Galle Things to Do Tips by PierreZA
Galle Things to Do: 41 reviews and 91 photos
Murals inside the temple
It took the driver quite some time to find this Temple, but he wanted to show me this very special place. This was most probably the temple I enjoyed visiting the most. The monk who live there showed us around. The Temple complex is in urgent need of renovation and restoration. It is beautiful inside, with partly restored murals, a beautiful reclining Buddha and more.
Do take the trouble in visitng this "forgotten" temple and make a small (or big) donation.
The Koggala Lake is quite big and has several islands. I visited Temple Island, where you will find an old Buddhist Temple, still in use.
There is also Cinnamon island, where you can go and explore.
I took a boat(catamaran) trip, which lasted for about an hour. According to the guide, one should visit during sunset, when the atmosphere is at its best.
I cannot remember what I paid, but it was very reasonable.
Ananda Spice Garden can be found at the area where you get onto the boat (catamaran).
Whilst in the area, we also visited a small home batik industry. It was interesting to see how skillful these ladies are. The prices of the products were extremely expensive - did not buy anything.
The Sea Turtle Hatchery along the coastal road takes only a couple of minutes to visit. The hatchery collects eggs in order to protect them. They hatch these, and when big enough, release them into the sea.
The guide gives good information on the different turtles found in Sri Lankan waters, and the process of hatching the eggs.
This is most probably where pictures are taken for postcards. It is a beautiful small bay, lined with restaurants, a temple and small guesthouses and a beautiful sandy beach.
The advantage of this village is that it is off the main road, which makes it more secluded. The village is home to nice shops, small hotels, restaurants, auyervedic massage places etc.
What I further enjoyed was the fact that it was not overcrowded at all.
Unawatuna is about 5km from Galle, so taking a 3-wheeler is just fine.
There are a few very nice shops where handicrafts etc can be bought.
Directions: 5km from Galle
There are many interesting building, churches etc.
The Anglican Church is actually quite impressive and worth visiting.
There are several museums (National Museum, Maritime Museum, Historical Museum).
The Fort is also home to many small art studios/galleries. Some of these are very interesting. I met one of the artists at his gallery, and had a very interseting conversation about his art.
While staying at The Closenberg Hotel, I actually noticed that it is often visited by tourists. It is a beautiful colonial building with a rich history, and worth a visit.
Lughthouse Galle Fort
The old lighthouse is at a height of 92 feet above low-water.
It was built in 1848 was burnt down in 1936. The new lighthouse was built in 1940.
There is a small beach where many locals were swimming, just left of the lighthouse.
Directions: Point Utrecht Bastion
Dutch Reformed Church
To see a Dutch Reformed Church here in Galle was very interesting, as we have many in South Africa.
Although called 'Grootte Kerk' (Big Church), it is not very big. Thie church was built in 1754 and has recently been restored.
The architecture can easily be recognised as Dutch from that period it was constructed.
The church is surrounded by a small cemetery with old gravestones.
It is worth a visit.
Directions: Church Street, Galle Fort
Meeran Jumma Masjid
The Southern part of Galle Fort is home to a large Muslim community.
You cannot miss The Meeran Jumma Masjid - big and white, and remids a bit of a church rather than a mosque.
It is situated at the end of Church Street within the old Arab Quarter.
The mosque was rebuilt in 1904 where the original stood from 1750s.
The mosque is actively in use.
There is also another small mosque in this part of the Fort. I do not know the name, but included a picture.
Galle fort was built first by the Portuguese and then modified by the Dutch during the 17th century.
Many of the buildings are beautifully restored, but some are a bit neglected.
It was a very hot day when I explored the Fort, but walking is actually the best and only way.
Galle Fort is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many of the buildings one can see in the Galle Fort are reminiscent of buildings dating from the Dutch Era. Many have pillared verandas and mansions that belonged to sea merchants.
It is not very big and half day should be enough (it all depends on your interests).
Walking the ramparts is a popular pass time for locals and tourists, especially during sunset.
The main entrance to the Fort is opposite Galle Cricket Stadium.
Directions: Easy to find - opposite the Cricket Stadium
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