Guide: Exploring Galle Fort in a Day Trip, Sri Lanka

Guide: Exploring Galle Fort in a Day Trip, Sri Lanka

Guide: Exploring Galle Fort in a Day Trip, Sri Lanka

In the 18th century, the Dutch build their headquarters, Galle Fort, on the Sri Lankan coast. Nowadays, the old beautiful buildings are transformed into trendy shops, cafes, and restaurants. Unesco named Galle Fort World Heritage, so the beauty of the building is being preserved. From shopping, exploring the history or the sunset at the fort’s wall. You could spend an entire day exploring Galle Fort.

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galle dutch fort sri lanka pin

You can only enter Galle Fort from the main gate side. From there, explore the shopping streets, churches, and the fort’s history. It takes about two hours to walk around the whole fort. To avoid busy streets, make sure to visit Galle Fort in the morning. Still, we like to recommend an afternoon walk so you aren’t going to miss the sunset.

Find all: Hotels in Galle Fort

galle dutch fort sri lanka map

Beautiful Shops at Galle Fort

Fall in love with all those incredible handicraft shops. If you would like to bring back a little souvenir for your parents then wait until you arrive in Galle Fort. It owns some of the most beautiful shops in Sri Lanka filled with design attributes and handicraft that you won’t find anywhere else.

The majority of the shops in Galle Fort is owned by foreigners so it is quite expensive compared to what you are used to in Sri Lanka. These are our favorite shops in Galle Fort.

  1. Barefoot – Corner of Church and Pedlar Street. A southern outpost of the stylish Colombo homeware shop.
  2. Orchid House -Near Dutch Hospital. Selling handicraft, sarongs, and gems.
  3. Stick No Bills – Printed designs on postcards or wallpapers
galle dutch fort sri lanka shopping

Visit some Impressive Monuments

Even if you’re not a cultural person, the buildings inside Galle Fort will be something refreshing. The fort is a big monument itself and there are museums and beautiful churches within the fort’s walls. The clock tower and Dutch church were one of our favorites. During your walk inside the fort its hard to miss these sights.

➳ Visit stunning beaches nearby Galle.
Read about: Things To Do in Unawatuna

Wandering around in some of the narrow streets of Galle Fort makes you forget that you are in Sri Lanka. It looks like you are in a European city instead. Visit at least one of these sights.

  1. De Groote Kerk (Church St)
  2. Old Dutch Hospital (Hospital Road)
  3. National Maritime Archaeology Museum (Queens St)
  4. All Saints church (Church St)
galle dutch fort sri lanka blue house

Galle Fort from the Top

The Fort’s wall is where locals and tourists come together and enjoy the beautiful view over the city and on the sea. Start at the white lighthouse on the southeastern part of the fort. The lighthouse is iconic to Galle Fort. From there, walk around along the seaside.

Walk to the northwest side of the Fort where you can see the Clock Tower. That side is the connection between Galle City and Galle Fort. It’s probably a 2km walk around the fort.

Find all: Hotels in Galle Fort

galle dutch fort sri lanka lighthouse

Sunset on the fort’s wall

Let’s take a moment to relax after this walking day in Galle Fort. Sunset is the time that locals gather and see the sun disappearing in the sea. It’s beautiful to see that so many different religions can have fun together in this country.

➳ Must read: Things To Do in Unawatuna

Restaurants in Galle Fort

And after this full day of walking, shopping and enjoying Galle Fort, it’s now time for the most important time of the day (if you ask us). Dinner time! Plenty of choice in the Fort!

  1. The Blockhouse
    Delicious and cheap Sri Lankan food, the best part is their roof terrace. TripAdvisor page.
  2. Lucky Fort Restaurant
    Go here for Sri Lankan food and probably the best food in Galle Fort. Oh and this one is cheap! TripAdvisor page.
  3. The original Rocket Burger
    Not into Asian food tonight? Go and grab a great burger at Rocket. These burgers were the best we had in Sri Lanka. TripAdvisor page.
  4. Chambers Restaurant
    The most expensive but also another type of food. Turkish or middle east food that is super tasty! TripAdvisor page.
galle dutch fort sri lanka restaurants

Best time to visit Galle Fort

The most rain in Galle falls between May and September. The absolute best month to be in Galle is in February.

Hotels Galle Fort

Galle Fort really owns some beautiful places to stay in for a few nights.

Find all: Hotels in Galle Fort

We got you a $15 discount at when you book through this link.

Blog comments (14)

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  • beautiful! This is really helpful.
    How do you edit your pictures?

  • We visited Galle Fort today, it really is a tourist trap but worth visiting.
    Anyways, we got into a scam today so I’m posting this in hope that other tourists might read it before their visit.
    At the gate near the museum an old man came to talk to us. He told us he was a fisherman and that he wants no money (because we were sceptical of course). Long story short, he took us to a spice shop near the old Dutch market. There we bought spices for nearly 8000 rupees. Later we realised that the saffron was take and of course we paid way too much because we were I fluenced by the sad story the ‘fisherman’ told us.
    Went back to get our money back but the owner refused to give it back.

    So please people just don’t trust anybody who seems nice as sad as it is…

    • Hi
      I am resident of galle fort and im really sorry for what has happen to you.also we have got many more complains about that person.happy to say we have informed our societies and warned him.
      If you wants to know anything or wants to buy anything from fort just go and visit a resident in fort and you will not be fooled.

  • Kirsti Lein

    Hello, I love your blog❤️ We’re in Sri Lanka and your blogposts has really helped me making the stay even more wonderful! Right now we’re staying in Galle and I’m looking for the great turquoise wall Stylo Tailors and textiles, can you please help me? I love that picture with the wall!??

  • buddhika erandi jayasinghe

    Impressive travel guide. Thank you so much!

  • The Common Wanderer

    Galle fort was so beautiful – we especially loved strolling around the streets taking in all the beautiful architecture. Oh, and watching that incredible sunset!

    Loving this guide and that illustrated map! Keep it up!

    Mark and Mim x

  • Skye Sherman

    What a cool place – can’t wait to visit someday! :) Love that you included a burger place haha…there definitely comes a time in every traveler’s journey that they just need some good old-fashioned comfort food!

    • saltinourhair

      Thank you! Was always love to eat some more ‘regular’ food to keep enjoying those delicious curries haha

  • I NEED to get to Sri Lanka soon and now Galle is just another reason! It looks absolutely gorgeous.

  • Ah… Sri Lanka… such a wonderful country! Due to lack of time we skipped Galle… definately have to get back there once :) Useful info, thanks!

    • saltinourhair

      There are to many beautiful places in Sri Lanka to visit. We need to get back as well to see the northern part of Sri Lanka. Have you been to Jaffna?

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