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Updated by Auburn Silver on Jan 22, 2015
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Top Things to do in Negombo - Popular Activities in Coastal Holiday Hub Negombo

A mere 30km from the capital Colombo Negombo is a beach holiday Mecca for the masses. Offering a taste of colonial history and a range of water sports the area's top activities are as follows.
1

Explore the Dutch Fort and Dutch Canal

Explore the Dutch Fort and Dutch Canal
Tipped to be one of the Negombo's most visited tourist attractions the Dutch Fort is no ordinary remnant of the city's colonial legacy. Having been under Portuguese and Dutch rule in centuries past the city's colonial heritage is one of its chief draws for tourists from around the world. A tour of the Dutch Fort is a highlight of any tour of Negombo as the imposing structure built as a defence mechanism against invasion is an architectural marvel that dates back to 1672. The old commercial routes along the Dutch Canal can also be explored via a boat tour which takes visitors across the 100km canal that served as the chief transportation hub for goods coming in and out of Negombo during colonial times.
2

Uncover Little Rome's Ancient Churches

Uncover Little Rome's Ancient Churches
Affectionately dubbed Sri Lanka's "Little Rome" Negombo is home to more churches per square kilometre than any other city in the island. Littered with churches some of the key highlights in Negombo include St. Mary's Church which is one of the largest cathedrals in all of Sri Lanka. Other points of interest for church-goers include the Katuwapitiya Church, Sea Street Church and the Grand Street Church which are incidentally the largest parishes in the mostly catholic city. The St. Peter's Church, St. Sebastian's Church and St. Anthony's Church are equally breathtaking while St. Joseph's Church, Our Lady of Good Voyage Church and the Holy Spirit Church are also worthy of exploration.
3

Water Sports

Water Sports
Popular as a water sports hub for the masses Negombo is frequented by surfers and other water sports lovers from around the world. Top water based activities in Negombo include water skiing as the wind and water conditions of the area is perfect for engaging in the sport although water ski course in the area is a mere 500m in length. Perfect for wake surfing, wakeboarding and wake skating Negombo is also famed as a surfing enthusiast's Mecca. Official Surfing season in the area falls between the months of May and October although the conditions are conducive to the sport during most months. Surfing gear is available through a variety of vendors on the beach while those who wish to go kite surfing and kite boarding can also find tour operators in Negombo. Visitors based in well situated hotels in Negombo such as the Club Hotel Dolphin will have easy access to water sports activities.
4

Retail Therapy

Retail Therapy
When it comes to shopping sprees in Negombo there's no venue that quite surpasses the Rani Shopping Tower in terms of the variety of gem products on offer and quality. With its ground floor dedicated to Rani Jewelry shoppers can purchase the finest gems and precious stones from Sri Lanka as well as Swiss gold and Australian diamonds. The jewellery items are hand crafted to perfection at the venue's workshop nearby while all purchases of jewellery and gemstones are also awarded a certificate of authenticity.
5

Dig in to a Seafood Heartland

Dig in to a Seafood Heartland
With fresh seafood widely available there is no better venue to sample Sri Lankan seafood fare than in the coastal hamlet of Negombo. With the second largest seafood market in Sri Lanka occupying its confines food lovers can expect seafood curries par excellence at the city's premier eateries including Amerhula and Salwa. The Pearl Restaurant and Lords Restaurant are other must-dine highlights in addition to King Coconut and the Rodeo Pub.