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Updated by Joanna James on Jan 08, 2020
Headline for Top things to do in Galle Fort – Reasons to visit the south coastal region of Sri Lanka
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top things to do in Galle Fort – Reasons to visit the south coastal region of Sri Lanka

The popular coastal town Galle has a vast number of highlights particularly endearing to the tourist. The most significant of all is Galle Fort: a structure exuding the colonial Sri Lankan charm.


A bit about its history

Portuguese claim the credit for the initiation of Galle Fort which happened in 1588, though it was the Dutch who added all the features to it, which people find so interesting now. The fort has been given the apt title UNESCO World Heritage Site on account of its charming architectural characteristics. Galle Fort has become a major Sri Lankan attraction, and the likes of Le Grand Galle are in the understanding of this, therefore finding a resort in Galle close to the fort is no hardship.


Galle Fort Lighthouse

You may not have much time, but one thing you must certainly do is to admire the unmistakable feature of the fort, which is the Galle Fort Lighthouse. The lighthouse you see today was built in 1939, but the original structure goes as far back as 1848. It stands so conspicuously on the walls of the fort serving its purpose which is to guide ships safely into the harbour. Its use hasn't become obsolete yet; however, it's assumed a secondary role which is to grace the vacation pictures of tourists.


The ramparts of Galle Fort

The ancient walls of the fort tell you many stories about its history. If you are to explore the fort to the fullest extent, you might want to start with admiring its outer walls. You can start your excursion from the famous Clock Tower and cover the Main Gate and take your curious mind into the interior of the walls. While admiring the sturdy work of the colonial era, you will spot locals playing cricket, and the carts brimming with street food are a delight as well.


The sunset

Sri Lanka is famous for delighting its visitors with glorious sunsets, and Galle Fort is one of the popular spots from which you can admire the evening sun. The dusk is a busy time around Galle Fort; locals and tourists flock together by the fort walls to watch the setting sun and the gleaming waters of the ocean.



Everybody loves a bit of shopping when they are in another country, this is a way of taking home bits and pieces of their lovely trip. So, if you are in the area pondering over shopping, Galle Fort is the place for you to be. Inside the place is packed with boutique stores, gem stores, art galleries, vendors selling spices and handicrafts, prices are fixed more often than not, but bargaining is in the cards.


Enjoy a heartfelt meal

The Fort is also ideal for those who want to taste a bit of the local cuisine. Eateries dotting the place offer delicious meals – both local and international delights – and it's just a matter of choosing the right place for you. Most restaurants couple views of the sea with the tastes of the local cuisine, and if you favour one of those with your custom, you are never to be disappointed.


A chat with the locals

Locals are friendly, and they love talking to foreigners. Some of the locals are very knowledgeable, and they have stories to tell. You might even get invited for a delicious meal or a cup of tea in the least.


Local markets

Many local markets crowd the space outside the fort. They all sell authentic Sri Lankan items, including spices, handicrafts and fruits. You'll be surprised at the price difference between the items sold inside the fort and at these markets; the prices are unbelievably low at the markets, and quality of goods reflect that of what's available at fancy boutique shops.