15 Things to Do in Galle

Things to Do in Galle

Visit Galle Fort, Stroll Dutch Reformed Church, Go for Spa at Unawatuna, Call on The Flag Rock, Whale Watching, Enjoy Scuba Diving, Lagoon Canoeing Tour at Unuwatuna, Mountain Bike Tour at Mirissa and Unawatuna, Galle Fishing Tour, Family Cycling Tour and many more.

Galle comes with its own inherent beauty where and it showcases some of the most beautiful things to do in Galle. You can have a chance to visit some of the most popular historic places such as the Flag rock and it is one of the best places to catch beautiful sunsets. During the day you will find many people jumping from the rock into the waters. You can also find some local vendors alongside the road selling fresh papaya with chilli powder.

The Dutch reformed church can be just another destination where you can spend some time. It is quite interesting to know that the floors which are paved with gravestones. If on your way of exploration you feel hungry, you can stop by Fortaleza which has some classy interiors which are well matched with some fine cuisine such as lamb chops and seafood.

Must Things to Do in Galle

01

Visit Dutch Fort

Visit 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.

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

02

Lagoon & Village Cycling

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.

Price: Approximate price ranges from Rs.1100 to Rs. 3500

Timings: The activity starts at 8:30 AM and ends at 2 PM

03

Lagoon Canoeing Tour at Unuwatuna

Lagoon Canoeing Tour at Unuwatuna
Canoeing is a beautiful experience in Galle and also one of the best activities to do 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, 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.

Price: Approximate price starts from Rs. 2100, per canoe 2 - 3 people can accommodate 

Best Time to Visit:
 November to May
04

Explore the Galle Lighthouse

Explore the Galle Lighthouse
Galle Lighthouse or Pointe de Galle Light is the oldest lighthouse in Galle. The lighthouse was established in 1848 and stands tall today at 26.5 meters at the shore of Galle.

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

Price:
Free

Best time to Visit:
2 pm to 4 pm (Open 24 hours)
05

Explore the Maritime Archeology Museum

Explore the Maritime Archeology Museum
Visiting Maritime Archeology Museum is one of the best things to do in Galle if you’re a fan of museums and century-old objects. The museum houses models of boats, ships and century-old items retrieved from shipwrecks.

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
           300 LKR/ person for Foreigners

Best time to Visit:
December to April. Museum open from 9 am to 5 pm
06

Visit the Historical Mansion Museum

Visit the Historical Mansion Museum
The Historical Mansion Museum is one of the biggest private museums in the world. The museum houses a huge collection of antique jewelry, cameras, typewriter, etc. But one thing the museum is well known for is its collection of traditional crafts like beeralu lace embroidery.

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
07

Visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda

Visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda
The Japanese Peace Pagoda or Unawatuna Peace Pagoda is one of the three Buddhist stupas in Sri Lanka which makes visiting this place one of the most popular activities to do in Galle. The stupa is a paperwhite dome near Unawatuna Beach and lies amidst a thick forest.

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

Price:
Free

Best time to Visit:
1 pm to 2 pm, 5:30 pm
08

Stroll on The Flag Rock

Stroll on The Flag 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.

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.
09

Enjoy the Serenity at Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya

Enjoy the Serenity at Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya
This is one of the holiest and ancient temples in Galle and all of Sri Lanka. The temple is home to several monks who have been residing here for the past 1500 years or so. The temple is also well known for the murals and paintings on its walls that are of the Kandian period.

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

Price:
Free

Best time to Visit:
1 pm to 2 pm
10

Stroll Dutch Reformed Church

Stroll Dutch 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.

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
11

Explore Rumassala Sanctuary

Explore Rumassala Sanctuary
Rumassala Sanctuary is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Galle. The sanctuary is a mix of wild exotic plants, medicinal herbs and beautiful shrubs. You can also see many rare species of birds here amidst the wild.

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

Price:
Free

Best time to Visit:
1 pm to 2 pm
33 Ratings
Superb 33 Ratings
4.0
12
33 Ratings Ratings
Galle Fort & City | Cycling Tour | Flat 25% off
  • 3H
  • Galle
  • 3H
  • Galle
₹3,600 ₹2,700
Send Enquiry

Explore the fortified city of Galle on two wheels on this cycling tour. Led by a cycling guide, set out into the city with your bicycle and helmet and ride past the old Galle Fort and city.  Enjoy light refreshments along the way.

About the activity:
-This cycling tour will start at 2:30 pm and the assembly point of the tour would be the operator house/office. Here you will be greeted by your cycling guide that will accompany you on the tour. Further, you will be provided with bottled water, helmets and a city bike or mountain bike of your size. 
-After a short briefing, you start the tour with an experienced English-speaking local guide. Ride from office to Galle city. En-route, you can see many activities of the local people and fishermen working. 
-After reaching Galle city, a visit to Galle Fort can be conveniently started at the old entrance after cycling along the seaside towards the old warehouse.
-After cycling inside the Galle Fort, we come out from the New Entrance that was constructed in 1873 piercing rampart between Son and Moon Bastions which is being used even today. 
-Also, visit the Murugan Hindu Temple which was established in the 1790 and fruit market and vegetable market established in 1880. As the tour concludes, you will back to the same destination from where you have started. 

