Explore the Portuguese, Dutch and British history on a stroll around this city
On the southwest coast, the city of Galle was founded by Portuguese colonists in the 16th century. It is a delightful city with a mixture of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial architecture. Galle Fort, which was built on a rocky peninsula, makes for an interesting visit.
Note: For stays between 1st August 2019 and 31st January 2020, the Sri Lankan government has relaxed the visa requirements, meaning you can travel there VISA-FREE!
Here we have selected a few of the sights and experiences that you really should see on a visit to Galle.
Walk the Ramparts
Galle is a walled city surrounded by thick ramparts built by the Dutch merchants that controlled the city in the 17th century. The ramparts are so thick that you can walk along them. Look towards the sea, discover the lighthouse and the clock tower and watch the boys at cricket practice.
Flag Rock, at the southernmost end of the Fort, was once a Portuguese bastion. Today it is the most popular place to watch the sunset and in the day you may see daredevil locals diving into the water from the rocks. There are many street food stalls in the area, making it an ideal place for a stroll.
Marine Archeological Museum
Housed in a large old spice warehouse built by the Dutch and dating back to the late 17th century, it was originally part of the main gateway to the Fort and it still forms part of its ramparts. An introductory video is followed by interactive displays that illuminate the city’s maritime past, including the many shipwrecks in Galle's surrounding waters.