Destinations Magazine

11 Things to Do In Galle for Your Sri Lankan Holiday

By Nico @atravellersday

11 Things to do In Galle for Your Sri Lankan Holiday

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

11 Things to do In Galle for Your Sri Lankan Holiday

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.

11 Things to do In Galle for Your Sri Lankan Holiday

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.

11 Things to do In Galle for Your Sri Lankan Holiday

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.

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.

11 Things to do In Galle for Your Sri Lankan Holiday

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.

11 Things to do In Galle for Your Sri Lankan Holiday

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.

11 Things to do In Galle for Your Sri Lankan Holiday

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

11 Things to do In Galle for Your Sri Lankan Holiday

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).

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.

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.

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