Negombo is located on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. Close to the Metropolis city of Colombo in the Western Province, and within Municipal Limits. Negombo has a diverse population of 142,136 a mix of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people. Like in its sister city of Greater Colombo, Negombo is also a very popular port of call and a bustling town. It is a widely populated destination for both locals and tourists.
The Negombo beach town is famous for its fabulous and pristine sandy sea beaches.
Also being a very fishy place for doing the fish business!
In fact most of the people living on the edge of the village lagoon, erk out a living by fishing. So it is a typical fishing village and popular destination for the best seafood to be found in Negombo Sri Lanka. The city and its surroundings are famous for Churches populated mostly by Roman Catholics hence the name ‘Little Rome”. The name Negombo is derived from the Portuguese colonization. While it is called Neerkclombu in Tamil, and Migamuwa in Sinhala, meaning it is a village in a honeycomb. This name came from ancient times when King Kavantissa is said to have found a honeycomb in a canoe. The honey was given to his expectant wife Queen Viharamaha Devi, hence the name Mee-gam-uwa.
The Negombo lagoon was made good for seafarers and their vessels because of the lagoon’s shallow water which made it easy for doing trade. The lagoon area became the key port for trade across Kalpitiya, Puttlum, Colombo, Kalutara, and Galle. This is where trade was conducted in the then Kingdom of Ceylon.
History and the background of Negombo Sri Lanka
Somewhere around the 16th Century, the North West coast of Sri Lanka was ruled by Jaffna Kings. They built large structures around Negombo, Colombo, and Chilaw, this was the time that the Portuguese arrived and staked their claim to the City of Negombo. The small port of Negombo was also home to the Sri Lankan Moors, whose descendants arrived from Arabia. At the time Negombo was famous for cinnamon trading. Cinnamon cultivation was done by the Tamil Kings, and later by the Moors.
When once the Portuguese landed in Negombo, they took over the Jaffna Kingdom. They constructed a fort in Negombo and took over the cinnamon trade to Colombo. During the occupation of the Portuguese, some of the people in Negombo who were of karave cast converted to Catholicism. So Negombo is also known as Little Rome as 2/3 rds of its people are of the Catholic faith.
As the Portuguese now ruled the Country, they began to have their own way by buildings and structures, turning the management and trade of cinnamon over to them and having control of all trade. This business went on for over a century and gradually began to drop and go down the drain. In 1630 the King of Kandy hatched a plan with the Dutch to oust the Portuguese from the country. It worked! But then the Dutch took over the country! And we were back at square one once again. Until the British entered the country and sent the Dutch packing out of the country!
If you visit Negombo you can see lots of old buildings and structures built by the Dutch. The Negombo fort is being one which was built in 1672. The never-ending winding canal system was about 120 kilometers from Colombo South right through Negombo to Puttalam in the North.
Sad to say, the cinnamon trade rapidly died a slow death because of the constant conflict and hostility of the King and rivals from China who came to do the cinnamon trade. By the time, the British came and took over, the cinnamon trade was doomed and disappeared from its radar, so to speak.
More about Negombo…
Negombo was now no longer the popular place it once was when everything was thriving well with the cinnamon trade. However after the British came and after some time, Negombo began to perk up back to life, and slowly got back on its feet, and then came the fisheries industries which began and started to grow. Negombo soon became popular once again as people began fishing business. In 1907 the Railway project was linked to Negombo and the rest of the country.
Because of the canal going through the middle of the city of Negombo, the earth is a mixture of water and land with its beautiful lagoon which is one of the highlights of Negombo. It is also a minefield to both wildlife and birds which has about 190 species in the location. On the border side of the Northern side of the city lays the Maha Oya River which flows to meet the Indian Ocean. Rains and monsoonal showers can be experienced during the months of May and August, October and January.
Once you land in Sri Lanka at the Banadaranayake International Airport you can make the first detour to Negombo which is only a 40-minute drive. So begin your vacation from here, it is the ideal location and opportunity for you to see the scenic beauty of the beaches and savior the ultimate essence of Sri Lanka not forgetting the many things to do in Negombo. Take note of all the beautiful Churches, Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries and Mosques from where you can gather the spiritual harmony that exists among folks of the fishing village in Negombo attraction.
