Galle is located 115 km from Colombo on the South Coast and 16 km from Hikkaduwa. It was the fortified Sea Port City of the Dutch who ruled the maritime districts from middle of 17th Century to the close of the 18th Century.

Galle is located 115 km from Colombo on the South Coast and 16 km from Hikkaduwa. It was the fortified Sea Port City of the Dutch who ruled the maritime districts from middle of 17th Century to the close of the 18th Century. Galle still preserves an air of old Holland. Old Dutch Church and Monuments with Armorial Bearings and old Church registers dating back to the British restoration period.

It still boasts of a well-preserved fort and ramparts and an imposing crested and monogrammed gateway dating back to 1669. Other famous sites to visit are the Old Dutch Canal, gracious Old Dutch Houses from the time when Galle was still the chief Seaport for the Island. The narrow alleys still have Old Dutch names and the town has a few families of “Burghers” who are descendants of the original Dutch settlers. While the original old road takes three and a half hours and is very interesting and scenic, a new expressway has been built cutting down the travel time from Colombo by one-and-a-half hours.

Tourists Attractions in Galle

  • Sandy Beaches

Sri Lanka is an island floating in the blue waters of the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal and endowed with over a thousand miles of beautiful golden beaches fringed with coconut palms. A large percentage of Sri Lankan hotels and resorts are located along the seacoast. The main attraction for the most part is on the beaches and the resorts and less on the nearby towns and villages. However, some places like Galle on the west coast with its historical heritage, are included in the attraction even without the lure of the sun and sand. You can also stop on the drive down the west coast for interesting side trip like visiting a batik factory or a turtle hatchery, paying your respects at the local temple or sampling the local fruit and getting first-hand knowledge on the art of toddy making.

  • Dutch Fort

A monument of particular interest in the Fort is the Dutch Church dedicated in 1754. It was built on the site of a Portuguese Capuchin Convent and on an earlier Protestant, "Groote Kerk", built in 1640. The present Dutch church was erected as a thank-offering by Gertruda Adrianna Le Grand, wife of the Commandeur Gasparus de Jong, for the long-prayed birth of a son. The church merits half an hour of the visitor's time and perusal. Within is an organ loft which once held a cumbrous Dutch organ, hatchments on the walls and engraved tombstones on the floor. Of great interest is the orthodox pulpit, the finest specimen found in any church in Sri Lanka, hexagonal in shape and of finely grained calamander wood with panels of satin wood. Underneath the platform of the pulpit is an exquisite carving in "pomegranate pattern", the sounding board is massive and suspended from the wall with iron rods and hoops.

  • Fishing Harbour

The Galle Fishery Harbour has received substantial assistance from the French Government in the decade of 1970. Some time ago, it was of very high capacity and employees were above thousand. Harbour was planned as a deep – sea industrial fishery port within the commercial harbor and included a large number of service facilities and store complexes. This harbor is located in an international place for tourism and mooring facilities for visiting yachts. Harbour base tourism should be promoted for the benefit of the fishermen in the area. Sri Lanka Navy has acquired some harbor assets such as 200 and 500 tons capacity slipways, workshop building, canteen, welfare building and circuit bungalow. Extent of the unutilised building area is approximately 1000 m2.

  • Museums

The Galle National Museum is established in the oldest Dutch building of the Galle fort, constructed in 1656. To make the public aware of the traditional cultural heritage of Southern Sri Lanka, the Department of National Museums developed this museum and opened to the public on 31st March 1986. Galle National Museum displays a wide range of archaeological and anthropological objects inherited in Southern region. Collection of traditional masks used in various rituals, collection of ornamental objects made up of turtle shells, ancient wooden carvings and arms and weapons used by the Dutch Soldiers are among the exposition. The Galle National Museum plays an important role as a centre of education in the Southern region.

  • Boat Safari – Madolduwa

Madol Duwa is an uninhabited island made famous by the well-known author Mr. Martin Wickremasinghe in his children’s novel, Madol Duwa (also known as Madol Doova). This was later made in to a film.

A boat ride in the Koggala Mangroves is a relaxing experience. The boat weaves through the dense mangrove forest and surrounding islets, and you can witness the varying species of mangrove, about 10 of which are endemic to Sri Lanka. On your way, you will also be treated to a view of a wide variety of flora and fauna, like monitor lizards and a number of beautiful birds.

  • Low Grown Tea Estate

Tea from Sri Lanka falls into three categories: low-grown (on estates up to an elevation of 2,000ft); medium-grown (on elevations between 2,000 and 4,000 ft); and high-grown (elevations above 4,000 ft). Each level produces teas of unique character. By blending teas from different areas of the island and at varied elevations, Sri Lanka can offer a very wide range of flavour and colour. Some are full-bodied, others light and delicate, but all Ceylon blends will have brisk, full flavours and bright golden colour. Because of its geographical location, tea can be plucked in Sri Lanka all year round – the west and east of the island are separated by central mountains so that as each region’s season ends, the other begins.

Galle on map

Sri Lanka Tourism Activities around Galle