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Galle: 17 Best Things to do – 2024 Travel Guide – Sri Lanka

Step into the world of Galle, Sri Lanka, where history and beauty unite. Here, golden beaches meet amazing waves, and ancient stories echo through the air. Get ready to explore 17 amazing things to do and see. Whether you’re into history, nature, or just having fun, Galle has it all!


Galle, located in the southern part of Sri Lanka, is a charming coastal city known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful beaches. With its well-preserved Dutch fort, vibrant markets, and a range of cultural and natural attractions, Galle offers a diverse array of experiences for visitors. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical sites, enjoying water sports, or simply relaxing on the beach, Galle has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore the best things to do in Galle, highlighting the must-visit attractions and activities that make this city worth a visit. So, let’s dive in and discover the wonders of Galle, Sri Lanka.

Galle Fort Sri Lanka FootSteps Travel 10

Credit: @sankha_k


Travel Time

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Where is Galle in Sri Lanka

Galle is a city located in the southern part of Sri Lanka. It is the capital of the Galle District and is situated on the southwestern tip of the island. Galle is approximately 119 km south of Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. The city is known for its rich history, colonial architecture, and beautiful beaches. Galle is easily accessible by road and is a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka.

Unawatuna Beach Galle Sri Lanka FootSteps Travel

Credit: @lindaajansen

How to Visit Galle

Exploring Galle is both accessible and flexible, catering to your preferences and location. Whether you opt for public transportation like buses or trains, or prefer the convenience of your own vehicle or a rented car, the journey promises ease and comfort.

From Colombo to Galle

Through Galle Road

Galle is located approximately 119 kilometers south of Colombo. The journey by road takes around 2-3 hours, depending on the traffic.

By Car/ By Bus - Through Southern Expressway (Recommended)

The Southern Expressway is a convenient and faster way to reach Galle from Colombo. The journey takes around 1.5-2 hours.

By Tuk Tuk / Bike / Car / Bus - Through Galle Road

Galle is located approximately 119 kilometers south of Colombo. The journey by road takes around 4 – 5 hours by regular bus, and through AC bus it will take around 2 – 3 hours depending on the traffic. You can also hire a private vehicle or hail a taxi (Uber / Pick Me) to Galle from Colombo.

By Train

Galle boasts a well-connected railway station, with frequent train services operating from Colombo and various key cities across Sri Lanka. Embarking on a train journey presents an opportunity to relish picturesque vistas of the coastal side, with the travel time from Colombo averaging around 2 to 3 hours.

Renting a personal tuk-tuk in Sri Lanka is an indescribable feeling Galle Sri Lanka FootSteps Travel

Credit: @juliandoleg

The best time of year to visit Galle in Sri Lanka

The best time to visit Galle Sri Lanka is between December and April. During these months, the weather is dry and sunny, making it ideal for exploring the city and its attractions. The monsoon season in Galle occurs from May to September, bringing heavy rainfall and strong winds. It is advisable to avoid visiting during this time as it can hinder outdoor activities and sightseeing.

If you are planning to visit Galle Sri Lanka, it is recommended to check the weather forecast beforehand and pack accordingly. It is also advisable to book accommodations and activities in advance, as the city can get crowded during the peak tourist season.

Make sure to include these top 17 attractions and activities in Galle, Sri Lanka, on your must-visit list!

Galle Dutch Fort

Galle Fort Wall

Galle Fort Light House

Shop at Galle Fort

Flag Rock Galle Fort

Maritime Museum Galle Fort

Japanese Peace Pagoda Rumassala

Jungle Beach

Unawatuna Beach

Dalawella Beach

Natural Pool Thalpe

Sea Turtle Farm & Hatchery koggala

Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum

Kabalana beach

Turtle Beach - Hikkaduwa

Hiyare Reservoir

Kottawa Reserve Forest

01. Galle Dutch Fort

Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stands as a testament to the island's rich history. Built by the Portuguese in the 16th century, this fortress is a blend of European and Asian architecture. Roam through cobbled streets, visit charming cafes, and soak in the colonial atmosphere while exploring this cultural gem.

