Galle is a small but beautiful city in Sri Lanka which is known for its Portuguese and Dutch architectural style buildings and infrastructures. It is a heavily fortified city designed and built by its colonisers,and the city is famous for this in the whole of South and Southeast Asia. The city houses the Galle Fort, a world heritage site known as the most massive fortress in Asia still standing. Galle remains one of the top tourist destinations in Asia.
Galle has prominent landmarks scattered across its city. Here is a Galle destination guide so you can make the most out of your time in the country when you visit it.
- Flag Rock
Flag Rock is the most popular place in Galle to catch the sunset. It is also the place the adventurous and brave souls go to leap into the water. It can be found at the southern end of the Galle Fort. It was a famous Portuguese bastion, but now restaurants and cafes dot the area. Countless vendors also line the place to sell their delicious local street food.
- Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church is most famous for its floors. The base material for them is gravestones. These gravestones came from various Dutch cemeteries. You can find a hand carved wooden memorial of a former commander of Galle, Abraham Samlant, inside the church.
- Marine Archeological Museum
The Marine Archeological Museum is a maritime museum where you can learn about the various fauna and flora of the sea close to Galle. The museum is in the Galle Fort. Inside the museum, you can find interactive displays that narrate Galle’s historical past in navigating and charting the surrounding waters of the city including maritime trade, fishing and sea-life. Miniature models of whales and other deep-sea fishes are there for the enjoyment of children. There are also life-size dioramas that show the natural coral and seagrass beds in the deep waters of Galle. The museum also contains artefacts, relics and treasures retrieved from the underwater archaeological sites. You can even find an old, large spice warehouse that was built back during the Dutch colonial period in the late 17th century.
- Sudharmalaya Temple
The Sudharmalaya Temple is on the western side of Galle, and it is an imposing white temple complex that is known for its giant reclining Buddha.
Built in 1684, the Amangalla has historically housed Dutch governors and officials. It became the New Oriental Hotel in the 19th century, and many of its guests were well-known personalities who were travelling to and from Europe. The hotel was memorably featured in the most iconic book of Paul Theroux, The Great Railway Bazaar, which is how its popularity skyrocketed. Today, the hotel still has the traditional decor, and it is still the top lodging of choice for many travelling tourists.
These iconic spots are the reason why Galle remains a city flocked to by countless tourists from all over the world. Visiting Galle is undoubtedly a worthwhile experience.