Surrounded by the thick stonewalls of an ancient fort and jutting out into the Indian is the old town of Galle. With cobbled streets and colonial whitewashed houses, the old town of Galle is one of the highlights of Sri Lanka. It’s an enchanting place with a relaxed atmosphere. I fell in love and found lots of things to do in Galle.
To help you make the most of your time in the city I want to share my list of the eight best things to do in Galle. Make sure to read all the way through, because I’m going to include three of the best things to do on a day trip. Let’s get started.
8 Best Things to Do In Galle
1. Enjoy an Ice Cream at Pedlar’s Inn Gelato
I visited Pedlar’s Inn Gelato every day I was in Galle and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. The store is on Pedlar Street, one of the main shopping streets in town. As the name suggests, they serve Italian style ice cream. My favorite flavor was Frutti di Bosco or ‘fruits of the forest.’ It’s the perfect snack to take on a walk through town.
2. Just take a Stroll
One of my favorite things to do in Galle was take an evening stroll around the town. The town is laid out in a New York style grid with roads running at right angles to each other. Every other building is a restaurant, hotel or a shop. It’s the perfect place to explore on foot.
3. Do Some Window Shopping (and Shopping!)
Galle has a lot of potential for window-shopping, but there are only a few good stores (most sell an assortment of bric a brac that you can find in the market for a third of the price). Some of Firsta’s favorite stores included Barefoot, Spa Ceylon and Luv Sl Odel.
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The Old town of Galle and its Fortifications are one of several UNESCO sites in Sri Lanka. It's a great place to stroll around. I really hope the old town of Jakarta will have something like this in the very near future (cc. @indtravel). A lot of souvenir shops, heritage hotels, nice restaurants and plenty of public areas to sit and enjoy the day. The area is clean and people seem to love it ❤️ I will do a lot of Instagram stories, snaps and maybe some LIVE feeds today from the Old Town of Galle. Stay tuned 😊 #SriLanka #Galle #Fort #srilankatourism #Travel #Travelling #GirlsWhoTravel #TravelGram #DarlingEscapes #LoveToTravel #TravelDiary #ViewFromTheTop #SimplyAdventure #ABMTravelbug #WeAreTravelGirls #DameTraveler #FlashesofDelight #OpenMyWorld #WheretoFindMe #MyTinyAtlas #BeautifulDestinations
4. Take a Photo by the Lighthouse
I think the old lighthouse in Galle is one of the most Instagrammed spots in town. You can take a nice holiday photo on the ramparts facing the lighthouse or from the base of the lighthouse in the early morning. Lots of families like to relax on the ramparts around here in the evening.
5. Eat at Lucky Fort Restaurant
There are a lot of nice restaurants around Galle offering dishes from all over the world. You can find tasty burgers at Rocket Burger, great fish (with Lebanese Sauce) at Pedlars Inn, but my favorite (and probably the busiest and cheapest place we visited) was Lucky Fort Restaurant. There is also Indian Hut that always busy with locals, it’s a hundred meters or so up the road from the lighthouse.
6. Visit the Maritime Museum
Museums in Sri Lanka are really great. The exhibitions are interesting and well laid out and they have a thing for creating scale models, which are fun to look at. The Maritime Museum is no exception. I’d recommend visiting. The entrance ticket is USD 5 per person.
7. Watch a Cricket Match from the Ramparts
Cricket is the national sport in Sri Lanka and people are passionate about the sport (every town I visited seemed to have a new cricket stadium with very green grass). If you have a chance to watch a game you should. The Galle Cricket ground is just outside the ramparts of the old fort. Ok. I never actually did this, but I’m pretty certain it’s possible to watch a game from the ramparts.
8. Check out the Old Churches
There are several old churches around Galle dating back to the Dutch colonial era. My favorite was All Saint’s Church. There’s a green just in front of the church that’s a popular place for wedding photographs. I saw five couples taking pre-wedding photos there on one day (it was very funny to see the different props; rose petals, balloons and the rest).
Best Things to Do Around Galle
1. Relax at Unawatuna Beach
Unawatuna Beach is a 15-minute drive outside of Galle. It’s a busy, but beautiful beach and a great place to relax and unwind during the day. The sun loungers here are free as long as you buy food or drinks from the restaurant. You can get there by bus (20 Rupees) or tuk-tuk (around 200 Rupees).
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Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it. 💕 I have a little give away and I need one winner. Check out my Instagram stories to see the small package you can win. List in the comments 5 places (can be a city, state, or tourist attraction) in Sri Lanka that I have visited. You can check out my previous posts 😉 The quickest correct answer is the winner. 😘 Ready? Go! Btw, photo is at Dalawella Beach. I love this swing. It is right in front of Dream Cabana. #SriLanka #Beach #BeachSwing #srilankatourism #Dalawella #WorldCaptures #BeautifulDestinations #PassionPassport #WorldPlaces #TravelStoke #TravelAwesome #DarlingWeekend #BBCTravel #GuardianTravelSnaps #ABMTravelBug #AweSupply #ForbesTravelGuide #MeetTheWorld
2. Try the Coconut Rope Swing
Ok. The beach is rubbish here (you can’t swim), but the rope swing is awesome. I spent a good 15 minutes playing on it swinging over the ocean. It’s a real adrenalin rush (if you’re brave enough you can actually start your swing from the back of the coconut tree). The swing is easy to find. It’s just in between of EKA B&B and Dalawella Beach Resort, in Dalawella Beach.
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A great day to….. have a conversation with some fishermen who are actually not fishing! 🤣 Had an interesting chat with them and they are really lovely. It is not the season for stilt fishing in Sri Lanka. The fishermen are currently fishing for tourists 🎣 They are quite successful. When I said that I come from Indonesia, they asked: "your country has many problem, no? A lot of tsunami, earthquakes, and tornadoes." Hahaha. I think I got a great start to 2017! 💕✨ #SriLanka #Koggala #Beach #Fishing #Travel #Travelling #GirlsWhoTravel #TravelGram #DarlingEscapes #LoveToTravel #TravelDiary #ViewFromTheTop #SimplyAdventure #ABMTravelbug #WeAreTravelGirls #DameTraveler #FlashesofDelight #OpenMyWorld #WheretoFindMe #MyTinyAtlas #BeautifulDestinations
3. Take a Photo with the Stilt Fishermen
The stilt fishermen are iconic. Of course I wanted to see some locals fishing. I spent a few hours trying and failing to find fishermen before I came across these guys. They are models who fish for tourists and charge 1,500 Rupees a photo. It’s a bit expensive, but… I learned they only fish 6 months of the year, so it makes sense that they charge tourists for photos if there are no fish to catch :p You can find these stilt fishermen in Koggala Beach, or here on Google Maps.