We run daily city tours in most popular cities in Srilanka .below is the sample of a city tour of negombo .
try to capture a returning catamaran on your camera when they return to the shore at the sunset. this is one of the most charming part of the negombo fishing culture , the locally made catamarans of these fishermen have been in use almost few generations now. these are said to have originated in the islands off Mozambican coast and were brought down to the island by protugese in the 17th century . the name “negombo” was also first used by portugese.
Negombo , well its my home town as well where I grew and went schooling , still my parents live there and I still have loads of my school friends in that modest beach town which is very close to the countries main international Airport (about 25 min drive) .out of its 128,000 in inhabitants 60% are catholics by religion.
Christmas and Easter is a really good time since lot of celebrations and customs of the folks going on these months . weather wise also from the month of January to April is usually dry and sunny . even July ,August can be dry with some slight showers which sometimes add some refreshing vibe to the atmosphere .
Even though it’s not countries cleanest or popular beach ( some stretch along near to the town centre , slightly polluted and the water is not that blue clear like other beaches of the island ) .
the stretch along the hotel area ( lewis place ) are quite safe and easy to hang around , the famous Negombo beach park is where you can join or watch locals in the evening for some excitements.
There are large number of small to big hotels, restaurants and eating establishments suit all the budgets in and around the city .
The sea side town is very famous for its sea-food and friendly catholic community , ( wonder whether you will find that amount of shrines ,churches even in city of Rome) .
This city has very interesting history , the old churches , old fort ( now the main negombo prison ) to Dutch canal which will unfold the stories of its attachment to its Portuguese ,Dutch and british colonial eras as far as 1640s .
The cuisines of the area is very much influenced by its former Portuguese and Dutch rulers.
there are still some families those who have their own secrets of special cooking skills which they have acquired from their grand grand parents . ( on some of our tours we will have some special arrangements to have a dinner or lunch with these families and taste their secret menus ) .
when I am writing my tour itineraries food is one thing I can’t forget of ,Lamprias is being part of my favourite local food I couldn’t stop sharing the great article written by Vindya Balachander (the local food and travel writer based in Colombo) as she say History Baked in a Banana Leaf.
(Our local guide can recommend you some hidden favourite eating spots of locals )
Church feasts in negombo
Every church is dedicated to a saints and each church is celebrated these feasts too . The devotees belongs to each establishments celebrate these local church feasts to the best . ( just like the way they celebrate christmas) .
the whole area take a carnival atmosphere .specially the procession route and the procession itself is not to be missed .
out of larger number of churches in negombo. the famous and closer churches for its festivals or fiestas near to the most of the holiday accommodation are
Christmas in negombo srilanka
I haven’t seen such a jolly good people in other areas of the country as people living in negombo.
they celebrate Christmas to the best.with large family gathering to partying till late with their festive meals .these family and friends get together can take place until up to January first .
the Christmas carols by locals kids not to be missed if you happen to stay during Christmas at this sea side resort .
The sounds of fire works can be heard during the whole month of December to beginning of January .
the main fish market lies in between negombo lagoon and the sea near to old fort area. even though this can be a very slippery and smelly site ,this one will be worth visiting to see where you will have an insight to daily life of the fishermen and the locals coming to buy the fish
with its gorgeous ceiling paintings and stained glass work a visit is well worth .it is also wonderful place to observe local devotees . its a free entry and photos are not allowed inside.
this is one of the largest from the two temples near by in negombo tourist area .the temple entrance is through a larger mouth of a makara (a mystical animal) .there are lot of murals ,paintings and statues inside which depicts various life stories of Buddha . sometime a monk inside can you guide you through the temple and its stories behind , they will ask for a small donation after the temple tour.
the old dutch canal running through negombo to Colombo (now most of the canal stretch is blocked or inaccessible in some parts) the boat tour will take you through the groves and swamps to the river ,where you will have a chance to spot some water monitors ,birds and some tiny wild life ,the way of life of locals living along the canal is interesting to observe while you are on this tour.
this marsh land lies about 12 km from negombo towards the Colombo city.the huge shallow lake with inlets and island can be only get around by boat.the marsh land links the river and sea .the area is habitat for monkeys ,estuary crocodiles and many varieties of birds .
the very interesting area to walk around .the lagoon is very famous for its lobsters,crabs,prawns. if you can make a visit around 6 am there is a another fish market across the bridge of lagoon where you can see much larger boats bringing their daily catch to the shore.
There are lot of small and medium size shops are located in the negombo city centre . You will also find the negombo vegetable market in the centre of the town . So rounded by some shopping complex there is a little clothing market . On the negombo Main Street there are some popular shops carrying local clothing brands .
this tiny bazar will take place on Saturdays ( even though its called night bazar , the bazar usually come to an end by 8 pm) we recommend a visit before its too dark by . 5 or 6 pm .
this market take place on Sundays near to the beach in Negombo town ,this is mainly a local fruit and vegetable market
Negombo is very easy to discover by bike ,most of the places of interest can be easily reach by bike. it is generally safe and easy to reach by cycles for the most of the places mentioned above .
we would recommend either early morning or evening ride before its too dark .you can cover the areas of interest in a half a day of cycling tour .
Negombo Cycle Map
|JANAURAY||Most of the church fiestas take place during the end of January|
|FEBRURAY||Independence day celebration 4th February ,sporting events,dances,parades|
|MARCH||Medin poya day –meditation and religious activities ,sermon and alms giving in temples|
|APRIL||Celebrate srilankan new year, lot of local fairs and activities around the negombo city ,sporting events with traditional games|
|MAY||Vesak celebration.in commemoration of birth,death ,enlightment of Buddha.
Street decorations,large pandals,lantern and lightings ,public stage dramas ,and lot of religious activities including free alms giving to folks
|DECEMBER||Christmas carols,nativity play ,local exhibition ground with large display of local made cribs.|
negombo tourist police TP:0312275555
negombo general hospital TP:0312222261
Private medical care
nawaloka hospital TP:031-5777777
hemas hospital: TP :11788888
Negombo main bus terminal .
from here the buses are running every half an hour from early as 6 am until around 7pm ,after that the service can be very late ,there are good network of buses to city of Colombo (from normal to semi luxury bus service ) there is also a direct bus service to international airport as well. (time can be vary ). there is a limited service to kandy city as well.
Negombo railway station –TP:0312222271
the main negombo -Colombo and negombo-chilaw,Jaffna cross negombo city centre from the station
Banking & foreign money exchange in negombo (most of the major hotels has money exchange facilities )
please visit the website of exchange control department of -central bank of srilanka to check for private ltd companies authorised to do foreign exchange ,all the banks are authorised and the banks head office numbers are mentioned in the website. most of these banks have branches in negombo .
♥be sure to sample some sea food in a local restaurant before you depart from this tiny holiday resort.