The historic city of Galle is one of the island’s biggest attractions. Once the most important port of Sri Lanka, Galle’s natural harbour attracted seafaring traders long before the arrival of the fort-building European colonialists who were to turn it into a flourishing market town.
Galle’s new town is a hive of activity where bustling lanes overflow with excitable shoppers, and hawkers of luscious fruits, fish and vegetables loudly promote their wares. The newly created promenade along the sea is a picturesque place to walk and contemplate the oceanic scene as fishermen, yachts and navy boats come and go from the harbour.
In stark contrast to the busy town of Galle, the sleepy, historic fort offers serenity and calm and a journey back into time. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its seventeenth-century ramparts are filled with an evocative collection of period properties, intimate boutiques, interesting museums and tiny cafes while its nostalgic ambiance and cosmopolitan vibe further highlight its charm. Things to do in Galle include a visit to the international cricket stadium which is located between the old and new town and is famed for having one of the most picturesque backdrops in the world. There’s a railway station, along with plenty of banks, ATMs, pharmacies, shops, restaurants, money changing facilities and supermarkets in town.