28 Places to Visit in Galle

Galle in Sri Lanka has significant colonial displays, sun-bleached shores and rivers overflowing with wildlife, all of which make this Down south escape which most visited site for international travellers. Also, Galle Fort is one of the most attractive tourist locations in Sri Lanka. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988 under the Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications. So we listed 25 places to visit in Galle to add to your bucket list. 

1. Galle Lighthouse


The Galle Lighthouse, also recognized as Pointe de Galle Light, is inland in Galle, Sri Lanka. This is Sri Lanka’s oldest light station. The 26.5-metre-high concrete lighthouse was built about 100 metres from the initial site in 1939. The original light was a glass prism lens floating in a mercury bath powered by a weight-driven mechanism. The lighthouse is strategically placed at the southern end of the peninsula, built around 6 metres above the road level on the walls, at what is recognized as the Point Utrecht Bastion, providing a complete view of any ships entering Galle Harbour. More Details and Map

2. Galle Fort -Old Gate


A plaque sculpted with the Royal Emblem of Ireland dating back to the time of King George III of England set after the conquest of Galle by the British is seen above the Old Gate while entering the Fort along with the road running parallel to Baladaksha Mawatha Raod. British Crown, held by a lion from its right side and a unicorn from its left side, is displayed on this plaque. The plaque held by the Lion and the unicorn is covered by the citation Honi Soit QuiMal y Pense, which means “Who Thinks of Devil Shall be Possessed by Devil”. Both those citations are quotes from phrases in French. Following the conquest of Galle Fort by the British in 1796 AD, the British removed the symbol of the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.) that was here and whittled the British Royal Emblem. 

3. Galle fort – Main Gate

Galle fort - Main Gate


The Main Gate even called the British Gate, is situated straight to the south of the Galle International Cricket Stadium and is laboriously braced, flanked by the Star, Moon and Sun Bastions. This gate was initially supported by a drawbridge and covered by a moat built by the Portuguese before being enlarged by the Dutch. Regardless, the British had the final hand in constructing the gate to allow better traffic to flow in and out of the Fort.

4. Point Utrecht Bastion

Point Utrecht Bastion


It has been named after the hometown of the first clergyman of the Dutch Reformed Church who arrived in Galle in 1641, namely, the Rev.Anhenrio Husaivers. By 1760, it had six canons installed. After the original lighthouse in Galle Fort was destroyed by fire 92 feet high, the latest lighthouse was erected here in 1939 and Bunkers were built around the lighthouse during the Second World War. Near the lighthouse is a flight of steps leading to the Beach, where there is a bathing spot. It was used as the Lady’s Bathing Place during the British period.

5. Rumassala Hill

Rumassala Hill


Rumassala hill is located just over 5 kilometres from Galle Fort. It is a popular attraction and natural wonder steeped in mythological stories. According to the chronicle of the Ramayana, the hill is considered a part of the Himalayan Mountain Range, as unfamiliar flora that can only be seen in the Himalayas flourish here. Assigned as a wildlife sanctuary, Rumassala Hill is a haven for both endemic and migratory birds and the ideal place for bird-watching enthusiasts. More Details and Map

6. Meeran Jumma Mosque


Meeran Jumma Mosque is viewing the well-renowned Galle Lighthouse. Unlike other famous mosques, Meeran Jumma Mosque features a more diverse structural design that amalgamates British Victorian and Islamic designs. Like a cathedral, the Mosque has stained glass windows and an immaculate atrium. Moreover, it highlights an ornately decorated mihrab at the centre of the structure. The Mosque’s floor is decorated with vibrantly painted ceramic tiles and features little decorative roofs.

