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Updated by Joanna James on Apr 27, 2020
Headline for Things to do in Galle Fort- A beguiling glimpse into antiquity
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to do in Galle Fort- A beguiling glimpse into antiquity

This UNESCO-listed Heritage town is a picture-perfect potpourri of the old and new, from the gracious and sometimes imposing architecture reminiscent of its rich history, to eclectic and artsy boutiques and avant-garde villas. Here are some guidelines to enjoy one of the world's most epochal settlements.

1

Explore the picture-perfect cobbled streets

Wake up in a storybook fortressed town to the whisper of the ocean, and venture out to cobble-stones and colonial buildings with the decided flavour of classical European architecture mingling with tropical palm trees and the vividly rustic colours exclusive to Sri Lanka, from its contemporary artisan boutiques to the rainbow-hues of its marketplaces. Some of the foremost enticements include admiring the Dutch-style architecture of Maritime Archaeology Museum, watch a lively game of cricket from the Galle Fort clock tower overlooking the verdant International Cricket Ground, and cycle around the picturesque maze of streets. More often than not, you can expect to be invited into one of the Colonial-style houses for a hospitable cup of tea, or engage in the delightful pastime of café-hopping. Pedlar's Inn Café and Poonie's Kitchen are famed gastronomic hotspots, along with other charming eateries, such as A Minute by Tuk Tuk, located at the Old Dutch Hospital.

2

Visit the iconic Lighthouse

If you're on the look-out for boutique hotels in Galle Fort, nestled within the austere beauty of pre-Revolutionary architecture and hosting sophisticated yet home-like amenities for a holistic lifestyle, choose one such as Fifty Lighthouse Street. The pristine white lighthouse is great for a romantic picture with a vintage feel, seeming to portal visitors back to the nineteenth century when it was a beacon of hope to ships entering the once-bustling port. Even though Galle is no longer a key trading hub, the idyllic lighthouse is still in use, affording a breath-taking view of the serene blue-green harbour.

3

Take a sunset walk on the ramparts

It's easy to imagine that you're in a fortified castle looking out on endless ocean splendour on one side and gazing down at the Technicolor buildings and timeless monuments framed with grassy knolls and palm fronds. Let your fancy fly free as you roam the ramparts, from the elegant lighthouse to the majestic clock tower, and end the evening watching the sun go down in a blaze of captivating colours from one of the bastions, such as Flag Rock, joined by locals and tourists alike to create a beautiful sense of community.

4

Shop for souvenirs, spices and stones

Galle is a little world of its own, seeming to be stuck in the past but full of creative vibrancy. While the buildings may be a gorgeous study of Colonial Europe, the sleek shops inside them are full of bold brightness with a decidedly Eastern vibe. Some of the quirky and artistic boutiques that you need to visit include designer handicraft stores such as Exotic Roots and Stick No Bills, exclusive fashion brands such as Mimi Mango, while Orchid House is the go-to place for gems.

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