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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for What to See in and Around Galle Sri Lanka - The Perfect Day Trip Location
Joanna James Joanna James
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What to See in and Around Galle Sri Lanka - The Perfect Day Trip Location

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old Town of Galle and its fort can be found along the southern coast of Sri Lanka. A colonial stronghold for many years, the place is perfect for the sun worshiper and culture buff to explore, be it to enjoy sunny beach vibes or explore its rich history.


Check Out Flag Rock

Flag Rock is located on the southern end of the Galle Fort, and a popular spot to enjoy a sunset. The bastion was a Portuguese lookout point, from where approaching ships were warned of the imminent rocks, with the waving of a flag; hence, the name. Go there for some action during the day, for the rock is now popular amongst the few daredevil locals who have made a sport of diving off the point into the swirling sea beneath. The most nerve-wracking part of the whole action is watching them expertly evade the jagged rocks below, before cutting through the waves of the Indian Ocean. Since, Flag Rock is now a kind of impromptu spot for the local 'celebrities', there are sellers of food servicing the curious crowds that gather there, hence you can not only get that rush of adrenaline but also treat your taste-buds to some juicy pineapple slices, made the local way with lashings of salt and chilli powder.


Explore the Dutch Reformed Church

This vintage church also found inside the Old Dutch Fort and is located at the corner of Church Street. The original structure was constructed in 1640, although what stands today dates back 1752. The place is perfect to explore if you are into antiques and culture; the floor, in a rather eerie manner, is paved with gravestones from Old Dutch cemeteries, while other notable artefacts include the vintage pipe organ and rather imposing pulpit fashioned from Calamander wood and shaded by a hexagonal canopy. Look around for the caretaker, who will be more than happy to show you around the place.


Stop for Lunch at the Old Railway Café

If you are enjoying the cool beach vibes of Unawatuna hotels the likes of_ Cantaloupe Levels, then Galle is ideal for a day's visit, for the beaches of nearby Mirissa are unmatched even in the colonial city and well worth savouring. When you do head out to Galle on a day trip, make sure to stop for lunch at the Old Railway Café; there, "Boho vibes" abound, together with 'perfectly' mismatched furniture and an upstairs restaurant for views of the area. The café is open from 10 am to 6 pm and is popular for their pesto crusted chicken patties as well as, the good espresso coffee and juices on offer._emphasized text


Admire the Old Gate

The Old Gate is a beautiful part of the fort, harking back to colonial days. On the outer side of the gate, an impressive British coat of arms hangs with the letters VOC engraved inside. VOC stands for Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, meaning the Dutch East India Company. The date inscribed on the stone is 1669 and the inscription is flanked by two lions while a cockerel is placed on the top. Part of this wall which is very thick was once a storeroom for spices when the colonists made Sri Lanka, an important part of the spice trade.


Shop at 'Stick No Bills'

A lovely place to browse for some unique souvenirs of Sri Lanka; this classy boutique stocks-up on a range of reproduction postcards and posters of the island nation. Spanning through the decades these cover classic film posters as well, vintage posters of the local airline, advertising Sri Lanka and its tropical allures in a true laid-back and old-fashioned style.