Why Should You Visit Negombo, Sri Lanka: The Best Things To Do And Experience Around!

Popularly dubbed “Little Rome”, Negombo is one of the most vibrant places in Sri Lanka to have a wonderful time. So, let’s unveil all the best experiences you can have in Negombo, without having to regret your time spent here!

The beautiful coastal city of Negombo will always keep you entertained with golden sandy beaches to relax, magnificent churches for sightseeing, a bustling fish market and Negombo lagoon to explore, and fantastic eateries to check out. You shouldn’t also miss out on taking a boat ride in the Hamilton Canal to enjoy your stay here to the fullest.

Read along to learn about the best things you can do in Negombo and the top attractions to see here to make a memorable holiday.

Why Is Negombo Worth Visiting?

Famous as one of the country’s prime fishing towns, Negombo is an unmissable tourist destination with pristine beaches and a vibrant town. One reason for this location to be very popular among tourists is its close proximity to the Bandaranaike International Airport.

Negombo Sri Lanka - CeylonPulse

Travelers can make here either their first spot to hit after landing in Sri Lanka or the last place before bidding farewell to the island. With a favorable climate, Negombo is the place to be especially if you’re a sun-seeker or a person who loves unwinding on the soft-sand beaches.
Negombo lits up like a paradise during the Christmas season and is known to be the best town in the country that celebrates Christmas so extravagantly. Negombo Lagoon is one of the major lagoons in the country that contributes much to the fishing industry of Sri Lanka. This area is plentiful in some of the best beachside resorts and hotels where you can also indulge in fresh seafood dishes.

Did you know that Negombo was one of the first places in Sri Lanka for the Dutch to invade? This stunning coastal city has a lot of things within it to show you! Click here and read our complete article for more information.

The Amazing Experiences You Can Have In Negombo

Relax on the Beaches

One of the best things to do in Negombo is to hit the beaches. You can visit two main beaches here; Browns Beach and Negombo Main Beach. Both of these beaches are stunning coasts with smooth, golden sands and clear blue water. These beaches can be excellent holiday getaways for your entire family or even can become a romantic escape to spend some quality time with your significant other. 

Make it more memorable by engaging in various adventurous water sports such as scuba diving, kite surfing, swimming, and water skiing. You can also walk across Negombo and hit the beach from the afternoon to the evening to watch the mesmerizing sunset. Weekends on these beaches are typically crowded with local families.

Negombo Sri Lanka - CeylonPulse

Thus, if you need a more peaceful experience, we suggest you visit the beaches on a weekday. If you go with your family, you can even pack a picnic hamper to have an unforgettable beach picnic. If not, there are plenty of restaurants at the beach perimeter that sell a variety of snacks and refreshments whenever you need to refresh and take a break from the sea and sand.

Explore The Town and Go Sightseeing

The energetic Negombo town is worth exploring on foot. Or else, you can also hire a bicycle to roam around this place. You can walk from street to street, check out the shops, buy things, and even dine at small eateries to try out the various recipes made of fresh seafood. The shops along the beach road sell cute little interesting stuff like handmade jewelry and handicrafts that you may fall in love with at first sight! 

In the evening, the Negombo town comes to life and illuminates showcasing a more buzzing nature. Once you’re done with shopping, do not forget to check out the beauty of the famous churches in Negombo such as St. Sebastian’s Church and St. Mary’s Church. St. Mary’s Church is considered one of the largest and oldest churches in Sri Lanka.

These magnificent establishments are worth seeing as they exhibit stunning architecture, paintings, and carvings. In addition, you can also explore the old Dutch Fort which is close to the Negombo lagoon. You will not have the chance to peek inside as the premises are occupied by the Negombo prison. But you can still witness the rustic beauty of the ancient remnants of this colonial construction.

Enjoy a Boat Ride in the Hamilton Canal

The Hamilton Canal located in Negombo is one of the top attractions in the city that shouldn’t be missed by an enthusiastic visitor. This canal has a great history and is known to have been constructed to transport goods during the Dutch and British eras.

If you visit Negombo and have some spare time, you must take a guided boat trip on this canal that starts from a seaside village. You’ll be taken on this journey on well-equipped boats with safety gear and an experienced guide at hand.

The first part of the cruise is on the serene waters of the historic Hamilton Canal. You can enjoy a peaceful ride that goes past the homes of the fisher families located at the rim of the canal.

Spot the fishermen getting ready their fishing nets for the next trip, while cheerful kids wave at the passing boats. Indulge in the tranquility and cool breeze as the boat takes you through the rich biodiversity of Negombo Lagoon down to the gorgeous Maha-Oya.

Visit The Negombo Fish Market

Enjoy the hustle of a traditional fish market at the Negombo fresh fish market. This is a great place to discover some fish species that are inherent to the Indian Ocean. This place is popularly known as “Negombo Lellama” and is considered Sri Lanka’s largest fresh fish market.

The fishing nets with the caught fish are directly transported to this place where you’ll find all sorts of fresh seafood here including the country’s finest crabs, prawns, and lobsters. You can buy seafood from this fish market at a reasonable price, especially important if you are staying at an Airbnb.

Sellers from all over the neighboring areas usually gather around the Lellama to buy fish at a great price. The hustle is worth seeing and you’ll even see interesting fish auctions taking place in this fish market.

Life for the Digital Nomads…

Negombo’s close proximity to the capital city of the country Colombo and the International Airport has paved the way for digital nomads who love to work in a laid-back atmosphere. If you are a digital nomad who doesn’t like much of a hustle, Negombo can be an excellent place for you to work peacefully.

You can find comfortable and inexpensive coworking spaces around this area with higher quality and speedy networks. Merge your work life with tranquility and spend a quality life while enjoying the taste of a tropical coastal town.

The Vibrant Nightlife in Negombo

Highly touristy Negombo is a happening city at night! The famous resorts, hotels, clubs, and pubs host various events for visitors to make the most out of their stay here. Once a week, you can visit the Night Bazaar to have a different shopping experience while you can party all night enjoying seafood cocktails and drinks.

If you’re not a party animal, you can sit down at a beachfront restaurant to have a peaceful candle-lit dinner, sipping on a cool beer. The calm sea breeze will give you so many nostalgic memories and remind you that you deserve this kind of harmony in your life!

Nearby Experiences In Negombo

Muthurajawela Wetlands

Muthurajawela wetland is located in the southern region of the Negombo lagoon which can be reached through the Hamilton Canal. These wet marshlands are rich in flora and fauna and your eyes will be feasted with colorful birds, crocodiles, water monitors, etc. This is indeed a place that should not be missed by any nature lover as this is a live example to show how human activities affect the natural ecosystems.

Guruge Water Park

Guruge water park is located about 30 minutes away from Negombo City. This is Sri Lanka’s first-ever theme park where you can engage in a myriad of amusing water activities. This kid-friendly park hosts several fun activities on many days of the week where you can have an unforgettable experience. 

This place tends to get crowded during the holidays and weekends so you can visit on a weekday to have a more peaceful experience. The tickets can be bought at the entrance of the park.

Negombo Is Absolutely Worth Having A Few Days From Your Sri Lankan Itinerary!

As you see, Negombo is much more than a mere coastal city. This wonderful sun-struck town is filled with exhilaration, inspiration, and excitement which will never disappoint you for allocating a few days from your Sri Lankan trip!

While you can spend some of the best days on the beaches of Negombo, you can have moving boat tours on the Hamilton Canal. Do some shopping in Negombo town as you walk through the buzz of the energetic Negombo fish market. Everything will collectively give you some of the best memories to add to your wander journal!

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