From Colombo you can take the train or bus. Both travel right next to the beach coast and have beautiful views. This is why getting in is one of the best things about Galle.
Bus no. 2 takes you to Galle (with the sign indicating the destination on the bus) and costs around Rs. 230 on an air-conditioned bus, and takes around 3 hours to reach (if the bus takes the Southern Expressway it should only take about 1 hour). Buses that takes Southern Expressway starts from Kaduwela Bus Station located near the starting of the expressway in Colombo. It takes 45 mins from Colombo Fort by bus to Kaduwela Bus Station. From there air condition buses to Galle costs 390 LKR (take about 1 hour).
Depending on traffic, or how many stops the train makes, traveling from Colombo city can be anywhere from 2.5 to 4 hours.
If you are superstitious, you may consider making a donation and saying a prayer at Seenigama temple for good luck.
A walk along the Fort's walls at sunset is very pleasant if you don't mind being hassled to buy table cloths, fake antique 'Dutch' coins, or powdered milk.
Be wary of unauthorized local or foreign guides who offer you a walk round the Fort for a fee. Walking round the Fort is free. Local Authorities do not charge any fees.
The south ramparts of Galle Fort
The Peace Pagoda and the view from on a clear day is also quite lovely.
An around the world sailboat rally (30 boats in 2007) stops in Galle. The rally sails west to the country of Djibouti on the African Continent. Generally, from January to March boats sail in the direction of the Suez Canal.
You will find the best tourist shopping inside the Fort. But you will need to go into town if you want fresh fruits and veggies or clothing.
Lihiniya, 42A.HospitalStreet,Fort,Galle. (Opposite the lighthouse tower), ☎ +94912234600, . Established in 1982,dealers of precious and semiprecious gems and hand made jewellery.Approved by the SriLanka Government edit
Galle Fort A Guide Through The History And Presence of Galle Fort. A 120-page pocket guide book on Galle Fort through its history to the present written by Claudia Klages, a long-time German resident of Galle area. You will be fascinated by the early beginnings of this ancient port from the time of King Solomon through to the Arabs settlement, the visits by the legendary Admiral Zheng He from China, the domination by the Portuguese followed by the Dutch and the British to the present time of foreigners owning splendid renovated homes. Klages put in tremendous research including the underground drainage system placed by successive rulers. Highlights of the Galle Fort are given to prominent buildings and houses including their owners. Reading this book will bring you a wider and deeper knowledge of this bastion from the past. Only thing not mentioned is the curious impact of the December 2004 tsunami on its solid foundation.edit
The Rampart Hotel inside the fort on the south ramparts does good local and "international" meals and serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. It is quite expensive by local standards though at about R1600/- (US$15) for a meal with a couple of drinks.
In the Fort, there is also a great little cafe called The Pedler's Inn on Pedler Street. The milkshakes are a must for a hot day, and the sandwiches are pretty good, too!
Also just inside the fort is the small friendly and family run Anura's Restaurant, which serves a mixture of local foods, pizzas, sandwiches and other snacks.
For a treat, try the all-you-can eat buffet at the ultra posh Lighthouse Hotel for only about R1200/-. (You might not get any further than the hors d'oeuvres.)
Nico's, 1042, Matara Road, Thalpe, Galle, ☎ +94 728 920 027, . is more than a restaurant. Nico's masquerades as a restaurant but offers a fantastic getaway during the day as a beach club. Excellent drinks. Offers a relaxed European feel with beach front access. Watch the the local fishermen brave the ocean while taking a dip in the pool. Just a few km outside of Galle - spend the day - don't just go for dinner. 16US$. (5.995502,80.287474)edit
Indian Hut, In the fort next to the lighthouse.. Excellent prices for great Indian food. from the second floor balcony. You will have nice views of the sea and wall.low cost. edit
The Sydney Hotel is one of the more splendidly seedy bars on earth, beloved of the "Barmy Army" of England cricket followers, and near the bus station opposite the International Cricket Stadium. The beer is cheap, the environment sordid.
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Galle has quite a few small boutique hotels and more seem to be cropping up after the tsunami. Within the Galle Fort there is Amangalla (within the renovated Oriental Hotel) and the Galle Fort Hotel. On the outskirts of Galle there is the Sun House.
On the road into Galle from Colombo there is the Lighthouse Resort designed by Bawa, famous architect.
The family run hostel "Galle Paradise Hostel" offers probably the cheapest accomodation in Galle starting from 1200 LKR. The hostel is a beautiful converted home with high ceilings, lawn for sunbathing, free internet, coffee, wifi and laundry facilities. The hostel is only 1.6km from Galle Train station and is about 200m from th Mahomodara hospital - Bus no. 383/2 or Bus no. 388/1 (get down in front of the hospital and take the lane to the right till you see the hostel signboard). It is run by Mala, who incidentally was the caretaker of the famous Lavinia hostel in Colombo. Address: 9/1 Bope Cross Road, Mahamodara, Galle. Ph: 0777 647 251 or 091 2235 795. Pizza Hut and Supermarket are just 10 mins walk from the hostel.
Rampart View Guest House (tel. 4389566, 37 Rampart Street) The rooms at the family run have a shared balcony overlooking the ramparts at the southern end of Galle Fort with the Indian Ocean beyond, and it has a small roof garden. The rooms are clean, with air-con, and the owners are friendly and helpful. The breakfasts include lots of fresh fruit, bread, eggs and good rich tea.
