, bright, and sunny rooms. A friendly manager named Pria. Reception is currently being renovated, but don't let the mess fool you. Single with fan/AC: $10/15 (update March 2014, single w/ fan 2000 LKR). Double with fan/AC: $25/30. Triple with fan/AC: $35/40. Can provide breakfast for an additional $5..
Jetwing Blue, . Upmarket hotel on the beach, with nice pool and large, well-equiped rooms with balconies overlooking the sea. Free wifi.
Airport: Buses leave the main Negombo Bus Stand every 30 mins. The journey costs about 40 LKR. Last bus from Negombo to the airport goes around 18:30.
Colombo: Buses leave the main Negombo Bus Stand every 30 mins. The journey costs 75 LKR and lasts 30 minutes, depending on the traffic. Also there is a new air conditioned Luxury bus service between Colombo and Negombo which uses the newly built Expressway and it is the fastest way to travel between these two cities. The ticket price for one way journey is Rs 120.
Kandy: Bus leaves the main Bus terminal every 30 min.Journey takes 3-4 hours and cost Rs.200
Sigiriya/polonnaruwa:Bus leaves the main Bus terminal at 14 hours.It reach sigiriya around 18.00 hrs and polonnaruwa around 20.. hrs
Anuradhpura: you get in to the bus at periyam mulla junction bus stop in negombo.Journey take 4-5 hours