Located 10Km from the Bandaranaike International Airport and short drive to Colombo, Negombo is famous among the business travelers. Given the location and the wide range of Luxury five star to affordable modern hostels the city is ideal for business and leisure alike. Negombo is commonly where tourists spend their first day and last day of the tours due to the airport being close proximity. If you are looking for relaxing day or two before your journey back, then Negombo Beach is the best choice!
Negombo is the Portuguese name for Sinhala name Meegamuwa, said to be named Meegomuwa (bunch of hive) after King Kawnathissa finding a Bee hive in a canoe neat the seashore, later became Meegamuwa. Negombo was known for the best wild cinnamon in the world. The shallow lagoon provided shelter for seafaring vessels which created an important trading points and a key port in Sri Lanka.
The first Muslim Arabs (the Moors) arrived in Ceylon in the seventh and eighth centuries, and dominated East-west Cinnamon trade routes. These traders settled around the coastal area in large groups, still to this day remain the largest minority group in Negombo called Sri Lankan Moors.
In 1500s Portuguese built a fort in Negombo and took over the cinnamon trading to the Europe and the Mediterranean. During their time Catholicism and Portuguese culture was widely spread through schools, work created through cinnamon cultivation and interracial marriages. Hence, to the present day Negombo is known as ‘’Little Rome’’. In 1630s Sinhalese requested assistance from Dutch to regain the control of coastal areas and the Dutch captured Negombo from Portuguese in 1646. However this treaty did not last very long, the both parties faced attacks, which led to the disruption of cinnamon trade and further fell after the British takeover in 1815. Present day Negombo is known as a traditional fishing village and supply fish to all over Sri Lanka.
How to Get There
Situated 10km from the airport and 35km from Colombo it is easily accessible via the expressway.
Air-conditioned buses and normal buses run from Fort main bus stand throughout the day and private taxi hires can also be easily found and can be arranged within few minutes.
Once you’re in Negombo the best and most fun way to travel will be by a day hired scooty, but be ready for the Sri Lankan traffic. The option for renting push bikes also available around most hotels or jump in a tuk tuk that comes with a free local guide whom will be happy to talk your ear off.