Timings: 2.30 pm (except Monday)
Total Distance: 16 Km / 10 Mile
Starting/Ending Point: No: 49/A, Heenatigala Road, Unawatuna, Galle, Sri Lanka (80600)

How to reach?
You will easily get public and private transportation to reach the starting point. 

Note:
-The tour can not be booked on Monday.
-Minimum age should be 10 years.
-Half price for children under the age of 12.

Read more

Adventure Activities to Do in Galle

13

Go for Whale Watching

Go for Whale Watching
Image Credit : Selbe Lynn
Whale watching is an interesting fun activity in Galle. Sri Lanka is surrounded by the 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.

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
14

Enjoy Scuba Diving

Enjoy Scuba Diving
Image Credit : Silke Baron
Another best things to to do in Galle in Scuba Diving. Water is aplenty in Sri Lanka and Galle is quite celebrated for water sports such as Scuba Diving. This sport is an underwater experience where divers wear oxygen apparatus and dive deep into the sea to observe the sea species living underneath. The noiseless world under the water is soothing and is a kind of meditation.

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
15

Snorkelling

Snorkelling
Image Credit : Nico Aguilera
Snorkelling is a water sport where snorkelers swim on the surface of the water or dive deep into the water wearing a plastic mask with a tube attached, known as a snorkel. People also wear fins and wetsuits for better navigation. 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.
16

Mountain Bike Tour at Mirissa and Unawatuna

Mountain Bike Tour at Mirissa and Unawatuna
Image Credit : Dai Williams
Mountain biking is more fun than normal cycling and it is treated as one of the amazing things to do in Galle. The rocky paths, gravelled roads, tracks unused for years and the adrenalin rush to speed up are the absolute reasons to try this jaunt. At Galle, Unawatuna is the place where you would find centres for this sport.

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

Price:
  Approximate price starts from  Rs.1100 to 3500

Best Time to Visit: December to Feb. is a suitable time for Mountain Biking

Offbeat Things to Do in Galle

17

Go for Spa at Unawatuna

Go for Spa at Unawatuna
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. Hence, it is also treated as one of the best things to do in Galle.

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. 
24 Ratings
Superb 24 Ratings
4.0
18
24 Ratings Ratings
Galle Fishing Tour | Flat 20% off | Guide Included
  • 5H
  • Galle
  • 5H
  • Galle
₹4,100 ₹3,280

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). 

Read more
38 Ratings
Superb 38 Ratings
4.0
19
38 Ratings Ratings
Family Cycling Tour in Galle
  • 6H
  • Galle
  • 6H
  • Galle
₹1,361 ₹1,089
Send Enquiry

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. 


Read more
35 Ratings
Superb 35 Ratings
4.0
20
35 Ratings Ratings
Day Safari at Galle in Sri Lanka
  • 10H
  • Galle
  • 10H
  • Galle
₹2,505 ₹2,500
Send Enquiry

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.


Read more
Newly Added Galle Experience

Trending in Galle

Adventure in Galle

Explore All (13)
Explore All (13)

Sightseeing in Galle

Explore All (12)
Explore All (12)

Galle Top Attractions

Places To Visit In Galle
08 July 2019
Excellent
Highly recommend. Great instructor. Lots of fun. Great way to start the morning. Even stood up for a short while.
08 July 2019
Superb
It was a beautiful experience watching whales infront of my eyes. I was mesmerized by its beauty. It was a nice experience.
08 July 2019
Excellent
Best way to explore Galle city. Got the scooter for 8 hours and visited all the main attractions of the city.
08 July 2019
Superb
We got Sedan and it was in really good condition, Trust me, this is best if you are going for family trip!
08 July 2019
Superb
It was a wonderfull day tour and the pickup was on time. We have also enjoyed the snorkelling and swimming activities. Nice experience!
08 July 2019
Aaditya Bhattacharya Galle Fishing Tour - Flat 20% off
Superb
We were provided meals on the tour.the food quality was good. thanks to thrillophilia for providing all the necessary equipments at the spot
08 July 2019
Excellent
Driver was very polite and we explore each and every corner in Galle.

Popular Related Destinations

People Also Ask About Galle

  1. What is famous in Galle?

    Galle is famous for its Galle Fort which is a World Heritage Site and its several Portuguese and dutch architectural buildings all across the city. The city is also famous for its golden sand beaches and turquoise blue water of the ocean. For souvenirs, you can buy antiques from the Orchid House in Galle where you will find some very unique gifting items.
  2. Is Galle worth visiting?

    Galle is an amazing place to visit in Sri Lanka. The place is full of amazing museums, monuments, and quiet little cafes. You can also visit some of the most ancient temples here or marvel at the dutch architecture of the buildings spread across the entire city. The city is surrounded by lush green paddy fields and coconut trees which makes it very eye-pleasing and serene.
  3. How many days do you need in Galle?

    You will need three days in Galle to explore its beautiful museums, ancient temples, and forts. The city is full of lush green paddy fields and forests where you can spend a lot of time exploring the exotic and rare species of flora and fauna. As Galle is a city situated at the shore, you can also relax at its serene beaches or marvel at its magnificent lighthouses.
  4. How far is Unawatuna from Galle?

    Unawatuna is just 4 km from Galle. One of the best ways to travel between Unawatuna and Galle is by train which takes you along the seashore. You can enjoy the untouched beauty of these turquoise-blue oceans and the golden and white sanded beaches throughout your trip.