A famous building within the Galle Fort is assumed to have been established over 300 years ago. Galle is home to a sizeable Muslim population, so the site serves as an important place of worship in this region. Moreover, due to its architectural brilliance, it is also a famous tourist attraction. Unlike other mosques throughout the country, which have strict restrictions, Meeran Jumma Mosque welcomes visitors as long as they are dressed reasonably and are willing to accept the rules of the Mosque. As you access the Mosque, you will surely be mesmerized by the interiors; different regions of the Mosque feature differently coloured tiles and separate prayer areas for women and men. More Details and Map

7. Dutch Museum

This two-storied large structure revealing the characteristics of a 17th-century Dutch Urban residence was made by Thomas Van Rhee, The Dutch Governor of Sri Lanka, 1692- 1697. in 1796, this structure was used as a forearms building of an army hospital, police training centre, Pettah post office and telecommunication centre throughout the British period. This building was protected by a special security committee with the compensation of the Netherlands government in 1977 and prepared for the society as a Dutch museum by the Department of National Museums. It has aired over 3000 museum objectives linked to the Dutch who ruled coastal regions of Sri Lanka. (1658-1796) More Details and Map 

8. National Maritime Museum

Galle National Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum is the only museum aware of the Southern coastal area’s marine biological and anthropological aspects. It is located in the old Dutch warehouse of the Fort of Galle, built-in 1671. The museum was open to the public on 9th May 1992.

In the aftermath of the Tsunami on 26th December 2004, the museum was destroyed, and all the expositions were damaged. Under Sri Lanka – Netherlands Cultural Co-operation Program, the Royal Government of Netherlands provided financial assistance to reconstruct the Maritime Museum. 

The first Gallery depicts the types of watercraft used in passenger transport and maritime trading in Southern Sri Lanka. The traditional lifestyle of fishing communities and such fishing techniques are displayed with stunning instances and replicas. The second Gallery is concentrated on marine ecosystems and their flora and fauna. Models of mangroves, seashore plants, turtles, sea birds and aquatic mammals are displayed with their taxonomic segments. Representatives of corals, marine shells and some invertebrates can be observed in the display, while a giant skeleton of a Whale mounted on the roof offers you a remarkable experience. More Details

9. Dutch Reformed Church

Galle Dutch Reformed Church

The Dutch Reformed Church, with roofs on the eastern and western walls, but no tower, was completed in 1755. It is similar in technique to Negapatnam and Cochin in India, including the walls. It is built on the site of a before Portuguese convent. Around the church and within the walls is a small cemetery. 

10. Galle National Museum

Galle National Museum

The Galle National Museum was established in the oldest Dutch building of the Galle fort, constructed in 1656. The Department of National Museums formed this museum and opened it to the public on 31st March 1986. Galle National Museum displays various archaeological and anthropological objects inherited in the Southern region. A collection of traditional masks used in various rituals, a group of ornamental objects made up of turtle shells, ancient wooden carvings and a Beeralu collection are important visitor attractive exhibits in the museum. The influence of the Dutch is depicted by the types of equipment used in Dutch ships that came to the Galle harbour. Large water vessels, porcelain objects, arms, V.O.C. and weapons utilized by the Dutch soldiers are among the exposition. The Galle National Museum plays an essential role as a centre of education in the Southern region. 

11. Dutch Hospital

Galle Dutch Hospital

The Old Dutch Hospital, Galle, is one of the oldest establishments in the Galle Fort, dating back to the Dutch colonial period in Sri Lanka. The building was converted into a shopping and dining precinct in 2014, with the historic architecture preserved. The Urban Development Authority carried out the renovation and conversion works with the contribution of the 10th Engineering Regiment of the Sri Lankan Army.

12. Sudharmalaya Temple

Sudharmalaya Temple Galle

The Buddhist temple seen now had been constructed in 1889 on land donated by Mr S.A.Wickramasinghe, a Mudliar and a benefactor who lived those days. Further, most of the population in Galle Fort were Buddhists; up to recent times, there is only one Buddhist religious place. The impact of Dutch and European architecture controlled foreign regimes even in the construction of Buddhist sacred sites, which can be observed by paying attention to the architectural components of this temple.

