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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for List of Things to Do in Galle – Seaside Heritage City
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Joanna James Joanna James
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List of Things to Do in Galle – Seaside Heritage City

Galle is a beautiful old city; deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of colonial charm and taking centre stage is the treasured Old Dutch Fort. Here are some of the best experiences to savour.

1

Visiting the Old Dutch Fort is a must

The iconic attraction takes centre stage, as one of the city's most cherished relics, that to this day is well preserved. The Old Dutch Fort was built by the Portuguese in the 17th century; taken over by the Dutch it was reinforced and later enhanced by the British colonists. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the fort takes you back in time with well conserved cobblestone streets winding past vintage Dutch bungalows. Visit the ramparts and enjoy expansive views of the Indian Ocean while the wide open spaces are just right for relaxing and enjoying the golden sunshine. Easy to reach from your hotel in Galle, this is a must visit attraction.

2

Explore the Marine Museum

The National Maritime Museum is located within the Dutch Fort and is housed inside a Dutch warehouse that dates back to 1671. Partially destroyed by the 2004 Tsunami the museum re-opened in 2010. On display are fascinating exhibits of marine artefacts found during underwater explorations of wrecks off the south coast. Amongst these items are maritime maps, beer mugs, earthenware, ropes, artillery, guns, sailor's shoes, smoking pipes and many more. Guests at The Fortress Resort & Spa will find the fort easily accessible as it is just 27 minutes by car.

3

Head to a Turtle Hatchery

The south coast of Sri Lanka is a favoured nesting ground for at least five varieties of sea turtles. Hence, the area is home to a number of turtle sanctuaries that take the job of conserving these pre-historic creatures very seriously. At the turtle sanctuaries one can observe turtles in all stages of growth; although the eggs once gathered from the beach are hatched in safe environs and the babies released to sea once ready. If you are interested it is possible to take part in the night time release ventures that take place once the baby turtles are ready.

4

Visit the Rumassala Hill

Steeped in ancient legend the Rumassala Hill located in the sleepy village of Unawatuna, about 5kms from Galle, is believed to be a part of the Himalayan. Legend narrates the story of how Hanuman the monkey god, carried away part of the Himalayan mountain on which medicinal herbs grew. Sent to fetch a special herb to cure a wounded prince, the monkey god having forgotten the name of the herb carried away an entire portion of the mountain which he later threw away once the herb was taken. It is this part of the mountain that is known as Rumassala, and indeed a variety of medicinal herbs are known to grow there. You will love, not only exploring this hill but also exploring in Jungle Beach and chilling on the beautiful sands of Unawatuna.

5

Check out Meera Mosque

The biggest and most beautiful mosque inside the Galle Fort, the Meera Masjid is a beautiful structure to explore. The place is resplendent with stunning stained glass work and various hued tiles on the inside and although the shrine was only refurbished 120 years ago the site is believed to exist for over 300 years.

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