Tourist’s guide to Negombo – a large beach city of Sri Lanka

Negombo (Sri Lanka) is a popular resort that many travelers use as an intermediate point while traveling. This state of affairs is due to the convenient location of the village – just 40 km from the airport in Colombo. The resort town in Sri Lanka is famous for its fish market, cinnamon production, and interesting sights.

Negombo (Sri Lanka)

general information

Negombo is a small town located in the western part of Sri Lanka. The settlement is located on the Indian Ocean in a picturesque lagoon. This is one of the main commercial centers of the country.

Canal in Negombo

Most of the history of the city was ruled by Moors who successfully traded cinnamon. Then the Arabs were ousted by the Portuguese, built a fort, took control of the sale of spices to other countries. During the years of Portuguese rule in Negombo, the local population converted to Catholicism, which is why today a large number of Catholic churches are preserved here.

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In the mid-17th century, the Dutch seized power, built a fortress, erected new buildings, cathedrals and organized a network of water channels.

After the British seized power in Negombo in Sri Lanka, the town developed as a commercial center. At the end of the 19th century, a railway was laid here, fish and seafood production was carried out on an industrial scale, extensive plantations of tea, coffee and nuts appeared.

What attracts travelers

Vacationers are attracted to beaches, however, if you compare them with the beaches in other resorts of Sri Lanka, the comparison is not in favor of Negombo. Residents warmly and friendly welcome vacationers, interesting sights have been preserved here, good conditions for diving have been created.

Fish market

A notable feature of the resort city in Sri Lanka is its canal network. Their length is almost 100 km. Residents of Negombo use it as trade and tourist routes.

In Negombo you should definitely visit:

  • Dutch fort
  • St. Mary’s Cathedral;
  • Church of St. Anne;
  • fish market.

Interesting fact! At the market, you can arrange with local fishermen to fish in the lagoon.

Negombo beaches

Garbage and untidy coastline

Often in the photo Negombo in Sri Lanka is presented as a luxury resort with picturesque beaches. However, in practice the situation is somewhat different. Low quality beaches. At first glance, it seems that there is everything you need for a comfortable stay. However, the general impression is spoiled by garbage and untidy coastline. In addition, the water is muddy almost all year round due to the large amount of silt that accumulates from canals and rivers.

Almost the entire city beach, located outside the territory of the tourist region, is practically not cleaned. There are no sunbeds and umbrellas, you can find them only near some hotels.

Good to know! If you want to relax and unwind, choose a beach located in the tourist area. There are many cafes, restaurants, there are shopping centers, in some hotels nightlife is in full swing. Negombo in Sri Lanka falls asleep around 22-00, it is calm and quiet. Most guests who come to Sri Lanka to enjoy their beach holiday spend no more than 2 days in Negombo.

Beach along Lewis Place

The cleanest sections of the beach are located along two city streets:

  • Lewis Place;
  • Porutota rd.

This is a tourist part of the city, therefore, garbage is regularly collected here on the beach, so the sand is relatively clean. The descent into the water is gentle, and the width of the coastline is from 10 to 30 meters. In two directions from the beach (north and south), dirty areas begin. In this part of Negombo live local people who do not stand on ceremony and throw garbage directly to the shore.

Useful information! Moving south, you can get into the lagoon, where there is a fairly good Negombo beach, covered with black sand.

See also: Holidays in Mount Lavinia – what you need to know ?

Holiday Prices

The main advantage of the resort is the cheap prices for accommodation and food. Especially in the low season, finding decent housing with good conditions will not be difficult. You can rent a double room in a guesthouse for $ 9. You can and should bargain with the owners of guesthouses, most likely, housing prices can be reduced.

This is useful! Depending on the season and the desire of the owners to get rich, the initial price can be reduced by one and a half times.

Goldi Sands Hotel

If you prefer a comfortable stay, it is better to rent a hotel room in advance. In Negombo there are hotels of different levels, with different numbers of stars. For a short rest, it makes sense to find a good hotel with air conditioning in the rooms and with a swimming pool, because swimming in the ocean due to silt and mud is not very pleasant.

In the low season, prices in 3-star hotels vary between $ 25-45. To rent a room in a decent hotel of level 4 and 5 stars with a pool and breakfast will cost $ 60-90.

Useful information! If you arrive in Negombo at night, notify the owners of the guesthouse or hotel in advance. The resort town falls asleep quite early, the hotels close at night, and it will not work to settle late in the evening.

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Food Rates

In a cafe in Negombo

Prices in cafes and restaurants in Negombo are lower than in other resort towns of Sri Lanka. The most expensive establishments are concentrated in tourist areas. Here are institutions with different cuisines, of different levels and price ranges.

The most budgetary cafes are concentrated in the commercial part of the village. As a rule, such inexpensive establishments are called Hotel and resemble an ordinary dining room. There are expensive restaurants here too, but you should be prepared for the fact that the service and manner of service in them differ from the traditional, European one.

It is important! The cost of breakfast is approximately $ 3. Chicken soup costs about $ 2.5, a milkshake costs about $ 2, and a teapot of tea costs $ 1.2.

Hotel Browns Beach Hotel

Gourmet restaurants can be sampled on site. Good reviews received:

  • Orchid (hotel Browns Beach Hotel);
  • Sands’ (The Beach Hotel).

