Fly in to Bandaranaike International Airport, just north of Colombo. You’ll be able to buy a SIM card and change cash or use an ATM at the airport. Book a pick up in advance, arrange a transfer through your hotel, or call an Uber / PickMe once you have arrived. The journey should take around two hours along the expressway to Galle by car from the airport.
There are also regular train services from Colombo Fort Station to Galle Station. You’ll find the latest train times here. Arrive at the station in advance to buy a reserved seat, and be aware that trains at peak times are often standing room only. This can be a sticky way to travel, but it’s cheap and very striking, with the railway following the coastline for the first half of the journey. Expect vendors to stroll past with tea, coffee and fragrant snacks. Have your small change ready!
The other affordable — speedier, but less scenic — way to reach Galle from Colombo is by highway bus. These air-conditioned coaches leave Makumbura Multimodal Centre (MMC), on the edge of Colombo, regularly. The journey takes about an hour and 20 minutes, and buses pull up right outside Galle Fort.