You can find a small seaside city called Negombo in Sri Lanka’s western region. Negombo is a well-liked vacation spot for travelers looking for a combination of sun, sea, and history thanks to its extensive expanses of golden sand beaches, natural mangrove swamps, and rich cultural legacy.
The top 10 most popular things to do in Negombo are as follows:
1. Browns Beach
Negombo’s beaches are one of its key draws, with Browns Beach being among the most well-liked. Renowned for its white sand and crystal-clear waters, the beach is the perfect place for swimming and tanning. There are several coastal eateries and pubs along the shoreline where you may sample a selection of seafood and exotic cocktails.
On our visit to Browns Beach, we feasted on the street food stalls they lined up along the shoreline. Here you can get some of Sri Lanka’s most famous snacks, and enjoy them while taking in the ambiance of the beach. It’s a popular place for Sri Lankan families to come and enjoy the sunset so the best time to visit is just before the sun goes down.
2. Negombo Fish Market
Another well-known tourist attraction is the Negombo Fish Market. The daily capture of fresh fish, seafood, and other marine goods is what makes it famous. The market is a terrific site to observe the neighborhood fishing business in action because it opens up early in the morning. In front of the public, fishermen unload their catch, which is then sold to both residents and visitors by merchants. Squid, prawns, crab, lobster, and other seafood products are available.
It’s a fantastic location for photography and discovering the way of life in the area. Attend the market early to avoid the heat and congestion, as it becomes extremely crowded, especially in the morning.
3. Dutch Fort
The Dutch East India Company constructed the Dutch Fort at Negombo, Sri Lanka, during the colonial era, in 1678. Both a military station and a hub for the Dutch spice trade, it served both purposes. Meticulously restored, the fort with its moat, walls, and lighthouse is a popular tourist destination in Negombo.
Additionally accessible to visitors is the adjoining Dutch Reformed Church, built in 1706.
Here are some things to bear in mind if you intend to visit the Dutch Fort in Negombo, Sri Lanka: The fort is accessible to the general public every day. There is a cost for admission. The walls, moat, lighthouse, and adjoining Dutch Reformed Church are all open to visitors.
The fort is a well-liked tourist attraction, therefore it can occasionally be busy, especially during the busiest travel season. To escape the heat and congestion, it is advisable to visit the fort in the early morning or late in the day. To understand more about the fort’s significance and history, visitors can join a guided tour.
4. Negombo Beach
The most popular beach in Negombo is renowned for its lovely beaches and mouthwatering seafood. Swimming, tanning, and water activities like jet skiing and parasailing are available to visitors. A selection of seafood restaurants and pubs may be found right on the shore. In Negombo, there are several eating options available, ranging from upscale dining places to simple coastal cafes.
The majority of Negombo’s beachside eateries are situated close to Negombo Beach. With a concentration on seafood, the restaurants in Negombo beach provide a blend of local and foreign cuisine. Along with typical Sri Lankan rice and curry, visitors may enjoy a range of regional delicacies such as fish curry, prawns, and crab curry.
- Daytime is the best time to visit a beach restaurant since the weather is good and the beach is at its prettiest. Many dining establishments feature outside terraces with views of the ocean and the setting sun. While dining, you can admire the stunning views of the ocean and the beach. Some restaurants improve the eating experience by providing live music or cultural acts. You may also take in the waves and the sun setting over the water while dining. Swimming, tanning, and other beach activities are also available at certain eateries.
- Price: Depending on the restaurant and the kind of food and drink chosen, the price of eating at a seaside restaurant in Negombo might vary significantly. You may choose a restaurant based on your budget by selecting from a variety of alternatives, including anything from street food to fine dining.
5. St. Mary’s Church
One of the oldest and most significant churches in the area, the church is devoted to the Virgin Mary. It is a well-liked tourist destination and is renowned for its stunning architecture and serene ambiance. The Portuguese, who were in charge of the region at the time, is said to have constructed the church in the early 16th century. With a tall bell tower, a sizable nave, and several smaller chapels, the church blends Portuguese and Dutch architectural elements.
