Must Do Things in Galle
Visit Dutch Fort
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.
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
Best Time to visit: The absolute best month to be here is in February
Lagoon & Village Cycling
The best way to get away from the monotonous life in the city is to cycle through the quaint village of Galle. Lagoon and Village cycling in Galle is a perfect way to spend your weekends. Ride at your own pace and you will be able to cover 12 km easily.
The cycling routes in Galle are usually the less travelled ones into the gravelled paths, through the mangroves, paddy fields, grasslands, local villages and their shopping stalls and sparse jungles.
Highlights: Three to four hours of utmost pleasure. The cycling expedition takes you by the local industries, lagoons and mangroves. Also, in the local village, you can learn to make coconut ropes or catch crabs from the villagers.
Timings: The activity starts at 8:30 AM and ends at 2 PM
Lagoon Canoeing Tour at Unuwatuna
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, GalleHours and timings: starts at 8- 8:30 am and comprised of two hours of paddling
Highlights: Canoeing trip includes a 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
Timing: Morning or Evening time is suitable for this tour.
Best Time to Visit: November to May
Explore the Galle Lighthouse
The bright white lighthouse with the background of the blue skies, turquoise blue and green ocean, the golden sand of the shore and the lush green paddy fields makes for a very picturesque view. The same view also makes visiting this lighthouse one of the best activities to do in Galle.
Location: Rampart Street, Galle Fort, Galle 80000, Sri Lanka
Highlights: Oldest Lighthouse, Picturesque Views
Best time to Visit: 2 pm to 4 pm (Open 24 hours)
Explore the Maritime Archeology Museum
You will also find several maps and artilleries in the museum. The 2004 Tsunami has caused a significant amount of damage to the museum and its collection but with the help of donations, it was repaired and opened to visitors again in 2010.
Location: Queen’s Street, Galle 80000, Sri Lanka
Highlights: Shipwrecks, boat models, century-old objects
Price: 20 LKR/person for Local
Best time to Visit: December to April. Museum open from 9 am to 5 pm
Visit the Historical Mansion Museum
A centuries-old Dutch house, this museum is an antique in itself and the building of the museum probably dates back to the 1700s. Exploring the huge collections in this museum is one of the best activities to do in Galle for history enthusiasts.
Location:31, 39 Leyn Baan Street, Galle 80000, Sri Lanka
Highlights: Beeralu embroidery, Dutch House, Antiques
Best time to Visit: 9 am to 6 pm
Visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda
The circular deck and architecture, the golden statue of Buddha and the stunning views of the blue ocean makes this place in Galle, a must-visit.
Location: Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
Highlights: Buddhist Stupa, Unawatuna Beach
Best time to Visit: 1 pm to 2 pm, 5:30 pm
Stroll on The Flag Rock
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.
Timings: 9:00 AM - 7:30 PM (All days of weak)
Best Time to visit: Spring is the most conducive time for a visit to Flag Rock.
Enjoy the Serenity at Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya
Surrounded by huge paddy fields and lush green villages, the temple is also a delight for the stunning views of its surroundings- which can be enjoyed at the end of its long ascending flight of stairs. These beautiful views of the paddy fields make visiting this place one of the most popular activities to do in Galle.
Location: Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
Highlights: Kandian murals, Ancient Temple
Best time to Visit: 1 pm to 2 pm
Stroll Dutch Reformed Church
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.
Location: Church Street, Galle fort
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.
Timings: 9 am to 5 Pm
Best Time to visit: The best month to visit this place in February
Explore Rumassala Sanctuary
To reach the sanctuary, you have to drive at the Jungle Beach Road which runs along the Jungle Beach and gives beautiful views of the blue ocean. The stunning views from the Rumassala Hills make visiting this place one of the best things to do in Galle for trekkers and nature enthusiasts.
Location: Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
Highlights: Exotic plants, Rare species of birds
Best time to Visit: 1 pm to 2 pm
Adventure Activities to Do in Galle
Mountain Bike Tour at Mirissa and Unawatuna
You can choose your type of bikes from an array of selection and you will be provided with a local guide, helmets, and refreshments. The guide helps you to know the place better with his narrations and titbits of information.
Location: Biking centres at Mirissa and Unawatuna
Highlights: You would get to see the real Sri Lankan villages, peacocks, chameleons, buffalo, mangroves, coconut farms and tropical forests. You can also eat homemade authentic food in one of the many villages you would come across.
