30 Best Places to Visit in Galle 2020 (Photos & 2400+ Reviews)

Places to Visit in Galle

Galle Dutch Fort, Dutch Reformed Church, The National Museum of Galle, Jungle Beach, Japanese Peace Pagoda, Old Gate, Galle Fort, Historical Mansion Museum, Galle Fort Clock Tower, Sea Turtle Hatchery, Maritime Museum, Galle Lighthouse, St Joseph’s Chapel, St. Mary's Cathedral, Mahamodara Sea Turtle Hatchery Centre and many more places.

You might be astounded to know that there are a number of places to visit in Galle which could make you extend your trip by a few more days to visit this historic city. Walking through the streets of Galle is like walking into history when you soak in the past via its colonial splendours. You would need an entire day to visit the Galle Dutch Fort to not just witness the life and areas that still exist there, but to cover all the other monuments that are stationed within this establishment.

Amongst the many tourist places in Galle, you will find that the beaches in this city brighten your day into a fun one like the Pitiwella Beach, Jungle Beach, Unawatuna Beach and Mihiripenna Beach. The Sea Turtle Hatchery and the Mahamodara Sea Turtle Hatchery Centre is a glaze on the cake of this stunning journey you will experience in Galle.

Undoubtedly, Galle manages to attract tourists around the world with its surreal beauty and historical stories. Let's know more about the best tourists places in Galle!

Must Visit Places in Galle

01

Galle Dutch Fort

Galle Dutch Fort

Built several years ago on a massive piece of land in Galle, the Galle Dutch Fort was used by the Portuguese until the Dutch took over it. The British finally sealed the fort as theirs with a lot of re-building and renovation. The unique blends that led to the standing of this monumental structure are now listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites thus deserving a substantial place on the list of places to visit in Galle. 

The area is so beautiful, that is a favourite amongst couples for a pre-wedding shoot. 


Location: Church Street, Bay of Galle

Timings: Open twenty-four hours

Entry Fee: Free

02

Dutch Reformed Church

 Dutch Reformed Church

Also an awesome structure in the Galle Dutch Fort sites, the Dutch Reformed Church narrates yarns from centuries ago. You will be able to take a stroll into history if you hire a guide who can pace you around with relating incidents. The door of this church belongs to the work of an 18th-century craftsman. This church which is otherwise called Groot Church embraces a lot of graves on the floor while the pulpit was created using Malaysian Wood. 


Location: Church Street, in the premises of Galle Fort

Timings: 08.30 a.m. to 04.30 p.m.

Entry Fee: 300 LKR (USDK 1.70) for adults and 150 LKR (USD 0.85) for children

03

The National Museum of Galle

The National Museum of Galle

If your life’s passion is driven by the history of the world, then the National Museum of Galle is ‘the’ place for you. It is amongst those tourist places in Galle that allows you to study the times gone by of Sri Lanka from the 4th Century. 

Starting from architectural designs, relics and masks, shells, wooden carvings and Beeralu Collection to other archaeological objects that take you into the deepness of this country is all preserved in this educative building. The influence of the Dutch in Sri Lanka can be witnessed through various items on display like the weapons and vessels.


Location: Church Street

Timings: 09.00 a.m. to 06.00 p.m.

Entry Fee:  35 LKR (USD 0.20) for adults and 20 LKR (USD 0.11) for children

04

Jungle Beach

Jungle Beach

The Jungle Beach is an out-of-the-way and serene beach that is a storehouse of all the quiet time you need on your holiday. Located a little ahead of the Japanese Peace Pagoda, this Beach is one of the most relaxed one and is much less swarming than all the other tourist places in Galle. 

You can sit back on the sandy beach and get a perfect tan, or swim in the clear waters that seem like a mirror image of the ground below. If you are a fan of the aquatic life, then you could spend some time Snorkeling to see for yourself the life of the rich marine life in Galle. 


Location: Rumassala, Close to Galle and Unawatuna Beach

Timings: Open twenty-four hours; the best time to visit is from 09.00 a.m. to 05.00 p.m. 

