Negombo situated by the sea is the District capital of Negombo District in the North Western Province (NWP) and is adjoining Katunayake where the International Airport is situated. Negombo is linked by Road to Colombo, Kurunegala and Chilaw. It is also a main Railway Station on the Chilaw Railway from Colombo. Negombo is very famous for fish and the main lively hood of the people around Negombo is fishing. There is a Fishing Harbor to serve the boats used for fishing Negombo Beach is very popular among the Tourists and several Tourist Hotels have been built in and around Negombo. Negombo is a predominantly Roman Catholic area.
The name Negombo is derived from the Sinhalese word Meegamuwa, meaning 'village of honey'. It is said that centuries ago a swarm of bees landed in a boat, and that the point at which the boat was hauled ashore became Negombo. Negombo's early economic history was tied not to honey, however, but to its trade in cinnamon and other spices which grew wild in the jungle nearby.
At that time, Moorish traders established this important trade base by cutting the cinnamon and transporting it to Negombo. Near the end of the 16th century, the Moors were ousted by the Portuguese, who built a fort for protection and subsequently took over the cinnamon trade. In 1640, the Dutch took control of the town for a short time, but the Portuguese recaptured it that same year. It fell to the Dutch again in 1644.
The cinnamon trade came to be a major obsession of the Dutch in Sri Lanka. Once they had conquered the provinces along the coast, they planted small groves of cinnamon for commercial purposes. The groves that exist today are what is left of those planted by the Dutch - situated to the north and south of Colombo, surrounding Negombo. The most highly-prized variety grows in Negombo's 'silver sand' belt.
The British took control of Negombo in 1796, by which time the cinnamon trade was in decline. At the same time that the Europeans were involved in building up trade with the west, a warrior clan from India took up residence and developed a fishing industry in Negombo. The immigrants from India created a new economic base for the coastal region with Negombo becoming the island's most important fishing port. The Negambo is popular among travelers for its picturesque sandy beaches and vibrant night life. Many international tourists either start or end their tour of Sri Lanka from Negombo.