The Galle Fort, located on the southern coast of the country, is one of the five historical monuments visiting which is one of the things to do in Galle. The fort was initially built by the Portuguese and was later modified by the Dutch. Today the Galle Fort is also declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a stunning blend of architecture, archaeology and history amidst a beautiful tropical setting.
Initially opened on 9 May 1962, National Maritime Museum, a two-storeyed building in the Galle Fort, is one of the marine buffs things to do in Galle. During the 2004 tsunami, the Museum was destroyed and was reopened in 2010 after reconstruction. It showcases objects from the underwater such as corals and other things along with maps, ropes, sailor shoes and so on.
Unawatuna is one of the most popular attractions in Sri Lanka and a popular thing to do in Galle, which draws both tourists as well as the locals to its everlasting beauty. This banana shaped beach, with its golden sand, sparkling water, and lush palm trees is the perfect place to relax and spend some quality time with your family. There are sunbeds available for you to sit back relax and enjoy your day with a drink.
When in Unawatuna, make it a point to visit the famous Dalawella beach. If you are looking for a quieter escape from the main beach, head out to the Dalawella beach. The beach is the ideal location to spend some quiet and quality time with your family or loved ones, while you relax, sunbathe and swim under the beautiful blue sky.
The Peace Pagoda is on the hillside of the Galle Fort and is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. The Mahayana sect built the Peace Pagoda as an initiative to establish peace in the Sri Lankan conflict zone. The Pagoda is a spectacle to witness, especially when you view it from the side of Unawatuna, which makes it look like it has grown out of the jungle.
Located on the Rumassala Hill in Unawatuna, Rumassala Sanctuary has everything a nature enthusiast would want to see as the protected area is filled with rare birds, animals and even some medicinal plants. The hill is also known to be steeped in folklore and history as Rumassala has a place in Ramayana and is said to be the place from where Rama rescued princess Sita.
A private collection of a long-time resident of Galle, Abdul Gaffer, the Historical Mansion Museum is housed inside a restored Dutch house and is considered to be one of the largest private collections in Sri Lanka. Colonial artefacts of yesteryear are all over the place, and unlike other museums, most items displayed here are for sale. They also conduct events and presentations on traditional crafts like gem cutting and polishing.
Located at the southernmost end of Galle Fort, the Flag Rock was once a Portuguese bastion and is now one of the most popular places in Galle to catch the sunset and one of the only places in Sri Lanka there are cliff divers. During certain times of the day, cliff jumping is accessible and will cost about USD 10 per person.
Galle is much more than the historic fort and its attractions. The Old Dutch Market in Galle is one of the unique remnants of colonial times and unique thing to do in Galle. As the name suggests, it is a marketplace, popular amongst locals as well as tourists for selling some of the freshest and exotic produce in all of Galle.
Galle Fort Lighthouse, one of the oldest in Sri Lanka, is a coastal lighthouse inside Galle Fort. Initially built in 1848, it is one of the most visited attractions side the fort due to its picturesque surroundings, perfect for a serene stroll or an Instagram-worthy photo.
Constructed in 1883 by crowdfunding by the people of Galle to celebrate the life of Dr P. D Anthonisz who served as the colonial surgeon for the Southern Province. The four-storey tower is a famous landmark that is one of the things to do in Galle for historians. One can also visit it for beautiful views of the central moon bastion in the Galle Fort.
Though this is a large and extensive list, one can definitely choose and pick some of these places from this masterlist to make a small and succinct itinerary for things to do in Galle!
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