Galle holiday highlights

Galle is a history lover’s paradise, and home to one of Sri Lanka’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Dutch Fort. Not only is this south Asia’s best reserved sea fort, but it is also home to churches, mosques, temples and some beautiful examples of colonial architecture. Within this selection you’ll find some true gems including the Dutch Reformed Church, completed in 1754 and but by a Dutch army officer and the British-built Galle Lighthouse, set on the eastern end of the fort. Needless to say, a walk along the walls offers some spectacular views of the ocean and is a must-do! Shopping in Galle is best done in Old Town, where you can find jewellery studded with Sri Lankan gems, textiles, spices, antiques and local handicrafts including wooden masks, batiks, saris and sarongs.

Just outside of Galle you will find Unawatuna and Koggala. Unawatuna is a charming seaside village steeped in mythical legend.

Galle key facts

Time difference

GMT +6 hours


Sri Lankan rupee

Flying time to destination

10¾ hours


Sinhalese. Tamil and English are also widely spoken, and newspapers are printed in all three languages.

Galle good to know


Dialling code
+94 91

Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity.


Typically a 10% service charge is included in the bill, even in markets. If not, tip 10-15%.


Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity.

Shopping in Galle

In Galle’s Old Town you can buy jewellery studded with Sri Lankan gems, vibrant textiles, spices and antiques – as well as local handicrafts such as wood-carved masks, batiks, hand-loomed saris and sarongs. Markets sell fruit, vegetables and flowers.

Food & drink

•   Within Galle Fort you’ll find tea shops; cafés serving cake, milkshakes and coffee; and rooftop restaurants offering delicious curries.
•   Venture into the New Town and feast on ‘short eats’ (small, picky dishes) and curries followed by cake and refreshing ice cream.

•   Don’t drink the tap water. Most hotels offer boiled and bottled water, so stick to that instead.