Fascinating Galle: Best places to visit in Galle
Charming, exotic, and full of history: Galle is a must-visit place in Sri Lanka.
Searching for the best places to visit in Galle Fort, Sri Lanka?
Discover famous attractions, historic sites, and natural wonders
A Map of the best places to visit in Galle Fort
When is the Best Time to Visit Galle Fort?
Anytime from October – April is a good time to visit Galle, as the monsoon rains have passed and the temperatures are fairly stable.
The absolute BEST time to visit is between February – April, when low rainfall and calmer seas provide the perfect weather to explore.
01. Visit the famous Galle fort lighthouse
Place | Galle Fort
Location | Corner of Hospital and Rampart St
Galle Fort is one of the unmissable points of interest on your Sri Lankan itinerary. This situates on a rocky point where sea surrounds Galle Fort from three sides, making it a perfect location for a Fort.
This place locates in the city of Galle in the southwest corner of Sri Lanka, around 110km from the capital, Colombo, and just a short drive to some of Sri Lanka’s popular beachside enclaves, including Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, and Mirissa.
This beautiful white lighthouse dates back to 1848, (although the current structure was rebuilt in 1939), and stands on the walls of the ancient Galle Fort, guiding the safe passage of ships into Galle Harbor.
02. Walk along the outer walls/ramparts of Galle fort
Enjoy the ‘Fort Walk’ by exploring each and every corner of Galle Fort’s outer walls. Start your walk at the historic Clock Tower, before moving onto the Main Gate, heading south into the interior of the Fort, passing the Dutch Reform Church until you reach the western section’s restored Dutch Hospital.
The fort was initially built by the Portuguese and was later modified by the Dutch. Today the Galle Fort is also declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a stunning blend of architecture, archaeology and history amongst a beautiful tropical setting.
The Galle Fort attracts many tourists and locals not just because of its historical appeal but the buzzing life inside the monument with lively shops and cafes, museums, villas and lifestyle shops to complete your experience.
03. Wander through the Galle fort interior
Without doubt, one of our favourite things to do in Galle Fort was getting wonderfully lost amongst laneways and breezy Dutch colonial-style buildings of the historic centre.
There are plenty of beautiful constructions still on display from ancient, Portuguese, and Dutch colonial times.
Some sights and attractions we suggest you visit are:
Dutch Reform Church | Historic Dutch church dating back to 1640
Old Dutch Hospital | Colonnaded former hospital dating back to the 18th century
Amangalla | Former home of the Dutch Governor, built in 1684. Now a luxurious hotel, which does delicious afternoon tea
All Saints Anglican Church| Built in the late 1800s from solid rock
Meeran Mosque | The center of the local Muslim community, built in 1904
Sudharmalaya Temple | Beautiful white Buddhist temple within Galle Fort
04. Hit the beaches of nearby Unawatuna
Down the lane of southern-coast, epic beaches are just a short bus, tuk-tuk, or scooter away.
The horseshoe-shaped Unawatuna main beach is one of the most popular beaches in the country for both tourists and locals alike. Alternatively, you can rent a sunbed and relax, order cocktails and curries from the beachside bars.
Unawatuna is also home to Jungle beach, a stretch of white sand & clean water backed by jungle on the Rumassala outcrop, overlooking Galle Fort on the opposite side of Galle bay. Also, the beautiful, bustling beachside town of Hikkaduwa may be slightly further away (35 mins North of Galle), but is home to a more expansive beach and popular surf breaks, so if you’re planning to learn to surf, here’s a great place to start.
The beach is also filled with bars and restaurants and is a wonderful place to relax after a day or two exploring inside the Fort walls.