Blessed with stunning natural beauty and rustic grandeur, Galle is a popular tourist destination in the island country of Sri Lanka.
The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a pristine beach nearby and boasts of lush surroundings and historical monuments reflecting grand colonial architecture. Read on to know more about the attractions of Galle in Sri Lanka.
The Old Gate is one of the best places to explore the city’s colonial history. The site has a stunning entrance with a beautifully engraved British coat of arms at its top on the outer side. As you explore the Old Gate, notice the engravings on the inside of the gate, which is flanked by a couple of lions and a cock. This section of the old wall was also used as a warehouse to store the spices that were to be exported.
The Dutch Fort
One of the main attractions of the region is the Dutch Fort of Galle, which is best explored on foot. Enjoy an early morning stroll or walk across the ramparts of the fort to marvel at its colonial grandeur. The Dutch Fort is considered to be one of the biggest remaining fortresses in Asia to have been built by Europeans.
Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church is a part of the Galle Fort and visitors can go through the entire church in around half an hour’s time. Experience the soothing vibe of the serene environs of the church and admire the antiquity of its organ loft, which used to contain a cumbrous Dutch organ. Also, check out the wall hatchments, tombstone engravings, and the orthodox pulpit.
Visit the charming coastal town of Koggala in Galle, which is also the hometown of a renowned local writer named Martin Wickramasinghe. His old residence has been converted into a museum called the Museum of Folk, Art & Culture. It displays a fantastic collection of early 20th century local folk artefacts, including folk dance costumes, sports items, household goods, and furniture. The Koggala Lake and its lagoon is a bird watcher’s paradise as the several small islands here attract lots of birds.
To enjoy water sports and scenic ocean views, head out to the fantastic Unawatuna Bay. Protected by a reef, the bay is popular with tourists and locals alike for its safe swimming and snorkelling opportunities. Visitors can also buy the local handicraft Galle lace, an excellent souvenir.