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Negombo Tourism And Travel Guide
25.8° C / 78.4° F
December to April
3 to 4 Days
Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo
Negombo Railway Station
A beautiful beach town, Negombo is located about 37 km from the commercial city of Colombo. With a small harbour and tourism-dependent economy, conventionally Negombo is a fishing town which also specialises in brassware, ceramics and producing spices. A major part of Negombo’s populace is Roman Catholic, in addition to Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus; and is affectionately called ‘Little Rome’. Just a short drive away from Colombo, this beach town offers a breath-taking view of a captivating coastline peppered with palm trees.
With architectural feats dated way back to Sri Lanka’s colonial period, tourism in Negombo has some well-known attractions like the Old Dutch Fort, Old churches, Fishing villages, Local fishing market, the Dutch canal, not to forget some of the best beaches on the west coast of Sri Lanka with hoards of luxury & budget hotels, resorts, guest houses and eateries. Water sports are in abundance too. Here’s a travel guide to help you with the basics of getting around and visiting popular tourist spots in the beach town of Negombo.
How to Reach
The closest airport to Negombo is the Katunayake Airport, after the Bandaranaike International Airport. When traveling from other parts of Sri Lanka, you can take a flight to Katunayake to reach Negombo. To travel onward from the airport to the city, you can rent a cab for LKR 1300 (negotiable).
There’s a train from Colombo Fort for Negombo, one of the cheapest and fastest ways of reaching Negombo, with a further journey that can be covered on a Tuk-Tuk from the railway station.
Bus No. 240 from the Bus Terminal, 1 km from the exit terminal at the Katunayake Airport will take you to Negombo. You will find a number of bus options from government operated to private buses, to ones with air-con in the fare range of LKR 40-75.
Getting Around in Negombo:
Explore the city of Negombo on your own by hiring bicycles or motorbikes, or be driven around in Tuk-Tuks to experience the beauty and local lifestyle of this wondrous city.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
With oppressive and overcast weather, windy at times and dry for almost the entire year, Negombo's climate is the same as that of South India. The warmest months in Negombo are May & June and it is most pleasant in December through April, which is the best time to visit the beach town then. July-August and January are the peak tourist months while the lowest time is March.
Spring in Negombo is dull for tourism, with an average temperature of 31.9°C between March-May and a mere 3 days of rainfall each month. However, for travellers who’d like to cash in on some great travel deals, this could be the best time!
Summers are the best time to visit the beach town with pleasant weather, and the busiest tourist season. June through August is pretty hot though.
With a varying temperature of 30.7°C-29.6°C, September to November is quite slow for tourism. Rains or snowfall occur normally, with a day to five days in a month.
December through February is the second best time to visit Negombo, especially for the winter enthusiasts who love to bask in cool winds on warm beaches.
Things To Do
Known for its tropical climate and scenic countryside Negombo is perfect for a relaxing and refreshing holiday with sandy beaches, mesmerizing canal boat rides, romantic barbeque dinners, exploring the Dutch and Portuguese monuments, cycling around the city, and more!
Sailing in the Ocean:
Enjoy the serenity and changing moods of the Indian Ocean by sailing on a boat, with the beach side resplendent with numerous coconut trees.
A fisherman’s daily routine involves going out into the Ocean and hunting for fish, in addition to other relevant tasks. Be privy to a local fisherman’s daily routine, from Sunrise to Sunset, aboard his Catamaran.
A boat ride that goes on for roughly 3 hours from the river channel will take you through the rainforest, local farm and mangroves, also passing a coconut picking display with locals climbing up trees and returning with some thirst-quenching drinks for you. Try the local brandy called Ark to get the local flavor!
Sightseeing on a Bicycle:
Explore the wondrous history of Negombo, its age-old monuments and other tourist attractions on a bicycle with a tour guide, spanning 10 km of ancient lore, historical facts and humorous anecdotes, with a melee of refreshing drinks and local snacks through hours of amazing sightseeing.
A vacation is incomplete without some shopping! Handcrafted artefacts, curios and jewellery from the busy and bright streets of Negombo won’t disappoint you. Most of these trinkets can be bought at a dollar or under at times, and always open for haggling.
Where To Eat
With an interesting combination of the British, Portuguese & Dutch heritage in its past and the presence of some Arabian business communities still living in Negombo, the town’s cuisine is fairly global. Varying fares of continental, Turkish, Arabian and Local Food are available for all kinds of taste buds.
The Oasis Beach Resort is one of the leading restaurants in Negombo that serves some genuine and lip-smacking sea cuisine. Although a bit heavy on the pocket, the place has a lovely ambiance with beautiful interiors. With some form of nightlife active in the hotel bars, there’s also the option of dinner aboard a sailing Catamaran with a barbeque meal. Then there’s Amerhula, another place on Lewis Road right opposite the Camelot Hotel. It serves some delicious curry dishes at great pricing and is pretty well-known and frequented by tourists.
Salwa is yet another eating joint popular for Turkish and Arabic delicacies on the main Colombo road. It has huge portions and very easy on the pricing, with takeaway and dine-in options.
What To Shop
Negombo has some chic and interesting jewellery offerings with regular shopping wares as well, including curios, paintings and souvenirs, mostly hand-made, befitting all kinds of budgets. From a couple of dollars to a few thousand dollars, you can buy some lovely jewellery at the Cartier Jewels on Beach Road.