On the south western tip of beautiful island Sri Lanka, you will be greeted by the amazing city of Galle, where your heart and soul will fall in love with endless beach extravagance, salty kisses and dramatic colonial architecture. A little bit of Europe in Indian ocean!
From my own experience, if you have touched down to Sri Lanka and never visited Galle city, you have missed out so much so that you have to make another trip to visit this glorious city.
I cannot really tell you if it’s the vast blue sea kissing the golden shores or if it’s the Dutch architecture that takes you back in time which mesmerizes me more… All I know is that the more I stroll through the streets of Galle fort, the more I am being caught up by its beautiful spell…
Going back in the history of Sri Lanka, after the fall of kingdoms, the country was then ruled by Portuguese, Dutch and English respectively just like their neighbouring nations of Asia. While the intruders have brought in immense problems to the nation, the influence and their contribution to Sri Lankan architecture cannot be ignored. The amazing Galle fort was built by Dutch in 16th century where Galle harbour was becoming strategically important for trade.
If you have travelled to the West of Sri Lanka with modern buildings or to the historical cities in Anurdapura or Polonnaruwa, this city will just take your travel experience to another level. The Galle fort is simply one of a kind creation, You will see a number of boutique shops selling quite unique clothing, cafes of all types and gorgeous boutique hotels and villas as you take a walk through the streets of Galle Fort. Its worth a walk trying out local food, yummy street food or just admiring the striking architecture which is a combination of European architecture and South Asian which couldn’t make it any better to grant this island such beauty and fascination.
Where to eat in Galle Fort!
Ok so let’s start with some yummy European style morning… I walked into this not so luxury looking but yet which had a relaxing atmosphere to chill out for a hearty breakfast. Staff are welcoming with the pleasant Sri Lankan smile on their face and the food is delicious too keeping up to their no 3 rating on Galle fort food in tripadvisor...
Since the name of the restaurant was Crepe-ology I couldn’t help myself ordering crepes! One with egg and avocado and the next was my favorite with banana and chocolate to fill the sweet gaps in my tummy…
The heritage café
If you don’t taste some authentic Sri Lankan lunch in Galle, the trip is just a waste… At the heritage café for the second time I tried the Sri Lankan rice and curry which is just out of this world. If you have tasted Sri Lankan food outside Galle, you will find that there is an obvious difference as the south Sri Lankan food is made with more coconut curry and favorable spices. Oh and not forgetting the king coconut that comes with a lovely decoration which is a real soother if you have walked in the hot sun.
Who doesn’t love ice cream when in Galle Fort?
If you are in Galle, you are sure to get more glimpse of the sunny side of Sri Lanka and ice cream is indeed a companion to help you with the heat and also keep you refreshed during your city tour. One place I would definitely not miss is pedlar’s inn Gelato which is part of the pedlars inn family, restaurants you cannot miss on the pedlars street itself! If you are coming out of another restaurant after a hot sri Lankan meal or if you have been walking in the summer breeze you will just love the ice cream at pedlars which comes in a variety of interesting flavours like hazelenut, pistachio, black cherry and many more.
Vast blue ocean of Galle
Right next to the well preserved UNESCO protected site of Galle Fort, you will be welcomed by the vast blue Indian ocean. During certain parts of the year, colour of the sea becomes so beautiful. During my recent visit in November sea was looking calmer with a bit of shades of light blue added to give a picturesque beauty.
The iconic light house dating back to 1848 stand tall right in between the beach and the Galle fort which you would miss while walking by..
Who says no yoga on the beach or in the middle of sea?? After seeing a slippery rock which was not too faraway from the shore, I was determined to allow the yogi in me to enjoy bit of yoga bliss… Here I am enjoying the salty wind and stillness as I pick one of my favorite poses.
If you want to get into the sea, I think the shallow ends are quite safe even though it seems to be rocky at certain points. During weekends the beach can get quite crowded with the locals so try to be decent with your attire if you are thinking of a sea bath… A refreshing sea bath followed by a hot Sri Lankan meal is just to mouthwatering to even think of!
Colonial architecture at its best beauty
The Dutch hospital
The refurbished Dutch hospital is the latest addition to glorious Galle Fort. On a beautiful evening walk inside this stunning piece of architecture and gift yourself with the most amazing view of the Indian ocean from the top floor. Enjoy the heavenly salty breeze and sip a Ceylon ice tea or a coffee at one of the cafes.
The whole building is filled with cute cafes, branded shopping stores and a number of shops to buy Sri Lankan handicrafts, spices so that you can find many items to take back home with you.
If you fancy sitting outside having a drink, the cannon bar is ideal for you.. Well if you wanna swing yourself while admiring the beauty, Dutch building caters that too!
Sri Lankan Hammock café & pub is a total different experience where you can eat some good food while swinging away in a hammock… isn’t that cool?
A minute by tuktuk is another cozy restaurant and more than the highly priced food it’s the view that I was totally in love with. They have got the best view of the gorgeous Indian ocean and you can taste a Sri Lankan sea food kottu, some devil sea food or even pad thai or burger on a cozy evening..
One thing you would notice while in Galle Fort is that food or any item you buy is quite highly priced compared to the rest of the island, sometime more than the price you would pay in the city of Colombo. It is no doubt as the Fort has become a star attraction where you would find tourists at any given time of the year!
Want to spend a night at Galle fort ?
Omg!!! If you are lucky enough to find a room and pay for it you are just going to love this experience. Let me tell you its just one of a kind so if you can make it, just go ahead..
If you want to stay at one of the most luxurious hotels and ready to throw in some extra dollars Amangalla is the best!
Imagine spending a night in a luxurious colonial suite on a four poster bed and waking up to the Galle fort sunshine on your face… Its like waking up to a little Europe touched up with Asian beauty!
You can find plenty of boutique hotels inside the Galle Fort… But make sure to book in advance as the rooms are selling like hot pan cakes over here!
In Galle fort if you get to visit an old house you will notice that each house comes with a garden in the middle of the house. Most of the boutique hotels have kept up to the same structure and tastefully furnished to give you the real feeling of colonial Galle..
The Fortaleza, Fort printers are my favorites out of the lot…
Make sure to add Galle Fort to your tick list when you plan your holiday in beautiful Sri Lanka and you can thank me later!!!!…
It’s a tiny island but will certainly fill you up with loads of different experiences you will be taking back home with you!