Galle is on the south-west coast of Sri Lanka.
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 take 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.
Coming from the Kandy region, buses also run to Galle via Matara. They will take between 8 to 10 hours, cost approximately 150 LKR and have a few stopovers along the way. Despite the stopovers, a 10 hour ride on this non-AC bus is unpleasant, but an experience nonetheless.
Tuk Tuk or on foot is your best bet if you are traveling in Galle or close by.
The bus is an easy and cheap way to get to Matara,Unawatuna or Hikkaduwa from Galle.
- The Kalutara temple is a place you must not miss.
- 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.
Peace Pagoda View From Galle Fort
- 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.
- Galle Light house
- Dutch Church
- All Saints Church
- Maritime Archeology Museum
- Historical Mansion Museum
- Kanneliya Rain Forest Reserve
- Rumasalla Mountain
- Kottawa Jungle
- Sri Lanka Navy Whale Watching
- Galle Fort - Shopping for gems and antiques
- Visit one of the turtle hatcheries along the coast
- Visit the Galle Fort walls right before sunset. Locals and travelers will gather there to have a chat, play cricket, drink a beer and watch the sun set over the Indian ocean. If lucky, you will spot a wild sea turtle, or witness a beautiful array of colors emerging from the sea.
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
- Ceylon Cinnamon, Culture Club, 58, Church Street, Galle Fort (Next to Arabic Colleague). You can buy not only the Ground Cinnamon & Quills but other various products. Such as Cinnamon Coffee, Cinnamon Moringa, Cinnamon Chai, Cinnamon Peppermint Green tea, Cinnamon Oil & many other products. 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
- Coconut Sambol. New place on Church Street in the fort, home cooking, for 650 they offer an all you can eat buffet, different kind of curries. Good music and a nice modern feel to the place. edit
- Eats & Treats, 58, Church Street, Galle Fort (Next to Arabic Colleague). Visit this little cafe to try Cinnamon Coffee, Cinnamon Chai along with a slice of cake. Try the Mojito Black/Green ice tea as well. edit
Inside the Galle Fort area, regular bars will generally not serve alcohol. This is because the Fort is home to a collection of schools and religious buildings. If you do want to have an alcoholic drink, places without a road-facing terrace are your best bet.
- 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.
Probably is better getting a cheap room at Galle (1500 LKR) and visiting Galle with the bus or Train.
- The family run hostel " Paradise Hostel Galle " offers probably the cheapest accommodation in Galle starting from 1500 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 Krishan Jayasundara. Address: 9/1 Bope Cross Road, Mahamodara, Galle. Ph: +94 71 143 8533 +94 71 58 58 785 ph:+94 777 73 73 27 or facebook.com/ParadiseGalle/ Pizza Hut and Supermarket are just 10 mins walk from the hostel.
- The Yellow House Inside Galle Fort, in Parrawa Street, next to the Buddhist temple. Basic room with outside bathroom. Mosquito nets. No wifi. 1300LKR.
- Dutch Villa In the corner of Parrawa Street, inside the fort. 1500 LKR.
- 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] $44/night
- 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.