Timings: 8:30 AM or 2:30 PM as per your convenience
Best Time to Visit: December to Feb. is a suitable time for Mountain Biking
Go for Whale Watching
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.
Price: Approximate price starts from Rs.5280.
Best Time to visit: The best time for this fun activity is during the month of November to April
Enjoy Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving in Unawatuna is one of the best places for this sport. The center is a 10-minute drive from Galle city. The diving institutes offer different levels of courses such as open water dive, refresh dive course, fresher’s dive, master level diving, reef diving, night diving etc.
Location: Unawatuna Beach diving sites include Napoleon Reef, Galapita gala
Highlights: Includes certification courses, a dive to Rangoon ship wreck 30 ft under the sea
Price: Approximate price starts from Rs.1700 per dive and if you are opting for a course it starts from Rs. 21,000
Best Time to visit: The best time to visit this place is during the month of November to May
The Jungle beach in Galle, which offers a perfect location for Snorkelling, is a semi-hidden bay enclosed in a jungle. It is one of the best activities to do in Galle. The reef is not dangerous as it is partially dead. The water is current is not strong so you can safely swim near the rocky edges.
Location: 30 mins walk from Unawatuna
Highlights: There is a small restaurant that serves simple delicious snacks and beverages. The snorkelling is offered by professional instructors from PADI. You may see reef fishes, crabs, moray eels, turtles, barracudas and parrot fishes; Walk to sunset point.
Timings: The best time for this activity starts from early morning to sunset.
Price: Approximate price starts from Rs. 200 to Rs. 300
Best Time to visit: February to April is the best time for snorkelling at Galle.
Offbeat Things to Do in Galle
About the Galle Fishing Tour:
- This activity will allow you to go Galle fishing like a local fisherman in Sri Lanka.
- You will get to ride in paddle boats to let you experience the entire fishing process.
- The operator will provide all fishing equipment.
- The activity will be conducted at Hikkaduwa Lagoon.
- Galle fishing tour is a guided by the instructor.
- An English-speaking guide will walk you through the entire procedure, and teach you the skill of getting a good catch.
- It has been designed in a way to let one experience a few hours of a fisherman’s life.
- The duration of this activity is for two hours.
- Pickup and drop facility is included in the cost of this package.
- Unwind with relishing lunch at a local restaurant after spending the scheduled hours in the ocean.
- The cost of tea and lunch is included in this package.
- You can book this package as a solo traveller or as a group (two-three or four-seven).
About the Activity:
- Delight in this amazing cycling tour which is recommended for families with kids for a truly exhilarating experience.
- Get picked up from your hotels in Galle Fort, Unawatuna, and Koggala at around 8 AM and proceed to the start point, from where the activity starts at around 8.30 AM.
- Continue your journey and enjoy the scenic beauty of Galle and visit some of the most beautiful and important tourist locations of the same.
- The duration of the tour is around 6 hours, giving you sufficient time to explore the beauty of surroundings and the places.
- End your amazing cycling tour at around 2.30 PM and head back to your respective hotels.
About the Activity:
- If you are looking for an amazing day tour to Galle in Sri Lanka, this is a perfect fit for you.
- Get picked up from your hotel in Galle at around 7:00 AM and begin your trip to visit the turtle hatchery point located 5 Km north of Balapitiya where you can see the cute little turtles hatching and making their way into the sea.
- Aftermath, take a walk through spice herbal garden, and acquaint yourself more about the local plantation.
- Embark on an approx. 2 hour Madu river boat safari and delight in the picturesque environs accompanying you.
- Later, visit the famous mask factory in Ambalangoda and then reach Moonstone mine place at Hikkaduwa and admire the skill of locales in extracting this precious stone.
- Admire the stunning Buddhist temple, Cinnamon Island, Hikkaduwa, Galle dutch fort city and T-Sunami photo museum.
- Conclude this exciting trip by going on a shopping spree in Bentota and then you will be dropped off to your hotel in Galle at around 5:00 PM.
Go for Spa at Unawatuna
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.
Location: Unawatuna, 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 are obtained at the most serene atmosphere surrounded by overwhelming nature.
Timing: 10 AM to 7 PM or 9 AM to 10 PM
Best Time to Visit: You can go for the spa at Galle anytime you want.