Negombo is a major city located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, approximately 37 km north of Colombo and 7 km away from the international airport. It is a major commercial hub, best known for its fabulous fishing industry, sandy beaches and wide range of tourist accommodation options. Although the bulk of its economy is based on tourism and fishing, Negombo is also well known for its cinnamon, ceramics and brassware products. Negombo is the perfect destination for tourists on their way to or from the airport; it is less crowded compared to other beach locations as most visitors only stay here for the first or last night of their stay in Sri Lanka.
The fish market in Negombo offers an excellent collection of colourful fishes and other sea creatures of all shapes and sizes. It is an absolute delight to stroll through and select fresh fish, albeit the strong smell! The fish market is open daily, giving tourists a good chance to meet the local fishermen and arrange fishing trips into the lagoon and ocean if desired.
The beaches in Negombo are among the best on the west coast of the island, complete with charming palm trees, picturesque sunsets and warm water. The beaches are divided into quiet stretches that are maintained by hotels and busy areas for fishing. In addition, Negombo beaches offer water sports, diving and swimming opportunities; necessary equipment can be found from most hotels and private vendors. Visitors will also be able to buy local handicrafts, batik items and jewellery from boutiques on the beaches.
Negombo also showcases remnants and buildings of the colonial period including forts, administrative buildings, houses and churches constructed by the Dutch and Portuguese. Notable colonial attractions are the canals built during the Dutch era, which are still in use today.