Places To Visit in Negombo Sri Lanka

“Ayowan” said a pretty lady clad with a peacock printed sari while we made our way out of the Sri Lankan Airlines at the Bandaranaike International Airport.

The alluring country of Sri Lanka which is famous for the homegrown Ceylon Tea offers lush greenery to golden sparkling beaches. Breathtaking scenery amidst the thriving green tea plantations with the combination of valleys, streams, cliffs and exotic wildlife, make it an irresistible place to give a miss.

To be honest, cringed at the thought of wasting time sitting at Colombo International Airport, we immediately headed to the visa desk, got a transit visa and were ready to explore the quaint town of Negombo, feeling the waft of Sri Lankan air and making the best of our layover.

If you too are stuck in transit at Sri Lanka then we are to your rescue to help you make the best use of your layover in the country. Soak in the culture and indulge in local cuisine even in the shortest span of time, six hours of Sri Lanka layover need not be such a burden.

Take a city Tour of “Little Rome” 

Negombo which is the fourth largest city of Sri Lanka is a beautiful city dubbed as Sri Lanka’s Little Rome. The scenic landscape is extremely exuberant and is marked by coconut palmsNegombo is dotted with churches, Buddhist temples and Hindu temples (kovils), hire a bike and explore the winding roads of the quaint town tucked at the shores of Indian Ocean. The chilled out locals and laid back attitude is sure to mesmerize you.


Layover Srilanka Places to visit in Negombo during transit

Get into spiritual high visiting the famous Angurukaramulla Temple which is approximately 200 years old which has a 6m-long reclining Buddha is worth seeing or spend your time admiring the fading pink chamber of St Mary’s Church to stunning St. Sebastian’s Church which has some thunderous religious ceiling paintings covering the nave.

Layover Srilanka 2

Places to visit in Negombo during transit

Places to visit in Negombo In transit

Indulge in Local Cuisine   

Sample the local delicacies in one of the beach shacks of Negombo with the local Tiger Beer. Tantalize your taste buds with the delicious seafood. We had ordered Sri Lankan special rice, chicken curry, prawns with local beer. We paid a measly 800 bucks (in Sri Lankan Rupee)  for a sumptuous meal for two.

places to see in negombo 1

Sip in home-grown famous Ceylon Tea 

Sri Lanka is famous for both its tea estates and the produce. We remember being served Ceylon tea at the Landmark Hotel in London. Try experimenting with the different flavors of tea ranging from Mango to Vanilla.

Also, do not forget to pack some tea for home, it’s truly worth it 🙂

Srilanka tea

We grabbed a dozen of varieties of tea back home for friends and families.

Relax at Negombo Beach 

Sri Lanka is blessed with stunning beaches and Negombo is one of them. You can relax at one of the beach shack or go for a speed boat ride. The beach is also famous for Kite surfing though we did not have time for that.  But after a hearty meal, we went for a long walk and met some friendly locals at the beach. Don’t get surprised if you find Idli and Vada being sold at one of food carts on the beach.

places to see in negombo 3

places to see in negombo 4

Pick up artifacts and souvenirs back home 

Souvenirs not only trigger sweet travel memories, they also make great decorative accents. Make the best use of your time and bring back travel memories to cherish from this beautiful country back home. Wooden artifacts and small trinkets are sold at various shops especially wooden figurines, wooden devil masks, silverwares, wooden wall hangings, brass lamps, pottery, jewelry box and the famous hand looms and batik items are quite popular.


How to get Sri Lanka Transit VISA

You can easily get a transit visa for 2 days free of cost if you have your return flights and hotel accommodation booked.

ETA has to be filled and submitted prior to your visit, once ETA is approved, you can quickly get the transit visa that will save you loads of time to explore nearby places.

If you are planning to stay longer than 2 days VISA should be arranged in advance.
Next time when you have a layover, just take your time to stretch your legs and breath fresh Sri Lankan air.
The surreal country has more to offer which will leave you craving for more …



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  • Reply
    February 3, 2015 at 5:21 am

    That is how you utilize the layover time. 🙂 Good post.

  • Reply
    Maniparna Sengupta Majumder
    February 3, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Great… 🙂

  • Reply
    February 3, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    This is a cool advice. I was thinking of the same some time ago. Thank you for this post 🙂

  • Reply
    Blue Sky Dreamers
    April 19, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Beautiful! Hope to visit the country sometime soon. How expensive is the country in terms of local transportation, eating out etc?

    • Reply
      The Tales of a Traveler
      May 5, 2016 at 5:03 am

      It is not an expensive country and INR also works in Sri Lanka as they get good exchange rates

  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    February 11, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I am totally smitten by the culture, cuisine and traditions of Sri Lanka. Also, I love it for it’s scenic beauty. The Negombo beach is splendid.

  • Reply
    Only By Land
    February 23, 2017 at 11:03 am

    You guys get to visit some really unique places on your stopovers. The Angurukaramulla Temple is very beautiful and with 200 years of history and those Buddhas is well worth the stopover by itself. The food looks delicious too, with a few cups of tea and a view of the beach, what a transit stop.

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