It is also famous for its annual procession in honor of the feast of our lady of victories, it is a colorful event that attracts many locals and tourists. The St. Mary’s Church is a well-liked location for sightseeing and photography and is available to guests.
6. Muthurajawela Marsh
Visiting Muthurajawela Marsh can be a great way to experience the wetland’s unique biodiversity and learn about the local culture and way of life. Here is some information to help plan a visit:
From Negombo or Colombo, the marsh is accessible by vehicle or bus. A boat trip is another option for visitors to see the mangrove woods and canals of the marsh. Experience a diverse range of plant and animal species, including mangroves, water lilies, and several fish and bird species, residing in the marsh.
Visitors may observe how the marsh’s resources are used by the nearby people for farming, fishing, and the collection of non-timber forest products.
The best time to visit is between November and April when the weather is dry and comfortable. The monsoon season (May to October), when the water level is high and the marsh is at its most picturesque, is another fantastic time to come.
There is no entrance charge to the Muthurajawela Marsh, but organizing a boat tour is by far the best way to experience the marsh.
7. Angurukaramulla Temple
The Angurukaramulla Temple is a Buddhist temple located in the city of Negombo, in Sri Lanka. Renowned for its stunning architecture and rich history, the temple is one of the most significant and sacred Buddhist temples in the region.
The temple is situated in Negombo, which is located around 35 kilometers north of Colombo, the nation’s capital.
According to legend, King Dappula II constructed the Angurukaramulla Temple in the eighth century. The temple, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the country, was built on the site of a temple destroyed by the Portuguese in the 16th century.
The ideal time to visit the temple is during the day when the temple is bustling with worshippers and one can view it in all its splendor. You can admire the temple’s stunning architecture, including its enormous stupa covered in fine carvings and vibrant murals. Visitors can also see the numerous Buddha statues, religious monuments, and donations/decorations left by followers inside the temple.
Before entering the temple, visitors should dress modestly and take off their shoes. Additionally, visitors must be aware of the laws and traditions of the temple and show respect for the followers and the sacred aspect of the building. No entry charge is required to enter the temple.
8. Hamilton Canal
The Hamilton Canal is a historic canal located in the city of Negombo. The British colonial authority constructed it in the 19th century and gave it his name in honor of British Governor Sir William Francis Patrick Napier, who presided over Ceylon (current-day Sri Lanka) from 1872 to 1877.
The canal, which is today a well-liked tourist destination, was constructed to enhance local irrigation and transit. The canal is accessible throughout the year, although the ideal time to come is in the daytime when the weather is favorable and the canal is at its most attractive.
The best way to see the canal is by taking a boat ride to see the sights and learn about the canal’s history and significance. Visitors can also take a walk or bike ride along the towpaths of the canal.
9. Negombo Lagoon
The Negombo Lagoon is a large brackish water lagoon located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, near the city of Negombo. Several small rivers feed the lagoon and a narrow channel connects it to the Indian Ocean. The region boasts fishing villages, mangrove forests, and abundant biodiversity.
Local tour operators or hotels/guesthouses can arrange tours of the Negombo Lagoon. tours typically include a boat ride through the lagoon, with stops at fishing villages, mangrove forests, and other points of interest. You can also see many birds and other wildlife in the area. Some tour operators also offer fishing or bird watching tours.
The best time to visit the Negombo Lagoon for bird watching is from October to April, when many migratory birds are in the area.
It’s also good to be aware that the best time to visit the lagoon will depend on the tide schedule, as the water level can change significantly between high and low tide.
10. Rent a Tuk Tuk
There are several locations where you may rent a tuk-tuk in Negombo. Local hotels, guesthouses, and tourism companies provide tuk tuk rental services. We used TukTukRentals.com to hire our Tuk Tuk which is the most well know Tuk Tuk rental company in all of Sri Lanka.
Negombo is an excellent starting point for day visits to other well-known tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, such as the historic city of Anuradhapura, which is about a two-hour drive away.
Overall, Negombo has much to offer everyone, from natural beauty and leisure to history and culture. It’s a fantastic location for a beach vacation with some cultural discovery.