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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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10 Travel Tips for a Holiday in Negombo -Must know things before your vacation

Negombo is a popular destination for many tourists due to its proximity to the International Airport. While it is pretty welcoming towards tourists, here are some tips to minimize discomfort.


Business hours

Whether you need to go to the bank or do a bit of shopping, you need to know the business hours in the city. Banks are usually open from 9 am to 3 pm on five days of the week, while other businesses are usually open from 10 am to 7 pm. However, the shops that line the space between Negombo hotels tend to operate much later than this.


Currency Exchange

There is little to no transaction done in USD here, the only form of accepted currency being the Sri Lankan Rupee. You can exchange your currency at the kiosks located at the Airport. Alternatively, all banks and high-end hotels like Jetwing Beach offer foreign exchange for tourists. You need to produce your passport with the VISA to obtain currency,



Sri Lanka has free health care at the State Hospitals. While there is an abundance of private hospitals as well, whether you should go to the General Hospital in Colombo or a private medical centre depends entirely on your ailment. A good rule of thumb is to consult the in-house doctor at the hotel. If there is no in-house doctor, the staff can assist you in selecting a hospital.


Food and Beverages

It is necessary that you drink only bottled mineral water as the quality of water might not agree with your stomach. Similarly, try to avoid eating raw vegetables, and make sure that the fruits you eat are thoroughly washed and, if possible, peeled.


General Etiquette

It is completely accepted, even welcome, for you to greet a stranger on the road with a local greeting or a "hi". The younger locals tend to shake hands or bump fists, while the older crowd would nod. Women generally do not engage in physical contact, especially the older generation, thus take your cue from the female you are addressing.


Dining Etiquette

It is customary for Sri Lankans to eat with their hand, usually the right. The dining table is often where most of socialising occur, so talk is common. It is customary to leave a little of the food behind on your plate at a household to indicate that you have had your fill.


Insect Repellent

You must go armed with an insect repellent during the visit. The pest that in question is the mosquito, which is found in abundance in the area.



It is best to leave your valuables in the safety locker provided in most hotel rooms. While there is no significant crime in Negombo, pickpocketing is not unheard of.


Electric charges

The power supply in the country is 230-240 Volts, 50Hz. The plugs usually are three-pin, round variety. However, most of the hotels and resorts will provide a multi-plug if you ask for it.


Tourist Information Centre

The Tourist Information Centre is located down Lewis Place at 12/6. It is open from 9 am to 7.15pm. You can seek assistance in accommodation, transportation, attractions, and other information here.

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