The Historical Galle Fort
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.
Drive 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
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
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.
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.
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 🙂 .
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!
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 🙂
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 🙂 .
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?
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.
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.
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 🙂 .
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.
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!!
Shadini & Malith 🙂
Recommended places to stay by LetsgoCeylon