The Historical Galle Fort

Galle Fort - Light House

Maybe we have visited Galle uncountable times in our lives being Sri Lankans, yet we could not resist the feeling which urged us to take another trip to this wonderful peninsula Galle, which houses one of the largest ports in the country.

So one fine day we decided to take a train from our home town Moratuwa and make another trip 🙂 … but our train plan was all devastated as we both missed our train by a few minutes and had to amend our plan and do a  road trip to Galle. Well that plan was quite fun too. We did not have much stuff in our bags so bussing to Galle was really not a big deal after all.

Galle Fort - Light HouseDrive to Galle is quite convenient and only takes around 2.5 hrs if you are traveling from the Bandaranaike International Airport using the Southern Express way. However in our case it took a little more than 2 hrs to reach Galle as the normal Galle Road is a bit congested during the weekends (Saturdays & Sundays).

If you are traveling via the Express way from the Airport to Galle, the total highway ticket for a car would cost you around LKR 750.00.  Airport – Paliyagoda = LKR300.00 and Kaduwela – Galle = LKR450.00. However the charge might slightly vary depending on the vehicle you are travelling. For more details, refer the following Expressway Tariff Schedule

Galle Fort - Clock Tower

On the other hand if you are taking the normal route as we did, the bus fare would be around LKR123.00 per person (Moratuwa – Galle). For more details, refer the following link and click on the city you are planning to take the bus Bus Fares from Colombo to Galle

Meantime you can get a direct train from anywhere between Colombo to Galle and it would be the most cheapest method to reach Galle. The cost will be LKR100.00 (Colombo Fort – Galle). For more details, refer the Train Schedule

Galle Fort - Light House

A close up of the lighthouse which is the trade mark in Galle

Surrounded by one of the most fascinating beaches in the country along with light house standing out proud as of today, Galle is a city with a great historic value. The city which is situated in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka, owns all its grandeur owing to its natural Harbor. Being two native travelers, I could say we are just lucky to be a part of this unique city, which still experiences European architecture blended with the South Asian traditions.

Narrow roads in Galle Fort

Feels so good to roam around Galle! You are always welcome.

Galle Fort - Clock Tower

Galle Fort – Clock Tower

Things to Know

In 1505, Lorenzo De Almeida following his long voyage from Goa, set foot in Galle when his fleet of ships which were travelling to Maldives got in an extraordinary tempest and were constrained to take asylum in this harbor. From that point onwards he wrested the Galle harbor from the Sinhalese and were the first Europeans to set foot on the island and reach the Sri Lankans. The “Gale Fort” built by the Dutch acts as the trade mark of the city whilst the stone paved traditional roads and the low roofed houses with large windows and the huge entryways built by stone also resembles the unique township European architecture of the place.

Another attraction that you could visit at Galle is the mountain of Rumassala, which is also called Bouna Vista by the British. This has a splendid view of the Galle Harbor and Fort. Moreover, Rumassala as per the legends, is believed to be a piece from the mount Himalaya of India.

Galle Fort and the Clock Tower

The enchanting Galle Fort and the Clock Tower just before the sunset

Who wouldn’t like to go a few steps down and find a vacant area for a relaxed time? Galle beach next to the Fort is an ideal place for that. Once you reach closer to the lighthouse you will hear the sound of waves crashing towards the rocky bunt. Next to the lighthouse you will find the entry point to the beach with small steps down the line. It will be a perfect bathing location for anyone who comes inside the Galle Fort. The beach is clean and you will find safe bathing there. However it is always better to keep an eye on your belongings too 🙂 .

Galle Fort Beach

There are no rough waves, the water is clam and it will temp you get into water soon.

Galle Fort bathing spot

The perfect bathing spot in Galle Fort

Galle Fort Beach

You will always like the water there and won’t stay without stepping in.

The National Maritime museum of Galle also showcases the rich cultural heritage of Galle where you could find out about a variety of boats, equipment and skeletons of different species including the “skeleton of the Brydes Whale” which was found on the shorelines of Galle several decades back. Unfortunately we were not permitted to take any photographs inside the museum. But worth a visit we would say!

Galle Prison and Galle Maritime Museum

The Galle Maritime Museum in-front and the Galle Prison to your left

In addition, the “Good Market” in Galle was another center of attraction having various types of traditional and environment friendly goods along with some tasty food offered at reasonable prices 🙂

Good Market at Galle

Good Market – Galle : Image courtesy at Goodmarket.lk

The Dutch reformed church which stands strong even as of today is also another attractive site which captured our attention during our visit. Think it is also a must visit place at Galle. The by-roads adjoining the Church premises are so peaceful as ever. You could just roam around the city, wonder among the small path ways of Galle and just get lost in this small neck of the woods. Yet it’s guaranteed that the city would give you the best homely feeling even when you are away from home 🙂 .

All Saints Church at Galle

All Saints Church in Galle

Galle Fort Roads

The Galle Art Gallery

When roaming around, we two accidentally figured this wonderful location on a by road in the Galle town. Even in any nomadic town if you spot such a soothing and relaxing place, why hesitate to pay a visit and explore the artistic minds of the locals?

Galle Fort ART Gallery

Entrance of the Galle Fort ART Gallery

Galle Fort ART Gallery

The Art Gallery at Galle had a decent collection of paintings… You could purchase them too!!

If you have an artistic mind, love paintings and a person with a feeling to enjoy the sight of some wonderful piece work done by native painters, well then the Art Gallery in the Galle town is one good place. The gallery had some unique sketches, designs and collages which you could purchase and take with you as souvenirs.

