Galle Vacations

Galle is a historic seaside city on the southwest of Sri Lanka with a fort and wonderful collection of Dutch-colonial buildings that makes it a travelers' favorite stop. Galle Fort was built by the Dutch in 1663, and is surrounded on three sides by the ocean. Inside the fort, the town with an easy going vibe is full of classic government buildings, ... Read more
little boutique shops, pleasant cafes, and small hotels. There is a decent art scene here with a small community of studios and cafes owned by local and foreign artists, writers, photographers, designers and poets – many of the houses are owned by foreigners. Check out Serendipity Cafe for a good idea of what we mean. Galle makes a very relaxed and interesting stop on a trip around Sri Lanka and nearby are the popular beach towns of Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna.

Galle places to stay and top hotels

Galle things to do and experiences




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Galle reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
    History Buffs
  • 8.3
    Art & Design Lovers
  • 7.7
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 7.1
    Adventure Travelers
  • 6.4
    Family Travelers

Member Reviews(24)

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San Francisco, California, USA
Community Manager

Galle is the first place I'd go back to if I was visiting Sri Lanka again. It's a wonderful mix of a small town feeling with the coast. It's both elegant and local, and close to a lot of wonderful spots to explore.


The city is filled with Dutch-colonial buildings people come from faraway places to see. The air is filled with the sweet smell of spices and the salty winds give it a authentic recognition. Galle is filled with art that's rare, the streets are filled with people who are ambitious and hardworking, showcasing their efforts in one the best displays that please the eye immensely.
The classic architecture fuses with the tropical setting that's the envy of many man-made resorts and architects.
Galle is said to be a heavenly piece of art, tropical heaven and rich in history.

Recommended for:Budget TravelersFamily TravelersHistory BuffsAdventure Travelers

If you love old English towns or Dutch architecture then you will love Galle. The Galle Fort has a brilliant view of the sea and the streets are filled with people from all over the world. Lots of places to eat, drink, chill and meet new people everyday. This was one of my favourite places in Sri Lanka.
Make sure you shop for spices here. I made a pit stop twice for shopping and food.

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsFoodiesHistory BuffsAdventure Travelers
Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Galle is a coastal town in southwest of Sri Lanka. It's a popular destination for international travelers. Its fort is the most famous attraction here. Interestingly, the fort has a colourful history, and today has a multi-ethnic and multi-religious population. It's one of the only places that you can see mosque.

Recommended for:History BuffsArt & Design Lovers
Sydney, Australia

The city of Galle is Sri Lanka's 4th-largest, with a laid-back vibe and friendly people, though in honestly all most people will see of it is the delightful colonial Galle Fort, forming a compact and majestic peninsula on the south edge of town. And that's okay. Prices for food especially within the Fort are quite high by Sri Lankan standards, but the beautiful colonial architecture, walks on the ramparts, and time-warped atmosphere make it well worth it.

The fort might be a tourist trap, and prices for food especially border on the ludicrous (when an espresso costs the same as it does in New York City, it's easy to have to impression that you're being gouged), but it's also easily one of the most charming places in the country.

A sunset walk along the western ramparts, with the waves crashing beneath and the wind in your face, is all that's needed to explain the magic of this place, but there's also a slew of fine art galleries and tons of relentlessly picturesque old colonial houses, many of them beautifully restored. In short, it's an easy place to like, and even if you never venture out of the Fort into the 'real' Sri Lanka, you're sure to enjoy your stay.

Recommended for:Art & Design LoversHistory Buffs
Anchorage, Alaska, USA

A beautiful and laid-back Dutch colonial city on the southwest of Sri Lanka. There aren't really sites to check off here, just absorbing the vibe and walking along the fort walls each evening at sunset.

Recommended for:History Buffs
Miravet, Spain

No visitors trip to Sri Lanka is complete without at least a couple of nights at this coastal city in the south western tip of the island. It's essentially a city of two parts: the main metropolis where you'll find all the colourful street markets and the historical Galle Fort - the colonial footprint of 18th Century Dutch occupiers writ large - which is currently enjoying something of a cultural renaissance with boutique hotels popping up and in the process restoring many of the fort's fine old buildings. The main choice facing any visitor is where to stay and many are attracted by the excellent standards of the Amangalla, the more intimate and affordable Galle Fort Hotel and newcomer The Fort Printers - all within the fort's walls. I tend to favour a private villa away from the fort or the Kahanda Kana - about a 30 minute tuk tuk drive away from Galle - set in its own tea plantation. There's a noticeable European expat community dotted around the area, many of whom are passionate about the restoration of some of the more historically significant buildings. Plenty of day and half day trips to consider to temples and other landmarks around the area, but if there's one thing your time in Galle is best focused on, it's curling up with a good book and relaxing for a few days. A new (toll) highway between Colombo and Galle opened at the end of 2011, significantly reducing the journey time between the capital and the coast.

London, UK

Tiny place full of history and maritime trade history. Very picturesque and ideal for a few days of R&R.

Cape Town, South Africa

Great place to visit!

Recommended for:Family Travelers
Boursins, Switzerland

Love the way history jets out to the Sea.