Galle – Ultimate Travel Guide To The World Heritage City

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A perfect combination of Ocean, History, Architecture & culture could be seen in this colonial city of Dutch. Galle is a must visited destination in Sri Lanka if you are travelling solo, with your partner, with friends or family. This magnificent city has everything you need from a holiday destination. It is situated on the south coast of Sri Lanka which is a great getaway from  the busy city of Colombo. Galle city is just a one and half hour drive from Colombo. The ride from Colombo to Galle has many picturesque spots either by train, bus or car.

It is absolutely sure that everyone who visits southern Sri Lanka would definitely get staggered by its tranquility of the beaches. Unlike the other coastal areas of Sri Lanka, Galle is not too hot since it is the home of the Sinharaja rain forest. The best time to visit Galle is from December to February. Sun will shine on you between these months so you can have a pleasant summer vacation in the beaches of Indian ocean.

Places you should visit in Galle district

There are number of tourist destinations in Galle district that you can visit on your journey to Galle. Here We have sorted out 10 Important destinations that you should visit when you get around of Galle city.

Gallefort – The Glory of European Colonization

Galle Fort is a city inside a city that is fortified by great walls around the city by the European colonies in the late 16th century. It was declared as an UNESCO World Heritage site due to its historical value. Take a walk on the ramparts of the Galle fort and enjoy the exciting view of the beach with the limitless shades of blue and take a look at the old prison on the way and you can also see the Galle cricket stadium.  Checkout the maritime museum, Meera Mosque, and the picturesque view of the lighthouse and the waves.  Check in on a Hotel in Galle Fort and live a day or few in a place which was built centuries before. These hotels are flawlessly refurbished by talented architects and engineers.

Galle Fort | Image Courtesy: Vladimir and Anna
All Saint’s church, Gallefort | Image Courtesy: Natalya Chernavina

National Museum of Galle – Historical Monuments of the Colonial City.

Galle National Museum is a museum which is situated inside the Galle fort is a great museum to explore and learn so many things about Sri Lanka’s history. You can take a cab or a scooter to reach this museum but if you are willing to walk you would find many elegant and sophisticated cafes and Boutique shops in your way. Spend some rupees and enjoy your way to the oldest remaining Dutch building in Galle Fort. 

The Museum was built in the year 1656 and it was transformed into a Museum in 1986. The museum of Galle has a wide variety of archeological objects as well as anthropological objects in its galleries. You can see the old instruments used in the cottage industry such as Dutch lace crafting bobbins, traditional wooden mask carving and collection of ornaments made by turtle shells, etc. 

Galle National Museum | Image Courtesy : Dan arndt

Unawatuna Beach – Beach, Party & Unlimited fun

Unawatuna beach is one of the stunning beaches in Sri Lanka situated on the shores of Indian ocean in Unawatuna in Galle district. It should be on your bucket list of your visit to the southern part of Sri Lanka. The banana-shaped beach with sky blue waters with a shade of green would definitely astonish your beach craving eyes. You could rent a sunbed on the beach and gain some vitamin D or just get into the water and enjoy the waveless clean waters. After a fine day on the beach, you can join the beach side party in the evening and enjoy the picturesque view of sunset on the beach side.

Jungle Beach – Tranquility of Galle

Jungle beach is situated in the galle district of Sri Lanka. A 2 minutes ride from unawatuna beach would lead you to jungle beach. Unlike the unawatuna beach, this beach is undisturbed by the crowd. The tranquility of this beach makes this place a perfect place for relaxing. On the other hand, Jungle beach is a great place for those who love snorkelling and scuba diving. The coral reefs are visible a few metres offshore which makes a good site for snorkelling which introduces the exotic marine life of the region.

Besides schools of colorful fishes we can spot moray eels, crabs, barracudas, trigger fish and many other reef dwelling creatures. Since this beach is situated in a forested area, you can also hike through the jungle. On the other hand, this beach turns into a wild party spot at night. Tourists around Galle come here in the evening and party all night. Hence we can know that the tranquil beach also has another side from dusk till dawn.

Jungle Beach | Image Courtesy: Vladimir and Anna
Jungle Beach | Image Courtesy: Natalya Chernavina

Hikkaduwa Beach – Corals, Surf and unlimited fun

Hikkaduwa is a very popular tourist spot among the inland and foreign tourists. This beach has many fun and adventure activities to offer the tourists. In particular, snorkeling, scuba diving, whale watching, swimming and surfing. The coral reefs found along the coast of hikkaduwa beaches hosts spectacular formations of corals. Furthermore the islets surrounded by beautiful coral formations are some of the rare pleasing sights you can see. 

