The Historic Fort and Town of Galle, Sri Lanka

 Fisherman selling his fish outside the walls of Galle Fort, Sri Lanka


The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle, on the south west coast of Sri Lanka, sure is a charming place to visit. The city within the fort is set up by low-rise buildings along cute narrow streets.


Arriving from Colombo by bus, we walked from the bus/train station to the fortified part of the city. Passing by a group of fishermen selling today’s catch on the beach, with their fishing boats as a charming backdrop.


Fishermen selling their fish outside the walls of Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

Fishermen selling their fish outside the walls of Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

Fishermen after fishing, outside the walls of Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

 (Fishermen near Galle, Sri Lanka)


The Portuguese populated Galle in the 1500s, constructing a rampart and bastions to defend the peninsula on the northern landside. After a bloody battle in 1640, the Dutch took control over Galle. The fortified area was largely extended, and as a considerably part is still intact, it is considered one of the best preserved Dutch forts in Asia.


The clock tower in Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

 (The clock tower in Galle Fort)



Galle seen from the Clock Tower

 (View from the clock tower of Galle Fort)


Galle Fort and the Clock Tower

Galle Fort viewed from the seaside


The atmosphere inside the city walls is nice and calm, with small shops and cafes along the paved streets. The water surround three sides of the old town, with a public beach on one of them, where many locals enjoy the cooling waves of the ocean, smiling and being happy.


The shopping and restaurant complex, Dutch hospital in Galle

 (The shopping and restaurant complex, Dutch Hospital)


TukTuks outside the Dutch hospital in Galle

Street in Galle

Square in Galle

Streets of Galle


Dutch church in Galle

(Galle Dutch Church) 


Anglican church in Galle

 (Galle Anglican church)


Buddhist temple in Galle

 (Buddhist Temple, Galle)


Vegetables being sold from a car, Galle

 {Car selling vegetables)


The beach along the east side of Galle Fort

 (The beach along the east side of Galle fort)


Galle lighthouse is towering 26.5 meters above the southeast corner of the fort, and can be seen from afar. Strolling from here along the rampart is a beautiful walk, especially at sunset. Wandering towards the sun, you end up at the opposite corner, where the sun sets directly in the sea horizon. Popular among locals and visitors alike.


Galle Lighthouse

 (Galle lighthouse)


The Promenade from Galle Lighthouse at Sunset

Popular spot to watch the sunset in Galle

 (Popular spot to watch the sunset)


Sunset in Galle

Sunset in Galle

Old and New in Galle

 (Old and new Galle)


Galle street by night

Galle Mosque by night

 (Galle Mosque by night)



 (Dutch Hospital by night)


One thing that continued to surprise me was the seemingly small anonymous cafes and restaurants, turning out to have huge backyards, beyond expectations. We even entered what seemed to be a clothing shop, ending up in a stylish bar.


A nice stylish bar hidden in the back of a clothing shop

 (A nice and stylish bar hidden in the back of a clothing shop)


Tuktuks lined up by the Galle Railway Station

 (Tuktuks lined up by Galle railway station)


Houses next to the Galle Railway Station

 (Houses next to Galle railway station)


The Galle Railway station

 (Galle Train Station)


So even though Galle has more than enough to offer from what is obvious, look a little bit further, and you are in for a real treat!


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It's a great photoessay of a special place, Travellinn, thanks for sharing these wonderful photos with us.


I generally just traveled through Galle, never stopping much except perhaps to look around for an hour or get something to eat.  The fort is very impressive, a massive structure of rock and coral.


The last time I visited Galle was just after the great tsunami of 2004.  The town was one of the most damaged by that tragedy as several massive waves washed through it.  Hundreds were killed or washed out to sea to beforever lost.


I was looking through my old photos and came across this one of my son with a snake charmer on the fortified walls of the city.  Brings back some great memories.




Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie


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How did you discover Galle ?

Did you read of its existence prior to your travels ?

Or merely stumble upon it and get the urge to explore further.

It appears to be untouched by tourism - or is it on the tourist itinerary ?

After all these invaders what language do they speak now ? 

Good collection of photos - gives a real taste of this town.

DrFumblefinger, then you should absolutely spend some time in Galle next time you visit Sri Lanka!


GarryRF, the plan was originally to go to Unawatuna (30 min away) staying there and doing a day trip to Galle. But after doing a little bit research online, we found out that Unawatuna would not fit us, and ended up doing the opposite. On our daytrip to Unawatuna we certainly got confirmed that staying in Galle was a much better option. See my thought about that on

I got the impression that most of the tourists stayed in Unawatuna (or other places) and came to Galle for a daytrip. Most of the locals we talked to, spoke fairly good English, so no problem to get around and be understood.