13. Japanese Peace Pagoda

Japanese Peace Pagoda Galle

Camouflaged amongst the trees of the Rumassala hill and visual across from the Galle Fort is the “Sama Ceitya” ( Sinhala meaning), one of four Japanese Peace Pagodas found in Sri Lanka. Temple was built with the contribution of Japanese Buddhist monks in 2005.   

14. Galle Clocktower

Galle Clocktower

The Galle Clock Tower is a tall four-story monument from the late 19th century. Clocktower was made within the ramparts of the Galle Fort in the place of the earlier guardroom, overseeing one of the three bastions of the Fort.

The Galle Clocktower was built in honour of the services of famous Colonial Surgeon Dr Antonisz. The grateful doctor Mudaliyar Samson de Abrew Rajapakse donated the clock separately. More Deatils

15. Galle Library

Galle Library

The Galle Library is located following the Dutch Reformed Church on Church Street in the historic Galle Fort, and the library was established in 1832 and is likely the oldest public library in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, you may be discovered Several ancient and particular textbooks within their bookcases. 

16. Hiyare Reservoir & Rain Forest

Hiyare Reservoir & Rain Forest

Hiyare Reservoir was built 100 years ago to provide water to Galle town and is located just 16 miles away from Galle. Hiyare Reservoir Rainforest is a secondary lowland rainforest with a high diversity and endemic species. There are 55 species of dragonflies, of which 12 are discovered only in the Hiyare area. Seventy-eight butterfly species have been identified, with three endemic to this zone. More Details and Map 

17. Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya Temple

Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya Temple

Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya is an example of the several masterpieces in the Unawatuna, Galle area that reveals the antiquity of Sri Lanka, Maintaining some complex tasks of art originating from various kingdoms.

The temple is on a rock and consists of a 9 m reclining Buddha statue. Temple walls are decorated with murals, and the temple follows a related formation to the Rock Cave Temple of Dambulla. More Details and Map 

18. Unawatuna Beach

Unawatuna Beach

Unawatuna beach is located about 15 minutes from Galle and the Galle Fort; Unawatuna is a famous beach-side town that’s attracted beach lovers over the years. A perfectly enticing stretch of golden coast filled with restaurants, bars and beachfront resorts, Unawatuna Beach is a must-visit if you see to unwind and enjoy the entertainment of this coastal town. In addition, Unawatuna city has many activities for travellers, making it possible for families, colleagues, and partners. More Details and Map

19. Jungle Beach

Jungle Beach

Jungle Beach is a little bay covered by jungle found in Rumassala, northwest of Unawatuna, where you can enjoy a great day of sunbathing and snorkelling. Anyone with snorkelling gear can walk out and enjoy energy on the reef. More Details

20. Sea Turtle Hatchery

Sea Turtle Hatchery

Mahamodara Sea Turtle Hatchery is just a few minutes from Galle; the Hatchery is one of the many conservation centres established to breed and conserve turtles on the island, which volunteers are also conducting. They are undoubtedly making fantastic job efforts, and travellers could see it themselves. As you enter the centre, tourists will be provided with a brief on how their system and conservation efforts work, and they will show you around the centre. You could get up near these gentle creatures and touch them during this time. More Deails and Map 

21. Galle Harbour 

Galle Harbor

Galle Harbour is a natural harbour found near the city centre. Presently, Galle port is one of the country’s most active regional ports and is the main Sri Lankan port that provides facilities for yacht enjoyment. International yacht societies have identified Galle Harbour as one of the world’s finest interests for yachting.