Fishing makes the main living in Negombo!
Stroll among the fishing village. Fishing is a major business in Negombo. There are other businesses as well, but it is the fishing that thrives so well here. Get to watch and see the fishermen ride their catamaran, which is handmade and very colorful no one boat is the same, it is a kaleidoscope of red, blues green yellows and all the bright colors under the blazing sun!
Get to know the fishermen, go on a ride on one of these catamarans, or just sit and relax and a take a few shots!
Or just hire a boat for the day and cruise along the colorful Dutch canal!
In those times the canal was used by the Dutch to carry forth goods across the canal to other places for trade. It is now no longer used as there are other means of quick transport. But you can ride along the canal and watch the fishermen getting ready for the day or go on a boat ride on the serene lagoon. Book a boat ride for a fishing tour on the lagoon and have a barbecue dinner of fish Sri Lankan style.
Why should you hire a tour guide for a city tour in Negombo?
Get a good guide to take you on a city tour of Negombo. Visit the Cathedral of St.Mary’s church, which is one of the largest breathtaking colonial type churches ever to be seen. Go visit the unspoiled beaches of Negombo. Spend a day sunning on the beach watching the people and fishermen go out to sea, or may be coming back with their rich haul of fish. Have an afternoon siesta, snooze away your cares as you feel the warm caress of the sun’s rays upon your back. If you feel hungry you can always delve into a mouth-watering snack of grilled fish, lobster, prawns, just a hop skip and jump to the market for your fresh catch of fish! Negombo Places to visit.
If you want to shop till you drop! There are enough and more shops for your shopping delight to get that trinket or souvenir to take back home. Visit the Negombo Plaza and spend your day quietly lazing about cruising among the gaily colored shops, clothing to brassware and locally manufactured handcrafts. Take a quick walk around the Dutch Fort or join in on a game of cricket on the esplanade.
Visit the Dutch period churches, and be awed at the majesty and splendor of the architecture. After a tiring day, visit one of the many Spas or pamper yourself with an oil treatment massage in a friendly relaxing atmosphere of smiling Sri Lankans. Take the kids on a kite surf, snorkeling, or underwater diving. Enjoy and relax your tired body on the sandy beaches in the cool breezes of the coconut palms swaying and waving to the sound of the sea breezes
You get the best Hotels in Negombo. Have a relaxing time in our best hotels with all facilities and amenities at your fingertips!
Our friendly staff will be at your beck and call 24/7 of the day. An array of Western and International dishes lots of seafood to tantalize your taste buds. Here are just a few of the Negombo Hotels that you may want to check out for yourself.
Pledge Scape Hotel
This is a 5-star luxury hotel facing the beach. Car rental service is available. Moreover; outdoor swimming pool, Airy AC bedrooms, with TV and desk, inclusive of the bathroom and free toiletries are available.
Stunning views of the beach, enjoy a meal at the” in house restaurant.”
Local cuisine is also available. The distance is about 1-3 kilometers from the airport and 12 kilometers from the hotel.
The Camelot Hotel
The Camelot Hotel is just 100 meters to the Negombo beach. All facilities including pool bar, Ayurveda Spa, AC rooms, balcony with views of the sea, and bathroom, airy large comfortable rooms, Table tennis, darts, and free wifi. 24 hours reception and laundry service.
Buffet style International cooking served at the main restaurant and cocktails, room service is also available. The Hotel is 8 kilometers from Colombo. Parking is available.
The Jetwing Blue Hotel
The Jetwing Blue is 10 minutes drive from the Negombo Railway and is 12 kilometers from the Airport and 38 kilometers from Colombo. An AC bedroom, TV, with private balcony, International dishes, and beverages at the pool bar is available. Try out the Fitness Center and keep yourself fit and trim.
Hotels in Negombo Sri Lanka
There are many gorgeous hotels in the Negombo area that you can book according to your budget. Every facility like TV, Pool Bar, Laundry, Spa, private rooms with mini bar, International buffet, room service, swimming pool, etc. is all yours with stunning views in Hotels in Negombo Sri Lanka.
4 Star Hotels in Negombo
The following are the 4-star hotels in Negombo which is just as awesome as the five stars above. They are clean, comfortable, and just about suites your purse very well.
