Activities In Negombo Sri Lanka In A Day

Making the Most of 24 Hours in Negombo Sri Lanka

Negombo Sri Lanka, located on its Western Coast about 38 KM North of Colombo, offers a delightful blend of vibrant culture, stunning beaches, and historical sites. This charming erstwhile Dutch coastal town is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. From exploring ancient temples to enjoying water sports and indulging in fresh seafood, Negombo presents an array of experiences for travelers. Negombo in Sri Lanka is also popular because of its proximity to the Colombo International Airport (Bandaranayike International Airport).

History of Negombo Sri Lanka

Located on the picturesque western coast of Sri Lanka, Negombo has served as a vibrant trading port, especially for spices, attracting Arab, Chinese, and European merchants. Throughout the colonial era, Negombo experienced the rule of various powers, including the Portuguese, Dutch, and British. Each influence left an indelible mark on the city’s cultural fabric. The Portuguese introduced Catholicism to Negombo, and remnants of their legacy can still be seen in the elegant churches that grace the city.

Over 500 years of Negombo’s history tells us the story of a city shaped by its interactions with different civilizations. Its past as a bustling trading center and its experiences with colonial powers have left an enduring impact on its heritage.

Today, Negombo, Sri Lanka, the friendly coastal city, is just a fishing village that stands as a testament to its vibrant history, showcasing a blend of cultural influences that have shaped the city’s identity over the years.

Places to visit and Things to do in Negombo in Sri Lanka.

This guide highlights eight best places to visit and things to do in Negombo, guaranteeing an unforgettable journey in this picturesque gem of Sri Lankan Tourism.

Embark on a boat tour of Negombo Lagoon (or a Kayak adventure, if you prefer)

Negombo Lagoon is close to the coast and is about 10 KM long North-South and about 4 KM at the widest point. The lagoon is fed by one canal, the famous Hamilton Canal, and several small rivers. The lagoon is connected to the open sea at the North via a small mouth.

Going on a boat ride or a kayaking adventure to admire the serene beauty of Negombo Lagoon is an experience that will captivate your senses and leave you in awe. We took a motorboat to explore the lagoon. Negombo Lagoon is a natural paradise boasting picturesque landscapes, swampy mangroves, tranquil waters, and matching biodiversity. It is also a birdwatcher’s paradise. If you are bird photographer, don’t forget your long lens!

Explore Hamilton Canal / Dutch Canal

The Hamilton Canal (Dutch Canal) is not only a window into the past but also a recreational haven. You may have heard of the saying “Where there are Dutch, there are canals!”… No… I just made it up! . It is true, though!

As per Persian travelers, some form of waterways existed even in the 8th Century, which connected one lagoon to the other. When the Dutch came in, they saw the huge potential of building proper canals for inexpensive transportation of spices to the ports.

Visit Negombo Fish Market Complex

Experience the vibrant charm of Negombo fishing village and immerse yourself in its bustling open-air fishing market. Discover a world where time seems to stand still as local fishermen bring in their daily catch, their colorful boats dotting the horizon.

Daily catch is segregated by type and size and then immersed in salt water before they are put out to dry on jute cloth sheets. There are sheets and sheets of drying fish which cover the entire beach! A separate partly covered area is earmarked for fresh catch.

Negombo Dutch Fort

The Negombo Dutch Fort is a historical landmark located in Negombo, Sri Lanka and is not to be missed, although much of the fort is in ruins. It is very near Negombo fish market.

This was originally a Portuguese fort but quite weak in structure. When the Dutch came in they rebuilt it during late the 17th century, to protect the regions thriving cinnamon trade and their people.

Tour the Temples & Churches of Negombo

Sri Lanka is a multi-religious country with Buddhism as its major religion. Negombo has its share of places of worship of many faiths. Having said that, I found that there were more Christian Churches than that of any other religion, in Negombo. The reason is because during the Portuguese and Dutch colonial periods, many Catholic missionaries arrived in the area and established churches, making Negombo a predominantly Christian town. The city became a center of Christian influence and worship, which has persisted over the centuries. There are over 20 churches in this small town of Negombo. We will talk about only a few important ones.

Churches and Cathedrals

St. Sebastian Church Wellaweediya (Sea Street)

Buddhist Viharayas and Hindu Temples in Negombo Sri Lanka
Angurukaramulla Viharaya, also known as Bodhirajarama Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple and is home to the Dragon entrance, paintings and beautiful sculptures and, 6 meter reclining Buddha. There is also library in ruins, apparently predating the Buddhist Temple.

Sri Singama Kali Amman Kovil in Negombo, Sri Lanka, is a revered Hindu temple that holds great significance for the local Tamil community. Dedicated to the goddess Kali, it boasts stunning architecture, intricate sculptures, and hosts vibrant festivals. The temple’s allure attracts both devotees and tourists, making it a cherished cultural landmark.

There are several Churches, Buddhist Viharas, Hindu temples and mosques dotting Negombo. Should you be interested, you may ask your guide or send us a shout-out at [email protected]!

Relax on Negombo Beach

Enjoy the golden sands and turquoise waters of Negombo Beach. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports like windsurfing. It has a long tract of beach for a leisurely tease and to choose your favorite spot.

Health and Rejuvenation in Negombo

Once you are through with the day, Negombo, Sri Lanka, offers a serene haven for rejuvenation seekers. With its abundance of spas and wellness retreats, it’s the perfect destination for those seeking relaxation and restoration. From Ayurvedic treatments to soothing massages, Negombo provides a holistic approach to healing and rejuvenation, combining ancient traditions with modern techniques.

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