Sri Lanka Diary: Things to Do in Negombo

By 15:27 , , , , ,

This new year we finally went to Sri Lanka, finally because it was always on the bucket list but failed every time to make the final cut. This time we finally chalked out our road trip around the once terror-stricken nation to an emerging south-east Asian tourism destination. I must say I was not disappointed by the tropical island as I will try to show through my lens where I have tried to capture the soul of this country.
Trip route: negombo-galle-mirissa-arugam bay- passikudah-nilaveli-sigiriya-colombo
Total Trip duration: 9 days
Type: Family with Kids, leisure

Average Cost: 75k INR (1250 USD approx) excluding flights


Christmas in Negombo

Negombo has been the airport sleepover for very long but it is coming to term with its own beautiful beaches and lagoon. But get the facts right straightaway, this is not a place to spend much of your time given the alternatives you have in Sri Lanka, so at max 1-2 days is enough to roam around this place. 

What to See: 

There is not much to do in terms of sightseeing here as there aren't many famous centres. Please find the list of such places-

Negombo Lagoon

This place has a huge lagoon as well as a long beach line but don't expect much in terms of activities in and around the place. You can just soak in luxury in some awesome hotels surrounding the lagoon. 

Negombo Lagoon View

St. Mary's Church
St Mary Church

Negombo has been given the name ‘Little Rome’ due to the highly ornate Portuguese-era Roman Catholic churches. Out of all St.Mary’s Church is the biggest one in Negombo and has a painted ceiling as well as statues of various saints. The church’s construction was started in 1874 and was completed after almost 50 years in 1922. It is also one of the larger cathedrals in Sri Lanka and should be worth visit. 

Negombo Beach

Negombo beach is not very touristy on its own and is a resting place of fisherman boats in most of the areas so clicking few pictures should be enough. Although the stretch near private hotel beaches is comparatively clean. 

Fish Market

If you like to buy and have a feel of fishing go ahead and visit the fish market especially in the morning when the best products are kept on sale. It will be like a carpet of Fishes.

Angurukaramulla Temple 
Angurukaramulla Temple

The Angurukaramulla Temple is a historic landmark in Negombo and is known for its gigantic Buddha statue, dragon entrance and murals which date back to centuries. The dragon is built to ward off evil spirits and the temple premises are quite open with plenty of trees and a pond in the middle. 

Time to See:

Weather in this zone is primarily hot most of the time so avoid April-July period when the sand is not a pleasure to walk. Rest of the year it is the tropical climate ideal for some sunbathing. the peak season remains the December-January. The sea waves here are not up for surfing and its best to enjoy the place within the premise of your hotel lawns under a sunroof sipping drinks. Don't forget your SPF though or be ready for getting tanned.

Where to Stay:

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There is two locations ideal for stays, you can either stay near lagoon facing areas with some exceptionally beautiful hotels like Grandeeza but mind it the cost of hotels here doubles during the peak season of December. Another option is near the beachfront where the best of the lot is Heritance Negombo, a chic boutique hotel that will cater to all your wishes. 
The crowd is primarily European here and so is the food choices. Must visit if you are not tight on budget. Backpackers are in luck here as the recent trend of the homestays has caught up here. Airbnb is one of the most common ways to get an awesome stay here. The staffs and owners are super helpful here so don't forget to talk to them before you start any trip, they will give you great advice.

If you like the tranquillity then do try booking the room with plunge pool in Waterland, you will really open your eyes to birds chirping in your ear. Other places to stay include Jetwing, Camelot beach and paradise beach hotel which are some of the excellent in value for money. 

What to eat:

I believe in when in Rome eat like Romans. The local cuisine is similar to coastal India and as such if you are OK with the spice and coconut flavour you will have enough varieties to try. The place like most of Sri Lanka is a delight for Seafood and you will not be disappointed a wee bit. I preferred to eat in my hotel grandeeza and will be happy to recommend you to stay at the place. They had a huge buffet spread with multiple options. You should definitely try local Sri Lankan cuisine here like hoppers and milk rice.

Dolce Vita: Dining The Italian Way 

Known as one of the oldest hangout spots to have been established in Negombo, Dolce Vita is a petite cafe facing the beautiful Negombo beach. Inspired by the Italian movie, La Dolce Vita, Dolce Vita is popular for its range of Italian dishes along with other Asian and Western cuisine

Cost for two:

Stay will cost you around 100USD if you stay in a decent 3-star plus hotels like Grandeeza, Waterworld Villa etc, The prices as I mentioned keep oscillating between seasons. Backpackers can get a basic AC room in around 20 USD. Do search for Shon Villa if you are a group and looking to have a pool for your own personal usage. At under 50 USD its a bargain, although unfortunately, I could not stay here as the owner last minute decided to cancel our booking made on due to New year party they were hosting in the lawns.


1. If you are a bit of risk taker don't book in advance but wait for last minute deals on or, as the number of hotels is very high in this city there are lots of offers running on.
2. Tipping is recommended but not mandatory here so use your judgement.
3. Supermarkets are aplenty here so don't carry much in terms of baby milk, snacks etc. 
4. Being a vegetarian is an issue here, inquire before you stay about the food options.

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