Galle Fort ART Gallery

These enchanting Arts will tempt you to take a selfie always.

Galle Fort ART Gallery

After the small tour inside the gallery, we two again continued our trip around this small peninsula to explore more and more of its surroundings. The buildings in the city were just amazing and simply had something unique than what we saw in Colombo or even in Moratuwa (our home town). The windows and doors stood up tall done in wood whilst the so called “red roofs” were all covered with “Sinhala Ulu” which definitely kept the inside cool.

Galle Fort building and narrow streets

We are sure that you will collect more memories in here

These narrow roads were always busy and if you are a traveler from Europe or China… you would always undoubtedly find a companion from your motherland. Well Galle is full of foreign travelers who enjoy the homeliness of the city maybe even more than the locals 🙂 .

Galle Fort Shops and Streets

Galle Fort Shops and Streets

You will have something to buy from these shops when you walk on these streets

 

About Food & Lodging

Our plan was to hang around in Galle Fort and explore the hidden beauty among the walls of it. Walking on these stone paved roads gives you  a unique historical feeling and gets yourself to 17th and 18th century. We searched for a good place for lunch and our eyes straight away went into the restaurants at “Dutch Hospital” building. “Sugar Bistro” was one such fine place you can find among these restaurants and the quality and taste of the food served was excellent in it.

Sugar Bistro Galle

Sugar Bistro Galle : Image courtesy at Sugarcolombo.com

Sugar Bistro Galle

Everyone starts to like Sugar Bistro in Galle now

The Dutch Hospital which was recently refurbished had a few fantastic restaurants which offer a wide range of food along with a pub in the premises. The overall hangout at Galle was quite relaxing and also offered a very homely experience which no one would resist. So let Galle be the ultimate place for your vacation or your day out. There are plenty of lodging options available in Galle and some of them are listed in “Recommended by LetsgoCeylon” section.

Happy Travels Everyone!!

XoXo

Shadini & Malith 🙂

 



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18 Responses

  1. The first post I have read about Galle and i must say I’m glad I did. My Sri Lankan trip would have been incomplete without a including a visit to this lovely historic town. The architecture and the streets are particularly appealing to me.

    • Fernando Malith says:

      Certainly add Galle to your itinerary when you visit Sri Lanka next time. It has always been a memorable visit to anyone from any part the world.

  2. nomadicfoot says:

    Sri Lanka is really high on my bucket list. Your post making me more eager to visit as soon as possible. Galle looks awesome architecture is so good and streets are fascinating.

    • Shadini Silva says:

      @nomadicfoot, Thank you for your thoughts 🙂 . Do visit Sri Lanka and experience all what we have shared by yourself…
      Happy Travels !

  3. Dominic says:

    I’ve not been to Sri Lanka, but it has been a place we have discussed going for quite some time. Your post is nothing like I expected it to be and is certainly a cute addition to the itinerary I’ve been creating. Thanks!

    • Shadini Silva says:

      @Dominic, Thank you and hope you would visit Sri Lanka in the near future to check out the beauty in the country.
      Happy Travels !

  4. Would love to visit this part of Sri Lanka and learn some more things about my ancestors :).

  5. I was planning to visit Srilanka this year, but currently the idea has postponed. I’ve been to wanting to visit Srilanka for quite some time now. Its a stunning little package of heritage and natural beauty!

    • Shadini Silva says:

      @My Travelogue by Bhushavali, thank you for your lovely comments. Well yes, you could consider Sri Lanka as the all in one package which will also suit your budget :). So Visit SL and explore the beauty…

      Cheers !

  6. Lydia Smith says:

    I’ve never heard of Galle. Thanks for featuring this town in your post. I’d consider it when I schedule my Sri Lanka trip. The art gallery of Galle be ready to have a visitor.

    • Shadini Silva says:

      Hi Lydia, the city of Galle is one place that no visitor could afford to miss in Sri Lanka. Well we must admit that the art gallery did have some wonderful paintings and the place simply relaxes your mind. So pls do add Galle to your itinerary when visiting Sir Lanka 🙂
      Happy Travels !

  7. David says:

    Great photos! I’ll definitely be doing it to my to visit list. What do you think of Sri Lanka as a whole?

    • It is truly a magical country which has endless things to see. Sigiriya, Ancient Buddha statues, Great Beaches and Wildlife are some of those. Within two or three hours of drive you can feel different weather conditions. No wonder why it has become the wonder of Asia now. Hope you will visit Sri Lanka soon 🙂 Happy Travels.

  8. James says:

    I visited Sri Lanka a few years ago but didn’t get time to see Galle. I only went as far south as Colombo, I wish I’d taken the train down there like you did. Your pictures are so colourful, I regret not visiting now.

    • Shadini Silva says:

      Hello James, Galle is just one convenient location you can visit in Sri Lanka taking the train or even road transport using the Southern Expressway in the country which is now expanded to Galle from the BIA (Bandaranaike International Airport). And I must also tell you that Galle is one lively city with full of color and activity which will make you feel so homely throughout your stay.
      Happy Travels !

  9. Sam Sparrow says:

    Galle looks like a beautiful location – and that sunset! What an incredible place. I’d never heard of it before so thanks for showing me around and keeping me in the know!

    • Shadini Silva says:

      @Sam Sparrow, Its nice hearing from you and we hope you would get to visit Sri Lanka to check out the awesome things here!

      Happy Travels !

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