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Updated by Bob Coffey on Nov 05, 2015
Bob Coffey Bob Coffey
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Best Leisure Activities in Negombo – For a beach holiday like never before

Negombo is located about 35 km from Colombo and is known for its scenic beaches, rich history, age-old fishing industry and outdoor activities. Listed below are some of the best activities to indulge in


Relax on the beach

If you are looking for a nice tan and also absolute relaxation, Negombo's beaches are a treat. Beautiful golden sand, safe sea and natural mangroves are just the tip of the iceberg. The beaches are very popular among travellers who stay at the many resorts that dot the coastal line. Club Hotel Dolphin is one of the more popular resorts in the region.


Go sightseeing

Of the range of things to do in Negombo, sightseeing will take up much of your time, so do not forget your cameras. The town is also known as "Little Rome" due to the many Portuguese-era Roman Catholic churches and buildings there. Negombo showcases the influences from the Dutch and Portuguese colonial eras, thus an absolute treat for history buffs.


St. Mary's Church

Dating back over 140 years, this is one of the most popular churches in the country. Captivating works of art include the stained glass and gorgeous paintings on the ceiling. Negombo is also home to a number of other beautiful churches that are spread around the town.


Dutch Fort

The ruins of the fort are located near the lagoon. The gateway has the year 1678 inscribed on it. Over the years, this fort has been occupied by the Dutch, Portuguese and the British. Most parts of the fort are now used as housing for prisoners. However, quite a few of the old, Dutch buildings are still in use. You will also be able to see the Dutch Clock Tower.


Angurukaramulla Temple

One of the most important Buddhist temples in the region, it is home to a 6 metre long reclining Buddha stature.


Duwa Island

This beautiful island is joined to the town by the lagoon bridge. It is very popular for its Easter passion play held every year.


Muthurajawela Marsh

The name, when translated in English means, "Supreme Field of Pearls". This beautiful wetland is located at the southern end of the Negombo lagoon and is Sri Lanka's biggest saline wetland. It is home to purple herons, cormorants and kingfishers, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. A boat trip through the marsh is a definite treat, so don't forget to click away!


Negombo Fish Market

This is possibly the busiest fish market in the country and is located on the northern end of the lagoon. It is renowned for lobsters, crabs, prawns and a huge variety of fish, all of which can be bought at nominal prices compared to the rest of the island. Make it to the market by 6am and you will be able to witness the fishermen returning to shore with the day's catch.



Negombo is quite a popular diving location, among locals as well as tourists. You can witness a few well preserved coral reefs and also a 50-year old shipwreck that is a "hiding place" for many varieties of fish.


Dutch Canal

The Dutch, during their time, built many canals in Sri Lanka. Negombo seems to be the region they dedicated most of their efforts. The Dutch Canal extends from Negombo to Colombo (South) and Puttalam (North). A boat ride through the canal is a relaxing experience indeed.