Negombo Fish Market


  • Location: Mankuliya Road, Lagoon Bridge, Negombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka
  • Reason to visit: The most distinctive market in Negombo, where visitors can buy fresh fish and experience the local culture.
  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Opening Hours: 04:00am-17:00pm (Jan 01-Dec31, from Monday-Friday)


Negombo Fish Market is the most distinctive cultural landscape in Negombo, where visitors can experience the local lifestyle. Negombo is located in the west of Sri Lanka. In this historic small fishing village, the fish market is worth to visit. Negombo is about 20-minute driving from Colombo International Airport and an hour driving from the capital, Colombo. The town is a paradise for photography lovers and seafood eaters.

Negombo Fish Market


What to see in the Negombo Fish Market

There are two large fish markets in Negombo, one is located on the seaside, and the other is near the central area of Negombo. Negombo Fish Market is not a scenic spot, and travelers who come here want to see the lifestyle of the locals. This is a place with a strong cultural landscape atmosphere.

Every day before the sun rises, the fishermen in Negombo have started fishing. After fishing, the fishermen took the fish directly to the Negombo Fish Market for processing and sale. A large number of seabirds and crows will come to Negombo Fish Market for food. Since fishermen will process the fresh fish in the fish market, the fish gut and sundries will become the food of seabirds and crows.

The Negombo Fish Market is not a large fish market. In fact, it is a relatively simple fish trading market. Men catch fish from the sea in the early morning, and women are responsible for selling them in the Negombo Fish Market. The fishermen returned from the sea, towed the boat to the shore, and tidied up the fishing nets. Some fishermen clean up the harvest of the day, the good fish are put in the bucket, and the unsuitable ones are thrown on the beach. Almost the entire beach is packed with fishermen and fishing boats. It is a busy fishing port: fishermen are busy harvesting, tourists are busy taking pictures, and seabirds are busy preying.

Negombo Fish Market

Approaching the fish market, visitors can smell a strong fishy smell. The fish market is quite rich, and tuna, shark, slate, swordfish, crab, shrimp and so on are sold here. The more common are prawns and tuna. Some fish demand is not so large, the fishermen will kill the fish, wash it, put it in a bucket and add salt to pickled it, after a period of time, take it out and dry it, process it into delicious dried fish, and sell it. Walking in the Negombo Fish Market, it is a fishy smell in the air, with a little sea breeze blows, visitors could feel the body is sticky in a while.

The ground is covered with dried fish, and fishing boats are on the sea. Fishermen move back and forth between the shore and the water, carrying the freshly caught seafood by their hands. White seabirds sit on the beach, waiting for the fisherman to throw out the fish gut and sundries. The ground is covered with pieces of hemp net, and the women arrange the small fish neatly to ensure that the cross-section can absorb the sunlight evenly. If someone wants to buy the freshest fish, they won't miss the Negombo Fish Market.


How to get to the Negombo Fish Market

The Negombo Fish Market is only 2.4 kilometers from the Negombo railway station; it's very convenient by taking tuk-tuk from the city center to visit the Negombo Fish Market.


The best time to visit Negombo Fish Market

♦ The best time to visit the Negombo Fish Market is from 5 to 7 o'clock in the morning, when the fishing boats come back to the harbor to sell fish under the morning light.

♦ There are fewer vendors at the fish market on Sunday. If you want to experience the hustle of the Negombo Fish Market, it's best to visit it on Monday to Saturday.

♦ If you have enough time, you can spend an extra day at the beach watching the sunset and sunrise. You can also buy fresh fish and shrimp at the Negombo Fish Market and have them processed at a nearby restaurant. It will be a very delicious seafood meal.


Travel Tips

♦ If you buy seafood in the Negombo Fish Market, it's better to haggle over the price with the vendors. The vendors will bid up the price if they know you are visitors. Seafood prices are cheap, you can buy it and find a place to process, or cooking by yourself.

♦ There are so many crows in the Negombo Fish Market; visitors should take care of their belongings, such as satchels and backpacks, etc.

♦ The ground of the Negombo Fish Market is relatively dirty, and there will be a lot of sand at the seaside. Tourists are advised to wear sandals or slippers. The smell of the Negombo Fish Market is very fishy, you can prepare masks if necessary.

♦ The recommended tour for you:  7 Days Classic Sri Lanka Tour

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