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Negombo is a quiet town in the western coastal area of Sri Lanka, with a tourist strip to the north on Jetwing Beach. Its key attraction is proximity to the international airport. Formerly the haunt of budget travellers, rising hotel rates and luxury resorts (Jetwing) mean it now attracts an elderly European crowd for its yellow, sandy beaches and its relaxing and friendly environment. There are a few other tourist attractions, and decent opportunities for diving and watersports. The 100 km long canal network running through the city is still used, and outrigger canoes and modern water-craft ply this route daily, for trade and tourist purposes. Remains of colonization include the Dutch fort built in 1672, as well as centuries-old Portuguese and Dutch houses, Administrative buildings, Churches and the ceiling frescoes of St. Mary's cathedral church. Negombo is the centre of Sri-Lanka's Catholic community, and you can expect to see many shrines during a visit. Negombo is also home to the country's second-largest fish market, the "Lellama", at the north end of the town's lagoon. There are daily fish auctions, which give tourists a chance to meet the area's fishermen and even organise fishing trips into the lagoon and the ocean beyond. Other nearby attractions open to visitors include Muthurajawela marshland, which is part. (less...) (more...)
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Points of Interest in Negombo
Negombo being very close to the Katunayake International airport of Sri Lanka, it becomes first place for a traveller comes to Sri Lanka, before travelling around the country, they can have a nice relaxed time with lovely food, relaxation, sea plus hot sun and other entertainments like visiting the city, boat rides, etc. Also similarly just before leaving the county most of the visitors select Negombo to have a peaceful time before they take long journeys back to their mother counties.
- St. Mary's church.
- Katuwapitiya Church, Katuwapitiya Rd. Dedicated to the city's patron saint, St. Sebastian. Modeled on the Reims Cathedral in France. Built in 1990s.
- Sea street church.
- Grand Street Church.
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, intersection of Ave Maria street and Old Chilaw street.
- Negombo Grand Jumma Masjid.
- Agurukaramulla Raja maha viharaya Buddhist temple, Temple rd.
- Abhayasekararamaya temple.
- Sri Sudarshanaramaya Buddhist temple.
- Asapuwa Buddhist temple.
- Dutugamunu viharaya Buddhist temples.
Popular events in Negombo in the near future
- Boat rides in shallow waters of the Negombo lagoon
- Nice sandy beaches under to hot sun for relaxing
- Handicraft and other interesting gift hopping
- Arranged sea diving in to view reefs and experience the beauty of the underwater sea (Indian Ocean) and get the fun and adventure. There are two diving centers along the main strip, with boats departing from the beach, and roughly 30 dive sites.
- Visiting the Negombo Dutch fort built in 1672
- Visiting ancient and beautiful churches around the city
- Shopping around the city
Local curry houses offer authentic dining for ~200 LKR. Cheaper, local resturants are inland from the main strip, Porutota Rd. Roti Talk, on Porutota Rd and opposite Jetwing Blue, offers excellent local roti and chutney for 200-300 LKR, and local curry and rice for 700-900-LKR.
A mid-range destination, recommended by locals, is "King Coconut" located on the southern end of Jetwing beach. It offers Sri Lankan curry & rice, but is most recommended for its pizzas. Expect to pay ~1000 LKR for a meal.
Lords, on Porutota Rd opposite Jewting Blue, is somewhat pricey by local standards, and is very much for western visitors. It also showcases local art, and has a cultural show on Wednesdays. Expect to pay ~2000 LKR for a meal.
The three Jetwing resorts dominate the upper end of dining. Expect to pay ~3000 LKR for a meal.
Fine dining is one of the most satisfying factor enjoyed by any visitor who comes to Negombo.
- Finest sea food can be tasted in Negombo. Fresh fish, Lobsters, crabs, prawns and shellfish can be ordered in many restaurants and many enjoy seafood platters irrespective of their age or culture of origin. Crabs are sourced from the local lagoons.
- At the same time visitors who are interested can go and have visit to its popular fish markets which are active every day.
- Also any juicy topical fruits can be purchased at Negombo food markets. Tropical fruits have become a popular search of Negombo’s visitors.
All type of hot/ cold drinks and cocktails are available at once choice. Specially Sri Lankan fresh kind coconut as a drink can be ordered at a very low cost. If you search a bit you will be lucky enough to taste fresh toddy from area.
The local beers are Three Coins and Lion lagers. Locals are generally indifferent, although Three Coins is somewhat more full bodied. Arrack is the local spirit, made from coconut and tasting similar to rum.
Negombo was formerly a major producer of cinnamon. While the trade has moved on, you can still find local cinnamon and vanilla for sale at roadside shops.
Negombo has a few souvenir shops selling generic Sri Lankan items:
- Handicraft items
- Jewellery created with Sri Lankan gems
- Batik clouds, etc.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Negombo on Wikivoyage.