Want to experience the best of both worlds with Sri Lankan culture melded with European history? Galle Fort is the place to be! Relatively unaltered since their origin, the Galle Fort, the Old Town and the surrounding areas have been named as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The Dutch colonial fort lies on the south coast, 130km away from Colombo, a stunningly breathtaking site with a panoramic view of the Indian oceans blue and azure waters.
Visit Galle, one of Sri Lanka’s oldest cities and don’t miss out on the following things to do in Galle Fort;
1. Walk the walls of the Fort.
The Galle Fort was fortified and surrounded by thick ramparts wide enough to walk on. The 130-acre colonial fort was built from tough coral and granite building materials in true European fashion, achieving both grandness and functionality. Walk along these ramparts from one corner to the other and let yourself be mesmerized by the scenic beauty of the ocean, get hold of some locally mined gems and admire the colonial architecture.
Photo Credits: Louis Wilson
2. For the shopaholics.
The Dutch Fort is more of a small city than a stronghold, complete with its own Old Dutch Market, little shops and vendors. The Old Dutch Market is a 300-year-old shoppers paradise crammed with the freshest local produce and other intricacies. The Galle Fort homes some of the most beautiful souvenir shops where you will find unique design attributes, intricate laces, handwoven sarongs, clothing and much more!
3. For the love of old buildings.
You may not be a fan of history and culture per se but we guarantee that these colonial style buildings will be a treat to your eyes. From the many places to see in Galle the buildings you encounter whilst you wander the narrow streets of Galle Fort take a special place. Here are some places you must not miss; Old Gate on Queen Street, All Saints Anglican Church on Church Street, Meeran Jumma Masjid, the old Arab quarters at the end of Church Street and De Groote Kerk on Church Street.
4. Is it ever complete without good FOOD?
Here in Sri Lanka, nothing is ever complete without a tantalizingly succulent and excessively delicious meal to seal the deal. The Galle Fort too provides a wide array of restaurants and cafés perfectly capable of satisfying the hunger-monster in you. From the local kottu roti to some delectable pizzas and pastas, the Fort has it all!
5. Sunset by the beach?
Sunsets by the beach are quite popular in Sri Lanka and it’s a definite must-see. But a sunset on the Fort’s high walls overlooking the ocean and colonial buildings? Now that’s an experience of a lifetime! After a day of walking in the Galle Fort, relax and wind down while you feast your eyes to the cotton-candy-coloured sunset on the high ramparts.
6. For the history-lover in you.
There’s so much history at the Fort, every inch and corner of it is entwined with it. To explore this history, start at the iconic white lighthouse on the southeastern part of the fort and walk to the northwest side of the Fort where you can see the colonial Clock Tower, which is around a 2km scenic walk. The National Maritime Museum of Sri Lanka also lies within the fortifications and served as a Dutch Warehouse. Don’t miss out on these historical treats!
Photo Credits: Alexis
7. Luxurious and comfortable lodging.
While you get busy exploring the Galle Fort, Old Town and surrounding areas, you do deserve a plush and comfortable hotel to return to in order to wind down, relax and rejuvenate for the adventures that lay ahead. There are many hotels near Galle but Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon holds a special place in all tourists’ heart. Just a small drive south from the hotel to reach the Galle Fort where you can enjoy a lovely day out. Come November 2019, you would have an additional hotel to enjoy Galle from; Benthota Beach by Cinnamon! Let our expertise in hospitality make you comfortable and enable you to relax and replenish yourself before your strolls and adventures at the Fort.
Author: Shenella Fonseka