Negombo, a beach town, close to the Bandaranaike International Airport, is what most tourists choose as a destination to rest, either at the beginning of their trip or as a stopover before boarding a flight back home. With an unpretentious stretch of calm beach and friendly abodes to fit all budgets, it serves its purpose of a rest dutifully.
The town has seen European settlers from 1640 to 1796 and was a stronghold of all three invaders, the Dutch, the Portuguese and the British thus to date the colonial air of the town remains.
For the culture minded Negombo town will prove to be a historically interesting place that's strongly influenced by the Catholic Church. Possessing several remarkable buildings and structures belonging to this era, the star attractions in the city are the Old Dutch fort gate and the Dutch Canal. For those who want to see the country from a different perspective, the Portuguese –era churches in Negombo will make space for an interesting photo or two in your travel albums.
For the lovers of outdoors, the sandy white beaches are perfect for a quick dip in the sea. Some stretches of beach belonging to hotels aren't as crowded as the rest which are mostly full of fishermen in search for their bounties. Water-sports and diving are also a popular form of entertainment in Negombo. Adding to this portfolio is a well known ship wreck attracting many scuba divers to this area and a beautiful coral reef is also to be seen.
Nature lovers will adore the Negombo Lagoon as it attracts a great variety of water and shore birds. Being the largest estuarine lagoon in south-west Sri Lanka, the wild life here make up for an interesting visit for photography enthusiasts and birdwatchers.
A real taste of a day in a fishing village could be witnessed in Negombo, a traditional fishing village of Sri Lanka where most rely on traditional knowledge of the seasons for their livelihood. At early hours of the day, fishermen reaching the shores aboard their canoes are a sight to be savoured. Sea food is very popular and caught daily in Negombo. The town offers local delicacies in spicy authentic dishes as the area is known for its spices as well.