Let’s explain in this article why I don’t like Negombo. I know that almost all travel articles related to places are positive. Why you should go to Negombo, what to do in Negombo and similar considerations. I could try to underline the good things that Negombo has. Indeed, there are some. But Sri Lanka is an amazing country and you would discover many other places to better spend your vacations. Actually, I don’t recommend Negombo to spend a long time there just because the rest of Sri Lanka is simply amazing.
Why tourist go to Negombo
The main reason is because Bandaranaike International Airport is just there. Negombo is a town close to Colombo, the capital of the country. It is just 32 kilometers North of Fort or Pettah quartier. Compared with Colombo, Negombo is peaceful and calm and it has some resorts and hotels on the coast which make it a convenient option to rest after a long flight or to stay while waiting to depart.
Since it can be a demanded place by tourists, Negombo has many restaurants, bars and tourist offers. We actually rented a tuk tuk there and we had no problem choosing the most convenient offer for food and accommodation. There, you can find in some places the western standards you may miss.
The assets of Negombo
It has a bit of everything but nothing great. The cosmopolitan Lewis Street with some clubs, bars and restaurants connects the old colonial town with Browns Beach. There you can find everything and sightseeing in the center of Negombo you will be able to find some temples such as the Buddhist Angurukaramulla Temple, the Hindu Sri Singama Kali Amman Kovil, Cristhian churches like St. Mary’s or St. Sebastian, colonial architecture like the Dutch Fort and the Dutch Canal as well as many friendly fellows on the streets.
Negative points of Negombo
- There are too many tourists around. Not only international tourists, that’s true, but you may feel that the vibe is rather artificial. This is one of the main reasons why I don’t like Negombo.
- The beaches look nice but they are not. Near Colombo old town the beaches are not recommended because they are dirty and contaminated. You need to arrive at Brown’s Beach to find a decent beach but it is crowded and you will need to pay to get in with your vehicle. That will be the opposite of the lonely pictures you have seen before arriving in Sri Lanka.
- It’s overrated. You may pay for being new in the country or for booking in advance from home.
- It doesn’t compare well with the rest of the country. This is the main problem with Negombo. Sri Lanka is really an amazing country where you will feel the adventure and the experience of a very authentic trip. However, Negombo is not at the level of the rest of the country.
Our recommendation for Negombo
Negombo as a coastal place and a first bite of Sri Lanka is ok. Nevertheless if you are looking for a place on the beach just choose the South or the East Coast of the country rather than the West. The beaches will be cleaner and the experience will be more authentic at those other coasts even though the West Coast is very popular since it is close to Colombo. You can get in Negombo proper accommodation to rest and to break off from the very local Sri Lanka. You could even rent a car or get the supplies you need there before starting a proper trip around the island. Nevertheless, don’t waste more than a couple of nights in Negombo since the rest of the country will surprise you very positively.
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