Exploring the coastal city of Galle
Go gaga over Galle!
Galle is a jewel on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site it’s a historic city blessed with colonial architecture, ancient temples and churches, museums, traditional craft, boutique hotels, quirky boutiques, and beautiful coastlines. If you are looking for Sri Lanka holiday ideas, add Galle to the top of your list. Galle is the ideal place to go when you long for a simpler pace of life.
Getting around the city of Galle
If you are sightseeing in Galle, you can walk around certain parts of the city. During the afternoon when it gets hot walking will be difficult.
Many tourists hire bicycles to get around Galle. Cycling is a cost-effective, practical, and fun way to travel in Galle.
Hiring a private car with a driver is the most comfortable way to get around, however, it’s costlier than the other methods. If you are planning to hire and self-drive, it will not be a good option unless you are accustomed to the local roads.
You can always hop on a tuk-tuk to get around but discuss the rates before getting in. Uber tuk-tuks are very cheap and need no bargaining.
If you are on a tight budget, you can use the bus to get around Galle. Be warned it gets crowded in local buses and the ride is not for the faint-hearted!
Where to stay in Galle
Galle Fort Hotel
The Galle Fort Hotel is a unique boutique hotel part of the 16th century, Galle Fort. Set in a beautiful former Dutch house and warehouse building is now transformed into a welcoming upscale boutique hotel. The rooms are tastefully designed with antique furniture and modern amenities.
Antic Guesthouse is a budget-friendly alternative to the expensive boutique hotels in Galle. Located inside the Galle Fort, the guesthouse is modern, colourful and well lit. You get clean, spacious rooms with other amenities and free Wi-Fi. They are known to serve a delicious breakfast spread.
Where to eat in Galle
A Minute by Tuk Tuk
A Minute by Tuk Tuk is one of the most popular restaurants in Galle. Located in the Dutch Hospital Complex, it can be reached in a minute by a tuk-tuk from the Galle Fort(hence the name). Their seafood dishes are delicious so are the local cuisines. The restaurant opens in the morning and you can have a wholesome breakfast before you kick-start your day.
Opening hours: 8 am to 11 pm
Hoppa is one of the popular restaurants located inside the Galle Fort. As the name suggests the restaurant specialises in the all-time favourite Lankan hopper. It’s a small eatery where you can see the kitchen staff working their magic to create the perfect hoppers. They serve the creamiest aromatic prawn curry with an array of sambals. They have vegan dishes and gluten-free options on their menu.
Opening hours: Afternoon to 9.30 pm
The Pasta Factory
If you are in the mood for western dishes or enjoy Italian food then try the Pasta Factory. Owned by an Italian lady they have authentic recipes for pasta, lasagnas, and pizzas.
Opening hours: 10 am to 9.30 pm
Mama’s Galle Fort Roof Cafe
For authentic rice and curry Mama’s Galle Fort Roof Café is your place to go. Apart from their tasty local cuisines Mama’s is known for the amazing views of the surrounding. The dishes are no-frills and cooked in traditional home style. You get rice served with a type of meat or seafood along with several vegetable dishes ranging from carrot, eggplant, beans, jackfruit, etc. The prices are a bit high for a meal of rice and curry however it’s worth a visit due to the taste, which is the reason for their popularity.
Opening hours: 7.30 am to 10 pm
Discover the Galle Fort
The Galle Fort is an exceptional historic and archeological site. The Portuguese first constructed the Fort during the 16th century but it was the Dutch that made it massive during the mid 17th century. It’s a stunning combination of archeology, history, and architecture set in the backdrop of a beach town.
Galle Fort is popular not only because it’s a historical monument. The narrow streets of the Fort with chic restaurants, eccentric lifestyle boutiques, gorgeous villas, and a buzzy vibe makes you feel like you are on the streets of an old fashioned city in Europe. This tropical-European vibe is what has attracted many foreigners to choose Galle Fort as their home. A third of about five hundred houses are owned by foreigners – most of the owners are artists, designers, poets, writers, and photographers. Galle Fort exudes a special warmth and serenity. The Fort is home to temples, churches, and mosques where people of all beliefs live together peacefully.
Highlights of the Galle Fort
- Visit the Galle Fort Lighthouse – It’s a functioning lighthouse and has the perfect setting for Instagram- worthy clicks! #GalleFortVibes
- Take a stroll on the ramparts of the Fort – head out during sunset and be mesmerised.
- Explore the cobblestone streets of the Fort and visit,
- Dutch Reform Church
- All Saints Anglican Church
- Meeran Mosque
- Sudharmalaya Temple
- Maritime Archeology Museum
Discover the beaches!
The city of Galle is surrounded by the Indian Ocean. However, the best beaches are found within the Galle district and not in the city per se. Check out these gorgeous beaches that you can reach within minutes from Galle.
- Unawatuna beach
- Jungle beach
- Koggala beach
- Ahungalla beach
- Mirissa beach
- Hikkaduwa beach
Experiences in Galle
- Enjoy the watersports – you can try snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, deep-sea fishing, and much more.
- Take cycling tours of the city and beyond.
- Get herbal spa treatments – Galle has some nourishing Ayurveda treatments ideal to relax your body after a busy day of sightseeing.