02. Galle Fort Wall - Walking Path

The Galle Fort Wall is a remarkable part of Galle's history. These sturdy walls were built by the Dutch to protect the fort from invaders. Walking along the wall, you'll get breathtaking views of the ocean and the town. It's a peaceful place to take a leisurely stroll and imagine the past.

03. Galle Fort Light House - Utrecht Bastion

The Galle Lighthouse stands tall and proud by the sea. It's an iconic landmark in Galle. The lighthouse not only serves as a guide for ships but also offers stunning panoramic views of the coastline. Watching the sunset from here is a magical experience you won't forget.

04. Beautiful Shops at Galle Fort

Learn about the history and production of tea in Sri Lanka by visiting the Ceylon Tea Museum. Explore the exhibits, watch demonstrations, and even enjoy a cup of freshly brewed tea.

05. Flag Rock Sunset at Galle Fort

Flag Rock is a spot on the Galle Fort wall that offers breathtaking views of the ocean. It's a popular place for photos, especially during sunset. The crashing waves against the rocks create a dramatic backdrop, making it a favorite among photographers and visitors alike.

06. Maritime Museum at Galle Fort

Galle's Maritime Museum is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. It provides insight into the region's maritime heritage, showcasing artifacts, ship models, and navigational equipment. It's a fascinating place to learn about Sri Lanka's relationship with the sea over the centuries.

07. Japanese Peace Pagoda

The Japanese Peace Pagoda is a serene and symbolic structure promoting global harmony. This stupa, built by Japanese Buddhists, stands as a reminder of the importance of peace. With its elegant design and white exterior, it offers a peaceful escape for reflection and contemplation.

08. Jungle Beach

Jungle Beach is a secluded spot near Galle Fort. As the name suggests, it's surrounded by lush greenery. The calm waters and the peaceful surroundings make it a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle. It's a great place to relax and unwind.

09. Unawatuna Beach

Unawatuna is a picturesque beach town near Galle. The beach here is a real gem with its golden sand and clear blue waters. It's a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and trying out some water sports. You'll also find cozy beachside restaurants serving delicious seafood. Unawatuna's relaxed vibe makes it perfect for a laid-back vacation.

10. Dalawella Beach

Dalawella Beach is a hidden paradise near Unawatuna. It's known for its serene atmosphere and swaying palm trees. The unique feature here is a palm tree rope swing that's become an Instagram favorite. Swing out over the turquoise waters for a thrilling experience and incredible photos.

11. Thalpe Beach Natural Pool

This tranquil pool provides a safe and unique swimming experience, making Thalpe Beach a haven for both relaxation and exploration. Whether you're basking in the sun, taking a dip in the natural pool, or simply enjoying the serene surroundings, Thalpe Beach promises a rejuvenating escape.

12. Sea Turtle Farm & Hatchery koggala

The Sea Turtle Farm & Hatchery in Koggala is a sanctuary dedicated to the protection and conservation of these magnificent marine creatures. Nestled by the ocean, this hatchery plays a crucial role in ensuring the survival of various sea turtle species. Here, visitors can witness the incredible process of turtle egg incubation, the hatching of adorable hatchlings, and even participate in releasing them into the sea.

13. Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum

The Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum is a captivating cultural treasure trove. Named after the renowned Sri Lankan author, Martin Wickramasinghe, this museum immerses visitors in the island's rich heritage. With a diverse collection of artifacts, traditional crafts, and exhibits showcasing rural life, the museum offers a journey through time. Exploring the museum is a chance to delve into the traditions, customs, and stories that have shaped Sri Lanka's identity.

14. Kabalana Beach Surfing

Kabalana Beach is a hidden gem for beach enthusiasts. Its pristine shoreline and rolling waves make it a surfer's paradise. This secluded beach offers a serene atmosphere, inviting visitors to unwind while watching surfers ride the waves.

15. Hikkaduwa Turtle Hatchery, Snorkeling and Diving

Hikkaduwa is another fantastic beach destination in Sri Lanka. The beach is famous for its vibrant coral reefs and marine life. Snorkeling and diving are popular activities here. In addition to the beach, Hikkaduwa has a lively nightlife scene with beach parties and bars. Don't miss the chance to explore the colorful underwater world here!