Entry Fee: Free

05

Japanese Peace Pagoda

Japanese Peace Pagoda

The Japanese Peace Pagoda is for all those people who are looking for inner peace and some time for introspection. This tranquil structure built not so long ago is perched on top of the Rumassala Hill from where you can see the expansive ocean and the thick jungles. Take a deeper dip into this composure and attend the daily ritual that they perform every evening at 05.30 p.m. 

The construction is tall enough to be visible for people standing on the Unawatuna Beach and Galle Beach. The aura at dusk is fascinating and rides one into another world of beauty. 


Location: Unawatuna

Timings: 07.00 a.m. to 09.00 p.m.

Entry Fee: Free

06

Old Gate, Galle Fort

Old Gate, Galle Fort

The Old Gate is yet another remains of the British from their times in Galle. On one outside area of the Galle Fort is this Old Gate which is an arty carving of a coat of arms tops. There are two sculptures of lions that border in-between which the letters VOC is inscribed which stands for Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie. The year 1699 is also etched on this patch to mark the year of its making. 

 

Location: Outside Galle Fort

Timing: Twenty-four hours

Entry Fee: Free

07

Historical Mansion Museum

Historical Mansion Museum
Here’s another place for the history enthusiasts who do not just want to look at the remains from ancient times, but also want to buy some for their collection back at home. A number of antiques from the Dutch period like the typewriters, jewellery, cameras, lamps etc. is on exhibit on the valuable shelves of this private museum.

A visit to the gem house is a wowing experience that will let you witness live embroidery and also the cutting & shaping of sapphire. The Dutch-era well is not just a wonderful relic to look at, but also a great place to grab some pictures. 

Location: Leyn Baan Street

Timings: 09.00 a.m. to 06.00 p.m.

Entry Fee: Free

08

Galle Fort Clock Tower

Galle Fort Clock Tower
The Galle Fort Clock Tower was built as a dedication to the Humanitarian Doctor Peter Daniel Anthonisz who was known for being quite a people-person. The record has it, the people living in Galle pitched in to have enough money to build this tower in the Galle Fort Campus.

This Clock Tower has a remarkable history to it, which a local guide will love to narrate to you during your visit to the Galle Fort. The structure overlooks the once guard’s room which was called Moon Bastion. 

 

Location: In the Galle Fort Premise

Timings: Open twenty-four hours

Entry Fee: Free


09

Sea Turtle Hatchery

Sea Turtle Hatchery

Some people of Sri Lanka have dedicated their lives to animals around the Seas, and the Sea Turtle Hatchery is run by one such family. Every member is steadfast towards helping out the sea turtles who need medical help, or those who are pregnant.

In fact, they even help the sea turtles breed, and provide them with a safe environment to lay their eggs and care for them. The reason why it is one of the best places to visit in Galle is that, you will get to witness all of that at once during a short detour to this turtle abode. 

 

Location: Sea Turtle Hatchery & Rescue Center A2, Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka

Timings: 07.30 a.m. to 06.00 p.m. 

Entry Fee: 500 Sri Lankan Rupees (USD 2.83)

Places to Visit in Galle with Family

10

Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum

It is a known fact that Sri Lanka and the Galle harbour is known for its trade through the sea. The Maritime Museum is amongst those tourist places in Galle takes you back to the Dutch East India Trading Company’s trade routes and relics. This place is a great way to understand the history of Sri Lanka and the attacks it faced. You can see some marine items, boat models, etc. in this valuable warehouse. 

 

Location: Queens Street, Galle Dutch Fort

Time: 08.30 a.m. to 05.00 p.m. (08.00 a.m. on Saturday)

Entrance Fee: 20 LKR (USD 0.11) for adults and 10 LKR (USD 0.057) for children; 300 LKR (USD 1.70) for adults and 150 LKR (USD 0.85) for children

11

Galle Lighthouse

Galle Lighthouse

Nestled in the premise of the Galle Dutch Fort, the Galle Lighthouse is an imperial beauty. The captivating architecture, tall building and the breeze it echoes are all unforgettable scenes that even a camera cannot capture at its best. One can see the far-off oceans that face the lighthouse, which is factually the oldest one in the country. It was a sigh of relief for ancient mariners and is a scintillating sight for tourists today. 


