Popular Destinations

Galle

Galle fort and lighthouse at sunset

Founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese occupants, the city of Galle is an ethereal fusion of traditional Sri Lanka with strong influences of the colonial heritage. Home to one of the UNESCO world heritage sites; the Galle Fort, Galle was also believed to be the ancient city of Tarshish from where King Solomon obtained gems and spices for his kingdom thousands of years ago.

Travel to Galle is a breeze with the Southern Express Highway, making the journey from Colombo to Galle less than one hour. The weather is tropical and the temperature is generally warm with some humidity.

Things To Do

Going on a hot-air balloon ride has to take precedence in your list of things to do. Galle, being the beautiful city that it is with its touch of traditional elegance and charm, will offer a great aerial view.

Galle also offers many exquisite dining options including the Rampart Hotel restaurant overlooking the magnificent southern waters, the Pedlar’s Café which is a small place in an old Colonial setting serving the most delicious shakes, coffees and sandwiches and the Royal Dutch Café which is the ideal spot for a light lunch. The Serendipity Arts Café too is a fantastic café featuring exotic photographs and of course, a mouth-watering fusion menu that includes delectable cuisine from the west and the east.

Shopping too is a must in your list of things to do. Galle Sri Lanka is a great place to pick some items including antique furniture from Olanda, traditional Sri Lankan crafts and artifacts from Pedlar Street and exquisite silk from the Gintota Factory.

The Galle Literary Festival held between 28th January and 1st February each year, bringing together world renowned writers is regarded one of the best in Asia and a trip to Galle during such time is certainly an idea, though bookings will have to be made considerably early.

Going on a hot-air balloon ride has to be added to your list of things to do. Being the beautiful city that it is, with its touch of traditional elegance and charm, Galle will offer a great aerial view.

Attractions

There are many must-see attractions in Galle, foremost being the Galle Fort, built by the Dutch, beginning in 1663. A UNESCO world heritage site, the Galle Fortress is a phenomenal collection of structures, each telling a story through centuries. A unique feature is that the Galle Fort is yet a live and bustling as there are many administrative offices, courts and companies apart from the hundreds of people who hover around enchanted by the surrounding atmosphere of splendour and drinking in the salty fresh air.

The Galle Lighthouse too, built by the British in 1939 on Point Utrecht Bastion, being an architectural masterpiece, is one of the main attractions in Galle. The structure stands 18 meters high and can be found on the eastern end of the fortress walls. The Historical Mansion Museum laden with British memorabilia including maps, guns and artifacts is a great place to visit. The Dutch Reformed Church, originally built by an Army officer serving with the Dutch too is a must see.

With the Indian Ocean seen on two sides ensuring a constant free-flow of fresh air, the Galle Cricket Stadium offering splendid views of the resplendent ocean is certainly one of the main attractions in Galle.

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