16. Hiyare Reservoir

Nestled amidst nature's beauty, Hiyare Reservoir is a serene water body that captivates with its tranquility. This reservoir, surrounded by lush greenery, offers a peaceful retreat for both locals and visitors. Whether you're keen on birdwatching or simply seeking a peaceful stroll by the water, Hiyare Reservoir provides a scenic backdrop to connect with nature's serenity.

17. Kottawa Reserve Forest

Kottawa Reserve Forest is a natural sanctuary brimming with biodiversity. This forested haven is a home to various flora and fauna, creating an immersive experience for nature enthusiasts. A visit to Kottawa Reserve Forest offers the chance to embark on nature trails, witness vibrant birdlife, and appreciate the harmony of a preserved ecosystem.

Galle and its enchanting surroundings invite you on an unforgettable journey. From historic forts to serene beaches, cultural wonders to natural beauties, this diverse landscape is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.

All other nearby places

  • Galle International Cricket Stadium – 0.22 km
  • National Museum Galle – 0.75 km
  • Clock Tower – 0.8 km
  • Dutch Reformed Church – 0.85 km
  • Historical Mansion Museum – 1.0 km
  • Meeran Mosque – 1.4 km
  • Sri Lanka Navy Whale Watching – 1.7 km
  • Dewata Beach – 2.8 km
  • Beach of Bonavista – 3.1 km
  • Dutch watering point – 5.6 km
  • Rumassala South Beach – 5.9 km
  • Sri Lanka Glory Shipwreck – 5.9 km
  • Unawatuna Observation Point – 6.0 km
  • Banana Beach – 6.2 km
  • Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya – 6.8 km
  • Lord Nelson Shipwreck (Godagala) – 7.4 km
  • Mihiripenna Beach – 8.8 km
  • Heenwella beach – 10.8 km
  • Habaraduwa Turtle Hatchery – 12.4 km
  • Koggala Beach – 13.2 km
  • 5 Ways View Point Koggala – 13.7 km
  • Stilt Fisherman – 15.4 km
  • Madol Duwa Boat Ride – 16.3 km
  • Marshmallow surf point – 19.0 km
  • Handunugoda Tea Estate – 20.2 km
  • Handunugoda Tea Estate – 20.4 km
  • Ahangama Beach – 20.7 km
  • Hakgedi Ella Fall – 26.1 km
  • View Point Mahamodara – 2.2 km
  • Gintota Beach – 3.0 km
  • Dadalla beach – 4.2 km
  • Boossa Beach – 7.6 km
  • Rillamba Surf Point & Beach Park – 9.3 km
  • Dodanduwa Cliff – 13.1 km
  • Ratgama Lake Kayak – 13.2 km
  • Narigama Beach – 16.0 km
  • Hikkaduwa coral reef – 18 km
  • Hikkaduwa Lake Boart Ride – 20.3 km
  • Seenigama Muhudu Dewalaya – 20.8 km
  • Peraliya Tsunami Memorial Statue – 21.9 km
  • Earl of Shaftesbury Ship Wreck – 24.9 km
  • Akurala Beach 25.9 km
  • SS Conch Ship Wreak – 26.2 km
  • Urawatte Sea Turtle Hatchery 30.3 km
  • Ariyapala Masks Museum – 31.9 km
  • Migettuwaththa Beach – 36.7 km
  • Balapitiya Beach – 38.4 km
  • Cinnamon Island – 40.6 km
  • Ahungalla Sea Turtles Conservation Project – 39.5 km
  • Andahelena Ella / Elpitiya Waterfall – 37.8 km
  • Malamura waterfall – 39.2 km
  • Kanneliya Rain Forest – 42.5 km
  • Kalu Wala Natural Pool 46.5 km
  • Olu Dola Hulandawa, Akuressa – 51.8 km
  • Aangiriya waterfall – 54.6 km
  • Thannahena Ella – 55.1 km
  • Atha Mala Ella – 56.4 km
  • Kosgahadola Falls 57.1 km
  • Biso Ella Waterfall 64.0 km
  • Neluwa Doowili Ella Falls – 66.8 km
  • Thambalagama Dooli Waterfall – 67.0 km
  • Lankagama Sinharaja Forest – 73.3 km
  • Sinharaja Forest Reserve – 73.4 km
  • Kekuna Ella Falls – Lankagama – 77.4 km
  • Seven storey waterfall – 85.7 km
  • Gongala Mountain 104.0 km

How is the weather in Galle?

