Located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon is the beautiful city of Negombo. This administrative hub is also the fifth largest city in the country and the second largest in Sri Lanka’s Western Province. Located about 35 kilometres from the island’s capital - Colombo, the city of Negombo is known mainly for its stunning beaches and for its proximity to the main international airport. It is also known for being home to the second largest fish market in Sri Lanka. With its economy being mainly based on tourism, Negombo has numerous hotels and motels, restaurants and food outlets, and most importantly – attractions. It is perfect for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and for those seeking a bit of relaxation and tropical life style. The city is home to a sizable Muslim population, therefore making it possible for Muslim tourists to locate Halal-friendly services like prayer areas and Halal food in Negombo.
When in Negombo, a walk around the city is a must. Tourists will get to see the remains of centuries-old buildings and structures, like the Old Dutch Fort, which was built in 1672 and is now used as part of the Negombo prison. Also found here are the remains of ancient Churches, Dutch and Portuguese houses and other buildings.
Hints of the Dutch colonial era can also be seen in the Dutch Canal. This canal was built to transport spices, by the Dutch. The canal is now being used by the local fisherman to get to the sea. It runs from Colombo to Negombo and then to Puttalam and is an astounding 120 kilometres long.
Because Negombo is home to Sri Lanka’s second largest fish market, a visit here is a must. Apart from getting to observe the fantastic varieties of fish available at the market, tourists are also able to observe a fish auction - which takes place daily, and to talk to the fisherman of the area. Those interested, and those looking to get more hands-on, can even organize a fishing trip to the lagoon.
While here tourists must also spend a whole day out at Negombo’s golden sand beach. This beach draws in international tourists as well as those from other parts of Sri Lanka. The well preserved beach also offers numerous activities like diving, jet-skiing and so on. There are also a few coral reefs found here, as well as a 50 year old shipwreck. While here, tourists also have the opportunity to purchase some local items; like batiks and handicrafts, to take back home as souvenirs.
The nearest airport to Negombo is Bandaranaike International Airport, which is the major airport in Sri Lanka. This airport is located in Katunayake, and is about 11 kilometres from the center of Negombo.
There are numerous Halal restaurants in Negombo as well as in the surrounding areas. Muslim tourists will be able to find a wide selection of delicious dishes, including Sri Lankan style rice and curry at Raheemiya Hotel and Bakery. There are also loads of restaurants in Negombo which serve fresh seafood dishes. Tourists could also make inquiries about the other restaurants which serve Halal food in Negombo, at the local mosque.
There are quite a few mosques in Negombo, with the Negombo Grand Jummah Mosque being one of the most prominent mosques in the area. It is also said to be one of the biggest in Sri Lanka. Apart from this, there are 5 other masjids in Negombo that Muslim visitors can pray at.