22. Stilt Fishing

Stilt Fishing

Koggala region is quite renowned for Stilt Fishing. This fantastic fishing method became a significant tourist allure for a long time, only in the southern province. Fishers sit on a narrow pole without using bait and do only morning and evening times only. Typically, they require high patience to catch a fish. Therefore, it may take a very extended time. According to the folktale, the history of the fantastic fishing method reached more than 350 years. More Details and Map

23. Koggala Beach

Koggala Beach

Koggala beach is another of Sri Lanka’s fantastic surfing beaches. Located the Down South of Sri Lanka, not far from Unawatuna beach, this beautiful stretch of pale golden sands reaches into the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean. With a backdrop of coconut palms and jungle vegetation, it has a natural feel of tropical paradise. This is the perfect spot to sip on a coconut while you relax with your feet on the soft sands, enjoying the scenery. More Details

24. Midigama Beach

Midigama Beach

Midigama Beach is in the south of Sri Lanka, ahead of the vast bay of Weligama. For about six kilometres, the range passes gold-tinged sands and little coves gathered by coconut palms, all of which can be directed to by the collaborative name of Midigama, a small town at their centre.

However, while the beaches might be lovely, they are also a surfing paradise. Therefore, this is the perfect hunting spot if you’re the sort that likes to hunt secret waves and unknown reefs. That’s all down to the soft nature of Midigama surf spots on the list.

Those who are coming to surf Midigama are still predominantly islanders and long-term travellers who’ve lived here on their Sri Lankan surf odyssey. More Details and Map

25. Dallwella Beach

Dallwella Beach

Dallwella Beach is a shallow swimming beach 7km south of Galle, on the main road between Unawatuna and Thalpe. The restaurants have exceptional seafood and crust pizzas. It’s a great spot to relax with sun loungers on the Beach and get away from the touristy masses of Beaches. More Details and Map

26. Moon Gallery at Galle Fort

The Moon Gallery at Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, is a hidden historical gem with a fascinating story. Initially built by the Portuguese in the 16th century as Conceicao Tower, it was later expanded and renamed Moon Bastion under Dutch rule in the 17th century. Dutch Commander Adrian Van Ruthaz further fortified it with an impressive arsenal of at least 20 artillery emplacements.
Today, the Galle Heritage Foundation is responsible for preserving and showcasing Moon Bastion’s historical significance. They have meticulously restored the subterranean munitions storage beneath the upper terrace, transforming it into an informative space where visitors can learn about the site’s history.
When you visit the Moon Gallery, you can explore the restored munitions storage, gaining insight into the strategic importance of Moon Bastion during the colonial era. The exhibits and displays transport you back in time, allowing you to envision the lives of those who defended the fort from this very spot. More Details

27. Old Powder Magazine

The Old Powder Magazine, located within the Galle Dutch Fort in Sri Lanka, is a historic structure built during the Dutch colonial era. It served the vital role of storing gunpowder, ammunition, and military supplies, contributing to the fort’s defence and Dutch colonial interests in Sri Lanka. The magazine’s architectural design includes three accessible halls and sturdy, fortified walls. Today, it has been meticulously preserved and is open to visitors, providing a glimpse into the colonial history of Sri Lanka and the significance of the Galle Dutch Fort. More Details and Map

28. Black Fort

The Black Fort, situated on the eastern side of the Galle Fort, is a historically significant pentagonal bastion with commanding views over the Galle harbour. It features a circular platform for cannons and a two-story structure with an intriguing connecting tunnel. The name “Black Fort” is derived from its association with coal and the dark smoke it produced. Over the centuries, it played a crucial role in the defense of Galle against various threats, transitioning from a military stronghold to a prison during its history. Today, the Black Fort is a popular tourist attraction known for its panoramic views and underground chambers, which house exhibitions and artifacts that reveal the historical importance of Galle’s history. More Details and Map

 How To reach Galle?

Galle has located 119 km from Colombo and is the capital city of the Southern province of Sri Lanka. One of the most pleasant methods to travel within Colombo is via train. Including around six express trains from the Colombo-Matara route per day. To check the train schedules, fares, and roads, visit www.railway.gov.lk.

However, there are many ways of going to Galle. But, the most reliable way of reaching the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport is to travel by Taxi. Furthermore, many trusted tour operators and taxi services are available for requirements and budgets if you are coming from another part of the island.

Suggested Read : Places to visit In Kandy 


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