Location: Galle 80000, Sri Lanka

Timings: Open twenty-four hours

Entry Fee: Free

12

St Joseph’s Chapel

St Joseph’s Chapel

This tiny chapel has absorbed in every wall ounce of serenity to impart to visitors looking for inner peace. St. Joseph’s Chapel is a depiction of the Roman Catholics from the Portuguese times, which was later revived by the Dutch. You will observe a tint of Dutch architectural style in this quaint chapel. Spending some quality along time inside this holy building attracts a lot of peace. 

 

Location: Lighthouse Street, Galle Dutch Fort 

Timings: 08.30 a.m. to 05.30 p.m. 

Entry Fee: Free

13

St. Mary's Cathedral, Galle

St. Mary's Cathedral, Galle
Image Credit : Fiona 571

This Cathedral is for the Roman Catholic Diocese living in this part of the country and is one of the best tourist places in Galle. With the growth of other religions in the region, the Bishops in 1983 took the call of having a place for the diocese to have a place to pray. This church prays to the Blessed Virgin Mary and is visited by the Catholics living in the south of Sri Lanka. St. Mary’s Cathedral is proudly titled as the landmark of this city.

 

Location: Galle 8000

Timings: Morning to evening; between 05.00 p.m. to 07.00 p.m. is the best time to visit

Entry Fee: Free

14

Mahamodara Sea Turtle Hatchery Centre

Mahamodara Sea Turtle Hatchery Centre
The Mahamodara Sea Turtle Hatchery Galle is a revolutionary concept where volunteers work towards the conservation of Sea Turtles who are sure to reach extinction if not taken care of. If you visit this place, you will find a lot of sea turtles of all sizes being cared for and left in their natural habitat by keeping their area clean of garbage to help them hatch and grow their babies. It is a very edifying visit, and yet a very cute one as well. 

Location: Mahamodara Sea Turtle Hatchery Centre, Galle Colombo - Galle Main Road, Galle, Sri Lanka

Timings: 08.00 a.m. to 06.00 p.m.


15

Meeran Jumma Mosque

Meeran Jumma Mosque

Built logically facing the angle of Mecca, the Meeran Jumma Mosque is another structure that demands an alluring visit when walking around the Galle Fort lanes. The inside of the mosque is sheer beauty of well-done Italian flooring, arresting chandeliers, artistic glasses and huge corridors which puts this mosque on a ‘must-see’ list of places to visit in Galle. 

Devotees spend some time outside on the lawn as they watch the mosque in awe of its charm. The mosque allows even the women to enter provided they are dressed decently. In the latest renovations, they even added another prayer room only for the women. 

 

Location: Galle Fort

Timings: Open twenty-four hours

Entry Fee: Free

16

Galle Harbour

Galle Harbour

This natural harbour that has remained in existence for two thousand years now, is one of the best places to visit in Galle. The activity on this port is high and it serves as the regional port in Sri Lanka. Galle Harbour is amongst the very few places that support people who want to spend time on their yachts for it has been recognized as one of the best places to do so by the International Yacht Societies.

A popular attraction on the Galle Harbour is to watch people at work and to see the inscription in three languages left behind by a Chinese man many years ago.   


Location: South-western coast of Sri Lanka

Timings: Open 24 Hours

Entry Fee: Free


17

Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya

Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya

Also known as the Mani Chethiya or Yattalaya in some old scriptures, the Yatala Raja Maha Viharaya is an ancient Buddhist Stupa bordered by sculptures of elephant heads. One can revisit the olden times in the museum that is built near the Pagoda that gives an in-depth tale of the structure. 

You can also spot a statue of the Buddha, which is one of the very few remains that this place covers. The Lotus Pond attracts many children to play around them. 

