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10 Places to Visit in Galle

 
  • There are a wide variety of places to visit in Galle. However, your tour is almost incomplete without visiting the Galle Fort. The fort has quite generously preserved the old culture and the colonial heritage which makes the place a popular pick for all the tourists. A walk from the fort can land you to the National Maritime Museum which has housed some of the hidden secrets of the aquatic world.

    You might also feel quite privileged to unlock some of the most beautiful underwater treasures which is showcased in the museum. If you are lucky you can also get a chance to have a close sneak-peak into the Sri Lankan culture by visiting the Ariapala Mask Museum which popularly showcases the mystery behind the masks.

    Here are some of the best places in Galle that you should visit:

  • 01Whale Watching

    Image Credit : Selbe Lynn
    Whale watching is an interesting fun activity in Galle. Sri Lanka is surrounded by ocean which makes it more accessible to observe these huge sea mammals and quite a number of dolphins too. You have to start quite early to the beach to catch a boat. If you have come to Galle for a holiday then most of the Hotels provide a trip to ‘whale watching’. Otherwise, you can get into the beach directly and go for it.


    Location: Mirissa Beach, Naval Harbour and Dondra Point 

    Highlights:
    Boat ride into the ocean just as the sun is about to rise is gorgeous. You should definitely carry a camera and binoculars to capture the experience. If you are lucky enough you might also get to see blue whales along with the normal ones and dolphins. Please carry medicines if you are prone to sea sickness.

    Best seasons:
     The best time for this fun activity is during the month of November to April

    Price:
     Approximate price starts from 3500 LKR-6000 LKR



  • 02Japanese Peace Pagoda

    Image Credit : Wikipedia

    Sitting atop the Rumasalla Hill and overlooking the panoramic ocean, the Japanese Peace Pagoda is a beautiful addition to the various attractions of Galle. Built in 2004, this colossal white structure is the epitome of purity and serenity, ideal for those looking for inner peace. This huge structure can be seen from Unawatuna and Galle beaches. It can be reached by walking or driving through the beautiful hilly path.

     

    Highlights: Enjoy the stunning view from top of the hill of dense forests and lapping ocean waves. Reach at dusk to witness the enthralling view created by the golden glow of the setting sun. Partake in the ritual performed at 5:30 PM in the evening, every day.

    Timings: Opens daily from 7 AM to 9 PM

  • 03Sinharaja Forest Reserve

    Image Credit : Wikipedia

    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 percent of Sri Lankan endemic birds and more than 50 percent of endemic mammals are known to have their habitats in this Forest Reserve. Year round, the forest is covered by plenty of rain clouds. The area span of the reserve is about 21 KM from east-west and about 7 KM from north-south.

     

    Image Credits : Wikipedia

    Location: Situated in the Southern Province, a two-hour drive from Galle via Galle-Deniyaya-Madampe Highway.

    Highlights: Experience the leisurely pace of wildlife and the splendor of dense and copious evergreen rainforests. The guide will tell you about different endemic species of flora and fauna that you encounter during your guided tour.

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

    Price: Approximate price ranges from 664 LKR to 1160 LKR

  • 04Jungle Beach

    Image Credit : Wikipedia

    Enjoy the stunning beauty of lapping ocean waves, golden sand, huge rocks and spicy tropical atmosphere in the somewhat secluded beach of Sri Lanka, the Jungle Beach. This secluded beach is idyllic for those who are looking for stunning landscape, solitude and serenity. A little road lying on the west of Unawatuna Beach will take you to the Jungle Beach, passing through the serene Peace Pagoda.


    Location: Located between Galle and Unawatuna (a suburban region located at the south eastern part of the Galle district).

    Highlights: Go for Snorkeling in the Jungle Beach, which is a great way to view and experience the active sea life. You can also swim in the clear waters of the beach. There are many beach beds and chairs for those who just want to laze around under the sun and cafes to savor the tropical cuisine of the island. 

  • 05Galle Fort/Dutch Fort

    Image Credit : Towle N

    Dutch Fort is one of the most extraordinary historical and archeological sites of the world. The fort was first constructed by Portuguese in the late sixteenth century and fortified expansively by the Dutch in the mid-seventeenth century. It is a stunning blend of archeology, architecture, and history in the backdrop of the tropical atmosphere.  Its appeal lies in that it is not just a historical monument. Even today the life is buzzing inside it, with a museum, gorgeous villas, administrative offices, antique shops, cafes, bookstores and lifestyle stores.

    Image Credits : Ankur P


    Location: Situated in the Southern Sri Lankan Coast in the Bay of Galle just 132 KM from Colombo.

