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Updated by Pushpitha Wijesinghe on Jan 27, 2015
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Top reasons to visit Negombo - Best Reasons to Tour Sri Lanka's Little Rome Negombo

As the emerald isle's most accessible beach hub Negombo is seaside city brimming with touristic possibilities. From historic sites to water sports activities here are the top reasons to tour Negombo.
1

Breathtaking Beaches and Lagoon

Occupying the mouth of its namesake lagoon Negombo is Sri Lanka's most accessible beach holiday destination. A mere 10km away from the nearest international airport the venue is renowned for its white, sandy beaches and azure lagoon. A favourite beach hub for tourists and locals since time immemorial the golden beaches of Negombo and its breathtaking lagoon provide the ideal backdrop for a beach bound holiday. Ideal for swimming and other beachfront activities the physical attributes of the Negombo beach and lagoon as well as it resort havens make it one of the best vacation heartlands close to the capital Colombo.
2

Churches Galore

Churches Galore
Locally known as Little Rome, Negombo is often compared to the Italian capital due to the large number of catholic churches that occupies its confines. Housing more churches per square kilometre than any other Sri Lankan town Negombo is the heart of Sri Lanka's catholic identity and community. Littered with historic and imposing church facades some of the must-see religious institutions in Negombo include the largest cathedral in the island known as St. Mary's Church. Other noteworthy churches in the seaside hamlet include Sea Street Church, St. Peter's Church, the Katuwapitiya Church and St. Anthony's Church while the Grand Street Church which is one of the country's largest parishes and St. Joseph's Church are equally engaging sacred hotspots.
3

Colonial Remnants

Colonial Remnants
As a former colonial stronghold Negombo is a city with a rich cultural history that has been influenced greatly by Portuguese and Dutch colonial periods. In fact its colonial structures remain some of the most visited attractions in Negombo. The Dutch Fort is one such site as this centuries old fortress and defence mechanism still draws tourists visiting the island in large numbers. Established as far back as 1672 the Dutch Fort is an iconic landmark as well as an architectural that has truly survived the test of time. The Dutch Canal on the other hand is a 100km long route used to transport goods to and from the city. A river cruise on the canal is a favourite activity among seasoned visitors to the area as offers a different vantage point from which to view the city.
4

Seafood Cuisine

Seafood Cuisine
Often regarded as food lover's heart land Negombo is the best venue to sample the best of Sri Lanka's seafood fare while on vacation. With fresh seafood available all year round the restaurants in Negombo offer spicy, seafood curries one is unlikely to fine anywhere else in Sri Lanka. Hot pick eateries in town include The Pearl Restaurant and Amerhula while crab curry and other local specialities can be enjoyed at Salwa and other famed eateries such as the Lords Restaurant and King Coconut.
5

Water Sports Hub

Water Sports Hub
Tipped to be one of Sri Lanka's most popular water sports hub Negombo is a diver's dream come true. Some of the top sites for diving include Barracuda Reef, The Shark Pit and Pearl Reef where goldline spinetreks and blue stripe snappers occupy the waters. Diving schools are also abundant in the water sports hub where surfing season kicks off between May and October. Other water sports activities available in Negombo include windsurfing and water skiing while sailing excursions in the area are equally engaging. Visitors based in water sports friendly hotels in Negombo such as the Club Hotel Dolphin can experience a variety of thrilling water based activities while on holiday.