Sunday 19 November 2023

Things to do in Galle, Sri Lanka


Things to do in Galle Sri lanka


Galle is a beautiful and historic quaint little town in Southern part of Sri Lanka about 130 km from Colombo. During the 1600’s Galle was occupied by the Dutch who build a strong walled fort around the coastal town. Even today you can see the well preserved remains of the fort walls against the backdrop of turquoise blue waters of the Arabian Sea. Galle is a melting pot of cultures and you see it all around you from the cobble stone streets to the beautiful colonial buildings, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must visit on a trip to Sri Lanka. 

Here are my top things to do in Galle, Sri Lanka:

Explore the Dutch Fort: One of the first things to do in Galle is to make your way to the beautiful fort walls. The best time to visit the fort would be morning or late evening, the Galle sun can be quiet harsh in summer. If you want to really explore the fort follow the 'Fort Walk' which starts at the Iconic Clock Tower, then moving on to the Main Gate into the interior of the city where you can stop over at the Reform Church and Finally Reach the Dutch Hospital 
Fort hospital Galle Sri Lanka

Take photos of the Old Lighthouse: The Galle light house station also called “Pointe de Galle Light” is Sri Lanka’s oldest light station dating back to mid-19th century. The light house is functional to date and it a good vantage point for photographers.

Sunset at galle lighthouse in Sri Lanka

Stay at a Boutique Hotel: There are many old boutique hotels in Galle and we stayed in Thambili-House. A 300 year old villa built by a Dutch spice trader. The house was filled with antique furniture and contemporary local art. Some boutique hotel recommendations:  Mango House, The Bartizan, Fort Bazaar, Taru Villla

colonial house in Galle, Sri Lanka

Stroll along the Colonial Streets of Galle: The streets of Galle are beautiful and lined with well preserved old colonial buildings that have stood the test of time. You can spend couple of hours just exploring the streets and taking in the old world charm. Make sure to visit Peddler's street for its charming buildings and hipster cafe's.

Visit the Historic Mansion Museum: Located in Rampart Street inside Galle Fort the museum is worth a visit if you like antiques and history. The museum houses the private collection of an eccentric businessman Abdul Gaffar. You can find ancient blue pottery from China, currency collection from all over the world, an amazing collection of antique cameras, old watches and all sorts of curios and trinkets.

Historic Mansion Museum in Galle Sri Lanka

Sunset from Flag Rock: Due to its strategic location the Flag Rock was used to signal incoming ships. These days this massive rock formation at the end of Galle Fort is a perfect vantage point to catch the beautiful Galle sunsets.

Hit The Beach: Head to Unawatuna, easily one of the most popular beaches in Sri Lanka. Known for its palm tree lined beaches and coral formations. Unawatuna is less than 10 KM from Galle and can get crowded during season due to its popularity.

The Old Gate: The Old Gate is the entry point to Galle Fort near Queens Street. It was originally built by the Dutch but later modified by the British. This Gate is the last remaining link with the Portuguese builders of the original fort built in 1588 and is located on the North wall. The Coats of Arms that are visible date from the Dutch and British colonial eras. 

Galle Dutch Hospital: This is one of the most notable and popular building within the famous Galle Fort. The hospital was constructed to attend to the sick seamen of the Dutch East India Company and in later years was converted to an army barrack to house troops and weaponry. Today the hospital has been renovated to a shopping precinct with a buzzing night life scene.

Galle has something for everyone; for the nature lovers, history buffs and for the culinary inclined. The best time to visit Galle is between December to April when there is less rain and the terrain is lush and green. In conclusion, Galle, Sri Lanka is a truly unique and special destination that should be on every traveler's bucket list. Whether you're interested in history, nature, or simply relaxing on a beautiful beach.