 

Location: Debarawewa - Tissamaharama area, Hambantota District

Timing: Morning to Evening

Entry Fee: Free

Best Beaches to Visit in Galle

18

Koggala Beach

Koggala Beach

Amongst the many beaches in Sri Lanka, Koggala Beach has become a secret favourite for the tourists owing to this coastline’s spectacular view. Not only is it a great place to unwind and rejuvenate as you listen to the waves hug the sand every few seconds, but it is also a fun place to get some surfing lessons, and walk to the Koggala Lake.  

The beach is so beautiful, that many prefer staying at one of the beach hotels or resorts. You should try your hands on some local delicacies when you take a break from relaxing! 

 

Location: 12km from Unawatuna Bay

Timing: Twenty-four hours (Surfing timing is limited)

Entry Fee: Free

19

Unawatuna Beach

Unawatuna Beach

A beach with golden sand that complements the clear ocean waves is surely one of the places to visit in Galle during your trip. Lying in the southern region of Sri Lanka, Unawatuna Beach is one of the most famous spots amongst tourists for swimming, walking and relaxing. 

One can also rent some sunbeds to take the day off from the world and just lay still as you oversee the vast sea. This beach is surrounded by a lot of eateries that surely put a fine cap on a well-spent day. Canoeing is a great pastime on this beach. 


Location: One-hour ride from Colombo

Timings: Open Twenty-four hours

20

Pitiwella Beach

Pitiwella Beach

Pitiwella Beach is the best if you are looking forward to staying on a beach, or close to the beach during your visit to Galle. It is a tourist hub and is close to the top places to visit in Galle. 

 

Location: Galle Road

Timings: Twenty-four hours

Entry Fee: Free


21

Sahana Beach

Sahana Beach

Sahana Beach is the perfect choice if you are on a holiday to get the hang of surfing, and then have quality time polishing those skills. You will find several surfing instructors on this beach helping amateurs to master this art of balancing on the waves using a surfboard. 

 

Location: Matara Road

Timings: Open Twenty-four hours

Entry Fee: Free

22

Lighthouse Beach

Lighthouse Beach

If you are done admiring the beauty of the tall Lighthouse in Galle, then you should walk down to the beach that it superintends, also called Lighthouse Beach. This beach is best for sitting by the shimmering sand and staring at the sea till your eyes meet the horizon. You must take good care when here as there are many slippery rocks which could lead to a fall. 

 

Location: Eastern side of the Galle Dutch Fort

Timings: Twenty-four hours

Entry Fee: Free

23

Beach of Bonavista

Beach of Bonavista

This beach is a hidden treasure trove in Sri Lanka that tourists can explore on their own without any guides. The beach is relaxing and also offers a lot of local delicacies apart from excellent accommodations. Many of the local lures are close to this beach, and therefore it wouldn’t take you much time to commute from a hotel situated here. You can get your surfboards up and sway on this coast too! 

 

Location: 10 km from Koggala Airport

Timings: Twenty-four hours

Entry Fee: Free

24

Mihiripenna Beach

Mihiripenna Beach

Feel as cosy as you want at the Mihiripenna Beach, a tranquil beach that screams solitude. The water in this side is calm thus welcoming all those who want to delight in some bathing without actually having to fight the waves. It is a great spot to get a glimpse of some sea turtles or other aquatic marine life in the shallow waters. 

The natural reef is a major attraction in this place. You can also partake in snorkelling, grab a bite on the beach restaurants or rent a sunbed to laze around. 

 

Location: 8.74km from Galle railway station

Timings: Best time to visit is in the week hours and before sunset to watch the stilt fishermen at work. 

Entry Fee: Free


Other Places to Visit in Galle

25

Sri Sudharmalaya Buddhist Temple

Sri Sudharmalaya Buddhist Temple

White signifies peace, and this temple testifies just that. Sri Sudharmalaya Buddhist Temple is kissed by the beaming gardens around it and thus makes the temple a hard find. This shrine holds a lot of religious meaning amongst believers, and they flock this place during festivals. Inside this temple is a large statue of Buddha in a resting position and a prayer hall with a belfry. 

