If there’s one place you absolutely must visit when you go to Sri Lanka, it’s Galle.
This historic town is a centuries old melting pot of cultures, with Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches, twisting streets and crumbling mansions. Built by the Dutch in the 1600’s Galle is centred around the fort, a walled town surrounded by high walls and overlooking the ocean. Here you’ll find remnants of the colonial past, as well as touches of old Moorish influences. I’ve been visiting Galle since I was very young, and it has a charm that’s hard to forget.
If you want to splurge, the former governors house has been converted into the Amangalla, and is a serious treat. I used to come and swim in the pool here back when it was the New Orient hotel when I was 5! I also loved the Fort Bazaar.
Eat & Drink
Set up shop in the Amangalla’s restaurant for the amazing curry lunch.
Lunch at the delicious Poonie’s Kitchen is an absolute must, try the Salad Thaali or the coconut soup.
As a port town, Galle has a number of different influences, including Arabic, so it’s also worth trying out the Moroccan Chamber’s restaurant.
Have a yummy dinner or drinks at Church Street Social.
Have eggplant curry (with a view!) at A Minute By Tuk Tuk.
Have sunset drinks at overlooking the fort at The Bartizan or upstairs at the Amangalla (sadly I think it’s for guests only, but worth asking about).
Have dinner at romantic The Fort Printers (but stick with the curries rather than the fusion menu).
See & Do
Splurge on a massage at the spa at Amangalla.
Visit the Lighthouse at sunset.
Do a walking tour of the fort – there are so many beautiful older buildings on every single street. You should really try to walk down every street in the fort! And I love to do it at first light before the heat sets in. See the Dutch Reform Church, the Hospital and Magistrates Court.
Head out of Galle fort itself and visit the Food Markets and the Fish Markets.
Travel up to the hills and visit The Sun House for afternoon tea or drinks.
Pin our map for later!
View from the top of the Amangalla.
View from from the fort wall.
Poonies’ Kitchen – so so good.
The grounds of the Amangalla are amazing!
How can one wall have so many pretty colours?
Early mornings are my favourite time to explore!
The Dutch Reform Church.
Sundowners at the Amangalla. This was a pinch yourself moment.
Found this incredible doorway.
Corner shops Sri Lankan style.
Daily rituals in Galle Fort.
Looking forward to going back. Put it on your bucket list.
Read my post about How to Travel In Sri Lanka and my Guide to Sri Lanka’s South Beaches.