Galle, located in southern Sri Lanka, experiences a tropical climate throughout the year. The weather in Galle is influenced by two monsoon seasons, resulting in distinct wet and dry periods. The best time to visit Galle is between December and April when the weather is dry and sunny.

During the dry season, which occurs from December to March, Galle experiences warm temperatures ranging from 28°C (82°F) to 32°C (90°F). The skies are clear, and rainfall is minimal, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities and exploring the city.

The monsoon season in Galle starts in May and lasts until September. During this period, the city receives heavy rainfall, especially in June and July. The temperatures during the monsoon season range from 25°C (77°F) to 30°C (86°F), and the humidity levels are high. It is advisable to carry an umbrella or raincoat if visiting Galle during this time.

In October and November, Galle experiences an inter-monsoon period characterized by intermittent rainfall and slightly cooler temperatures. The average temperature during this time ranges from 24°C (75°F) to 28°C (82°F).

Overall, Galle enjoys a warm and tropical climate throughout the year, with the dry season being the most popular time for tourists to visit. It is recommended to check the weather forecast before planning your trip to Galle to ensure a pleasant and comfortable stay.

Is it safe to travel in Galle?

Galle is generally considered a safe destination for travelers. The city has a low crime rate, and tourists are unlikely to encounter any major safety issues. However, it is always important to take basic precautions while traveling, such as keeping an eye on your belongings, avoiding isolated areas at night, and being cautious of your surroundings. It is also advisable to follow any local guidelines or advisories provided by authorities. Overall, with common-sense precautions, Galle is a safe place to visit and explore.

Travel Tips in Galle

  • When traveling around Galle, it is advisable to avoid using common tuk-tuks as they tend to overcharge tourists. Instead, opt for the PickMe app, a popular ride-hailing service in Sri Lanka, to ensure fair prices and a reliable mode of transportation.

  • If you plan to visit Galle Fort, it is recommended to book a PickMe ride outside the fort area. This will help you avoid the heavy traffic and congestion within the fort, especially during peak tourist hours.

  • Another convenient and affordable option for getting around Galle is by using public buses. The bus network in Sri Lanka is extensive and can take you to various destinations within and around Galle.

  • The train is also a popular mode of transportation in Sri Lanka. If you prefer a scenic journey, consider taking the train from Colombo to Galle. The train ride offers breathtaking views of the coastline and lush green landscapes.

  • When it comes to dining, it is advisable to avoid eating at food stalls or restaurants near Galle Bus Stand. These places may not maintain the best hygiene standards. Instead, explore the various restaurants and cafes within Galle Fort or other recommended areas for a safer and more enjoyable dining experience.


Galle Fort, Unawatuna Beach, Dutch Reformed Church, Maritime Museum.

Galle is known for its historic Galle Fort, stunning beaches, and Dutch colonial architecture.

The old name of Galle was “Gimhathiththa” in Sinhala.

The old name of Galle was “Gimhathiththa” in Sinhala.

Both offer unique experiences. Kandy for cultural richness, Galle for coastal charm.

December to April, during the dry season.

Mirissa Beach is often considered the top beach in Sri Lanka.

Galle offers more historical and cultural attractions, while Bentota is known for its water sports and relaxed beach vibe.

Barbados is a luxury island near Sri Lanka.

Yes, you can swim at various beaches near Galle, such as Unawatuna Beach.

Pedlar Street and Leyn Baan Street are popular streets in Galle Fort.

To explore a UNESCO World Heritage site, enjoy beautiful beaches, and experience colonial history.

Galle offers a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that’s captivating and unique.

2-3 days is ideal to explore Galle and its attractions thoroughly.

Madu River Mangrove Trees Tunnel Galle Sri Lanka FootSteps Travel

Credit: @noorabinfahad


Galle Sri Lanka Details

Country Sri Lanka
Province Southern province
District Galle
Road details By Tuk Tuk / Bike / Car / Bus - Through Galle Road Athurrugiriya through Southern Expressway (By Bus/ By Car)
Elevation 0m
Temperature °C 25° - 30°

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17 Best Things to Do in Galle Sri Lanka 2024 |