The menu is composed of international dishes, vegetarian dishes are presented on a separate menu. The Beach Hotel has a Black Coral vegetarian establishment.

If you prefer fish dishes and seafood, visit the Fish & Lobster Restaurant. Dishes are prepared in front of customers. The average check is from $ 40. If you prefer German cuisine, order dinner at Bijou Restaurant. The cost of the check is about $ 25-30.

It is important! There are no Russian establishments in Negombo in Sri Lanka, but there is a menu in Russian in the restaurant.

Attractions, what to see

The resort has few attractions, most of the architectural monuments are Catholic, Hindu and Buddhist temples. A colorful place that all tourists recommend visiting is fish markets. There are several of them, you need to visit at least one. Here you can buy fresh seafood, arrange fishing. Be sure to ride along the canals and lagoons that surround the net of Negombo.

It is important! You can admire the flora and fauna in the lagoons during a private excursion or using the services of travel agencies.

Angurukaramula Temple

The main attraction of Negombo is a large number of churches. The most beautiful and majestic is considered to be the church of Angurukaramula. The Buddhist temple is located a 20-minute walk from the train station, so many tourists prefer to walk to the sights on foot.

Angurukaramula Temple

The attraction attracts with a six-meter Buddha statue, which is installed in a wooden carved arbor. The gazebo deserves special attention, since the best local craftsmen worked on its creation. A pool is dug and ennobled in front of the statue, because the element of water is a must for every Buddhist temple. Inside and outside dozens of statues of Buddha are installed. The sights are decorated with murals telling about the life of Buddha. As a rule, murals turn into original bas-reliefs, they are supplemented by figures. Inside the temple, a special atmosphere is created, which must be felt when you are in Negombo.

A tourist attraction is located within the city , you can get here on foot, walking from anywhere in the village. If you get from the train station, you need to move east from the train station.

Admission is free , you can visit the temple daily from 8-00 to 18-00.

Note to the traveler: Nuwara Eliya is the tea capital of Sri Lanka .

Church of St. Anne

Catholic temple decorated with statues. Many tourists note that the Catholic Church, built in Sri Lanka, is very different from European temples. Despite the apparent simplicity, a unique atmosphere reigns inside, prayers are read differently, they are sung differently, even the statue of Jesus Christ is not like the standard images common in Europe.

Church of St. Anne

Local Christians stop at the entrance and read prayers right on the street. The church building stands out among the buildings – it is decorated with statues, decor and elegance. For Negombo, this type of architecture is unusual, so all tourists visiting the resort come to the sights. The interior is rich, many photographs, stained glass and sculptures. An unusual altar is built inside, illuminated by red light. The inspection of the temple takes from 20 minutes to half an hour.

Lagoon Safari

The excursion involves a trip in boats along the canals and lagoon. Duration – half a day. During this time, travelers get acquainted with the local flora and fauna. There are many birds in the lagoon, lush greenery.

Lagoon Safari


  • a group of 2-3 people – $ 55;
  • a group of 4-5 people – $ 40.

Boats slowly follow a quiet river, guides talk about the features of the area. Such a journey calms and relaxes. In the thickets of trees you can see an iguana, a monitor lizard and even a crocodile in a natural habitat. At the request of tourists, guides stop boats to go ashore. Excursions differ in content, you can choose a trip during which the guide will demonstrate the process of collecting palm juice. At the end of the trip, travelers can swim in the waters of the ocean.

It is important! Be sure to take drinking water and a camera with you on a trip.

How to get from Colombo

Bandaranaike Airport in Colombo

Negombo is the closest resort to Bandaranaike Airport in Colombo.

You can get from Colombo to Negombo by taxi. This is the most comfortable option, but expensive – the trip will cost about $ 20. The journey takes 30 minutes. From the airport there is bus number 240, the ticket price is $ 0.35. A ride in a tuk-tuk will cost a little more – almost $ 4.

It is important! The most convenient option is to book a transfer at the host hotel, in which case the driver expects a tourist with a sign in the airport building.

By bus
Knock Knock

Transport departs from the bus station, which is located about a kilometer from the airport building. The journey takes 1.5-2 hours, the frequency of departure is every 30 minutes. There are two ways to get from the airport building in Colombo:

  • free shuttle (it is necessary to specify whether the transport runs);
  • knock knock – the cost of the trip will be almost $ 1.

In Negombo, transport also arrives at the bus station, it is most convenient to get to the resort areas by tuk-tuk for $ 1-1.5.

It is important! Roomy, comfortable buses depart from the bus station in Colombo, ticket price is $ 1.5.

By train
Railway station Colombo Fort

Sri Lanka has developed rail connections. Flights depart daily from the station in Colombo Colombo Fort, the journey takes from 1 to 1.5 hours. The ticket price, depending on the class of car, varies from 0.25 to 1 dollar. Tickets are purchased directly at the box office. The current train schedule and ticket prices can be found on the website

It is important! The station closest to the tourist areas of Negombo is Negombo Railway. The hotel can be reached by tuk tuk for $ 1.

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Negombo in Sri Lanka is a resort that, first of all, attracts with its convenient geographical location (near the airport in Colombo). Tourists prefer to stay here for a few days and then go on a further trip to Sri Lanka.

What the city of Negombo looks like, its beach and attractions are well shown in the video.

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