Hikkaduwa Beach | Image Courtesy: I Travel Wife Sleep

Read more about Hikkaduwa Here

Sinharaja Forest Reserve – The world heritage nature reserve.

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage site reserved for nature and biodiversity of this forest. It is said to be one of the virgin rainforests in the world. Sinharaja forest is located one hour ride from Galle city which is about 80km from Galle. In fact, this rainforest contains 50% of endemic mammals and 60% of endemic plants. Most of the endemic plants in Sinharaja forest are considered as rare species. There are plenty of things you can do in the Sinharaja rainforest such as sightseeing butterflies, exploring hidden waterfalls, birds and animal watching as well as hiking. The best time to visit Sinharaja rainforest is from January to may or between august to September. The forest become so wild in the monsoon season due to high rainfall so if you like to get lost in the wild woods, try to visit in the monsoon.

Leopard in Sinharaja Forest | Image Courtesy: Malinduishan

Ahangama – Smell the cinnamon breeze

Ahangama is a quiet town in the southern province located 25 minutes away from Galle city. This calm town is filled with cinnamon plants which is cultivated all over the area. You can learn a lot about the history and lifestyle of local villagers and also you can know about the specialty of the true cinnamon which comes from Sri Lanka. besides the Cinnamon experience, Ahangama beach is a great surfing spot for surf lovers. Ahangama surf break is popular among most of the surfers.

Hotel amidst of Cinnamon plantation in Ahangama
Ahangama Beach | Image Courtesy: Vladimir and Anna

Balapitiya – Stilt fishing & scenic sunsets

Balapitiya is a small scenic village situated in Galle district. The unspoiled beach is not very famous among the backpackers but still it has its own hand picked visitors who loves tranquility and calm space. You can see the fishermen fishing from the ocean in traditional way and have a chat with them to know more about the village and people’s lifestyle. watch the sunset from the beach and burrow a fishing rod and enjoy stilt fishing.

Stilt FIshing | Image Courtesy: DaemonX

Ambalangoda – The iconic Masks and artifacts of Sri Lanka

Ambalangoda is a popular tourist destination in Galle district because of the devil masks and artifacts which you can see everywhere in Sri Lanka. These iconic Ambalangoda masks are worn in the traditional dance. The tradition of using masks in rituals goes back several centuries. However in the present day it’s used in the performances to entertain tourists. You can buy these masks in all the handicraft shops around Sri Lanka. Besides the handicrafts and traditional dance performances, cinnamon plantations also have a great contribution to tourism in Sri Lanka since you can find the true essence of the Sri Lankan cinnamon here. Try not to miss the opportunity to drink the delicious Ceylon cinnamon tea with the perfect cinnamon aroma.

Ambalangoda Masks & Artifact making by Destination Sri Lanka

Bentota – Welcome to Galle

Bentota is blessed with beautiful palm trees and a serene atmospheric beaches. This tranquil city is located in the Galle district in Southern Province. Since the beaches of this beautiful city is blessed with corals it became a popular diving spot among the snorkelers and scuba divers. Head over to Canoe Rock, South Reef and Hindurangala to witness vibrant corals and large schools of fish, especially Lionfish and Porcupine Fish. After soaking up the sun at the beach, you can head over the Bentota river which is also known as Bentota Ganga. The scenic Bentota ganga is a really scenic river filled with nature and wildlife. you can find various kinds of Lizards, monkeys and variety of birds in the river side.

Bentota Beach | Image Courtesy: Vladimir and Anna

Hotels in Galle

Since Galle was a colonial city of Europeans, Infrastructure of Galle city was designed in the European style. In fact, the old European style architecture is followed by the modern architects too. The old houses of the Europeans were refurbished by the modern architects as Hotels and restaurants. You can find these types of Hotels in Gallefort. Hotels in Unawatuna, Hikkaduwa and Ambalangoda are comparatively cheaper than the hotels in Gallefort. Although all the hotels offer quality service for guests with delicious food.

Choose a platform to book your stay in Galle.

agoda
airbnb
booking.com

Verdict

Overall, Galle is a city with different cultural and historical background and it is surrounded by nature’s valuable gifts like the beautiful ocean, corals, forest reserves, wild life and many more. It is the perfect city to enjoy your summer vacation if you love sun, beaches, sunsets and party.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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