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It has an interesting history, being first established by the Portuguese then taken over by the Dutch before the British having a turn. It is now firmly Sri Lankan and this mixture of different influences makes for a very interesting destination. We loved spending a couple of days in this sanctuary of beautiful buildings, the pretty walls and just the nice ambiance that this area exudes. It is not just us who enjoyed it either — our first morning I must have seen over 50 bridal parties posing for photos!
The colourful outfits and different styles helped illustrate how many cultural groups are in the area. The beach town of Unawatuna is also a great place to visit in Galle. It is just a short rickshaw or bus ride away from Galle Fort but feels a whole world away.
You can easily visit both these towns on the one stay or be like us and stay in both! Below you will find all the information to help make your stays in this area a success.
Its not all historic buildings — I stumbled upon a local dancing competition! Galle Fort is a beautiful area to walk around and explore. You will no doubt enter through here to reach the fort area.
Galle Fort is surrounded by sea on three sides with walls around the whole length. There were many locals out and about, brides posing for photos as well as a smattering of tourists when I did this. There are lots of scenic views. It is reputed to be the best place to see the sunset. Another of the popular places to see in Galle is this bastion at the south east corner of the walls.
It comes complete with an 18 metre high lighthouse which is still in use. I think you would have to be desperate to swim here though — it was absolutely covered in trash. Among the list of Galle attractions are a few museums. For a different Galle tourist attraction, this pretty church was originally built in then was rebuilt in the s.
Its floor is actually paved with old gravestones from the Dutch cemetery with remains in the walls and floor. It has an organ from For a different experience in our list of Galle things to do, these streets and the surrounding area are beautiful, quiet places to wander. They also are home to typical old Dutch colonial houses. Although the New Town is not comparable to Galle Fort, it is definitely worth a wander if for nothing else but to see the contrast!
This item on the Galle places to visit list was an essential one for my cricket loving husband who has seen it on TV many times. This attraction in Galle is packed full of the freshest produce so a great place to come if you have a craving for some fresh fruit or want to experience some hustle and bustle and the colours of a year old market.
My guide book talked it down as over developed with no beach left but as you can see from the above photo, this is far from the truth. The beach is nice and wide and the surf was fun although a bit too rough for the kids to go too deep.
We found this a pretty and fun spot to spend a couple of days. There are affordable hotels with pools even on our low budget , and it is just a nice place to be. There are some fabulous hotel options within the Galle Fort area — be warned that it is more expensive than staying elsewhere and this was probably the most expensive place we stayed — although our accommodation was very good value!
I was so happy when I found this hotel online. The price was very good for the fort and it had the best reviews that I have ever seen for a budget hotel. I can see why! It is in a fabulous location in the fort — both very central and very quiet.
It was on the simple side, but it had everything we needed and everything was good quality, especially the bed and linen. It came with breakfast which was very good and the service in general was top rate.
They seemed to genuinely care that we were comfortable and well taken care of. We highly recommend this place! You can view all the latest prices here. Here are our picks:. Click here for the latest prices. If you are looking for some good beach resorts right by Unawatuna Beach, here are some recommended choices:. Eating in the Fort area is not cheap especially if you want to try out some of the best restaurants in Galle which are meant to be superb. We buffered the cost by eating lunch at a bakery in the New Town, so we could afford more for dinner.
Here are the options we tried and can personally recommend:. If you are wondering how to get from Colombo to Galle, it could not be easier. There are buses and trains. The trains run regularly and are easy to catch. However, be warned that they can be quite full! Taking the Galle to Colombo train is similarly easy. The train is meant to be quite scenic but I had problems seeing much at all. It is also easy to get to Galle via train from along the south coast. If you are wanting to travel from Kandy to Galle, we were unable to find a direct train.
You can also read our Colombo guide. The Fort Area is quite compact and we found it easy to walk everywhere. To go elsewhere, there is a local bus station just outside the Fort and rickshaws are everywhere.
Our kids were not as impressed by Galle as us but they did have fun running along the walls! Unawatuna was a better match for them with the beach and the inexpensive accommodation complete with pool. Splitting up our stay between the Galle Fort and cheaper Unawatuna helped with this as did eating short eats for lunch. We just loved these places! Galle Fort is just lovely.
It is such an easy place to just hang out and wander which is exactly what we loved. It is less crazy than other parts of Sri Lanka so it was much easier to walk around with the kids as well. There are lots of beautiful shops and restaurants and picture perfect scenery everywhere you look. It also has a very local feel in pockets which adds to ambiance of the place. It is not just a historic fort, it is a place where people live and work. Unawatuna was also a favourite. We were so sad that we had to leave here so soon.
The beach had our kind of vibe. Enough people, restaurants and hotels to make it easy and to not feel uncomfortable in a bikini, but really very few people around.
It was also great for the budget which is a big plus! Our hotel there was exceptionally good value. If we ever head back to Sri Lanka, I have no doubt that Galle and Unawatuna will be the first places on our must visit list — make sure they are on yours!
Read more about our time in Sri Lanka. This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links that we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Originally we were booked to stay in Galle but when we arrived our pre-paid villa was under renovation!
Thanks for the info. We have planned one month in galle and hopefully his will help figure things out there. How did you find Galle for the month? We are going in a couple of weeks with a 2 and 4 year old and want to find a decent base, either our own place or a gentle hotel. Galle is absolutely where I would set up as a base. If we ever go back to Sri Lanka, this is where I would pick to spend some time.
I hope you enjoy Sri Lanka! Galle was fantastic but it rained almost all the time and we had a great time. If you want to read about it. Here is the link. One of the best guide for galle i have ever seen…Very Useful and interesting too. So much of details in it…More pictures are welcomed.. Thanks for the Writing…. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post… Really amazing and most wanted list… The picture are so lively… You have got the perfect view to capture these….
Your email address will not be published. Don't subscribe All Replies to my comments Notify me of follow up comments via e-mail. Sign up to our newsletter! Find more info in my disclaimer. The Galle Fort area is unlike any other we visited in Sri Lanka.