Galle Fort, also known as Dutch Fort was built by the Portuguese on the Southwest Coast of Sri Lanka. It is one of the main attractions in Sri Lanka and also one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Intriguing how it is a living monument. Unlike the rest of Galle which was devasted by the tsunami of 2004, the walls of the fort kept out the worst of the floods though some buildings were affected. Recently i was in Sri Lanka with Sri Lankan Airways and I got to explore my favourite part of Sri Lanka all over again.
Galle Fort is one of the most simplistically beautiful place as the location has a beautiful colonial vibe and also so much of history to soak in. It would take you around 2-3 hours to roam around the whole fort and explore in there.
This place is like a piece of Europe with narrow streets and cafes in every corner.
The design of the Fort includes parapets on top of the walls to protect the city from potential attacks which could come from the colonial competitors in the yesteryears. Crystal clear water surrounds the fort and if you want you can take a dip in it as there are stairs provided to reach the beach in some areas. The architecture is very colonial and you can sense the Dutch and Portuguese influence in every street.
Ten Reasons to Visit Galle Fort
- Go shopping – Inside the Galle fort, there are streets where you can walk around and shop for local souvenirs from the boutique shops and old houses there. The best things found there are the Sri Lankan Gems and jewellery, the handwoven Sarongs and home linen can also be found there. It is a little pricey than other parts of Sri Lanka.
- Take a walk on the ramparts – Galle is surrounded by the thick ramparts which were built by Dutches to protect the city. You can walk along them, and look towards the ocean, the old prison, and look at the beauty of lighthouse and the clock tower.
- Interact with the locals- As the Galle fort has variety of history, you must interact with the people there to know about the place. They might tell you the interesting stories and past about that place which you may always remember.
- Have a meal at Amangalla- Do spend your time at the Amangalla to experience the best traditional custom of the Dutches. The afternoon tea is the best to try there.
- Light house- The lighthouse at the Galle fort is considered to be the oldest light station in Sri Lanka. It is one of the most popular tourists attractions in Sri Lanka.
- Luna Terrace- Don’t miss this hidden gem when you are in Sri Lanka. It had the best infinity pool in Galle. It is located between Unawatuna and Galle in Closenberg hotel.
- Galle museums- This is the historical Mansion museum where you can find the best described history. There are collection of amazing vintage cameras, the sculptures and many statues. You just cannot afford missing this on your walk to the Fort.
- Groote Kerk – It is located within the Galle fort. It is an ancient church and has some interesting features such as an old organ, pulpit and stainless glass and tombs.
- Visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda- You will need a tuk tuk taxi to reach at the top of the hill to have a look at the beauty of the stupa. This is unique Buddha Temple run by the friendly priests.
- Soak in the History – Last but not the least, it is beautiful walking around this living monument. The fact that people have been living here for generations past is so intriguing.
on’t miss out on the beautiful sunset when you get on top of the Galle fort, we also spotted a few Peacocks casually walking around adding to the beauty of the sunset.
WHEN TO VISIT GALLE FORT ?
You can visit the Fort anytime between December to April as it is not hot. And if you enjoy a little rainfall, you must visit the place in the Monsoons when its not really the peak season and you can save on accommodation and also things are cheaper.
Do not go to Galle for a day tour, instead stay here for atleast 1 night to experience the magic of this beautiful colonial quaint town. You can read more about Galle here.