Galle is best known as for its charming UNESCO Heritage site, Galle Fort. Located in the southern coast of Sri Lanka, this lovely place is just an hour an half drive from the capital. Its best explored on foot while staying inside the ramparts with its pebbled streets, quaint boutiques with laid back atmosphere is certainly a highlight in the journey into Sri Lanka.

The lovely city of Galle has been a seaport and hub for many centuries, assisting the spice trade for the Arabs, Greeks, Romans and Persians long before it was discovered by the Portuguese in the 16th century who constructed the city’s landmark Fort. It was subsequently acquired by the Dutch who further fortified and developed it in the 18th century. A mix of colonial architecture and local design, Galle Fort is the largest of the last remaining forts built by Europeans in Asia. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site In comparison to other Sri Lankan cities Galle is sizeable, with a population of just over 100,000. The majority (60%) are Sinhalese, whilst 30% comprises the Moor community, descendants of Arabian traders, who occupy most parts of Galle Fort. A vibrant city, it is also home to foreign residents and holiday homeowners giving it a distinct European feel.

Located on the Southwest tip of Sri Lanka, 119 kms from Colombo, Galle’s recent hype as a tourist destination has a lot to do with its ease of access. The southern expressway, Sri Lanka’s first and foremost toll highway has given precedence to this city by connecting it easily to Colombo’s International airport within a short 2-hour drive. The city has typical tropical climatic conditions with January to February being the only dry months. The average temperature is 26°C year around. The charm of Galle Fort lies in its pebbled stoned streets and laid back colourful ambience, coupled with the simple everyday lives of its locals who have called this place home for centuries. Its uniqueness can be attributed in part to some of its iconic buildings including, Amangalla, the National Maritime Museum, the Dutch Reform Church, and All Saints Church, to name a few.

Outside the Fort there are equally interesting places to see and visit including Galle’s natural harbour, organic tea and cinnamon estates and a unique jungle beach where rainforest and the Indian ocean cohabitate. Galle Fort has recently earned a reputation as an upcoming food scene. There are number of good quality restaurants that cater to both local and western palates, ensuring plenty of culinary options for visitors. The Sri Lankan cuisine served in many restaurants is generally mild in spice levels, keeping foreign travellers in mind. Galle is the best city outside Colombo for shopping. What you will find here are small boutique stores that sell gem studded jewellery, spa products and local designer wear. It is also great place to buy spices and souvenirs. There is a range of accommodation to be found inside Galle Fort - from barefoot luxury to hotels where splurging is the standard; larger resort type accommodation is situated outside Galle.


Here are sample itineraries featuring UNESCO heritage city of Galle in Sri Lanka. Click below to read more about Galle tours and accommodation in Galle or get in touch to receive a detailed, tailor made itinerary for your Sri Lanka holiday. 


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