Negombo, Sri Lanka: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Negombo is a major city in Sri Lanka located on the west coast of the island and at the mouth of the Negombo Laggon in Western Province. It is the largest city of the Gampaha district and it is the fourth largest city in the country after Colombo, Kandy and Jaffna. Negombo is also the administrative capital of the Negombo Division. It is one of the major commercial hubs of Sri Lanka. It is located 35 km away from north of Colombo city. The city is known for its fishing industry and sandy beaches. It used to be a trading port for Portuguese and Dutch with the same name. In the past, the city has been ruled by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. That is the reason that the architecture of the city is very diverse. There are remnants of the colonial period like canals constructed by the Dutch and churches built by the Portuguese. The city holds many attractions and it is famous among tourists for its beautiful beach resorts. The sandy beaches of Negombo are safe for swimming and different water sport activities. There is also a 100 km long canal network in Negombo that is also used by locals for transportation by using canoes.
There are several ways to get to Negombo. Firstly, Katunayake Airport in Colombo is closer to Negombo than it is to Colombo. The arrangements of the hotel usually costs a lot. An official airport taxi costs less and they can be booked at one of the counters in the departure lounge. There is also a cheaper option which is the free shuttle bus from the Arrival Terminal to Katunayake bus stop. A tuk tuk to hotel in Negombo or a regular bus to Negombo centre will not cost much. There are also private and intercity express buses run between Negombo Town and Saunders Pl, Colombo. They are frequent and cheap. There are long queues forming at the bus station on weekend evenings. The other option to get to Negombo is by train. On the other hand, they are slower and rarer than the buses. Buses would be a more convenient option.
There is public transportation available for any person at a low cost to get around Negombo. There are vehicle renting services available and the easiest and the most convenient option would be tuk tuks. Negotiating the price beforehand is recommended. There is also a bus which is number 905 runs between Ethukala and Negombo Centre every 30 – 60 minutes.