Things to do in Galle, Sri Lanka

Things to do in Galle, Sri Lanka

This is one of our favourite places to visit for a few reasons, the lovely sandy beaches to sit back and relax, the Galle Fort in all its glory, and stopping at a minute by tuk tuk in the old dutch hospital for  the incredible food.

History

A Portuguese fleet which was bound for the Maldives was blown off course, landing on the shores of Galle. In about 1589 the Portuguese built the Fort and called it Santa Cruz. There isn’t much left of the old Portuguese fort, this was because the Dutch in about 1640 took over the fort and destroyed most of Portuguese presents bar one small section of the ramparts. It is said that the name Galle derives from the Portuguese galo meaning cock in English. The Portuguese landed in Galle they heard a cock and called it galo. However the Sinhalese believe the names comes from the name gala meaning rock. Galle fort is a UNESCO world heritage site!

Galle Fort in Galle, Sri Lanka

Things to do

Galle has a few things to see and do, check them out

Beach

Sit back relax and soak up that sun with the beautiful sandy beaches and cool waters which goes on for miles.

Buddhist Temple inside Galle Fort in Sri Lanka

Galle Fort

The fort was built by the Portuguese, but when the Dutch came they altered it to what is seen today. Sadly the Dutch didn’t leave much remnants behind, there is one small area of the ramparts which have been left in tack. After the Dutch, the British used the fort.  Inside of the fort walls there is a city which remains, of which there is an old governs office, an old Dutch reformed church, an old spice warehouse which is now a museum, and the old Dutch hospital which has now been converted into restaurants and shops. We would highly recommending spending a good 2-3 hours walking around the ramparts of the fort, which overlook the sea on three sides. You can make out where the cannons where mounted. If you are a cricket lover then you may have seen the clock tower and the walls of the fort in the distance, when an international match has been televised from Galle International cricket ground. Sitting on the ramparts watching a match for free is also highly recommended.

Galle International Cricket Ground

This is one of Sri Lanka’s International Cricket Grounds, but was severely damaged the 2004 tsunami but was rebuilt and now hosts test matches again. If you are a cricket lover, then timing it right to see an international match being played here is a must. From the cricket watching a match with the iconic Galle fort in the distance will be a real treat.

The ramparts of Galle Fort in Sri Lanka

Transport

There is a bus from Maharagama in Colombo which is airconditioned and takes you on the expressway which is the quickest route too Galle, this costs approximately Rs400. You can get non airconditioned buses and ones which do not go over the expressway which will be cheaper to get to Galle. Another scenic route to Galle is via train along the coast. This leaves Colombo Fort to Galle with the options of 1st 2nd and 3rd class tickets. A more expensive way but convenient is to hire a van or a car to drive you to Galle.

Place to stay

With Airbnb on the rise in Sri Lanka you can pick up really great places to stay on a budget, booking.com would be another obvious choice alternatively staying in a hotel would be more expensive but another viable option.

A Mosque inside Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

Places to eat

Our recommendation would have to be A Minute by Tuk Tuk, they are inside the fort at the old Dutch Hospital and is not one to be missed. We went there the first year and just had to come back because we enjoyed the food so much We would recommend isso and paan (prawn curry with toasted bread) they do also do western food such as burgers and fries etc. If that doesn’t take your fancy then there are many stores at the side of the beach which provide cheap Sri Lankan and western food.

If you are looking for a little bit of beach time, after your adventures in Galle, why not head down to Mirrisa and check out the things to do there as well!.

Red letter box, very colonial inside Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

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