List Headline Image
Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for How to Plan One Day in Galle Fort, Sri Lanka? Complete City Break Guide 
Joanna James Joanna James
6 items   1 followers   0 votes   1 views

How to Plan One Day in Galle Fort, Sri Lanka? Complete City Break Guide 

Considered one of Sri Lanka's most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Dutch Galle Fort is no ordinary landmark on the southern coastal belt. Having been used as a defence mechanism by the Portuguese, Dutch and English, the Galle Fort is now a city within a city that's home to some of the best cafes, galleries, shops and cultural highlights in the area. From timing the visit to including its lesser-known hotspots, here's how to play the perfect day tour of the Galle Fort.


Timing is Everything

Tourists who wish to explore the Galle Fort in a single day must make sure they are visiting the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site during the dry season. While the beauty of the Galle Fort and its many points of interest cannot be diminished by the rain or inclement weather conditions, first-time visitors will miss out on the breathtaking views available from its ramparts if they do not visit on a clear day. This is why the best time to schedule a trip to the Galle Fort is between December and March when sunny skies prevail over the southern capital and nearly every art gallery and quirky cafe is open for business.  Although the fort may be more crowded than it is during the off-season, the sun-kissed atmosphere is well worth the trade-off. Travellers can also time their tour to coincide with cultural events such as art biennales and literary festivals, which are frequently hosted inside the fort.


Find a Convenient Base

If you're looking to enjoy the beaches and water sports activities along the south coast, you may want to consider staying at the Araliya Beach Resort & Spa or any of the other Unawatuna hotels instead of the many villas and hotels inside the Galle Fort. While the fort hotels are located within fortress walls, they don't offer beach access or access to water-bound activities that are abundant in nearby beach towns.


Walk the Ramparts

The first order of business on your Galle Fort travel plans should be to walk the ramparts. While this may seem counter-intuitive, it is best to start your exploration journey from the outer rim of the fortress and work your way in. A morning head start will give vacationers a chance to enjoy captivating views from the fort's periphery and marvel at the angles of the watch towers and how sturdy the structure is even centuries after it was first constructed.


Hit the Historical Hubs

No tour of the Galle Fort would be complete without visiting the many heritage hotspots and cultural landmarks inside it. Zwarte Fort is one such bastion while the Dutch Reformed Church and the All Saints’ Church are two historic places of worship that date back to 1755 and the 13th century respectively. Don't forget to pop by the Maritime Archaeology Museum, which is housed in a 1671 building that showcases not only maritime exhibits but actual ancient watercraft.


Wine and Dine

The Tuna and the Crab and Poonie’s Kitchen are not the only places where one can grab a bite inside the Galle Fort as famous restaurants such as the Pedlar's Inn Cafe are also part of the landscape. Located in former colonial homes and offices, these charming cafes and restaurants serve up both Sri Lankan and continental favorites.


Explore the Galleries and Shops

The Galle Fort has also become a haven for artists, painters and sculptors to showcase their wares and there are plenty of small art galleries tucked into the nooks and crannies of the fortress. The Old Dutch Hospital is by far the best place to grab souvenirs and enjoy a shopping spree during a tour of the fort while other shopping venues to explore include LUV SL by Odel, Exotic Roots and Barefoot.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

  • Tagged With

  • Tools