Galle Overview


  • Country: Sri Lanka
  • Location: Southern Province
  • Mean Sea Level: Approximately 12 meters (39 feet) above sea level
  • Type of Activity: Historical exploration, shopping
  • Area: Galle city covers around 16 square kilometers
  • Coordinates: 6.0328° N latitude, 80.2170° E longitude

Galle is a historic city on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka, famous for the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort, built by the Portuguese and later fortified by the Dutch, is a well-preserved example of European architecture blended with South Asian traditions. The cobblestone streets, charming cafes, and boutique shops make it a delightful place to explore. The Galle Lighthouse and the Maritime Museum are must-visit attractions within the fort area. The city’s rich history and cultural charm make it a unique destination for visitors.

Outside the fort, Galle offers beautiful beaches such as Unawatuna and Jungle Beach, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The city’s vibrant markets and shops provide a variety of local goods, from handmade jewelry to traditional textiles. Galle is also known for its arts and crafts, with many galleries showcasing local artists. The annual Galle Literary Festival attracts writers and readers from around the world, adding to the city’s cultural appeal. Galle’s blend of historical significance, natural beauty, and cultural vibrancy makes it a must-visit destination on Sri Lanka’s southern coast.

Top Activities in Galle

  • Exploring Galle Fort: Wander through the UNESCO World Heritage Site, discovering its cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and charming cafes.
  • Visiting the Galle Lighthouse: Visit the iconic lighthouse within the fort for stunning coastal views.
  • Touring the Maritime Museum: Learn about the maritime history of Galle at the museum located inside the fort.
  • Shopping at Local Markets: Explore vibrant markets and shops offering handmade jewelry, traditional textiles, and other local goods.
  • Relaxing at Unawatuna Beach: Enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and diving at one of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful beaches.
  • Exploring Jungle Beach: Discover the secluded Jungle Beach, perfect for a peaceful day by the sea.
  • Visiting Art Galleries: Browse galleries showcasing the work of local artists, highlighting the city’s rich arts and crafts scene.
  • Attending the Galle Literary Festival: Participate in the annual festival that attracts writers and readers from around the world.
  • Dining in Local Cafes and Restaurants: Savor a variety of cuisines in the fort’s charming cafes and restaurants.
  • Exploring Historical Churches and Mosques: Visit the fort’s historical religious sites, including churches and mosques, reflecting Galle’s diverse cultural heritage.
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