Galle

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What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the name “Sri Lanka”? is it a name? Sanath Jayasuriya or Lasith Malinga? Or a place? Kandy or Ella?

I bet most of you will say the name Galle in Sri Lanka. That’s how popular this coastal town in the southern province is.

 All islands have beautiful beaches. Sri Lanka does too. Lots and lots of attractive beaches. But, Galle in Srilanka stands out from all of them.

The rich history and heritage in the City of Galle, attracts many tourists who come down to this island in the Indian Ocean. 

The locals believe that the name Galle came from the phrase “Galo”. It means “cock crowing” in Portuguese.

The natives say the city named after the Sinhala term “Gala” which translates to “rock” in English.

  • Why is Galle in Sri Lanka so significant?
  • Is it the Galle Fort?
  • What are the other visiting places in Galle Sri Lanka?
  • Did you know that Galle is named a UNESCO world heritage site?
  • Did you know it only takes an hour and a half to get to Galle from the airport?

Answers to all of the above questions and many more information that you must know about this beautiful coastal city will be given to you in this article. So hang in there? This read will be worth it!

galles sri lanka
Photo Credit – Getty Images

How do you get here?

Situated 116Kms from the Business capital Sri Lanka, Galle in Srilanka has become a ‘getaway’ destination not only to the tourists but to the locals as well.

From the airport, you have facility of getting a cab or an Uber straight to Galle via the highway.

The drive would take approximately 2 hours but it would cost you about LKR 16,000. 

Or else, you could take the highway bus to Colombo and then take a bus or the train. If you enjoy the sea breeze and a scenic train ride on the coast, you should definitely go on the train.

The ride would approximately take about 3-4 hours and it will cost you only about LKR 200.

For Colombo Fort to Galle train schedules click here. 

For other train schedules click here

Map of the Galle city in Sri Lanka

galle by train
colombo to galle train

You also have the option of taking the bus to Galle. You can either go via the highway or the Galle Road which goes parallel to the train track.

In order to get the highway bus, you have to reach Kottawa by bus or a cab. It’s a hassle but it will only cost you LKR 750-850 for a comfortable air conditioned ride to Galle Srilanka. 

Places to visit in Galle Sri Lanka

Galle Fort

The city of Galle has a history which goes back to the 17th century. Galle Fort, undoubtedly takes center stage in this city. Dating back to the days when Sri Lanka was a Dutch Colony.

This is also the largest surviving fortress in Asia built by Europeans hence, it is named as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Dutch architecture is well preserved so that it gives a very unique ambience when you walk about the stone embedded streets.

clock tower in galle fort sri lanka
galle fort sri lanka

Apart from the architecture, you can definitely enjoy Sri Lankan food and have a cup of Sri Lankan tea inside the fort.

The restaurants and pubs provide different cuisines so you shouldn’t worry about finding food inside the fortress.

Dutch Reformed Church

The church was originally built by a Dutch army officer. After many year’s the construction the church was finally completed in 1754.

The headstones from older graveyards were shifted here during 1710 and 1804. It is famous for its Pipe Organ which is still in shape but unfortunately not functioning.

There are also underground tunnels which starts from the church to various places inside the Galle Fort.

Galle Lighthouse

The British built the Galle lighthouse in 1939. You can find the lighthouse towards the eastern end of the fortress walls.

The authorities still allow visitors to climb up to the top so make sure you tick this off during your stay.

galle light house sri lanka
galle light house
Photo Credit – Getty Images

Unawatuna Beach

Situated only 20kms away from Galle, Unawatuna beach is one of the first beaches to have been discovered in the island. It is famous for its pristine waters, water sports and beach pubs.

Many young tourists from all around the world come here to enjoy the sun, the tides and some cold beer. Scuba Diving is also quiet popular due the coral reefs near the coast.

unawatuna beach sri lanka


unawatuna beach at evening
Photo Credit – Getty Images
unawatuna beach sri lanka
Photo Credit – Getty Images
galle beach in sri lanka
boats in galle beach sri lanka
galle beach sri lanka

Fishing in Galle Beach

fishing in galle
galle fishing

Tuk Tuks

tuk tuk ride in galle

The reason we make the sub topic is because many tourists got the hang of riding tuk tuks after visiting Galle.

It became a trend and now almost every tourist who go down south, would definitely go on a tuk tuk ride.

It’s not your ordinary cab you get in the cities, so make sure you try this one out too.

Jungle Beach

Just like Unawatuna, Jungle beach has crystal clear water but with a less crowded beach.

It is also a good place for snorkeling because of the clear waters and rich marine life. Situated in Ruumassala which is just 5.5 kms away from the Galle town.

In order to get here, you have a small trek up the Ruumassala hill and then you can descend through the jungle to find the beach.

jungle beach in sri lanka

Japanese Peace Pagoda

Perfect place to wine down and enjoy a beautiful overview of the jungle and the beach.

Situated on top of the Ruumassala hill, this is the perfect place if you’re looking to sit back and just enjoy the view.

Watching the sunset from up here, is the perfect way to end your day in Galle Srilanka.

Japanese peace pagoda
Photo Credit – Getty Images

Food and Lodging 

There is a vast array of options for you. From 5 star hotels to shared hostels and local spicy food joints to fine dining fancy restaurants.

But, one thing for sure. If you’re in Galle, you should definitely try out the Sea food. Not the ordinary seafood platters you get in European countries but a good Sri Lankan Seafood Curry with Some roti. 

Galle Srilanka has lodging places in almost every corner. There are few places inside the Galle Fort as well but, we highly recommend you to stay closer to Unawatuna. Mainly because of the night life in Una.

sea foods in galle

You can enjoy a cold beer by the beach and have a stroll to your hotel in the night without much hassle.

The closer the better because the only way you can travel in the night is from tuk tuks and the drivers would probably charge you double since it’s the night. 

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