Things To Do Around Galle Sri Lanka
Located on the southwest fringes of the country, Galle is one of the most charming cities of Sri Lanka that tourists find worth visiting for a number of reasons. Located 150 Kilometers away from Colombo, Galle is all about a fortified city with a plethora of tourist attractions that shall tell of the quite vibrant and diverse colonial history and heritage of this coastal region of Sri Lanka. From man-made warfare entities and cultural monuments, the beauty of Galle range to adorable golden sandy beaches where winding down is quite romantic with the accompaniment of pure island sundown and the visions of the endless stretch of Indian Ocean.
From Colombo, there are two routes to Galle. One is the coastal line which is extraordinarily scenic and shall take you three to four hours to reach. Another one is the southern expressway that shall get you to Galle in one and a half hours. Around Galle, you can either roam on foot or hire a tuk-tuk. In Galle, the two major tourist areas are the Galle Dutch Fort and Unawatuna - a perfect combination of beach, culture and colonial heritages.
Here you can read the most-celebrated tourist attractions and things to enjoy and experience in Galle.
Galle Dutch Fort
Galle got all famous for this historical fort that has been initially built by the Portuguese hundreds of years back in the 16th century followed by the various renovations by other colonial forces that succeeded to the controls, like the Dutch and the British. Exploring this Dutch Fort is the best way to kick off your Galle holidays. On every nook and corner, you shall witness the architectural wonders of colonial powers who factored in the safety measures in the most believable manners.
Besides walking beside its ramparts, there are various other things to enjoy, like visiting its museum, tasting local refreshments at the cafes nearby and taking home souvenirs.
The most recognizable part of the fort, Galle Light House towers over the palm trees framed location on the beach overlooking the ocean with a picture-perfect beauty. The history of this watchtower dates back to 1848, although it was rebuilt to the present form in 1939. Sticking out of the walls of the Galle Dutch Fort, the still-in-use lighthouse ushers the ships into the Galle harbor.
A short stroll along the fort's ramparts shall take you here. Walk around this monument, when lights adjust themselves take a good snap of yours which would be awesome in the backdrop of the ocean and this white-painted tower.
National Maritime Museum
Galle boasts of one of the few maritime archeology museums in Sri Lanka that you should never miss out on during your Galle holidays. Once the Dutch warehouse located inside the ramparts of the forts, it shows you various sorts of artifacts of maritime past of the country such as models of boats and vessels, artillery, and relics.
The video presentation is also facilitated to set the scene for your cultural and historical enlightenment in here. Built in the late 17th century, it was originally a part of the main gateway to the fort. The museum had suffered losses in the tsunami of 2004 and restored afterward.
National Museum Galle
Walk up to this small charming edifice that shall tell you a coherent story of the traditional coastal life of the natives in Galle and how colonialism influenced the region through the means of a wide array of archaeological and anthropological entities showcased inside, like traditional masks used in the rituals, ornaments, handicrafts, wooden carvings and the remainings of the Dutch force like their vessels and arms.
Hopefully, you don't expect a modern exhibition! Being the oldest Dutch buildings of the Galle Fort constructed in 1656, the National Museum of Galle is in itself in possession of much historical value.
Positioned within the ramparts of the Galle Dutch Fort, Lighthouse Street is a lavishly renovated sanctuary that awaits the most discerning travelers to Galle. Located just near the cafes and boutiques of the region, it was originally a time-old Dutch house built for a Dutch merchant and his wife, by a renowned Sri Lankan architect back in 1800.
Facilitating a super-luxury relaxing experience for the guests in the colonial style, Lighthouse Street has stunning bedrooms, magnificent interior spaces, arches, verandas, formal living areas, a private bar, and a library in addition to outdoor amenities like private swimming pool and courtyard. Plus, exclusive services including private chef shall accompany your hangout here.
Galle Fort Clock Tower
The Galle Clock Tower, also known as Anthonisz Memorial Clock Tower, is an important landmark of the region situated overlooking the central Moon Bastion. Positioned within the ramparts of the Galle Dutch Fort, this four-story tall stone edifice of 25.3 m (83 ft) was constructed in 1883 modeled on a design by John Henry Gues Landon. It was built in recognition of the colonial Surgeon Dr. Antonisz funded by the public.
Take a selfie near the tower, or go up to the bastion to click the wide and full-frame photos of the clock tower. Both the surrounding and the monument itself are some of the great places of Galle to spend your time in.
Historical Mansion Museum
One of the must-visit spots in Galle, the Historical Mansion Museum is one of the biggest privately owned museums in the world that has on display a huge collection of antique jewelry, traditional crafts, typewriters, cameras, and other colonial artifacts. Located in a restored Dutch house that dates back to the 1700s, the building is very much antique in itself and the Ideal place for history enthusiasts.
Visitors are able to witness live embroidery presentations and the processes of cutting and polishing precious gems here. The central courtyard shows you several stone sculptures and things from the colonial era. Happily, most of the stuff displayed here is available to purchase.
Need some rest from the sightseeing, head up to this magnificent oceanfront where golden soft sandy stretches evenly merge with the shallow ocean water and palm trees and vegetation fringe the border. Apart from winding down on the beach enjoying the sunset and panoramic ocean views, the activities to enjoy here include several water sports, underwater diving and snorkeling, and perfect canoeing.
Located in Unawatuna coastal town in Galle district that's filled with beaches, lagoons, canals and reservoirs, the Unawatuna Beach is just less than 7 Kilometers away from the Galle Dutch Fort. Off this famous beach destination of Sri Lanka, there is a big Buddha statue and a pagoda on a small hill nearby and a village route to do cycling. The marine environment is blessed with adorable underwater coral gardens as well.
Perfect spot to relax and enjoy some quiet time where thick flora and interesting piles of rocks replace the usual sandy stretches beside the turquoise ocean water creating an idyllic environment. This hidden oceanfront is popular for pure experiences of diving and snorkeling around vibrant coral gardens. You can take a mini hike amidst its vegetated surroundings and take funny boat rides on the water. The Jungle Beach is located just 3 Kilometers away from the city of Unawatuna and reachable by hiring a tuk-tuk.
Rumassala Sanctuary, another tourist attraction in Galle, is nearby where wild exotic plants, medicinal herbs, and beautiful shrubs are treasured in addition to rare bird species.