If you wish to get into a little flexibility regime, then you should sign-up for their Yoga classes. You will also find a small stupa which also looks years old but is still as intriguing as if a new one. The residing monks would also teach you how to pray, or about the religion if it interests you.

 

Location: Parawa Street 

Timings: Morning to Evening

Entry Fee: Free
26

Galle Fort Jumpers

Galle Fort Jumpers

Galle Fort Jumpers is an attraction you do not want to miss inside the Galle Fort grounds. This thrill comes from a group of five boys who engage tourists in a manner like no one else in Galle. Their act involves jumping off a cliff that is forty-feet high to take a plunge into the Sea. What makes people shudder apart from the height is that there are some rocks around the place, and it does seem like they could fall on one of them.

A skill that you will observe in the Galle Fort Jumpers is that fact that their plunge is far from an actual dive for they land right on their chest, but climb back the cliff like walking on a straight, even road. 

 

Location: Galle Fort

Timings: Check with someone as soon as you reach there. The Jumpers make this act five times in a day. 

Entry Fee: Around 1000 LKR (USD 5.67)


27

Sithuvili Gallery

Sithuvili Gallery

If you are an art collector and have set your mind on taking back an unusual piece of art from your holiday in Galle, Sri Lanka, then a visit to the Sithuvili Gallery is a must! The concept and the gallery emerged in the year 2004 when an artist felt the need to depict the dying art in the country. 

The USP of this gallery is that everything made or sold in/from this gallery is eco-friendly and reusable which might seem unbelievable when you have a look at the items sold there. 

 

Location: Galle Fort

Timings: 09.00 a.m. to 07.00 p.m.

28

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Image Credit : ceylonsteps.com

Declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Sinharaja Forest Reserve (kingdom of the lion), is a paradise for nature and wildlife lovers. It is home to a vast number of endemic species of birds and mammals of Sri Lanka. About 95 per cent of Sri Lankan endemic birds and more than 50 per cent of endemic mammals are known to have their habitats in this Forest Reserve. 

Year round, the forest is covered by plenty of rain clouds. It is one of the famous places to visit in Galle. You can experience the leisurely pace of wildlife and the splendour of dense and copious evergreen rainforests. 


Location: Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Southern Province

Timings: Opens daily from 6:30 AM to 6 PM

Price: Approximate price ranges from INR 260 to INR460 (664 LKR to 1160 LKR)

29

Rumassala Sanctuary

Rumassala Sanctuary

Rumassala Sanctuary is one of those places to visit in Galle that takes you back on an epic journey of the tale of the Ramayana. It is told that Hanumana dropped his mountain somewhere here during the episode when Princess Sita is kidnapped. This sanctuary grows several herbal and medicinal plants. 

You will also spot quite many species of birds if you have an eye for it. This panoramic hilltop was once used to transport valuable stones and spices to ships and other travellers. 

 

Location: Jungle Beach Road, Unawatuna

Timings: Morning to Evening

30

Old Slave Quarters

Old Slave Quarters
Image Credit : Miguel Ángel Prieto

The Old Slave Quarters is one of the places to visit in Galle Dutch Fort while you tour around those streets. You will find this quarter in the Star Bastion where all the battle needs were kept in the Slave Quarters and prison inside this structure. This place still has some cannons on display that were once used during the times of war.  


Location: Galle Dutch Fort

Timing: Twenty-four hours

Entry Fee: Free
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Places To Visit In Galle
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It was a beautiful experience watching whales infront of my eyes. I was mesmerized by its beauty. It was a nice experience.
Best way to explore Galle city. Got the scooter for 8 hours and visited all the main attractions of the city.
We got Sedan and it was in really good condition, Trust me, this is best if you are going for family trip!
Superb
It was a wonderfull day tour and the pickup was on time. We have also enjoyed the snorkelling and swimming activities. Nice experience!
We were provided meals on the tour.the food quality was good. thanks to thrillophilia for providing all the necessary equipments at the spot
Driver was very polite and we explore each and every corner in Galle.

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