Sri Lanka’s historic maritime city is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city’s most iconic landmark is the Galle Fort, which was built by the Portuguese, fortified by the Dutch, and used by the British. The strong influence of the Dutch is visible throughout the city in its colonial architecture, churches, and mansions. Today, Galle city is a bustling cosmopolitan with its captivating character fully intact. It has one of the most active regional ports in the country, and you don’t have to look far for fresh seafood. Its neighbouring beaches are highly sought-after for their beauty and water sports. As southern Sri Lanka’s most famous city, Galle, provides the ultimate mood and charm for exotic seaside holidays.
At a glance
First, incepted by the Portuguese in the 16th century, the Dutch expanded it. You can walk along its thick ramparts spread across 130 acres overlooking the ocean.
Built by the British in 1939, this lighthouse is still in operation. It is the oldest light station on the island and a principal Galle Sri Lanka attraction.
Dutch Reformed Church
Also known as Groot Kirk, it was built in 1755 by the Dutch. It is the oldest Protestant church still in use in Sri Lanka. It has a wooden pulpit and a gravestone floor.
The National Museum of Galle
Visit the Galle Museum, which is in the oldest remaining Dutch building in the Galle fort. It houses artifacts from the Portuguese, Dutch, and British periods.
It is the entrance to the fort, originally built by the Dutch and modified by the British. The outside has the British coat of arms and the inside the Dutch VOC.
- Japanese Peace Pagoda is a tranquil structure on top of Rumassala hill.
- Historical Mansion Museum is a private museum with Dutch period items.
- Joseph’s chapel is from the Portuguese times later revived by the Dutch.
- Maha Modara Sea Turtle Hatchery works towards turtle conservation.
- Meeran Jumma Mosque at the Fort is architecturally pleasing and faces Mecca.
- Galle Harbour is nearly 2000 years and supports yachts.
Where to Shop in Galle
Galle has a collection of high-end boutiques and shops in and around the Fort. Laksana, Mimimango, Barefoot, Exotic Roots, Raux Brothers are a few to name.
Where to Eat in Galle
The Fort Printers, Fortaleza, Poonie’s Kitchen, Gallery 52, Chamber’s, Dumplings, Pilgrim’s, Elita, and Coconut Sambol are just a few places you can go for delectable meals.