- The Heritance Negombo
- The Tranquil Negombo Boutique
- TheTerrace Green Hotel & Spa
- The Jetwing Sea
- Jetwing Ayurveda
- The Amagi Aria Hotel
- The Pledge scape Negombo
These are some of the 4 Star Hotels in Negombo. There are many more like the above mentioned with wonderful price packages that you can select from.
Negombo Beach Hotels
Let’s go Beach partying! If you are looking for something to fit your pocket yet with all comforts and trappings you can book the Negombo Beach Hotels at unbeatable prices, with all amenities. Just sit back and enjoy your margarita, while staff will do the needful to make your stay memorable and pleasant.
Here are a few of the Negombo Beach Hotels:
- Beacon Beach Negombo
- Waves by Tranquil
- Arie Lagoon
- Jetwing Sea
- The Beach & Villa Shade
All this and more are available at unbeatable prices.
Honeymoon Hotel Negombo
Enjoy a romantic cozy dinner by candlelight dinner at Honeymoon Hotel Negombo Bed décor with natural flowers, honeymoon cake, and breakfast by the pool. Just for you, along with an Ayurveda spa and massage. Or you could request a honeymoon dinner night out on the lagoon by the fishies
Colombo to Negombo
There are many ways in which you can reach Negombo once you are at the Colombo Airport the hotel you stay will send you a luxury ac vehicle to travel to Negombo, or you can take a bus, train private taxi anything that suits you. Traveling by train or bus is generally the cheapest way if you can navigate a map. However, you can seek the help of a good guide to take you. You can also book train tickets online without the hassle of running up and down to get them. Or you can even travel by a tuk-tuk which is called a three-wheeler; it is only about 40 minutes from the Colombo airport. Of course, if you are in the Greater Colombo area it would be better to hire a taxi and travel from there, if not you have to travel to Fort and catch a bus from there to Negombo in Colombo to Negombo.
Negombo to Colombo
The main bus stand from Negombo to Colombo is situated at Green Road just after you pass the train station in Negombo. You can take the train or the bus No.240 which is also close by on Green Road. Or if you prefer you can take a taxi from the Katunayake South Train station to Colombo Fort. Both the bus and the train to Colombo from Negombo is cheap and nice ways to observe the culture and the people traveling on the bus or train and watch the surroundings as you travel. Of course, you can also hail a taxi, tuk-tuk, or Uber which is expensive but then you get the luxury of traveling in comfort in an AC vehicle rather than travel by bus squashed flat like a tomato! And smelling of body odor in the hot and humid buses and that is travel in Negombo to Colombo
What are Negombo restaurants?
There are some Best restaurants in Negombo, where you can get clean and wholesome food for cheap if you know the little corners and places located all over the Negombo streets, with a colorful array of street food, seafood you name it they have it. You can also visit the good restaurants which are also in abundance with tasty food, prawns, seafood, lobsters, shrimp, and fresh fish, etc. in some good Restaurants in Negombo Sri Lanka like the following. Some are a bit pricy, but that’s ok as you can select from a number of places.
- Lords Negombo
- Mad Dogs Bodega
- Bacco Negombo
- Papou’s Restaurant
- Tusker Restaurant
- Pancake House (this sounds yum!)
All these places are super and you can enjoy a meal after a hard days city tour in Restaurants in Negombo
An overview of Negombo Weather
The weather outside is hot and humid in Negombo and sometimes or most times scorching hot so don’t forget to take your bonnet and sunglasses! It is good if you can mark your calendars for the months of Mid November to March or May to August first week as after that come to the monsoonal showers, and taking a vacation in the rain is no fun at all on a beach!
Hotel J Negombo
Hotel J is in Ambalangoda. This hotel is beautiful and out of this world. The view alone is enough to die for! You and your family and friends are going to enjoy this one of a kind hotel. Enjoy the lovely aquamarine blue of the luxurious sea and golden sands of the beaches. The rooms are just nice and cozy. You really should try it out, this colorful Hotel J. Entomb.
The Negombo Ischia is a place where there are hotels, and spas and a theme park and most important of all a therapeutic properties of thermal water. It is on an island called the Ischia. Here you can enjoy the luxury of a Spa, hotel, and private beach along with a Wellness Center where lots of International events take place.
