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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 16, 2024
Headline for Top Attractions in Negombo, Sri Lanka – Captivating Adventures Await!
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top Attractions in Negombo, Sri Lanka – Captivating Adventures Await!

One of the most popular coastal destinations in Sri Lanka, Negombo lies tucked away along the west coast and offers something for solo travellers, couples and families alike. Here are some of the top attractions worth visiting for a truly fulfilling holiday experience.


Negombo Beach

Most would consider the sun-drenched shores of Negombo Beach as the main allure and once there, it is not hard to see why. The main golden sand beach is bordered by popular hotels and palm trees and offers the ideal setting to soak up the sun, play games on the shore or enjoy a quiet walk. One area of the coastal stretch is known as Negombo Beach Park and is a popular place for locals to hang out. Due to its west coast location, the beach also provides the perfect vantage point to catch magical sunsets.


Dutch Canal

During the time of Dutch colonial rule, many canals were built which made up an impressive network of waterways that were used to transport goods and people. The Dutch Canal in Negombo dates back to that period and today offers a fascinating way to gain insights into local life. Those staying here or at hotels near Colombo Airport can easily visit this site and take a boat excursion along the canal. On your journey, you have a chance to pass by small villages, see fisherfolk engage in day to day activities and even spot water monitors, various birds and monkeys too.


St. Mary's Church

One of the most well-known attractions in Negombo, St. Mary's Church is an impressive Roman Catholic church that originally dates back to 1874, though was completed only much later. Be you based in the main town or nearby Wattala at properties such as Pegasus Reef Hotel, this church with its neoclassical-style architecture is well worth a visit. One will find a Mission House dating back to 1851 here, while highlights inside the church include a magnificent painted ceiling with alabaster images, statues of Christian saints and ornate stained-glass windows.


Angurukaramulla Temple

Those looking to soak up more local culture can visit the Angurukaramulla Temple, a sacred Buddhist site within easy reach of the town centre. One of the notable elements here is the statue of Lord Buddha which spans six metres. To enter the temple you will have to walk through the mouth of a "dragon" (some say it's a lion) which is said to ward off evil spirits. Inside, one will find various sculptures, murals and paintings linked with Lord Buddha and his life.


Muthurajawela Marsh

One of the best things to do in Negombo for nature lovers is to explore the Muthurajawela Marsh which has a rich biodiversity. According to local legend, treasures of kings of old are believed to be buried here and hence its name translates to "Swamp of Royal Treasure"! While you may not find treasure on your visit, you will be blessed with rich experiences including a chance to spot a variety of animals and birdlife; monkeys, crocodiles, fiddler crabs, kingfishers and purple swamp hens to name but a few.