Galle Travel Guide

  • Galle Fort walls and clocktower
    Galle Fort walls and clocktower
    by SWFC_Fan
  • Local boys playing cricket in Galle, Sri Lanka
    Local boys playing cricket in Galle, Sri...
    by SWFC_Fan
  • Lighthouse at Galle, Sri Lanka
    Lighthouse at Galle, Sri Lanka
    by SWFC_Fan

Galle Highlights

  • Pro
    jungles profile photo

    jungles says…

     peaceful, attractive buildings, nice views from the ramparts 

  • Con
    WStat profile photo

    WStat says…

     colonial feeling in the 21st century 

  • In a nutshell
    PierreZA profile photo

    PierreZA says…

     Stay at The Closenberg and explore Galle and surrounds 

Galle Things to Do

  • A late but decent find.

    I had seen the Sydney Hotel a few times as it stands right beside the rather large bus station in Galle (see separate tip) but it was only on the day I was leaving the town that I managed to visit as I was always getting a bus somewhere or returning lateish when it was shut (most bars in Sri Lanka shut @ 2200 hours). This turned out to be somewhat...

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  • Walk the ramparts.

    This tip is in relation to what is almost a rite of passage in the wonderful town of Galle and involves nothing more strenuous that going for a pleasant stroll. I should mention at the outset that, like much of this excellent country, there regrettably is no provision for the mobility impaired.The Galle Fort is the heart and soul of the town and a...

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  • Adventure Tours

    They organise trekking and camping tours to some fabulous locales round Galle. A lovely bunch of homely people to have a blast.

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  • 87 not out.

    This tip concerns Galle international cricket stadium which I was surprised to read is one of seven international grounds in Sri Lanka. I could only think of Colombo and Kandy in addition to this place. The Esplanade, as it was previously known, was declared a cricket ground in 1927 and hence the title of this tip but it has a much longer history....

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  • Great place for a sundowner.

    Let's get one thing absolutely straight at the outset, the Galle Fort Hotel is way outside my budget to stay at but it does provide an absolutely gorgeous location for a drink in the late afternoon. Indeed, it would be lovely at any time but I tended to go there for a sundowner. One good thing about going at that time is that they will bring you a...

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  • Send me a postcard.

    I really loved this quirky little place. The entire building you see was initially the "Negotie Kantoor" or Trade Office and Personnel Department for the Fort. Housed within it is a tiny little Post Office which has apparently been functioning as such since 1815. It is worth visiting just for a look but they do have an excellent selection of...

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Galle Hotels

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Galle Restaurants

  • Decent food, abysmal service.

    One parti8cular evening, my preferred eating house in the Fort area of Galle was shut. It is the excellent Sea Green restaurant which forms the basis of a separate tip. I took a little walk and came upon the Fort Dew restaurant which I had walked past several times before, so that sounded like a plan.When I walked in there was nobody there other...

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  • Part samba, part cooking, all brilliant.

    I had read about a dish called kottu rotti before I arrived in Sri Lanka and yet, after about a month there I still had not had one which was a situation I was determined to rectify. Coming back on the bus one evening from nearby Hikkaduwa I was a little hungry and so I dropped into an obviously locals place. I was certainly the only white face in...

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  • A great find.

    I was initially introduced to this place on my first night in Galle by another traveller who had been there for a couple of days and I am very grateful to him for that as it became a great favourite of mine and I place I returned to several times.The restaurant is attached to the guesthouse of the same name and is up a flight of stairs which...

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Galle Nightlife

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  • Have a drink at the Galle Fort Hotel.

    Galle Fort Hotel is a very fancy hotel with a very fancy restaurant, but their little bar where you can sit and overlook the street is not that expensive and a nice place to sit for a late afternoon beer.The place attracts a few local business people aswell as many of the people staying at the hotel.The place has a very colonial touch to it and...

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  • Not a song from the Lion King

    Unawatuna is the best place to hang out at night, 5 miles east of Galle. The resort is right by the beach, which stretches round the bay and has a variety of places to eat, drink and party. The resort itself has food and drink and sport on telly, all under cover but exposed to the outside air.Sadly the town was devastated in the tsunami - if you...

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  • Galle Hotels

    11 Hotels in Galle

    642 Reviews and Opinions

Galle Transportation

  • Jump on the bus.

    Whilst I had arrived in Galle on the train (see separate tip), I departed by bus and took a couple of daytrips by bus when I was there. Galle Bus Station seems to be slightly more organised than the usual Sri Lankan set-up even though it is pretty large and has a useful information desk. Although the guy in there did not appear to understand me...

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  • Let the train take the strain.

    I have no doubt that the bus from Colombo is faster and certainly much more frequent than the train but it is no secret here on Virtual Tourist that I love train travel and so that is what I did. The journey from Fort Station to Galle took me about two and a quarter hours although it can run anything up to nearly three depending on the service.In...

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  • Bus

    The Bus Station is in the Central part of Galle, close to the train station.I took a intercity bus to Colombo from there, and also used an intercity from Matara to Galle.These are very comfortable with A/C, and not expensive. One of the best ways of getting around.

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Galle Shopping

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  • Antiques In Galle

    Walking along the walled fort area you come across some amazing shops and people selling exquisite stuff. Like the one I chanced upon in the bylanes of Galle Fort.Mindboggling collection of antiques which includes sofa sets, bed, cutlery, furnishing and lotsa table and glassware. They restore old furniture as well make new one for you. You can have...

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  • The regular supermarket stuff

    The Food City has all the regular stuff thats needed in the kitchen, except that you could get it all at a much cheaper rate outside. I tried finding instant food in the food section but I was unable to find any readymade eatables. But it still is useful to try n get regular grocery stuff. Forget trying to find instant foods, soaps, wine, juice,...

