Negombo is the closest city to the Bandaranaike International Airport, and a popular destination for people who are either starting or ending their Sri Lankan adventure. Negombo is a bustling city with a gorgeous beach lined with coconut palms and mangroves. Located at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon, the city is one of the largest in Sri Lanka, and has one of the busiest fishing centres in the island. This delightful city also has a rich cultural history, with legacies of its colonial past dotted throughout the area.
One of the top attractions here is the fish market, which is held every day of the week except Sunday. The colourful array of fish makes a visit here worthwhile, despite the strong fishy smells. The market also has a wide range of seafood – lobsters, crabs and prawns, which are caught from the lagoon water. Negombo beach provides some of the best views – here you can see catamarans, canoes and modern trawlers gently bouncing on the blue water against a backdrop of palm trees and blue sky.
Negombo is home to the largest Catholic community in Sri Lanka, a legacy of Portuguese colonial influences. You can visit several highly ornate churches within the city. The Dutch have also left their mark here with 17th century Dutch architecture still in existence – the ruins of the old Dutch Fort gate are now part of the town’s prison, whilst the 100 km Dutch Canal which runs through the town is still used.
Negombo has several hotels ranging small guesthouses to larger establishments. We recommend Goldi Sands and the Jetwing hotels in Negombo – Jetwing Beach, Jetwing Blue and Jetwing Lagoon for unforgettable stays.