- "Chandolu,, . This beautiful, unique villa, situated within the Fort overlooks the ramparts and words cannot express the glorious sunset or the ocean view on display almost every day. From USD 250.00. edit
- "Maranel, . One of the best Galle Fort villas, Maranel 82 is at walking distance from restaurants, shops, museums and much more. A lovely little beach is just a few steps away from the villa, down the ramparts in front of the house, big and surf beaches in the south being a few minutes to 30 minutes away by van or car. From USD 275.00. 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
- Chilli House Holiday Home, , Galle (15 minutes drive South of Galle where the Historic Galle Fort), ☎ +94773819738 ([email protected]), . 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
- Culture Club - Galle Fort, ,58, Church Street Galle Fort (Next to Arabic college), ([email protected]), . checkin: 14.00; checkout: 11.00. Villa is in a Dutch building with high ceilings. $70-$150. edit
- Aditya Resort, 719/1, Galle Road, Devenigoda, Rathgama, ☎ +94 (0) 91 2267708 ([email protected]), . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 12pm. 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 $158. edit
- The Lighthouse Hotel. - Has a luxurious environment and excellent service. 2 Km from Galle town to Colombo side. edit
- Tamarind Hill, No: 288,Galle Road, Dadella, ☎ + 94 91 222 6568, . checkin: 1400 hrs or 2 pm; checkout: 1200 hrs or noon. 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. (6.044845,80.1951683) edit
- Cape Weligama, Weligama, Sri Lanka, ☎ +94 11 774 5730, . Designed by famed Thai architect Lek Bunnag, the resort is perched atop a singular cliff, affording uninterrupted panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. The resort has 39 suites & villas, 14 swimming pools including an infinity moon pool and is built within a 12 acre manicured garden. Cape Weligama arguably features the largest rooms in Sri Lanka, with the smallest accommodation option starting at 130 sqm / 1400 sqft. The resort is approximately 15 minutes away from Galle on the Southern Express Way. edit
- Jetwing Kurulubedda, Mahamudali Mawatha, Dadella 80000, ☎ 0912 223 744, . Jetwing Kurulubedda is located near the southern village of Mahamodara, Galle within a lush jungle that is home to a number of exotic bird species. It consists of 6 villas with facilities like plunge pools, Free WiFi and much more. Best rates on official website start at $179.00. edit
- Era Beach by Jetwing, No-834, Galle Road, Talpe, Galle 80000, ☎ 0912 282 302, . Era Beach by Jetwing is located just beyond the iconic southern capital of Galle, with rapid access to Colombo available via the Southern Expressway. Best rates on official website start at $250.00. edit
- Galle Heritage Villa by Jetwing, No.71, Lighthouse Street, Galle Fort, Galle 80000, ☎ 0112 345 720, . Come home to luxurious antiquity in a Dutch colonial residence tucked away within the narrow cobblestone streets of the Galle Fort. Best rates on official website start at $205.00. edit
- Jetwing LightHouse, JETWING LIGHTHOUSE, 433A, Dadella, Galle, Sri Lanka, ☎ +94 114 709 400, . Visit a beautiful hotel surrounded by the ocean with a lighthouse at the tip a truly pristine location Best rates on official website start at LKR26000. edit
- The Fortress Resort & Spa, Koggala, Habaraduwa, Galle, ☎ +91 438 9400 ([email protected], fax: +91 438 9455), . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 12pm. Located on the southern coast of the island and close to many top tourist attractions. It consists of 49 guest rooms and 4 suites with facilities such as an infinity pool, spa and more. Starting from USD 170. edit
- Fifty Lighthouse Street, 50, Lighthouse Street, Galle Fort, ☎ +91 4554432 ([email protected]), . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 12pm. A colonial property located within the Galle Fort. The accommodation options include garden view rooms and luxury suites. Starting from USD 100. edit
- Heritance Ahungalla, Heritance Ahungalla, Galle Road, Ahungalla, ☎ +94 91 5 555 000 ([email protected], fax: +915 555 0500), . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 12pm. A 5 star hotel located in Ahungalla Sri Lanka consisting of 152 rooms and suites. It offers 5 bars and restaurants Starting from USD 105. (6.311848,80.031767) edit
- Le Grand, 30 Park Rd, Galle 80000, ☎ +94 912228555 ([email protected], fax: +94 112 439979). checkin: 2pm; checkout: 12pm. Located near the Galle Dutch fort, the hotel offers Deluxe, Premium rooms along with Jacuzzi suite and plunge pool suite. Starting from USD 310. (6.031742,80.212465) edit
- Colombo There are frequent air-conditioned express bus service EX01 from Galle to Maharagama, a transit point to Colombo. Buses depart every 20 minutes from the bus parking area across the street from the Galle Public Bus Station, on the eastern side of the cricket stadium.
- Bandaranaike Airport and Negombo There are two express air-conditioned buses departing from Galle at 7.30AM and 4.30PM daily for the airport and Negombo. Look for the couch bus with the sign “To Airport” on the windscreen. It departs from the same bus parking area as the EX01 bus, across the road from the Galle Public Bus Station, on the eastern side of the cricket stadium. As of December 2018, the afternoon journey to the airport took 3 hours with heavy traffic after exiting the Southern Highway and costs 650Rs. The bus starting filling up at about 4PM and departed punctually. Embark early. No local shopkeepers in Galle Fort seem to be aware of this bus when queried.
- 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.