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Updated by Joanna James on Oct 23, 2019
Headline for Exciting Things to Do in Galle - Top Activities to Enjoy in Galle
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Exciting Things to Do in Galle - Top Activities to Enjoy in Galle

As the capital of Sri Lanka's southern coastline, Galle is a historic city with plenty of attractions and activities for active visitors. Here are some of the best things to do on a holiday in Galle.

1

Explore the Galle Fort

The Galle Dutch Fort is not only the most well-known landmark in Sri Lanka's southern shoreline but a UNESCO World Heritage Site of truly mammoth proportions. As a city within a city, no holiday in Galle would be complete without walking the ancient ramparts of this iconic building and discovering the many historic highlights lining its interiors to this day. Dating back to 1588, the fort served as a key port in Asia for centuries when Sri Lanka was under Portuguese, Dutch and English rule. The many relics and remnants of those colonial eras are still visible today at venues such as the Old Dutch Hospital and the many centuries-old Catholic churches and mosques occupying its confines. Visitors based at Le Grand Galle or any other Galle hotel can book a tour of the fort through a local tour operator or via their accommodation provider.

2

Take a Trip Back in Time

As the most illustrious cultural institution down south, the National Museum of Galle is another highlight that warrants an in-depth exploration when vacationing in the southern capital. Located at the start of Church Street, the museum is housed in the oldest Dutch structure in the fort and contains a plethora of exhibits showcasing life in Galle through the annals of time. Local culture and customs as well as how these elements changed after foreign forces invaded the island are also delved into at the museum where a host of ancient relics are on display.

3

Catch a Glorious Sunset

When it comes to catching an unforgettable sunset during a sojourn in Galle, there's no location which offers a better view than the Galle Lighthouse. While the Galle Fort itself serves as a fantastic lookout point during sunset, those who make the journey to the small but charming Galle Lighthouse can marvel at this daily miracle from a truly unique vantage point. Those who are catching the sunset from the fortress will find that the Flagrock Bastion offers the finest viewpoint from the fort while the Galle Fort jumpers also showcase their talents around this area.

4

Shop Down Pedlar's Street

No trip to Galle would be complete without a shopping spree in Pedlar's Street where all of the city's best souvenir stores are found. Walking along these quirky storefronts that now occupy former residences within the fort is a true treat for the senses as the plethora of goods available at each venue is equally unique. Shoppers will find everything from Batiks and traditional garments and homeware to papercraft, Ayurvedic spa remedies and vintage posters while stationery made from elephant poo is also popular among eco-friendly shoppers. While it may not be within everyone's budget, the sheer number of jewellery stores and gem shops in this part of the fort is staggering. The island's signature blue sapphires and other precious and semi-precious stones are on sale.

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