They have only two en suite rooms at Mamas 76 Lleyn Baan st,Galle Fort, but the best roof terrace in the fort.morning fresh local food served by a willing local family, fluent english speaking ex tour guide Jerome runs his own business. V. good value. [www.mamas-galle-fort.com]
The family run guest house Thenu Rest (tel. +94-91-224-6608 / +94 77-3584156, 12 Hospital Street) have four well equipped clean rooms with traditional four poster double beds with hanging net curtains. Two of the rooms have air conditioning and the other two have fans. All rooms are well equipped with electric hot water showers. The main guest bedroom has a large balcony overlooking the main street and two of the other rooms have internal balconies overlooking the terrace. The guest house is located near the ramparts at the southern end of Galle Fort close to the Light House near the beach with the Indian Ocean beyond. The owners are very friendly and helpful. They also provide Dinner and Breakfast. The breakfasts are either continental or traditional Sri-Lankan and include lots of fresh fruit, bread, eggs and good rich tea and coffee.
Chilli House Holiday Home, , Galle (15 minutes drive South of Galle where the Historic Galle Fort), ☎ +94773819738 (email@example.com), . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 11am. self catering holiday home with housekeeping services situated just 5 minutes from the beach and 15 minutes by Tut Tut to Galle. Rates between USD 65-100 per night. Long stay rates are negotiable at certain times.$60-$100. edit
Coral Rock by Amaya, 340 Galle Road 80240, ☎ +94 91 2277021, . Superior and deluxe rooms, all equipped with Air-conditioning, plasma-screen TV and In-room safe. Facilities and services are Swimming pool, garden and Restaurant. Several key destinations can also be spotted near this boutique hotel.From USD 110.00. edit
Fort Inn Guest House, 31 pedlar street, fort, ☎ 0094912248094. Four rooms family run guest house. Can provide breakfast, lunch and dinner at your request. Free internet. Rooms have attached bathroom with hot shower, fan and two rooms with air condition. Roof top room with ocean view.From $20. edit
khalid's guest house, 102 pedlar street fort Galle (Galle Fort), ☎ 0094 77 317 7676, . longest running family guest house in historical dutch fort. beautifully blended dutch house with good taste. highly speaks about the traditional meals here, which is probably the best in Sri Lanka. all rooms with attached bath and hot water. some rooms with balcony sea view. good value for money. very highly recommonded which features in all travel guide books. sadly lonly planet 11th edition has misinterprited this great establishment which is really the best you can find in Galle fort. - NOTE: The establishment sets a night curfew to its guests and maintain a no pork and alcohol rule in its premise.20US$. edit
Tempberg Colonial Guesthouse and Villa, Barbaragoda Road, off Akuressa Road (Galle), ☎ 0094 71 258 2968, . checkin: midday; checkout: 10am. newly opened historical family-run villa and bungalow rental next door to the sacred Kaduruduwa Temple within 3 km of the Dutch fort. Mixture of period antiques, including romantic four poster beds, side tables and writing desks, blended with modern hotel comforts such as bespoke linens, towels and decorative pieces. Traditional Singhaelse cooking. 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms available by the room or as a whole villa. All inclusive packages are available and trips around Sri Lanka can be arranged.90US$. edit
Aditya Resort, 719/1, Galle Road, Devenigoda, Rathgama, ☎ +94 (0) 91 2267708, . So it’s the middle of a still moonlit night, and you’re on a deserted stretch of tropical beach with your partner. Aditya puts you at the heart of a fascinating corner of the island. A fantastic variety of experiences is just a short drive away.Best rates on official website start at $208.00. edit
The Lighthouse Hotel. - Has a luxurious environment and excellent service. 2 Km from Galle town to Colombo side.edit
Tamarind Hotel, No: 288,Galle Road, Dadella, Galle, Sri Lanka, ☎ +94 91 2226569, . This sprawling manor, built in the 1800s by a prominent family in the Galle district, was first occupied by a British Admiral and later by a High Court judge of the colonial era. Tamarind Hill was refurbished preserving the intricate details and style of a by-gone era - all the extensions and alterations to the property have been beautifully blended with the original main house, in keeping with the architecture and restoring it to its grand origins. Situated on a three acre hill with huge courtyards, sun-dappled verandahs and tropical gardens, Tamarind Hill has 10 rooms and two suites offering the ultimate in comfort, stylish design and modern amenities, juxtaposed with the charm of a bygone era.edit
Unawatuna [5 km to the south, on Route A2] A beautiful beach - take a swim; enjoy the best eating places
If you're staying in the fort get a bit of brisk exercise by walking around the ramparts first thing in the morning, as a lot of the locals do. (and take the advice above in the evenings.)
Templeberg Villa, Babaragoda Road off Akuressa Road, Loressakanda ☎ +94 777 108 477 is also worth a visit. A working coconut plantation built in 1864 that is a 10 minute tuk tuk ride to all the attractions in every direction. It offers accommodation, massage, walking tours of the nearby Temple and afternoon teas on the lawn.
Head south of Galle along the coast to EKA Beach (7km to the south along Galle Road) T. +94 772 739 719 to enjoy frolicking sea turtles, stilt fishermen, hand painted fishing boats and a delicious brunch.