    Highlights: A stroll on the streets will let you experience the beautiful architecture of the colonial style buildings that still exudes the warmth and charm. Visit National Maritime Museum, stop by Meera Mosque and enjoy delicacies at Lucky Fort Restaurant and Galle Fort Hotel Restaurant.

    Timing: Opened 24 hours a day 

    Cycling Trip to Galle Fort and the Galle City

    Cycling Trip to Galle Fort and the Galle City

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    h4 HourslGalle

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  • 06Flag Rock

    Image Credit : Dave Lonsdale
    After a tiresome day, if you wish to end it with some peace and watch the sun set on the horizon, hear the seagulls beckoning you and also observe the waves crash the rocks forming a soulful music then Galle Flag Rock Bastion is where you need to go.  The Flag Rock an ex-Portuguese Bastion, situated at the southernmost end of the Galle Fort, today is a popular destination for tourists to witness the sunset. This Rock was a natural defence center during the Dutch period, from where ships were alerted about dangers lurking and also from the unseen rocks underwater by firing Musket shots from the Pigeon Island.



    Location: Rampart St. Galle 

    Highlights:
    Scenic surrounding; to your west, you will be able to locate the lighthouse and the Gunpowder Museum opposite to the Meeran Masjid.
  • 07Lighthouse

    Image Credit : wytze

    Located in the Galle Fort, this onshore Lighthouse is one of the few remaining in Sri Lanka. Built in 1939, this Lighthouse is a popular travel destination in itself. It is also the oldest Lighthouse in the country. Lighthouses played an important role in ancient times as a symbol of hope for the mariners. Galle Fort Lighthouse has an idyllic setting with panoramic ocean view and light sea breeze. Feel instantly relaxed by the tranquil ambience.

    Image Credits : Piefke La Belle


    Highlights: Visitors from across the world can be seen enjoying the beautiful site. Talking a walk around the site can be a visual delight, with stunning architecture, beautiful view and tranquil breeze. You can also watch the local children playing around the site. The beaches are warm and relaxing. Though one cannot climb the Lighthouse, the area surrounding it will captivates you with its beauty.

    Timings: Opened 24 hours a day

  • 08Dutch Reformed Church

    Image Credit : yeowatzup
    One of the finest and most traditional Tourist attractions in Galle which is worth to visit and admire is the Galle Fort. The Dutch Reformed Church is the ancient building located in the premises of the fort. The building’s date goes back the 18th century during the Dutch period.

    A walk through the Fort ground along with the humble caretaker, immersing in his never-ending fancy stories will take you back to the era whence it was built. The Church is also known as Groot Kert.

    Image Credits : Matthew Goulding



    Highlights: Many tombstones dating back to the 17th can be observed; this church also is a Cruciform with shorter transepts separated by two arches. The floor is marked with gravestones. The beautiful pulpit made from Malaysian wood, calamander is a beautiful sight and near to the pulpit is the memorial of De Ly Family.

    Location: Church Street, Galle fort

    Timings: 9 am to 5 Pm
  • 09Lagoon Canoeing Tour

    Canoeing is a beautiful experience in Galle. Unawatuna is an astounding island where most of the adventure sports happen in Galle. It is brimmed with canals, lagoons, beaches, rivers and reservoirs. Canoeing can take you in the midst of the Natural beauty of flora and fauna characterised by changing landscapes and fascinating mangroves.




    Location: Unuwatuna Lagoon, galle Hours and timings: starts at 8- 8:30 am and comprised of two hours of paddling

    Highlights:
     Canoeing trip includes local guide, water and refreshments and a life jacket. You can reach the Unawatuna Lagoon by a tuk-tuk. You would get to explore coastal flora and fauna untouched by the human civilization, the deeper sector of mangroves etc 

    Best season: November to May
    Price: Approximate price starts from $ 30, per canoe 2 - 3 people can accommodate 
    Cycling Trip to a Lagoon and Village in Galle

    Cycling Trip to a Lagoon and Village in Galle

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    h6 HourslGalle

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  • 10Go for Spa

    You have come for a holiday and you don’t go to a spa and massage, then ideally you have wasted your vacation by 10%. The best thing you could gift to your body is complete nourishment through Galle’s Spas. They are widely known in the country for their services, therapy, and massages. Galle fort is considered one of the best in the city with natural rejuvenating therapies such as Ayurveda. Few Spas also offer Yoga and meditation as packages, Unawatuna Island is the major center for authentic spas and wellness therapy in Galle.



    Highlights: The Spa therapy includes physiotherapy, body massage, deep tissue massage, face massage, hand and feet nourishments, total body care, yoga and a variety of combo offers. Other provisions include reflexology, waxing, detox treatments etc. and all these is obtained at the most serene atmosphere surrounded by overwhelming nature.

    Location: Unawatuna, Galle