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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for Morning walks at Negombo Fish Market – The coastal charm of Sri Lanka
Joanna James Joanna James
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Morning walks at Negombo Fish Market – The coastal charm of Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan coastal town, Negombo, is home to a fishing community. Thanks to its close distance to the airport, the town is always packed with tourists seeking a bit of Sri Lanka's coastal charm.


A flourishing fishing culture

Negombo thrives as a fishing community. The fishermen here start their day as early as 4 am. The sandy shores of the town are occupied by fishermen trying to sell their wares. At dawn, the fishing boats make their way into the ocean in search of their daily catch. Negombo Lagoon is known for the abundance of crabs, lobsters and shrimps. Visiting the beach is one of the things to do in Negombo. If you make your way to the beach early in the morning, you will see the beach laden with all types of fresh seafood.


A Unique experience

Those visiting the beach at dawn are offered an amazing experience. Most tourist hotels like Heritance Negombo are located close to the beach, so you can afford to wake up a little late to visit the beach.


The making of dry fish

Like they would have done 100 years ago, local fishermen lay their day's catch on mats made out of coconut fibre. All the fish are laid out on the carpets to remove the moisture; thus, the locals prolong the shelf life. It is then mixed with salt before being transported to local shops all over the country. Dry fish is an ingredient used in every Sri Lankan household.


The wet market

The shores are where you find dry fish, but if you want fresh seafood, you should head to the wet market found beside the beach. The market has numerous stalls selling a variety of fresh seafood. From mackerel and tuna to squid and prawns, you can find whatever you want at this exciting and chaotic fish market. The market doesn't operate on Sundays as the majority of Negombo's population head to the church in the morning; Sunday is the rest day for the locals. However, some Muslim fishermen can be seen at the market, but if you want the full experience of visiting the wet market, visit from Monday to Saturday.



Although the market is supposed to sell fresh seafood, some vendors bring in loads of fish from other regions of the country to be sold here; this compromises the freshness factor. Also, most of the local fishermen sell the best seafood to Negombo restaurants. If you want fresh seafood, you should visit the market with a local who has the know-how of where to find the best.


Other attractions in Negombo

Negombo is a popular tourist destination, and it has everything a tourist spot is supposed to have. The beach is not only meant for selling and buying fish; it offers a plethora of watersports as well. St Mary's Church is one other highlight of the town. Apart from being a revered holy site, the church is known for its spectacular architecture. Negombo Dutch Fort is another such highlight that speaks of the colonial era of the country; it is also popular with travellers for its charming Dutch architecture. If you want a bit of peace and quiet, you should visit Browns Beach; it is one of the less crowded shores in the town.


Best time to visit

The best time to visit Negombo occurs from January and April to July and September; you will also see some tourists in December.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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