Galle Dutch Fort Overview

The Galle Dutch Fort, located in Galle, Sri Lanka, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its historical significance and architectural charm. Built by the Dutch in the 17th century, the fort stands as a testament to colonial-era maritime power. Its well-preserved walls enclose a captivating blend of European and South Asian influences, featuring cobblestone streets, impressive ramparts, and picturesque buildings. Today, the fort is a popular tourist destination offering a glimpse into Sri Lanka's rich cultural past.

The Galle Dutch Fort happens to be one of the treasured historical monuments of Srilanka located on the southern coast of the country. The fort was constructed by the Portuguese in the course of their reign in Srilanka and was later renovated by the Dutch. The fort is one of the most important UNESCO world heritage sites out of many in Srilanka. This is because of its wonderful illustration of European Architecture and South Asian Traditions of the 16th and 19th century.

The fort displays an amazing amalgamation of age-old architecture and antiquity in the middle of astounding natural beauty.You will come across a number of lively shops, cafes, exhibition halls, lifestyle stores, and villas, which adds to the beauty of the place. It would be just amazing to move by the walls witnessing the intricate artworks and sheer craftsmanship. At the present time, the fort is still home to multi-ethnic and multi-religious population, as some properties inside the fort are still owned by many Dutch people and local Srilankan people as well. 

How To Reach

The distance between Galle Dutch Fort from Galle Airport is about 15 km. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the fort after landing at the airport.

By Road: You can book a cab or hire a tuk-tuk to transfer you to the fort.

By Train: You can also choose to travel by means of the local trains that ply in between all the important points of the city. The nearest railway station is Galle Railway station.

Other Essential Information

- Location:
The Galle Dutch Fort is located at Church St, Galle 80000, Sri Lanka.

- Entry fee: There is no entry fee for visiting the Galle Dutch Fort.

- Timings: The Galle Dutch Fort is open 24 hours on all days. You can come over to this place at any time of the year and get amazed by the intricate architectural marvels and serene location.

- Distance from Galle Airport: The distance between Galle Dutch Fort and Galle Airport is about 15 Km. It takes about 30 minutes to get transferred from the airport to the fort. You can take a tuk-tuk or a cab to reach the fort of Galle.

History of Galle Dutch Fort

The history of the Galle Dutch Fort dates back to 1502. The Portuguese took control of the fort and used it as a prison camp for the Sinhalese after a small fleet of the ships that arrived from Portuguese were swayed off by the cyclonic storm. With time, the Portuguese were attacked by the Dutch and then they took over the city as well as the fort. They reconstructed the fort with mud, sand, and palm trees. At that time the fort has a protestant church, a residence of the chief commander, an artillery house, public administration buildings, residential quarters, business houses, trade and defence buildings, warehouses, workshops and much more.   

However, the fort was again taken over by the British rulers in the year 1796 when they captured the capital city of Srilanka. The city was under their control up until Srilanka got independence from the British rulers in the year 1948. The glamour of the city, as well as the fort, was diminished under the British rule as Colombo was declared the capital of Srilanka and all development works instigated in the capital city living behind this city of Galle.

Places to Dine-In at Galle Fort

Check out some of the places to dine with your loved ones at the famous Galle Fort:

1. Hoppa- This place happens to be one of the hottest eateries in Galle Fort. Hoppa is a cosy place that overlooks the live kitchen. The must-try dishes of this place are the egg hopper and piquant sambals. You will find this place homely.

2. Sugar Bistro- The sugar bistro at Galle Fort is known for its amazing interiors and open kitchen layout. Some of the must-try delicacies of this place are hot butter cuttlefish, classic sugar burger, crab kottu, and Wine aficionados.

3. Crêpe-ology- Crêpe-ology is a wonderful place to dine out with your loved ones on Leyn Baan Street. You can come upstairs and then spend time relishing some of your favourite dishes in the rooftop restaurant and shisha lounge in the Galle Fort. This restaurant also has an indoor dining area that is air conditioned and has a place for your kids to play. Tourists love to have classic crêpe, crêpe Ceylon, Champignon, frappes, and coffees.  Crêpe-ology can be one of the best places for having your breakfast in the morning and snacks in the evening.

4. The Tuna & The Crab- The star ingredients of the restaurant are the crabs bought from the Ministry of Crab and tuna from Nihonbashi. Srilanka is widely held for its amazing tuna and crabs all over the world. When you are at this place, you should try the famous bento box meals and olive oil and soy Sauce sashimi.

5. A Minute By Tuk Tuk- A Minute By Tuk Tuk is a quirky place that offers amazing sights of the sweeping bay off Galle. The restaurant has a wide-ranging menu starting from desserts to Italian main courses and from burger to curry rice combos. Some of the must-try dishes of the Minute by Tuk Tuk are specially prepared Tuna and Lamprais.

Places to Go Shopping at Galle Fort

Shopping happens to be one of the most important affairs when you are visiting a far off place. Taking away some souvenirs will keep the memoirs of the trip all through your life. Check out some of the stores at the Galle Fort:

1. Barefoot Shop- The Barefoot Shop, located at 41 Pedlar St., Galle, is one of the most loved places at the Galle Fort which is known for its amazing collectibles. This is a flagship store that deals with various Srilankan products starting from handloos to home decors.

2. Exotic Roots- The Exotic Roots appen to be one of the oldest souvenir stores at Galle Fort. The store is located at 50A, Lighthouse St, Galle Fort. It is a must-visit place if traditional artworks entice you. You can purchase some of the collectibles from the store and carry with you as a souvenir.

3. Raux Brothers- Raux Brothers are a bit different from all other stores at the Galle Fort. The Raux Brother is predominantly a furniture store with a small cafe inside it. The store deals with hand made furniture and home decors as well.

4. Three by TPV- If you are someone who loves to shop for luxurious products, then this is the place. The Three by TPV sells amazing artworks, designer jewellery and beautiful accessories. The store is located 43 Leyn Baan Street, Fort Galle.
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Galle Dutch Fort FAQs

Who built Galle Fort?

The Galle Fort was initially built by the Portuguese in the year 1588 and then was reinvigorated by the Dutch in the 17th century from the year 1649 onwards. Built on the southwest coast of Srilanka, this fort puts forward the magnificent artisanship of those times that attracts zillions of tourists from all over the world to come over to this place and get amazed by the grandeur and serenity of this place.

How old is Galle Fort?

The Galle Fort is nearly 432 years old. It was built initially in the 16th century by Portuguese. In the initial days the fort was used as a prison house for the sinhalese. And, later it was taken over by the Dutch. The present day fort is the result of the renovation work carried out by the Dutch.

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