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Galle Local Customs

  • Cricket

    Cricket is a passion in Sri Lanka.At sunset, a few local guys were playing a match on the open field between the Fort and Butterfly Bridge.It was nice to be able to chat to the locals. They are very knowledgable about the game and knew most of the South African players.It was a very nice hour during my visit to Galle.

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  • Muslims in Galle Fort

    Muslim community accounts for 80 % of Galle fort's population, while the majority sinahlese community account for the remaining 20 %

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  • Foriegners In Galle

    Since 1998 local owners of Dutch colonial period houses numbering over 300, have sold at least to 30 to foreigners. The high purchasing power of the buyers, the lack of funds by the residence to renovate their houses to the approved historical standards and changing economy circumstances that see key members of family working outside Galle had let...

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Galle Warnings and Dangers

  • Charlie_UK's Profile Photo
    The dreaded ice cream man

    by Charlie_UK Written Jan 6, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a special warning for anyone visiting for cricket purposes: As the ground is on a big roundabout, expect a man to pedal round and round all day with his ice cream buggy, with the same tune tootling out, hour after hour, day after day. It will stick in the memory and can cause years of trauma, prompting you to boycott ice cream for the rest of your days:

    Doo dee doo
    Doo dee doo
    Doo do-do-da da!

    All day. very day.

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Galle Tourist Traps

  • jungles's Profile Photo

    by jungles Updated May 24, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The admission price for foreigners has been hiked up from Rs 35 to a steep Rs 300 for this small and dusty museum, and in my opinion it's not really worth it. We happened to get in free because it was International Museum Day when we visited (May 18th), but if I had paid the admission fee I would have felt ripped off. There is a model of the fort near the entrance, and inside is a collection of devil masks and various artefacts from the colonial era.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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Galle Off The Beaten Path

  • So close to home.

    I was wandering along past the small fishing harbour in Galle one day when my eye, for some inexplicable reason was drawn to a particular boat which you can see in the main image here. Along the side, printed big and bold, was the legend "Larne Grammar School". Well, I know Larne G.S., I used to play rugby against them as a schoolboy. I looked more...

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  • Take a walk

    On a sunny day, well almost all days are sunny here I guess, put on your cap, take a cam in hand and go walking in Fort Galle. The fort area has amazing architecture and sights to capture. This pic taken of the post box seemed interesting contrast of colors. The post box, standing alone and vibrant, a relic from colonial times, and still serves the...

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  • The Sydney hotel

    This is the place for a true Indiana Jones experience: A dingy bar with most of the lights not working, infested with rabid kittens and cursed with a failed fridge that keeps the Lion Beer warm. But the ultimate part of the adventure is visiting the toilet. Do not venture forth without a toilet roll, and beware the seat does not come off. Be...

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Galle Sports & Outdoors

  • Elephant Polo

    Expatriates in Sri Lanka sit behind mahouts as they play elephant polo in the southern Sri Lankan city of Galle, February 14, 2004. With fewer traditional jobs like logging for domestic elephants, the animals are being recruited for pastimes like elephant polo. (Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi/Reuters)

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  • Hot cricket

    The Galle international cricket stadium is closer to the equator than any other Test match ground, and it feels like it: The heat is stifling, usually over 40 degrees and with high humidity. This leads to frequent thunderstorms in the evening, but the rain is quite warm.That said, with the fort close at hand and the bustling city centre on the...

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Galle Favorites

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  • Tsunami

    I was in Galle on Dec 26, the first anniversary of the Tsunami that devastated the coastal town. A memorial service for the dead was held at the Police Headquarters.

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  • Fun in the sun

    The best memory was renewing acquaintances with fellow fans on tour, like "Jimmy Saville" here. Sadly we had to lament the absence of the man in the Sylvester the cat suit.

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  • Galle Hotels

    11 Hotels in Galle

    642 Reviews and Opinions

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Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Galle
The much less interesting of the two.
Things to Do
The more interesting of the two.
Things to Do
Top class food, stunning views.
Restaurants
A very impressive mosque.
Things to Do
For those in peril on the sea.
Things to Do
An entry and a mystery.
Things to Do
Visit the Fort.
Things to Do
This is how the Dutch got here.
Things to Do
The must visit cafe in Galle Fort
Restaurants
The old gate.
Things to Do
The Meeran Jumma mosque.
Things to Do
National Maritime Archaeology Museum.
Things to Do
Brilliant little restaurant inside the fort area.
Restaurants
Kanneliya Forest
Things to Do
Tasty meals for resonable prices!
Restaurants
The locals' favourite lunch spot
Restaurants
Unawatuna Beach
Restaurants
Kataluwa Purwarama Temple
Things to Do
Koggala Lake & surrounds
Things to Do
Sea Turtle Hatchery - Habaraduwa
Things to Do
Unawatuna
Things to Do
Other places of interest in Galle Fort
Things to Do
Galle Fort: Lighthouse
Things to Do
Galle Fort: Dutch Reformed Church
Things to Do
Galle Fort: Meeran Jumma Masjid
Things to Do
Galle Fort - overview
Things to Do
For sea views
Restaurants
Galle International Cricket Stadium
Things to Do
Best food in Galle Fort
Restaurants
One helluva museum
Things to Do
Great seafood at a nice price
Restaurants
Cheap pizzas and curries
Restaurants
Train and bus stations
Transportation
Dutch Reformed Church
Things to Do
Historical Mansion Museum
Things to Do
Meeran Jumma Masjid
Things to Do
Lighthouse
Things to Do
Ramparts
Things to Do
Sri Lanka National Day Celebration
Things to Do
Bus to Colombo
Transportation
Map of Galle

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