Of all the picturesque vistas in Sri Lanka’s southern shores, there is little to rival the ethereal city of Galle. A destination entirely of a kind, Galle is a graceful sight with its shimmering crystal seas, stunning beaches and strange colonial aura. An attraction for all adventurers and intellectuals, this is a city of elegant architecture, intriguing street views and surprises around every bend. With a new adventure around every corner, there’s so much to do and see in the coolest places to see in Galle. The city itself is a stunning, colorful patchwork of beautiful Dutch constructions, museums and intricately designed structures dating back to colonial times. The streets here are dotted with any number of curious boutiques and classy establishments where you can find anything from spicy delicacies, opulent accessories to cute souvenirs.
One of the cThe perfect place for an evening stroll, the Galle Fort and its outer walls are indeed something to behold. Initially built by the Portuguese and fortified by the Dutch governors, the place is a magnet for travellers seeking some ever-new wonder. The beautiful site boasts great architecture along with a story of colonial greatness and prestigious beauty. An almost perfectly preserved historical creation, Fort is alive with energy and a vibrant artistic spirit. One of the liveliest places to see in Galle, the place is best viewed in the late afternoon when both locals and tourists come out to enjoy the cooler hours of the day. The Fort Main Gate is a more recent innovation introduced during the British rule in an attempt to ease the traffic flow within the city. The influence of the British governors is also seen in the coat of arms inscribed over the Fort’s Old Gate, another of the city’s top attractions.
Possibly the oldest light station to be built on the island, the Galle lighthouse was originally designed by the Portuguese to facilitate trade and defense on the southern coasts. This initial creation was almost destroyed with the outbreak of a fire, but since then the lighthouse has been beautifully restored and even declared as a world heritage site. A prized historical monument, the station was used by both Dutch and British governors during the colonial ages and is one of the more interesting places to see in Galle. During its early years, the lighthouse used a glass prism lens to light up the Galle seas and provide safe passage for trade ships and travelers. It is now being operated by the Sri Lankan Ports Authority mainly as a trending tourist attraction.
Another of Galle’s more intriguing attractions, the Dutch Reformed Church was first built in the early years of the seventeenth century. A stroll around this remarkably charming place can give you some insight into the Dutch colonial reign in Sri Lanka. You’ll also get away with more than a handful of curious historical facts on the building. The ancient bell tower here is an absorbing monument with a story dating back to centuries past. The floor of the church is allegedly paved with ancient tombstones straight from the city’s historical Dutch cemetery. Also, the old organ here is of 1760 vintage.
This scenic location is a popular recreational spot and also one of the prettiest places to see in Galle. Sitting snugly on the southern corner of Galle Fort, this location once enjoyed its glory days as a Portuguese bastion. It was primarily used during colonial times to warn incoming ships of dangerous rocks on the coast. Undoubtedly one of the city’s most surreal photogenic sights today, the Flag Rock attracts both travelers and locals looking for a good time. The place promises a great view and is the perfect spot to catch a romantic sunset, try spicy street snacks and even mingle with the super-friendly locals.
Try a whiff of the world’s most fragrant spices here at the bustling Dutch Market. An engaging site for a spot of light shopping, the market channels an enthusiastic colonial spirit with its ancient roofs and stacks of fresh produce and spices. The main streets around are also a good bet for finding anything you need at good rates.
Galle has a smattering of museums and art centers displaying a number of historically and culturally treasured artifacts. The Galle National Museum, being one of the most historically valued places to see in Galle, houses a variety of religious items, traditional masks and even rare opulent items imported in colonial times. Meanwhile Galle’s National Maritime Museum, though not very large, also contains a number of interesting relics and items. The Marine Archaeological Museum, lying close to Fort is more enthralling with its attention-grabbing displays and vast store of information on Galle’s maritime history.
Another fascinating attraction in the city is the Historical Mansion here. The building holds a rather extensive collection of odds and ends that once belonged to a family in Galle Fort. Some of the artifacts here are available for sale to willing buyers. If you’re a treasure hunter, keep your eyes peeled for the hidden colonial artifacts and pieces of rare jewelry.
Sri Lanka Travel Advices is your best bet for enjoying the sights of Galle just the way you want to. Our custom made experiences and access to the finest deals here can be just your ticket for making this holiday unforgettable. Got any places to see in Galle that you want to talk about? Let us know in the comments below!