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How To Reach Negombo
Renowned for its long sandy beaches and fishing industry that’s age-old, Negombo is a major town at the west coast of Sri Lanka. Being the 5th largest city in the country with a populace of almost 127,754, Negombo lies just 10 km from the Bandaranaike International Airport, which makes it the beginning or the end point of most vacations in Sri Lanka.
The economy of Negombo flourishes on tourism, with other significant means of business being the age-old cinnamon trade, ceramic works and the brassware industry. The streets of Negombo are adorned with the tuk-tuks, family villas, guesthouses, luxury resorts and eateries that serve both local and international cuisines, with enough and more space to soak in the sun, enjoy the local lifestyle and experience the routine chores of the local fishermen going to work and back at sunset. Here are the many ways to reach Negombo.
The Katunayake Airport is the closest to the city, hence it is the obvious point of entry into Negombo as well. The onward journey into the city from the airport can be undertaken by a cab, which costs about LKR 1300-1500 unless your hotel’s booked an airport transfer.
If you visit Negombo on your way back from other parts of the country, then the nearest airport would be the Katunayake Airport.
If you’d like to travel by train to Negombo, there’s a train from Colombo Fort, which will take you on a beautiful journey through the scenic and local life en route. On arrival at Negombo, you can take a 3-wheeler to your destination for a fare of LKR 200.
Traveling by train in Negombo from either Colombo (downside) or upside through Chilaw or Puttalam is comparatively much cheaper, and also the fastest way to reach here.
Public transport to Negombo includes traveling by bus, which is Bus #240 from Avariata Bus Station at the Katunayake Airport, about 1 km from the exit gate of the terminal, for LKR 40-70. The arrival point of the buses in Negombo is the main bus terminal at Greens Road right after the City’s Railway Station.
The bus journey is about 1½ hours long with a frequent number of operating buses. The government-driven buses are red in color while the private buses are colored white, then there are air-conditioned mini-buses as well which cover the route in about 45 minutes at LKR 75.
You can reach other parts of the city by a Tuk-Tuk. From the airport to beachside, it’ll cost you about LKR 500, which you should haggle on. The tuk tuk can drive you to the beach in 15 minutes or so. You can also rent a motorbike for self-exploration for LKR 600-1200 a day, according to the bike’s condition. Or you can hire a bicycle for LKR 120-150 a day.