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Negombo City Tour - Glance at Sri Lanka's Heart

Duration: Half Day

negombo city tour - glance at sri lanka's heart

Sri Lanka’s beautiful tropical coastline is blessed with golden sandy beaches and tranquil fishing villages, which are a delight to explore. This tour will take you to the traditional coastal town of Negombo, where you can learn about the history, explore the sights and browse the local shops for gifts and souvenirs.

Conveniently located about 7km from Sri Lanka's International Airport and approximately 37km north of Colombo, Negombo is an ideal place for visitors to begin or end a holiday in Sri Lanka. The majority of tourists tend to visit the beach briefly before heading home or onwards to other places on the island, but the town is also worth exploring if you have time.

Set amidst lush groves of coconut palms, Negombo is located on the shores of a lagoon of the same name. The town has a small port, which was once a major trading port for the Portuguese and later for the Dutch after they took over in the mid 17th century. The settlers’ cultural, religious and architectural influences are still evident today, and you will notice colonial architecture and a large number of ornate Roman Catholic churches and statues of saints in the town, hence the reason why Negombo has been nicknamed “Little Rome”.

The town’s biggest attractions are the 17th century Dutch fort gate, which is now part of the prison, and the 100km long Dutch canal system, which was once a supply route to the Dutch administration. Linking Negambo to Colombo Port, the canal is still being used today and is a unique way to see Sri Lanka from a different perspective.

You can also enjoy walking along the harbour, where you can watch the local fishermen bringing their wares to shore on old traditional fishing crafts such as the oruwa (outrigger canoe) and Paruvas (large, man-powered catamaran). A great variety of freshly-caught seafood such as seer, skipjack, amber-jack, crabs, prawns and lobster is served at restaurants along the seafront the same day. The local fishermen also sell their supplies at Llelama, the local fish market which is the second largest in the country. This is a great place to watch the people and soak up the bustling atmosphere.

As the sun goes down, many of the shops and bars come to life on the stretch of road towards Kotchchikade. This is a great time to shop for local handicrafts, gems, spices and souvenirs before sampling the local cuisine in the restaurants and cafés around the harbour.

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