10 incredible things to do in Galle, Sri Lanka

All about vacation in Galle.

Galle is a port town in the southwestern part of Sri Lanka. In the past, it was an important trading hub. Today there is a concentration of places that are ready to receive tourists from all over the world. Despite the location of the city along the coastline, this resort is not considered a beach resort, there are more interesting places on the island. Tourists are attracted here by masterpieces of architecture. About them and other attractions, entertainment, prices and beaches of Halle – this article.

The city was founded in the distant 16th century, the Portuguese and their ideas blended with South Asian and received a very interesting building. The 17th century Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a great tourist attraction.

How to get there

More often than not, people come to Halle as a day trip from nearby resort towns. But it also has everything you need to stay for a few days or an entire vacation in general. First, you must fly into one of Sri Lanka’s international airports, Bandaranaike or Ratmalana. There is no direct transport from the airports to Galle, so you must first go to Colombo. If you want you can order a cab that will take you straight to Galle. It takes about 3,5-4 hours and costs an average of 3500 rubles.

If you choose the first option, then on arrival at the main bus station in Colombo Pettah Bus Stand you should buy a ticket for a direct bus to Galle. The ticket price will be about 150 rubles, you will need to spend 3 hours en route. Also a popular option today are shuttle buses, they go much faster, and the cost is slightly more than the bus. All routes arrive at the bus station in Halle.


Transportation in Galle, as in all of Sri Lanka, is generally well established. Several types of public transport can be used to get around the city. The first means of transportation that tourists can use is the bus. Fare is affordable, and with their help you can visit almost all the attractions of the city.

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The second most popular means of transportation are tuk-tuks. Small size tuk-tuks that can accommodate 3-4 people. The fare is almost the same as on the public bus. They do not travel long distances, and their load capacity is relatively small.

For those who want to comfortably travel around the city, a great option is the cab. Fares are paid by the meter. This factor is worth controlling. Because tourists are always willing to make a profit.

Another popular option is renting a car. To rent a car you must have an international driver’s license and be of a certain age. The average price of a rental car is 1800 rubles per day of rental. In this case there is a limit on the mileage. If there is more than 100 kilometers driven during the rental period, one will have to pay extra. It is also possible to rent a car with a driver who knows the peculiarities of driving on local roads.

Where to stay

Galle is not suitable for beach holidays, so if you want to spend your vacation on the beach is worth finding a better place. Not far from the city there are other villages with clean beaches. But despite this, there are many hotels. It’s worth noting at once that the cost of accommodation in them is quite high. They are located inside the fort, and the cost is inflated by the historical center. On average the price for a room will cost 5,000 rubles and more. Budget options should be considered in nearby towns and villages. Among the popular hotels there are several major hotels:

  • Amari Galle – room rates start at 9,000 rubles per night. The hotel is located on the coast. Rooms are fully equipped with everything necessary for a comfortable stay. The hotel has its own pool, where you can swim or just enjoy the sun on a lounger.
  • Hotel Ginganga is popular among tourists because of its more affordable price. For a room for two you will need to pay about 6000 rubles. The hotel has a beautiful view of the garden. There is also a swimming pool and free internet access. All rooms are comfortable, which will allow you to fully relax after a walk through the city. There is a restaurant, which is also very good.
  • The Galle Fort Hotel is a boutique hotel, an ideal place for those who have an unlimited budget, as the price for a room here starts at 13000 rubles. The hotel offers 13 suites with great views from the window. There is a spacious pool for guests and a restaurant with a varied menu.
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The national cuisine of Sri Lanka is quite spicy and spicy. But it is definitely worth a taste, especially for tourists who have come here for the first time. It is also worth noting that the local cuisine is ideal for vegetarians, due to the variety of lean dishes. The main side dish is rice, which can often be served for free.

It is best to buy fruit at the market. Here, the price is lower, and there is an opportunity to bargain. Among the fruits the first place is given to coconuts. On average, its price does not exceed 20 rubles. Right on the market they will open it and even give you a straw. For less than a hundred rubles you can buy a whole kilogram of mini bananas.

Among the desserts, it is worth trying kavum – a sweet that is cooked in a deep fryer of rice dough. Hakuru, an equally popular treat, is made from rice dough and coconut shavings with sugar. Coconut is added to almost all sweets.

The choice of places to eat should be treated with extreme caution. It is better to choose cafes and restaurants at hotels, where the food is prepared under the right conditions. The most common dish that is offered here is rotti, its cost is on average 150 rubles per serving.


Sri Lanka is generally famous for its precious stones, fabrics and Ceylon tea. All these products would make a great souvenir to bring as a gift home to family and friends. You can buy all these products at any gift store or market. But there are some places where tourists should look to buy something for themselves from Halle.

    1. Sooriya Weaving – a store where you can buy the highest quality fabrics. Here you can not only buy, but also take an active part in the production of these materials.
    1. Chrysolite Gem & Jewellery – anyone who wants to please himself with precious stones and jewelry made of them, should look into this shop. There is a huge assortment of various products.
  • Those who want to buy spices and spices should go to the local market, there is a huge selection and the seller has an opportunity to knock down the price.
  • As for tea, it is better to buy it in special shops.
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The sights of Halle

The most important landmark of Galle is the fort. It is one of the five main attractions of Sri Lanka and is a UNESCO heritage site. This place is a must visit for every tourist.

The fort is considered to be the largest fort in all of Asia that was built by Europeans. The original fortress was built by the Portuguese back in 1588, but in the 17th century the Dutch completely rebuilt it. For 200 years this place was considered the main port of Sri Lanka. Today it is a whole tourist area, which attracts a huge number of tourists. Inside the fort there are other attractions of the city – the lighthouse, bell tower, museums, church. There are also many souvenir shops and a jewelry shop. Walking around the walls of the fort will leave a lasting impression. You can visit the fort at any time of the day or night and the entrance is free.

Another no less famous sight in the city is the Church of St. Mary, built in 1874 by the local Jesuit community. This shrine is located on a hill not far from the city center. It can be visited only during the daytime and the entrance is free for tourists.

Tourists should also visit the old market. The date of its foundation is depicted on the pediment – 1880. Here the local people offer their goods. Among the assortment are mostly fruits and vegetables. There are no souvenirs and gifts, but the market with its peculiar architecture allows to go back in time, when instead of the usual weights they used special weights. It is worth noting that trading places in this market are strictly handed down from generation to generation, new people are not allowed here.

Whoever has the desire can also visit the fishermen’s quay. It is located within the city. Here fishermen with huge nets drag their catch from the depths of the ocean and sell it to local residents.

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Coverage in Sri Lanka is very good, so you can constantly stay in touch with home. Each tourist can buy a local SIM card and use the services of cellular phones. You can also connect your operator’s roaming rates. There is an opportunity to use free wireless internet in hotels. You can also use landlines here.

Galle – a city that gives the opportunity to plunge into history and see how life in Sri Lanka was a few centuries ago. Despite the fact that the beaches here are not intended for recreation, you can spend your vacation on excellent and filled with great experiences for many years. Here come tourists of all ages from around the world. For a more budget vacation, it is worth settling in villages near Halle, and come here by public transport or rental car.

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