It is a supersonic place to rest your tired and weary bones, after a hectic and hot morning of exploring the Negombo town. You can get a therapy course and massage in a thermal pool..
Oh, the bliss! Of soaking your tired body in a lovely thermal pool as you regenerate your body. You can expect lots of people coming here for the sheer luxury of immersing yourself in thermal therapy water.
The park and gardens are heavenly with lush greenery. There is something for everybody here. The park is equipped with a restaurant bar and self-service and a 4 star-studded hotel. All this and more all wrapped up in one awesome package for that much need peace and quiet, tranquility and relaxation are Negombo Ischia.
The Negombo Market or the Fish Market as it is called is one of the most popular and crowded places in Negombo. The fish is fresh and sold immediately the fishermen bring in their catch, and sold to the market. In a day’s catch, they can earn about Rs.30,000/= for a fish haul. But all depends on each person’s catch. It is a great fun sight to see the fishermen when they come in from the seas pulling their nets ashore all the while singing the catchiest fishy song! Children and the women folk come running as soon as they hear the fishermen come home. Children dance and laugh, and are quite happy to see the fisherfolk back home.
Sometimes they don’t see them for ages and months to come when the one and only breadwinner of the family goes on a fishing journey. The fisherfolk are simple people and live very simply by selling fish, this is their only means of income for some of them. The fish is dried out on nets and boats this is called dry fish which is a Sri Lankan specialty, when once it is cooked in a curry or fried with onions and served on a bed of white rice. Fish of all types can be seen in the fish market. Lots of people come to buy the fish from the market as the fish is very very fresh and above all cheap. Unlike, in the outside of the town areas where it is sold at a much higher price, the fish market sits on the sandy beach. It is one of the best attractions when you walk along these beaches, but the faint-hearted beware of the fishy smells!
There are many other markets as well namely the Negombo Saturday Market, and The Negombo Sunday Street Market, These are markets that sell grocery items, spices, and household stuff.
Sunday is a day of rest for the Fish Market, in Negombo Market
Actually; Negombo Beach is the center of all the excitement and merriment and action. If you like to sail, rent out a boat and go sailing on the lagoon. The beach is generally crowded with families and happy children running here and there flying kites, or just paddling in the sea water when the tide is out. There are many, side shows put up by the locals just for your entertainment. Relax on the beach and watch the people go by and take a walk either an early morning walk or the evening walk in the cool of the breeze.
You will be lucky to see the fishermen off to their long sea ride in the morning or may be coming in with their catch fresh from the salty sea waters ready to cook and eat on a banana leaf. If you feel like having some fish for breakfast just hop, into the fresh fish Market on the beach. If you are lucky you can get a fisherman’s wife to cook it on an open fire, a lovely fish curry seated on a plate of white rice. And while munching on your tasty supper whatever the time it is, don’t foregut to view the spectacular Negombo sunset as it slowly sets into the sea in reds and orange colors, with the faraway boats and catamarans dotted on the horizon.
Spa in Negombo
Get yourself pampered in a Spa!
There are several Spa centers in Negombo for you to choose from. If you are looking for that therapeutic massage and spa, you can try out the following:
- The Amanda Panchakarma
- Nethali Spa and Wellness
- Spa secret – Ayurveda Spa
These Spa Centers offer aromatherapy, massages, reflexology, foot massage, sand massage, and deep tissue massage, etc Spa in Negombo.
Take a walk in the Rukmani Devi Park in Negombo. This is a beautiful park for both adults and kids. There is a playground with seesaw, slide, swing, etc. for the kids. While keeping an eye on the kids the adults can sit on benches that are in the park. If you feel like a snack there is a Restaurant for food and drink. Just sit back and relax or maybe you could read a book or just watch the kids play. The park is well kept and maintained and clean. The Park is named after the famous Queen of cinema and singing sensation Rukmani Devi who was tragically killed in a car accident in the Tudella junction. You can view her statue at the Tudella junction Negombo.
There are several other parks as well, to enjoy in the Negombo town, the Dino Park, and the Rajapakshe Park which is a recently opened park.