Negombo Beach


Even though it could never compete in a beauty contest against many Sri Lankan beaches, Negombo's beach, which stretches north from the town right along the hotel strip before fading into a palm-tree distance, is pleasant enough and makes for a good sunset stroll. The water does have a distinct brown colour thanks to estuary run-off and pollution, but it's no longer bad enough to stop people swimming.

Foreign tourists can normally access the beach in front of most big hotels even if you're not staying (act rich and confident), but for a more colourful (and noisier) scene join the locals at what is known as Negombo Beach Park.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Negombo attractions

1. Negombo Beach Park

0.25 MILES

Foreign tourists can normally access the beach in front of most big hotels even if you're not staying, but for a more colourful (and noisier) scene join…

2. Hamilton Canal

1.11 MILES

The Dutch showed their love of canals here like nowhere else in Sri Lanka. Canals extend from Negombo all the way south to Colombo and north to Puttalam,…

3. St Mary’s Church

2.16 MILES

The fading pink chamber of St Mary’s Church, in the town centre, has some thunderous religious ceiling paintings covering the nave.

4. Main Fish Market


Each day, fishers take their oruvas (outrigger canoes) and go out in search of the fish for which Negombo is famous. They’re a fine sight as they sweep…

5. Dutch Fort

2.35 MILES

Close to the seafront near the lagoon mouth are the ruins of the old Dutch fort, which has a fine gateway inscribed with the date 1678. Also here is a…

6. Angurukaramulla Temple

2.37 MILES

East of the town centre the Angurukaramulla Temple, with its 6m-long reclining Buddha, is worth seeing; take a three-wheeler for around Rs 200.

7. Fish Market

2.48 MILES

Across the lagoon bridge is Negombo's second fish market. If you can stagger out of bed at 6am, it’s a good place to watch big fishing boats return with…

8. Duwa

2.94 MILES

Joined to Negombo by the lagoon bridge, Duwa is famed for its Easter passion play.