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Updated by Diana Lewis on Sep 21, 2015
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Diana Lewis Diana Lewis
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Must See Locations nearby Galle - Top Attractions Near the Southern Capital

As one of Sri Lanka's most popular tourist hubs, Galle is near some of the southern coast's best attractions. From iconic forts to beaches the following are tourist highlights close to Galle.

1

The Historical Mansion Museum and the Olanda Warehouse

Tipped to be one's of the quirkier attractions in the vicinity of Galle, the Historical Mansion Museum is a unique museum and gift shop showcasing the South's colonial artefacts and relics. Home to a large number of colonial era items collected by its manager and owner Mr. Gaffar, this resplendent mansion takes visitors on a trip back in time to the area's days under British and Dutch rule. Across the street from the mansion lies an ancient Dutch structure known as the Olanda Warehouse where colonial home decor items and other antiques are showcased.

2

The Dutch Fort

Dating back over 300 years the old Dutch Fort may rightly be described as the single most important cultural landmark in the vicinity of Galle Town. Built by the colonizers to serve as a defence mechanism, the old fort still stands and has become one of the southern coastlines' most iconic attractions. Home to countless cafes and other lifestyle hubs the area is now a thriving cultural hotspot having hosted the Galle Literary Festival on more than one occasion. As one of the most popular things to do in Galle, no holiday in the area would be complete without a stopover at the Dutch Fort.

3

The Dutch Reformed Church

Often identified as the most ancient protestant church compound in the entire island, the Dutch Reformed Church is another must-visit highlight for vacationers exploring Galle and its nearby hotspots. Dating back to 1755, what remains of the church was constructed nearly 100 years prior to the date while the venue's simplistic but hauntingly captivating interiors contain gravestones of Dutch colonizers and other relics. An organ loft as well as a beautifully carved pulpit are all part of the complex as are wall tablets recalling the life and times of British colonizers.

4

Galle Cricket Ground

Often ranked among some of the world's most picturesquely situated cricket stadiums, the Galle Cricket Ground or the Galle International Stadium is an iconic sporting venue along the southern belt. Built in 1876 the ground can seat up to 18,000 fans and is the home base of the Galle Cricket Club. Visitors based at Cantaloupe Aqua will be within close range of the stadium and other attractions in and around Galle.

5

Unawatuna

Located within easy driving distance of Galle, Unwatuna is one of Sri Lanka's most pristine beach hubs with a white, powdery beach that is tipped to be one of the top 12 beaches in the globe. Spread out across 4km, the breathtaking stretch of beach attracts countless tourists annually who not only come to witness and experience Unawatuna's iconic beach but also enjoy the variety of water sports activities available in the area. Ideal for snorkelling activities, what lies beneath the water is just as spectacular as what lies above the surface in Unawatuna. Teeming with colourful fish species the underwater landscapes that border this crescent shaped beach are second to none. Renowned for its shallow, clear and calm waters, Unwatuna Beach is also perfect for swimming activities.

6

Rumassala

Located near Unawatuna, Rumassala is an ancient mountain intrinsically linked with local legends and folklore. Reputed to contain a plethora of plants with medicinal value and rare flora, the verdant mountainscape makes for an ideal hiking venue for nature lovers and indigenous herb and plant enthusiasts alike.