10 Places to see in Galle

  • About Galle
  • Location
  • Good to Know

The city of Galle has a very colorful history going back hundreds of years, before the 16th century Galle was the main port on the island used to export and trade goods and spices. Ceylon cinnamon has been exported out going back 1400bc. Galle was occupied by the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonies; it was used as a stronghold. According to Sir James Emerson, Galle was the ancient sea port of tarnish which King Solomon drew ivory, peacocks and other valuables from.

Galle is located in the Southern province of Srilanka and 150 km from Katunayake international airport - 2 hours drive

Galle is boarded to Indian Ocean and most famous destinations in Galle are Galle fort - Unawatuna beach and Japanese peace pagoda at jungle beach. Modern day Galle is very quaint; especially the fort. Galle has one of the most loved international cricket stadiums. Galle is one of the major tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. And the roads along the shoreline are mind blowing. There are endless things to see and know about this beautiful city. Let’s start with the most important ones and the tiny ones that most people don’t notice.

01. Galle Fort

Galle Fort in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. It is a historical, archaeological and architectural heritage monument, which even after more than 432 years maintains a polished appearance, due to extensive reconstruction work done by Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka.

Note to remember

This is a UNESCO world heritage site and living heritage city

It is better if you can hire a site guide to visit this place. otherwise you will feel like nothing to see here and it is not worth to visit.

There are good Hotels inside to overnight stay inside the fort 

02. Unawatuna Beach

Unawatuna is a coastal town in Galle district of Sri Lanka. Unawatuna is a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka and known for its beach and corals. It is a suburb of Galle, about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) southeast to the city center and approximately 108 kilometres (67 mi) south of Colombo. Unawatuna is situated at an elevation of 5 metres (16 ft) above the sea level. Despite significant development in the last decade it is still home to the endangered and endemic purple-faced langur, an usually shy monkey species that can only be found in Sri Lanka’s forests

Note to remember

There is no proper public entrance to this beach but you can entrance to beach through lots of resorts and hotels.

There will be No entrance fee to pay before enter

Since Unwatuna is very famous there will be more crowded than in a usual beach.

03. Whale watching from Galle (by Srilanka Navy)

The Sri Lanka Navy’s passenger craft “Princess of Lanka” set sail on a new journey at the launching of “whale watching project” venture since 30 January 2011 at port of Galle. The Princess of Lanka passenger vessel played a pivotal role in ferrying thousands of security forces personnel, civilians and goods between Trincomalee, Kankesanthurai ports and Thalai Mannar till the main land supply routes were cleared and restored after the dawn of peace

Note to remember

Generally it takes 4 hours to complete the tour 

You can always trust on Srilanka Navy as they are the champions of the srilankan waters

Whale watching seasons starts from November to April. 

04. Stilt Fishermen

Stilt Fishing is a traditional style of fishing practised by local fishermen in Sri Lanka, especially on the southern coast. With a perfect balance and an insurmountable amount of patience, fishermen perch themselves on cross-shaped beams and wait for their catch of the day!

 

Note to remember

The best time is in the evening from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm

You can give them a small tip and try fishing 

You can take pictures with fishermen 

05. Jungle Beach

Located west to Unawatuna, Jungle Beach is a pretty bay nestled in a forested area. It is one of the secret gems of Sri Lanka which has everything to make your holiday experience one of its kind. The place retains its pristine natural charm as it is not ventured by a large number of tourists throughout the year due to its secluded location.

 

Note to remember

Jungle Beach offers a plethora of water sports such as snorkelling, scuba diving, swimming, boat ride and many more

Avoid weekends because usually crowded by local tourists. If you want a peaceful stay visit on a weekday.

06. Japanese Peace Pagoda

The Japanese Peace Pagoda or Unawatuna Peace Pagoda is one of the three Buddhist stupas in Sri Lanka which makes visiting this place one of the most popular activities to do in Galle. The stupa is a paperwhite dome near Unawatuna Beach and lies amidst a thick forest.

The circular deck and architecture, the golden statue of Buddha and the stunning views of the blue ocean makes this place in Galle, a must-visit.

Note to remember

This is a Buddhist Temple, be caution of your dress 

You need to remove your hats and shoes before you enter to the premises

No need to buy tickets 

07. Under water Museum - Galle

This underwater museum was built off Galle shores under the close supervision of the Commander of the Navy, upon a proposal by the Prime Minister, Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa. This special museum is located off the shores of Galle, which attracts a large number of both local and foreign tourists. Further a large collection of artifacts and sculptures made by Navy has been placed here.

All the statues placed here have been handmade by naval personnel and these unique sculptures have been produced from concrete and eco-friendly materials. The site will promote the formation of corals which will be an added beauty to the site with the passage of time.

Note to remember

unique sightseeing experience for anyone including children, adults, experienced divers, scuba beginners as well as ordinary swimmers.

08. Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum

The house in which Martin Wickramasinghe was born has inspired the Martin Wickramasinghe Trust to established a Folk Museum Complex, surrounded by a restored ecosystem planted with hundreds of varieties of indigenous trees and shrubs in which bird life abounds. The house and the surroundings brings to life a little part of the Koggala which is so vividly depicted in Wickramasinghe’s writings.

Note to remember

For the better experience, read bit about the people’s culture and traditions of colonial period of srilanka and the greatest author Mr. Martin wickramasinghe before you visit the folk museum.

If possible good to hire a site guide as well

09. Madol duwa Boat Safari and fish therapy

Koggala Lake is a beautiful lake located a few kilometers away from Galle. It is a paradise for nature lovers that are keen to explore and study the natural biodiversity and ecosystem. The lake is surrounded by lush green mangrove swamps. You can explore the whole area and all of the 8 islands in Koggala Lake.

 

Note to remember

Madol Duwa Island became more famous due to the ‘Madol Duwa’ novel written by the great novelist Martin Wickramasinghe. Later Koggala was identified as the village of the great novelist.

Find out more about famous author Mr. Martine from your guide

10. Historical Mansion Museum

The Historical Mansion Museum is one of the biggest private museums in the world. The museum houses a huge collection of antique jewelry, cameras, typewriter, etc. But one thing the museum is well known for is its collection of traditional crafts like beeralu lace embroidery.

Note to remember

A centuries-old Dutch house, this museum is an antique in itself and the building of the museum probably dates back to the 1700s. Exploring the huge collections in this museum is one of the best activities to do in Galle for history enthusiasts.

Do you like to see Galle?

Make you own trip plan with us

add any of these destinations and make your own trip with dear srilanka OR you can see the ready made Galle Fort Tour from our Day Tours as well.

Make your tripGalle Fort Tour